A few weeks ago, my daughters and I were looking for a movie to stream for a bunch of little girls and boys at our house. We’d been scrolling for about ten minutes when my eight year old got that look on her face, you know the one kids get when they’ve stumbled into some truth that shifts.
“Mom, it’s like the boy movies are for boys and girls but the girl movies are just for girls, you know?”
We talked about it for a long time. We covered all the familiar ground - there’s no such thing as a girl movie or a boy movie, stories are just stories, boys love stories featuring girls as much as stories featuring boys. You know, the works. But at the end of the conversation I couldn’t help feeling like what she’d said, ultimately, was right.
I know we’re living in the Dawn of the Age of the Empowered Girl, but often it feels like we’re really living in the Dawn of the Age of Empowered Girl Marketing.
Hey, little girl! This book/movie/product has a fierce girl on it! And you’re a fierce girl! And it’s made for fierce girls! So, you know, this is for YOU! Ahem, little boys, all the truly cool stuff is just a few clicks, classrooms, aisles or societal norms PAST the fierce girl stuff.
It’s a problem, but I don’t really have a solution. And the market has been slow in providing them. Once in awhile, hope glimmers. The day I saw Wonder Woman was a glimmering hope day. And yesterday, after being introduced to Bravery Magazine, I got to get all glimmery hopeful again. (Glimmery Hope is a gender neutral condition, by the way.)
Bravery is a new magazine kickstarting both my mother-heart and its own publication. Each issue celebrates a brave woman and the values her life and work embody. The first issue about Jane Goodall is heavy on substance and style, a rare combination when it comes to things created for kids.
My eight year old spent the evening reading it to my five year old. At one point, she poked her head around the corner,
“Mom, did you know we’re 98% chimpanzee?!”
By the end of the night, my kindergartner had “conservationist” in her vocabulary and was talking about living in the jungle. This is a decided step up from her former life plan of, “moving to Paris and having a dog and stuff.” Although, to be fair, the “and stuff” part could have really covered some groundbreaking work.
Here’s the gender equality cherry on top, the creators behind Bravery Mag are adamant that each issue is made to be consumed by both girls and boys. Elyse Beard, the editor of Bravery Magazine and mother of two girls and a boy, has THOUGHTS about the stories we’re raising our children on,
“The cultural idea that stories of women are only interesting to girls is wrong, and we want to change that. We expect girls to learn from stories and experiences of men, but for some reason, our society doesn't think it's valuable for boys to learn from stories and experiences of women. We disagree with this cultural norm, so we made it a point to make Bravery magazine geared towards girls and boys.”
Within twenty hours of launching their Kickstarter, Bravery Mag has raised nearly $20,000 of their $27,000 goal. All that money raised by mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles that believe female stories and experiences are just as important, just as necessary, just as delightfully consumed as male stories and experiences. It was exciting to watch and exciting to show to my daughters.
“See, girls? Your stories are for everyone.”
Want to learn more about Bravery Magazine’s mission and campaign? Check them out here. Want to give me more glimmery hope? Share your favorite girl lead book or movie in the comments.