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Week Three: Teaching Bravery, Not Perfection

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

This week at PGD, we’re talking about the same video in all classes! We’ll be watching parts of this video by Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code. In this TED talk, Reshma talks about how she found her bravery and courage at age 33 when she ran for office. Though she lost, she has reflected on that time as being the first time she did something brave and has dedicated her time and energy following that loss to empowering young girls.

During the talk she speaks to how we are “raising our girls to be perfect and raising our boys to be brave” causing a “bravery deficit” between the sexes. Our young women are socialized to believe that if they fail at something they’ll be perceived as imperfect, causing women to historically be more cautious and risk averse. For example, it was found that men will apply for a job if they meet only 60% of the qualifications listed, whereas women usually apply only when they meet 100% of qualifications listed.

We chose this video because want to encourage our girls to build a sisterhood where it is okay to be imperfect. We want our girls to become comfortable with imperfection. Most importantly, we want to emphasize and ignite a desire to be courageous.

This week ask your girls if they feel brave. If they answer no, why not? As guardians and role models we are responsible for de-socializing this way of thinking “perfection or bust.” Help us to create spaces where girls feel they can try anything without extreme fear of failure. Teach your girls bravery, not perfection.

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