I am 12 years old and go to an all-girls school in the UK. One day I hope to be an engineer, chemist or doctor in a world where science isn’t stereotyped; in a world where science reflects the people we are from within and not obscured by society’s views from the outside. I want to represent a world of science that is open to everyone and doesn’t just have a “male” title. I want to be in a world where girls aren’t brainwashed into thinking that science is hard and there isn’t a point in them trying.
At an all-girls school, you get an insight into why science is a predominantly male field. Many of my class-mates arrived at the school having never done science before. But for some reason, they were already sure they couldn’t do it and wouldn’t want to either. I was very confused by this because all I was thinking is that science is awesome! I was lucky because I hadn’t been brought up hearing about how “physics is impossible” and “only boys do science subjects.” When you arrive at an all-girls school, one realizes that it isn’t because of boys; girls think they can’t do science. I think adults are partly to blame for this. Why?
In a society where most famous celebrity women are known for makeup and fashion, most girls think they can’t get anywhere as a woman unless they want to do fashion or art. I want that to change.
Well, many girls grow up with adults telling them “harmless” things like to “be more ladylike.” A girl is told to be ladylike if she does a messy science experiment or runs about exploring insects in the mud. Would a boy of the same age be told to act “more like a man”, or would he be patted on the back and told he was going to be an amazing astronaut or explorer? Adults blatantly convince girls that they are giving up their femininity due to their passion for science or tech. In a society where most famous celebrity women are known for makeup and fashion, most girls think they can’t get anywhere as a woman unless they want to do fashion or art. I want that to change.
If we are going to change girl’s feelings about science subjects and careers in science, we need to start with the adults. Instead of squashing young girls’ dreams and making them feel constricted, we should nurture them and watch them flourish as they grow. Let daughters grow up in a world of possibilities connected with being a girl rather than it being a bad label or condition. Instead of saying “but you’re a girl, you can’t do science,” tell young girls, “you’re a girl, so rock science.”
What does acting like a girl mean anyway? I spend most of my time in jeans and jumpers researching science puns and experiments. At school, my favorite subject is chemistry but physics and mathematics are a close second. I love chemistry because it seems limitless and I find it really interesting to realize how much influence we can have on our world through science. I have another three years before I sit my GCSE exams; but I have already started doing some GCSE sheets in chemistry because I love it so much! My dream job would probably be either a research scientist or an anesthesiologist as both are such rewarding jobs. Research scientists are improving our lives and those of future generations, and they are making the major breakthroughs of our generation. Anesthesiologists are amazing as they serve the critical function of keeping patients stable during operations. Of course, chemistry is also at the core of what they do with the compounds they use to induce the state of anesthesia. So, I don’t think you could get a more important or rewarding job! At least, I think so! But of course, I equally love watching makeup videos and doing hair with my friends! I can passion for both. Why not!
So, let us celebrate the potential of girls around the world. There is a lot of potential out there.
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