Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Dad and His Daring Daughter!

Hardy Girls has long paid tribute to its Founding Othermothers—an amazing group of women who made a financial commitment to the organization way back in the beginning. They’re women who nourish a girl’s hope through acts of love, courage, and commitment to making the community and the world a better place for girls. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge another population — this one of male allies — that does the same thing for girls and for Hardy Girls. We’re calling them Otherfathers and this month, in honor of Father’s Day, we’re bringing you a story about one of them. We spoke with Scott Price, who, as a long-time supporter of Hardy Girls and dad to twelve-year-old Maddie, is both an Otherfather and a regular one. And he rocks at both!

Scott’s daughter, Maddie, is a sixth grader at Canaan Elementary. First introduced to Hardy Girls through Adventure Girls programming a couple of years ago, Maddie participated in snowshoeing and frog tracking. She later attended the Girls Unlimited! Conference. Of raising Maddie, Scott tells us: “I think there’s a lot more opportunity than when I was a kid for girls in general.”

Having grown up with five younger sisters, Scott has seen a progression in activities that girls are encouraged to pursue now. “I think with equality, we’ve come a long way. I think there’s more opportunity for sports and education. I think there’s more opportunity for college careers. I like to see Maddie have those chances.”

One of the things Scott says he wants most for his daughter is for her to have a variety of different experiences. “When I had to start making my adult decisions, I was able to see what was out there, so I’m big on trying to get her lots of experiences. It’s most of the things I like to do — outdoor stuff, cultural stuff, travel.” Indeed, they’ve taken Maddie all around the U.S., to Canada, and even to London. They take canoe trips and go on day hikes as a family, and attend shows and concerts at the Waterville and Skowhegan Opera Houses. “We like those quite a lot,” said Scott. “I think there are a lot of things to take advantage of in Central Maine.”

It’s clear that Maddie is a busy kid; she’s particularly devoted to dance and trombone lessons and babysitting. “She took a babysitting class and she understands what money is.” But while Scott encourages new experiences, he understands the importance of not overscheduling. “She doesn’t have to do everything, all the sports and all the dance… It’s a balance you have to find. I find that home time is good. And friend time; you’ve got have friends, too.”

Maddie and her friends are looking forward to starting middle school in the fall, and Scott is excited for her. “She has lots of good friends that are going with her. They’re all good students, and she has a good base.” It doesn’t mean, however, that he doesn’t worry about other influences. “I’m constantly aware of commercials and stuff and I’m always spouting off behind the real meaning of what they’re trying to sell. With the new computerization age, the kids get an amazing amount of ads and exposure to stuff; it’s hard to keep up. I talk about that stuff — I hope the kids listen.” We’d be willing to make a bet that they do, Scott!

Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers and Otherfathers! We'd love to hear about why your dad rocks-- leave us a comment and tell us all about him! Or, if you're a dad yourself, let us know what you do to support your daughter!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SPARK! Summit Needs Girls' Votes!

We’re sparking a revolution and it needs a name! Well, we have a name (SPARK!) but need your input on what S-P-A-R-K stands for.

Hardy Girls, TrueChild, Women’s Media Center, ASAP, and the Ms. Foundation for Women are planning a summit to ignite a movement in protest of the sexualization of girls in media and in support of better images and messages about girls’ sexuality. So much of the media suggests that our sexuality is the most important aspect of who we are – that girls’ and women’s value comes from just how sexy we are – say nothing about our interests, talents, or rockstar personalities (see Gen Z Does Single Ladies and Stupid Is As Stupid Does).

You helped us brainstorm some great acronyms for what SPARK! could stand for. We’ve taken the top 4 options and now need your input. What do you like best? Take a look at the poll and let us know what you think. Voting closes on Friday at 5:00 pm so vote now and tell your friends!