Growing up in Denmark, I was very fortunate to never think of myself as a girl a such, or what girls could or should do. Denmark is so egalitarian (seen from the other side of the globe), both men and women drop off and pick up kids, they all work, they all cook, do the washing, become prime ministers or nurses. And kids grow up as kids, not as “girls” or “boys”.
It had gone so far, that I started feeling sorry for the Danish men, having no turf left to be just men, having become so understanding of their women’s needs and thoughts, not taking space to be REAL men (what is that anyway?). But at the same time I admire them highly – for within generations to have morphed into a new species of understanding humans – not just understanding women, but understanding life and what’s important.
I felt SO offended when moving to Australia and learning combinations of words I had hoped to never know: Class mum, Working mum, Soccer mum…
And I nearly complained to the head master when we at Mother’s Day got a pre-printed Thank you card from our daughter from school, where she had added the drawings. It said: “Thank you for the cooking, thank you for the lunch boxes, thank you for the mending…”. I went into a hysterical laughter instead, not believing my own eyes. Explaining to my daughter that I was so happy for the drawings, and that I hope to be SO much more to my children, myself, my husband and to the world than “supplier of services”. I felt bombed back five decades.
I never thought about being a female leader – until I hit ground in Australia. I never thought of having less opportunities or dreams of the future than any of my male friends. And in Denmark we only know of co-ed schools, life is kind of co-ed isn’t it?
So dear daughters, dear men, dear women. Please see all the people around you as that. People. Individuals with each their personality, each their quirks and talents. No need to put us into boxes. Great to have role models and people you connect to – but don’t preempt and cut off half the opportunity for great relationships, work and life. And don’t cut off half of your inner abilities.
Well that wasn’t as funny a blog as normally – but I needed to get it out. Thank you for being YOU.