What provokes you to write a column to girls……?

by Rod Smith
“What provokes you to write a column ‘to the girls I know and the billions I don’t’ as appeared in yesterday’s Mercury? Please tell me what prompts the exhortation.” (Heavily edited)

Hope provokes me. I write it in the belief that some young girl will read it and decide to take it to heart and see herself as beautiful, courageous, and strong, even if she doesn’t fit the stereotype propagated by glossy magazines.

I write with a particular girl in mind: the one who has been told “any man is better than no man,” the girl who’s been taught that it is her body and not her brain that will lead her to success. I write to the girl who thinks that life’s entire meaning pivots on marriage, childbearing, and obedience to a man.

Teaching children (as I do) I have noticed that at around 13 or 14 years of age, girls tend to second guess their opinions, raise their hands less and less, and begin to believe that it is really a boys’ world.

It’s these misconceptions I aim, with my very limited platform and power, to correct, and, if only one child, somewhere takes it to heart, sees herself and talented and powerful, even partially as a result of what I have written, then every column I have ever penned is worth the time and the effort – and if it comes to my attention, even I shall dance.

(When I’m excited I write long sentences).

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