That was the worst advice ever given to someone.
Danny P
1

I’m suggesting that being a girl and being a boy are very different. Actions that society embraces in boys it reviles and punishes in girls. Her responses from business owners might be perfectly amicable, but just getting to see them is going to be harder for her than it would be for a boy. Her responses from the people fronting the business when the owner isn’t there are likely to be dismissive at best, and full of micro-aggression that you’ve never seen because of your gender as a normal matter of course.

Of course you should encourage your child to pursue opportunities, but you should also respect her desires and limits. Being aggressive as a woman is still seen as a negative trait, and if she’s not naturally aggressive, teenagehood is exactly the wrong time to start trying.

And before you write this off, I was an aggressive girl. I was happy to talk to people I didn’t know. I was quick with verbal retorts, and able to tell people who made inappropriate sexual comments that they were being completely inappropriate in ways that mostly didn’t get me anything worse than leers and uncomfortable looks from adults. It was just “kids” I had to worry about touching.

I still didn’t enjoy the hip-thrusts and sexual innuendo from a boss, or the uncomfortable questions about why I wouldn’t accept a date from random people. Being a girl should come with a warning label and a can of mace, but it doesn’t. Be gentle with her, the world won’t be.

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