An Apology To My Future Daughter

Dearest Zelda (daughter),

I apologize that I’m going to have to lie to you.
I’m afraid there is a 99.99% chance you won’t grow up to be a princess.
I’m afraid I would rather you become an engineer.

I apologize that I wanted to have a boy.
I was afraid I’d lose you too quickly to Miley Cyrus and a biker boyfriend.
I was under the impression you would be taken advantage of.
I was afraid you wouldn’t be into building stuff.
I was afraid you wouldn’t want to build a treehouse with me.

I apologize that our toy store still looks like it did in the 1950′s.
I was afraid that you wouldn’t like ninja turtles and hot wheels.
I was afraid that you only liked stuffed animals and princesses.
I was under the impression that “the pink aisle” had changed.
I was under the impression that female role models existed to balance out the Barbie beauty queens, and that Bob the Builder and Lego Man weren’t the only options.
I apologize that our country has fallen behind 200 other countries where girls are actually testing better than boys in math and science.

I apologize that I haven’t done more to help improve the world for women.
I was under the impression that little girls grew up and had the same opportunities as men in the US workforce.
I was under the impression that LGBTQ and racial rights were the only ones that needed to improve.
I was afraid that being a feminist was not for men.
I was afraid that helping little girls might seem creepy.

I am done apologizing.
I am no longer afraid nor easily impressed.
I am inspired.

I am disrupting the pink aisle.

I am joining my wife, Debra Sterling (Mom), on her mission to inspire the next generation of female engineers.
I am joining GoldieBlox.
I am doing something to make sure my daughter will know that she is more than just a princess.

Love,
Beau (Dad)

photo

45 thoughts on “An Apology To My Future Daughter

  1. Dear future grandchild,
    You have the best parents in the whole world!
    I love you already! Don’t kick your mommy too hard while you’re sleeping in her belly. Your future dad just wrote a beautiful letter to you, he’s the best!

    1. As the mom of three boys who adore tom boys (with one of their good friends already on her way to being an entomologist at age 9), I say disrupt the pink aisle. I’m a proponent of STEAM in education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), and Goldie blox and other toys are an awesome start to giving girls creative engineering toys. Let’s see some more girls go into engineering, architecture, sciences, math, and design/art (contrary to popular believe, most creative directors and art directors in advertising are men).

  2. Dear granddaughter Abby,
    I promise to invest in your mind and your future. I will spend the time to interest you in math and science and will seek the resources to do so. I am so proud that even in kindergarten this month you got an award in science, and sad that you were the only girl to do so. The ‘pink aisle’ is history in this house.

  3. Love it, although I’m tired of the Miley Cyrus digs. She’s an adult and if she wants to dance in her underwear then more power to her. Slut shaming her or tearing her down is just pitting women against each other, not building them up.

    1. I’m with you on the Miley part. We don’t need to tear down one woman to lift up another. I also agree with other comments about letting her be who SHE wants to be. That said…

      This is a wonderful letter! I have always wanted my daughter to be whomever she chooses to be just like my dad did for me. He knew that feminism wasn’t just for me. Thank you for helping tear down the pink aisle. I hate it. It drives me and my daughter crazy. She may not grow to be an engineer, but she’s not a pink girl either. We need more companies to understand we don’t need to pinkify everything for girls and women. My daughter is a little old for your products but I know what my niece is getting for Christmas!

      PS–love the Zelda reference too.

  4. Having girls is awesome! I had two at the same time, so I consider myself an expert on the subject.
    Mine are currently playing outside pretending to be mountain climbers by climbing the retaining wall I keep telling them not to climb. Girls can be anything they want to be and like anything they want to like and pretend anything they want to pretend. They have freedom that boys don’t have to cross gender barriers without fear.

  5. Uh, are you trying to tell us something? Do I get to have a “jr engineer” baby shower?

    I have probably failed my daughter….

  6. This is a beautiful letter and I am totally in support of women’s rights and that women shouldn’t be shamed and should be able to be what they want to be. I do take exception to all the talk about wanting a daughter to be an engineer or scientist. There is also nothing wrong with a girl (or a boy for that matter) wanting to be an artist, or a writer, or a chef, or a mother, or anything else that might typically be associated with a “female role” in life. Not everyone is cut out to be an engineer or scientist. I know I wasn’t and I had no desire to work in those fields. So, don’t put a child in the box that you want or think they should be in, love them with open arms and help them find their passion and be what they want to be. And if your daughter happens to like pink, let her like pink.

  7. I love this. Enjoy your family and your new life long quest. This woman thanks you. @Valerie, I think he was referring to Miley long before the VMAs. We don’t want to lose our girls to Hannah Montana either. A little bit of most things is fine I’m sure, but he’s talking about total inundation.

