Even after the bouquets of vibrant roses have faded, and the carefully folded stacks of greeting cards have begun to yellow, moms (and sisters and sisters-in-law and nieces and girl cousins and grandmothers and stepmothers and indeed all that belong to the fairer sex) still should be celebrated and honored for their contributions, of which perhaps foremost is the ability to bear offspring, although not limited to this, foremost and singularly.  While the numbers of women who enter the workplace has significantly increased at this time, sadly, a significant pay gap still exists between female workers and their male counterparts, even if performing the same tasks.  Jobs performed largely by women, such as child-rearing, house-keeping, teaching and nursing, secretarial and lower-to-mid level white collar jobs, rarely command the respect and salaries attributed to more male-dominated arenas such as banking and accounting, corporate leadership, constructions and engineering, high-tech, sports media and news reporting, and lastly, politics.

Once prevailing notions that women were not suited for jobs (such as those listed above) that required them to be strong, decisive, analytical, and so forth have proven to be incorrect, and some archaic stereotypes have largely been debunked.  Yet a female applicant is much more apt to be passed-over in favor of a male applicant, and old-boy (or new-boy) networks persist within a system that resists redress or overhaul.  What cannot be disputed is that there is still only a small number of females who choose to enter the fields of science, math, and engineering, and the reasons for this are numerous and complex, ranging from indifference to a general avoidance of the more cerebral professions; as well as the lack of funding for grade and middle school educational programs designed for girls, where an early interest in the sciences can be identified and nurtured.  The entertainment and toy industries must be taken to task for pushing tweens and adolescents through savvy marketing into spheres solely devoted to fashion, gossip, and beauty.  TV shows (either network or cable) with an emphasis on the sciences, produced primarily for girls, are virtually non-existent (an exception is PBS's SciGirls), in contrast to numerous offerings for boys.  Many sociologists agree that at an early age, girls quickly get the message that in order to be loved, valued, successful, they must act pretty/talk pretty/look pretty!!  An incorrect and inaccurate message that hampers self-esteem, self-image, and one's expectation of society (and life).  Methods to foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking (where a child explores, thinks about, and discovers more about the world about them) are varied and innumerable, and many educators posit that turning off the boob-tube at least during school nights would be a very good start.  As well as spending some quality one-on-one time with your budding little Einstein.  Apparently it's also a good learning experience for Mom and Dad, and fun too . . . 

Hope you enjoy today's visual treat.


PS:  Today's soundtrack:  Charles Webster's The Gift of Freedom (High Skies Mix)


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