Uploaded by sensukanya2004

A8a Directed Writing Feminist Letter

Dear Ms. Cornish,
I have read your article and would like to comment on your point of view. Although I
staunchly believe, that as a society, we must broaden the horizon when it comes to
opportunities available for young girls, Ms. Miller’s idea of an ‘info pack’ seems rather
unconvincing. I agree with your observation that in cases where the parent is already
determined in the way they wish to raise their daughters, such a package may prove
redundant. I doubt that a mere booklet would be enough to change one’s mind in a
society which ingrains in us gender-based values from the moment we’re old enough
to hold toys. However, the statistics you mention indicate/display a clear discrepancy
between distribution of employment for men and women, in typically higher-ranking,
ambitious careers. It is such data that drives the age-old debate, a source of heated
discussion by feminists and scholars alike- how much of it is due to nature, and how
much due to nurture?
All mothers you referenced in the article clearly want the best for their daughters. That
said, what one wants from one’s children, may not necessarily be what’s right for the
mental health, or align with their interests. Parents often seem convinced that they
know better than anyone what would contribute to their child’s betterment, simply for
the fact that they’re parents. What further complicates matters, is one’s need for
validation, which often translates to the desire for one’s children to meet the
expectations other people might have. This can be dated back to centuries where
societal norms dictated what professions girls could or could not pursue, or even
deemed them incapable of, based solely off their biological sex. Hence, I agree
wholeheartedly with Cathy’s remark that the most crucial thing to do as a parent, is to
instill a sense of limitlessness among young girls. If they are taught from a young age
that no type of education or profession is out of bounds, they are more likely to look
past gender biases and choose a career in which their true interest lies in.
However, as visible in Catherine’s comments, parents are often trapped in a web of
paradoxical desires. While claiming to value the happiness of their daughters the most,
they also indicate that its preferably a certain kind of happiness. A surgeon, or a CEO
does look better on paper, than say a hairdresser or a makeup artist, does it not? They
want their daughters to be happy, but only if they reach their utmost potential, seek
ambitious careers, and “put themselves out there”. We must acknowledge that the aim
of the feminist movement was not to ‘masculinize’ women, but rather open doors for
them so they may bring their own special talents to the status quo, and thus change it.
If my mother knows that I am free to enter a traditionally male dominated field, why
should she worry if I choose to do otherwise? Moreover, studies have proven that men
and women have different inclinations. Hence pushing young girls into male-
dominated professions just for the sake of modernization, and shaming traditionally
‘feminine’ careers, does more harm than good.
Lastly, as per your observation, our government has much more to contribute in order
to make girls ambitious, than just send out ‘info packs’. We still live in an age where
the choice between an ambitious career or a family is one young woman are constantly
forced to make. The lack of child care services in workplaces, and often unreasonable
working hours, may withhold many a young woman from a career, in their fears of
missing out on a fulfilling personal life.
Therefore, I believe, while it is crucial for parents to ingrain in their daughters a sense
of ambition in whichever field they wish to pursue; it is equally important for us as a
society to grow with them, and create an environment that is encouraging of such