  8. Great letter. However, although I know this was all in fun, also don’t pressure her to be an engineer if she doesn’t want to be! My college roommate was basically forced into engineering by her father.

  9. You are an incredible Dad!! Thank you for stepping up for not only your daughter, but for all the daughters of the world! Having a Father giving them a voice is so vital!!

    Keep being kick butt!

    PS: Where can I get one of those shirts? I want to wear it to work, and I want to get one for my goddaughter as well!

  10. As a retired software engineer, I applaud this father’s letter. When I left the field in 1992, 40% of software engineers were women. Now it’s somewhere between 12% and 19% !!!

    There are 2 groups of people preventing women from pursuing careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math): men and women. Here’s my oversimplification of the problem: many men provide a hostile environment, and many women give up too easily when the going gets tough.

    I don’t think the father who wrote this letter is saying that his daughter MUST become an engineer, just to consider it as a more viable alternative than “princess”.

  11. We all need to learn to love and empower the children we have, not the ‘dream’ child that we envisioned before they were born. Loving the child you have means embracing them for who they are (whether it be a girl who likes fashion, a boy who likes dress up or a girl who likes to play hockey). I fully support the efforts to bring more #STEM education to girls (and boys too). Keep in mind putting a round peg in a square hole is impossible without changing the shape of the peg. Do we really want to alter the shape of our children or do we want to accept them for their strengths and weaknesses?

  12. my daughter is a Veterinarian, my son is a Trauma surgeon …not once did we ever think one could not be whatever he or she chose to be …nothing has changed in the last 46 years, though we think it has, and always young women and young men alike were encouraged to be the best they could possibly be in whatever field they chose by parents who valued each child as an individual with great potential…this truly is not a new concept …. it is only now seemingly being implemented more but it has always been a fact and a reality.

  13. I just wanted to say AWESOME! These are great, I have a son, but I have a lot of friends with daughters! Also, as long as you support your daughter and teacher her a little bit of everything she will go far, engineering or not. As you said though you will have to stand behind her and push a little sometimes because the world is still tipped to the male side a bit. I am not engineer, althought I am married to one, I am in something that is a closely related field, I am a licensed architect and only 28 years old, so I didn’t graduate that long ago, and guess what? When I did my class was 6 females and 70 males. Little bit tilted right? Keep helping push the US’s scale a little more to the center – WE NEED IT!

  14. Love this! I agree with Vanessa – where can we get the shirts? I’d love one as well. My future girls will definitely be playing with Goldie Blox!

  15. Go DAD!

    My own dad says that he became a feminist because/when he had two daughters. Turns out that both of us grew up to be engineers. Jenni played in the big dirt pile in the woods with her cars and trucks — and now she’s a civil engineer that specializes in stormwater design for roads and highways. We both worked side-by-side with Dad around the house, fixing the deck, electrical problems and plumbing problems — and now we’re both the Ms. Fix-Its in our respective homes.

    Feminist parents make all the difference in the world.

  16. Don’t forget…both femininity AND math and science can be embraced. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can, and should be accepted to, be both….because it it allowed to be by all of us. No one has a right to choose that for a developing child. Some prefer bows and some prefer boxcars…some prefer both. Some prefer neither. All are allowed and acceptable.

  17. I just signed up my daughter for an early engineering class. She’s 7. She loves all things STEM!

    Where can we buy that shirt!!!

  18. I am female engineer. Not once did i feel different. I took up engineering because i love and chose to be the one . if i choose to become a princess, i am sure my parents would let me too. Important thing is to enjoy doing what you do with backing of supportive parents.

  19. Absolutely love this, and your product. What a fantastic idea. I don’t have anyone that I can give these to, but I think it may be a great gift to donate to the local hospital. In the meantime, please consider making those shirts! I would love to own one <3

  20. Welcome aboard! We need more liberated fathers speaking out. Our daughters must not be chained to traditional roles. Take my daughter, . . . please. ;-)

  21. As a mom to 5 daughters, and also wanting to have a boy each of the 5 times….I relate very well to the message of this letter! It’s beautiful! One thing I love about your movement is that you are DOING something to empower females. Too many times, the feminist movement just creates a lot of whining and complaining which results into a victim mindset. But when we DO something, it empowers women(and little girls), on their own to rise above “the pink aisle”. I’m so excited to buy your products for my girls!!

  22. i echo your feelings in this beautiful letter. i was afraid of having a girl and sort of prefered a boy , i was afraid of the princess syndrome we currently suffer. I have a 3 year old girl who loves legos, cars, train, firetrucks, dinosaurs, she also loves pretending cook, and play with her dolls as well. Nothing in the world makes her engineer mama more happy. You’ll have to watch out for those random tools in the house, before you know she will be trying to unscrew everything like mine does ;) congrats

  23. I absolutely love this letter to your future daugter and am overcome with passion to support Goldie Blox in every way I can! My father had me do everything my brothers did, from chores to learning the basics to keeping your car running. To this day I am still the odd girl out because I am much, much more than a princess!

