Let's face it, this day and age, females aren't supposed to be smart. Sure, if you look at the average dating profile, it'll probably say that they're looking for an intelligent woman, but nine out of ten times, they want someone smart, just not smarter than them. This makes things difficult. Even in the classroom, it's not uncommon to find men that are intimidated by women with intelligence who aren't afraid to show it. These sorts of underlying feelings are why a lot of parents don't necessarily jump at encouraging their daughters to go into competitive fields such as the sciences, law, or high-ranking positions in the business world. I'm here to tell you though that I'm pursuing a career that includes getting my MD/Ph.D. and I couldn't be happier.
I write this to encourage other women not to be afraid of their intelligence. So many times, the men in the room would like us to remain silent and let them show off their prowess. There is no reason that you can't be the smartest person in the room, and you should own it. I've personally seen the shock on the faces of others' when I talk about the research I'm doing. It's time to own your smarts and make Rosie the Riveter proud.
Now I don't want this message to sound like I think all women are living their lives just to please men. I know that they're not, but I know that some women are worried about what others will think of them which can be just as debilitating. Regardless of why I'm telling you to do it, though, I really hope that you pay attention to what I'm asking you to do, and that is to love your mind. Many times we are told to love our bodies, and that is such a great message and a really hard thing to do. Loving your mind, though, is just as important. Knowing that your mind is an amazing thing and that your thoughts and feelings are all valid is an essential tool in building yourself up. Don't let anyone tell you different.
One thing that I've gained in learning to love my mind is confidence. For a while, I was really worried about what people were going to think about me if I raised my hand in class or spoke my opinion on a matter. Pursuing something that I really love and letting myself reach my full potential, however, has given me so much confidence. Now I know that there are some women out there who just kick butt naturally and have no restraints. If that's you, you are an inspiration and I support you fully. If you're like me, however, I want to tell you to go for it with all you've got because the payoff is so worth it.
Grooming women to keep silent and not intimidate is something that our country has done for years, and we're starting to see now that there's no need for it. But we don't have to wait until our daughters reach adulthood to begin to support their voices. Parents, if your daughter wants to do something non-traditional or likes to be in charge, now is the time to support the heck out of her. If she wants to build a rocket for her school project, challenge her mind and let her explain to you what she's doing. It's time we stop hushing our daughters and pushing them into more traditional roles. If that's what they want to do, that's totally great, but now is the time to provide every opportunity under the sun so that our women can reach their full potential.