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Power Tools and Pigtails : The Dad Effect

Two amazing things about this photo:

1. My dad's moustache (which he's been rocking since 1970).
2. The fact that this photo sits amongst some of the very tools he taught me to use 20 years ago.

I now know how fortunate I am to have a dad that encouraged me do "boy stuff" when I was a kid - a dad that never played into gender stereotypes. He showed me how to use power tools and even tried to get me to play ice hockey. Though only one of these hobbies stuck, the idea that I could do anything my older brother could do has stayed with me into adulthood.

When fathers participate in their lives, daughters have higher self-esteem and are more willing to try new things and sons are better equipped to cope with stress and less likely to fight. What’s more, teenagers who feel close to their fathers end up in healthier, happier marriages. - LeanIn.org

My dad was ahead of his time. He was part of the #LeanInTogether movement long before it was a movement or a hashtag. I don't think he was necessarily trying to make a social statement, he was just trying to connect with his daughters and show us what the world had to offer from his perspective. He brought me and my sisters along fishing and camping, he showed up for our soccer games and track meets, and we happily tagged along on trips to the hardware store.

We still live in a society that tries to assign roles to us based on our gender. Fathers are often the first and most powerful male influence in a girl's life. Whether my dad knew it or not, he did a pretty amazing job at making sure I realized that I could be anything and do anything regardless of how "masculine" it may seem (aside from growing a matching moustache).

I want to thank all of the dads out there who are doing their part in raising strong women. Let your daughters be a part of your world. Though she may not end up being a pro hockey player (sorry dad), one of your "manly" hobbies may end up being her passion, her livelihood, and her special bond with you.

Happy Father's Day

  • Author avatar
    Sarah Wilson
  • Father's DayFemale EntrepreneursGender StereotypesInspiration

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