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Talking to Little Girls Should be More Than Fluff and Pretty Words

Just when I thought I could use some e-retail therapy, I realized, I’m too serious to buy anything on impulse—even a book.

Stimulate her mind

It began with an innocent moment of surfing to one of my ‘favorites’, a guilty-pleasure site, www.huffingtonpost.com. I like online newspapers, because I can see what’s going on in the world and be green about it. Although I find the main headline obnoxiously large—the fewer the words, the bigger and more obnoxious, some of the Huffington Post bloggers are knowledgeable, witty, or at any rate, able to make me stop and think about another point of view, whether I agree or not. Recently, I ran across Lisa Bloom’s article, How to Talk to Little Girls. Should be interesting, I thought. Occasionally, I fall victim to having a short attention span, which was triggered close to the beginning of the article. Ms. Bloom referred to her book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World. Too intrigued by the title to resist, I admit it, I clicked onto the link.

The Amazon page showed the “Look Inside!” feature that I hoped to find. Of course, I had to look. If I were ever to write a book, it would have had a title very close to Ms. Bloom’s book, perched in the same section of the bookstore. I imagine it would be written as a response to the constant bombardment against intelligence, values and talents that women possess by those who would rather see a woman fantasize over the pages of a fashion magazine than read Outliers on her Kindle. Jumping to the table of contents I scan the chapter titles and pick one to get a feel for the book. I already think I’m going to order it. Ms. Bloom had me chuckling during my initial peek inside the pages—then I saw it.

“Sixty-eight percent of Republicans don’t believe in evolution, a scientific principle widely proven since the nineteenth century and replicated daily in the plant and animal kingdom.”


Widely proven principle?

Replicated daily?

Well, if you’re going to attempt to convince people that they evolved from apes or amoebas or whatever other lower-life form you choose, then don’t be surprised when they “dumb down” to eventually return to their roots. Stop fighting it and learn to like bananas. I might just be curious enough to buy the book to find out what she says in the chapter, Reclaiming the Brains God Gave Ya. So . . . what God are we talking about? Those of us in the percentages who don’t believe in evolution and who aren’t Republicans actually believe God created mankind. I’m starting to feel confused and woozy already. Hopefully, I won’t be stuck in the same category as, say, Dan Quayle, who is so openly taunted in the book for his political and general gaffes that will live in infamy.

The longer I spend on the planet, the more I am faced with defending my values and beliefs, either privately or publicly, now that I’m old enough not to be swayed what other people think about my lack of political correctness, my ‘old fashionedness’ or traditionalism. It is what it is.

Recently I was in the midst of women who assert the meaningfulness of astrology, that we’re all God, that our children chose us before they were born—times when I struggle to find commonalities with women who have opposing beliefs to mine. There’s so much of today’s world that I have to peel off and cast aside while I try to connect human to human. But then, I’m serious about everything, which is what makes me unique and somewhat difficult.

At the end of it all, however, it’s through the exchange of ideas that I learn where other people are “coming from”. The trick is not to dismiss the person with the idea or opinion. While creationists and evolutionists disagree on how we got here, we can agree that, since we are sharing Earth space, one priority must be to teach and emulate what a strong, confident woman looks like. When does that role modeling begin—in her teen years? No way. By that time, she’s already a fan of America’s Next Top Model. Even though it may be easier to chat about Banks over Keats, which pays the greater dividends?

Perhaps Lisa Bloom won’t “Friend” me on Facebook, but we can find congruities as women who believe we have much more to offer the world than our bodies. We’re all trying to navigate around this big, blue marble and how better to find our purpose than to lose ourselves in empowering girls to stay smart in a dumbed-down world.

The arrow is hovering over the one-click-ordering button . . .

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