Are You Perpetuating The Glass Ceiling

If you don’t embrace your passions, you are perpetuating the glass ceiling. While the term is usually used in relation to corporate sexism, the glass ceiling goes far deeper than that and you are the only person who can change it.

Seriously. It is up to you. The more you conform to society’s ideals, the more you reinforce a stereotype. In short, we create our own glass ceilings – every time we settle for less, don’t put ourselves forward – we perpetuate the existence of the glass ceiling. We tell ourselves we aren’t good enough, that we can’t do it… Not only do we create our own glass ceiling, we continue to keep reinforcing it!

However, we don’t just make it for ourselves… What impact does this have on your children? Children learn – they absorb ideas from the world around them. So the more you reject your truth and passions in favour of the housework, the more you put everyone else before you – you are teaching your kids to do the same.

“Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We’re taught to smile pretty,play it safe, get all A’s. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off headfirst. And by the time they’re adults, whether they’re negotiating a raise or even asking someone out on a date, they’re habituated to take risk after risk. They’re rewarded for it. It’s often said in Silicon Valley, no one even takes you seriously unless you’ve had two failed start-ups. In other words, we’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave.”

Stop swallowing the media bullshit – the perfect wife, the perfect home, stop trying to raise the perfect prince(ss)!!!! Lead by example. Don’t just encourage your kids to explore – get out of your comfort zone and explore yourself. Don’t just clean up while your kids paint or deplore the mess – get in there and create with them! Show them it is safe to be authentic, to enjoy whatever makes their soul sing! They want to dissect a dead squirrel, let them dissect the damn squirrel – maybe buy them some latex gloves and a mask! (and teach them how important it is to wash their hands!) But PLEASE don’t discourage them. You may find it gross, they may find it fascinating. Our differences are what make us unique.

“Since 1937, Disney has made most of its money selling princesses to girls.It’s made a huge chunk of its money. Unless, of course, the princess your daughter is interested in, as my daughter is, is this one.
See, in 2012, Disney purchased LucasFilm for the sum of four billion dollars,and immediately they flooded the Disney stores with Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker and Yoda and not Princess Leia. Why? Because this princess messes up the public pedagogy for these princesses. So Disney did not put Princess Leia merchandise in the store, and when people went to Disney and said, “Hey, where’s all the Princess Leia stuff?” Disney said, “We have no intention of putting Princess Leia merchandise in the store.” And fans were angry and they took to Twitter with the hashtag #WeWantLeia. And Disney said, “Wait, that’s not what we meant. What we meant was, we don’t have any Princess Leia merchandise yet, but we will.” And that was in 2012, and it is 2015, and if you go to the Disney Store, as I recently have, and look for Princess Leia merchandise, do you know how many Princess Leia items there are in the Disney Store? Zero, because Disney has no intention of putting Princess Leia in the store.”

I was raised in this world – where barbies were blonde, skinny and always wore high heels. I was lucky, my parents encouraged my messy creativity (my grandparents even more-so). I know not everyone was so lucky. I too, observed my mother putting the family’s needs first, loosing herself, her identity distilled to being a mother. Don’t get me wrong – being a mother is an important part of many identities, for many of my friends it is all they ever wanted. However, it should be a facet of identity, rather than being the only way we identify ourselves.

Break free – it is within your control to get rid of that glass ceiling – to make art, to become an architect, to live those dreams and follow your passion. It is never too late. It is not selfish to be passionate about something nor to be yourself.

By removing our own glass ceiling, we can not only free ourselves, but teach our children to live freely too.