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Make sure your girls know their options

I was born in the '60s, so the '70s were really my formative years. I came in on the tail end of the hippie generation and pretty much wonder every day how I ended up here. The fact that I survived at all never ceases to amaze me.

Anyway, the women's movement was also a big part of that era, something I grew up with and surely absorbed by osmosis. Probably the main attribute I gained from that philosophy was a can-do spirit that has served me well over the years.

I'll admit to some confusion, or at least a lack of clarity, on issues that I have no direct knowledge of, such as women serving in combat, on submarines and the like. I am not opposed to all-male organizations, clubs and sports teams because I know how they feel. There are times when girls-only is just right, and a guy joining in would spoil the fun. It's only fair that they feel the same way.

Like it or not, gender lines exist.

While this may be an unpopular position, I always had a sense that when women first started working outside the home, the balance of the family unit was negatively affected. However, there is also confusion on that topic. While it seemed the "latch-key generation" may have raised themselves, perhaps the next generation has overcompensated with the so-called "helicopter parenting" approach.

We're just all screwed up, really. Spinning around in this fast-paced world, it's no wonder we are constantly bumping into each other.

Anyway, what prompted this erratic rambling was the fact that Kate Middleton just had Baby No. 2, and two things jumped into my head and wouldn't let go.

The first thing is, doesn't that woman ever get tired of having to look perfect? I mean, does she ever wear sweats, or have days where the A-list underwear is in the dirty laundry so she has to wear the wedgie-underwear?

Then the second thought came when I heard a reporter say that this new little princess will be scrutinized every day for the rest of her life for what she's wearing.

What a crock. On the one hand, I think it's simply another case of a reporter jabbering to fill air time, but what she said is probably true. I myself just commented on Kate's wardrobe. That certainly speaks to the superficial mind of we, The Public.

But it goes a little deeper than that, doesn't it?

This kid could grow up to be a rocket scientist, or another Mother Teresa, but many of us will notice first what label she's wearing. She could be the most intelligent person on the planet, but all most people will be concerned with  and this is fueled, of course, by the media  is how smart her outfit is.

It's just wrong. And most of us are guilty of it.

I'm not sure where to go with that, but I do know it's important for parents to assure their daughters not only that they're beautiful, but they're strong and smart and have options that go beyond traditional gender roles.

Boys should be boys, girls should be girls, but we shouldn't try to cram it down their throats. The other day my daughter overheard a group of 9-year-old girls talking about how they need to lose weight before their dance recital.

Where are they getting this from? Whether it's the media or at home, somebody needs to be paying attention.

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