Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A thought-provoking blog post: "How to Talk to Little Girls" (Latina Fatale) #GirlsUnstoppable

Just a taste here:
I went to a dinner party at a friend’s home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time.

Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, “Maya, you’re so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!”

But I didn’t. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are.

What’s wrong with that? It’s our culture’s standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn’t it? And why not give them a sincere compliment to boost their self-esteem? Because they are so darling I just want to burst when I meet them, honestly.

Hold that thought for just a moment.

This week ABC news reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. In my book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, I reveal that fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s next top model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart.
Please read the rest: How to Talk to Little Girls

As I read this post, I realized how often I use appearance as the go-to, first compliment when talking to my niece and other young girls whose parents, etc. I know. While I believe that such compliments have their place, I'm going to try harder to focus in on those attributes and skills that I (or the specific girl I'm talking to) most value in future, especially when making an initial, first-impression comment. Like the Dove Real Beauty and #GirlsUnstoppable campaigns, I believe female (and human) beauty is more than skin deep, and comes in many forms.

How to Talk to Little Girls

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
dove real beauty campaign - Google Image Search

Help Make All Girls Unstoppable
Positive Self-Esteem Makes All Girls Unstoppable

But on the other hand:
How To Raise Girls Who Love Their Looks
(And no, I didn't realize until this link addition that the original post, as well as the link I just added, are from 2011... Still as relevant and thought provoking, though...)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In Reply: Perhaps 911 dispatchers need to rethink how they "suggest" that wannabe heroes and morons not put themselves in danger by approaching or following the potentially dangerous criminals they're calling 911 about

Revised and extended, in reply to a whole lotta back and forth about the 911 dispatcher and George Zimmerman at the post Can Anyone Verify These Disturbing Allegations About Trayvon’s Family? : The Other McCain:

Hopefully 911 (emergency and non) throughout the country will rethink the best way to talk to people who haven't got the good sense to understand that "we don't need you to do that, sir" is a "suggestion" that callers not put themselves in further danger by approaching the potential criminals they're calling about. It's not illegal to be a moron, but neither party would've been injured if only Zimmerman understood, and had listened to the guy with a whole lot of experience dealing with first responders and potentially dangerous situations...though no, he was under no legal obligation to do so.

While they're at it, they probably ought to consider rephrasing how they ask which direction the potential criminal went, perhaps including the phrase "from where you are now, and please don't go after the man/woman/group you're telling me may be dangerous criminals," in deference to those same kinda morons.

Based on the evidence available and the laws as they stand, Zimmerman could not be convicted. Also, he didn't commit a hate crime. But--like Christopher Serino says, Zimmerman ultimately could've avoided this whole thing--not been hit, and not killed anyone--if only he had done things differently, either waiting in his car for the police (which the dispatcher also gently "suggested,") or at least approaching Martin differently, perhaps saying he was part of the neighborhood watch, and saying that Martin seemed unsure of which house he was looking for. While that doesn't matter criminally (though I think it should), it hopefully will matter civilly.

Posted Tuesday, 7/16/2013, 8:25 AM

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