When I was in elementary school, I don’t think we had History Day. At least not like they do now. Last night we went and viewed about 300 exhibits. The quality coming from these 7th graders ranged from a piece of yellow cardboard with a dozen words scrawled in black marker to life size dioramas with an animatronic Rosa parks sitting on the bus. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration. But seriously, I was impressed. The themes that were repeated the most were Rosa Parks, our diminishing rain forest and Hitler’s regime. One smaller exploited theme, that totally wins the tagline contest, was:
Susan B. Anthony
She Punched Her Chad
And They Got Mad.
Oh my gosh. Pure joy in that.
The quality of Tyler’s exhibit fell somewhere in the middle. But I’d have to guess that it was at the top of the quality chart out of the projects with little to no parental interference. The actual-size, hand sewn era dress made out of maroon velvet with satin quilted piping? I’m guessing a parent might have had a little more to do with that one.
As Joe and I walked around, we started looking to see what kids had put in the most work. The results? 90% of the projects that showed work amounting to countless hours invested were female. I know. I know! I sound so sexist! But, are we females really that dang creative? Or is it that we get excited about large projects and want to add little frilly things and hot glue and pipe cleaners and plan it and start working on it starting the first second that becomes available? And fantasize in our heads about how people are just going to love it and it will be the favorite and end up on the Today Show? And, actually, the projects there that were picked to go to the state History Day show, were done by females. Whereas, boys like my son Tyler, are outside playing sports or hanging out with friends and mastering video game levels and only do the project during the last weekend because that is good enough. I realize I’m making some pretty big generalizations here and it isn’t the same all across the board but I have to believe there is something to this. Do girls care more than boys as a general rule? Does that make us care more what people think? Is that why so many women never feel good enough?