I thought "feminist" was a dirty word...until I had a daughter.
When I looked into the wide, innocent eyes of my brand new baby girl everything I thought I believed about equality was shaken. I knew that the endless possibilities, hopes, and dreams that a mother has for her tiny, fresh human would never actually be completely endless. Oh, sure she came into the privilege that comes with being born into a white, upper-middle class home, to two educated parents (in the United States no less), but she was also born a "she".
Her struggle would be less stifiling than those of other races or socioeconomic statuses, but it would still exist because of her gender. She will have to grow up in a world where she will always have to look over her shoulder when she goes out at night by herself; where her body seems to belong to everyone else, since women's bodies are scrutinized and torn apart at will. Assumptions will be made about her intelligence since she is beautiful and you can't possibly be both smart and attractive. She will hear how she's not good enough to participate in x,y, z because "she's just a girl". When she's old enough to work, she will make less money than men in same job. She will be expected to smile all the time, wear the appropriate clothes so as to not invite too much male attention, not speak up too much (we wouldn't want her to be seen as bossy)..... Blah, blah, blah! Ahhhhhh! (Insert picture of me screaming with my hands over my ears in the fetal position) Can you hear the environmental noise that pollute women's minds? If you are a women, you know the noise. Can we just tell this noise to calm the hell down?
Then I thought, it's all nonsense, we live in the 21st century. She CAN be what she wants, wear what she wants, do what she wants, and say what she wants. There is a long list of ladies that have gone before us who have (and still are) taking jack-hammers to the glass ceiling. Women who are speaking up and demanding to be heard.
While I had lived in fear as a child and a young woman, my daughter will be raised to be fearless. She will be a feminist.
Which brings us to why I decided to start GIRLS CAN! CRATE. As a child, I let the noise fill my head and block my dreams. I was full of fear based on ideas I had picked up from those around me. Ideas that said I wouldn't be able to be an archaeologist because women aren't good at science. A statement made in jest that reminded me where a woman's place is. Remarks that told me what I could and couldn't do. I let the noise put my God-given aspirations on hold. If I'd been exposed to more heroines (like the ladies we will feature in our boxes), then maybe the noise would have only been a whisper. Or better yet, thrown in the basement of my mind and wrapped in duct tape for good measure.
I want my daughter, sister, and niece to know that they are just as valuable, deserving, and capable as as my son, brother, and nephew. I want the little girls in everyones life to know that, too. The most powerful tool for change is education and that's what our company aims to do: educate and empower girls. Girls need to know that being a feminist isn't a bad word and it doesn't mean that you don't care about men, it just means you care about women just as much.