Emily Crockett, a writer for Vox, wrote a great article on gender issues, especially gender bias. A woman made a comment on one of Zuckerberg’s facebook posts where he says he is trying to build a home artificial intelligence to help him with the different house tasks. In this comment, she says that she often tells her granddaughters to “date the nerd, [because] he may turn out to be a Mark Zuckerberg.” Zuckerberg, however, directly responded to her comment, saying that she should encourage them to be the nerd and become the next great inventor.
There still exists this huge idea that women cannot become the best at something, that in order to be successful, they have to marry a man who will become or is successful. Girls are taught from a young age that they cannot become someone great by their own merit, will, and intelligence. The phrase “it’s a boy thing” is so often said in households and schools alike that often discourages girls, not only from STEM fields, but from any “boy thing” as well. In the article, the woman’s comment highlights these ideas. Although to many of us these ideas may seem old-fashioned and no longer relevant, that couldn’t be far from the truth. The truth is that women are still underrepresented in many fields, ranging from STEM to the government positions, and the top positions are still mostly male. Things may be changing, but they are changing slowly.
We need to have more people like Zuckerberg who believe that a woman can become great. We should inspire girls to change the world, just like we inspire boys. I think it’s time to tell our girls that they are pretty smart, pretty great, pretty brilliant… not just pretty-looking. It’s time to encourage the girls just as much.
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