  24. I first want to say THANK YOU for working so hard to create a product to inspire little girls to be interested in Engineering Concepts. I am a female engineer and have 2 little girls. Our house is full of pink and I can’t wait to disrupt it this Christmas with GoldieBloxes!

    What an incredible message from a future father to his future daughter. I hope you are blessed with one soon as there is nothing that can replace the joy of a little girls love for her father.

    I look forward to seeing other products you have to offer and am happy to offer suggestions for future products (solar powered float perhaps?)

  25. I absolutely love what you’re doing! This is impactful, it’s transforming, it’s honoring, it’s worship. I want to be a part of what you’re doing, in the most sincere way. Thinking so hard and heavy about all of this today. What a gift, what a gift!

  26. That’s a great thing for a father to day, but I have one comment….

    It’s also okay for a girl to love Barbie and understand that Barbie had LOTS of career opportunities and ‘job’ roles through the years. Heck… Barbie was one of the inspirations for She-Ra! ;)

    Let’s let our daughters and girls be exposed to all things and let them know that they can create their own future… however that looks to them.

    Love,
    -SecBarbie

  27. I applaud your toys, but the marketing, not so much. Why must this be an either/or situation? Why must femininity be ridiculed, or made to seem inferior? I was a track (read, tank) mechanic in the military, dreamed of being a pilot, dragster driver, and engineer among other things. I would have become an engineer if I had been able to stomach college. It was too much about the grade and too little about learning. Now, I am a stay at home, homeschooling mother of four… I now have the freedom to encourage my girls and boys in creativity, ingenuity, science, engineering, masculinity AND femininity. We will be on the right track when we don’t feel the need to strike down the natural order of things in order to encourage all kids to be exactly who God created them to be…

  28. As Mom to a boy & a girl (who loves TMNT because her big brother does). I was shocked to find that the last ‘girl’ toy from the pink aisle which was marginally ok has now been ‘upgraded’ from innocent ponies to something closer to a hybrid of a pony & a 16 year old girl. So sad. Love your ideas!

  29. I just found out about Goldie Blox and I am so incredibly inspired! As a mom of a daughter who will push aside Barbie in a nano-second for a pile of Legos, I love this post and I love these toys beyond words! Thank you!

  30. I am an engineer, and when I was in college at the University of Washington I worked as a tutor for the Women In Engineering Initiative where my girlfriend was an Associate Director (she’s an Industrial Engineer) and she did her Master’s thesis in IE in looking at the question of why the retention and graduation rates are so low. That was 20 years ago, and it’s tragic that the numbers are no different from when you did your research. I eventually married my girlfriend and my stepdaughter decided growing up there were too many engineers in the family, so she became a Ph.D. psychometrician – so it wasn’t that she left because she was afraid of the math. Now my niece is turning 6 and her father is an engineer, her grandfather is an engineer and we build stuff all the time. But it’s still the case that we don’t have toys with her face on them to build with.

    Until now.

    Kate’s going to meet Goldie Blox for Christmas this year.

    Thank you.

  31. I think what you are doing is amazing . It is giving our daughters and granddaughters choices! I am a certified pipefitter and foreman. In the last 25 years there have been a lot of jobs that I have been on that there may have been other women on the job but they were in the office. Yes there are girls that are girly girls but what about the rest of them that don’t want to do the traditional “ladies” jobs. I had a new granddaughter last week and this will be her first toy. And of course need the T Shirt

  32. While I support your drive to get girls interested in Engineering and Science I think the marketing approach is wrong. My daughter was left feeling that liking pink and playing dress-up is wrong and outdated. It’s all so confusing, especially since your product packaging has lavender and pink elements! Why not green or yellow? I believe any good parent would back their child’s interest no matter what. This comes from a mom of a little boy that LOVES dressing up with his older sisters!

  33. Dear Team Goldie,

    I’m a female engineer and it’s about time young girls were educated about ALL their options. Hopefully this is the beginning of a revolution that will break down stereotypes and inspire women to achieve their full potential whether as engineers, princesses or, my personal favorite, both!

  34. hey Goldi bloxs team and Rad Dad,(any letter a dad writes it his child is awesome)
    I might be the least experienced commentor as I am not having children but I have to say a child is awesome no matter what gender roles they take up in life. Don t be swayed by those PC people, Girl engineers need their platform too!!! What I see you doing is bringing the gender identity question to the forefront and that is always a wonderful thing. Maybe Goldie can have a transgender friend somewhere in her journey thru STEM land…….

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