Star Wars, Gender Stereotypes, Bullying and You.

Recently a touching blog post about bullying was posted on and became a viral sensation it shouldn’t have been a surprise. But it was the context of the bullying discussed in the post that seemed to hit home with the thousands of people. People who shared it on Facebook, twitter, blogged about it on their own blogs and of course left thousands of comments of support.

The author of the post and mom Carrie Goldman wrote the piece about bullying in schools and why parents should be teaching their children as soon as 1st grade how to deal with being bullied after finding out her own young daughter Katie was being bullied for liking Star Wars.

An excerpt from the post:

She wailed, “The first grade boys are teasing me at lunch because I have a Star Wars water bottle. They say it’s only for boys. Every day they make fun of me for drinking out of it. I want them to stop, so I’ll just bring a pink water bottle.”

I hugged her hard and felt my heart sink. Such a tender young age, and already she is embarrassed about the water bottle that brought her so much excitement and joy a few months ago.

Is this how it starts? Do kids find someone who does something differently and start to beat it out of her, first with words and sneers? Must my daughter conform to be accepted?

The message of the post seemed to really fit the message of SheHeroes which is why we wanted to share the story. It’s so important to teach children at a young age not to judge or stereotype one another. Make sure you correct your children when the refer to cars as “boy toys” or dolls as “girl toys.” Tell them there is no such thing. Toys are toys and boys and girls are allowed to play with whatever they want to play with.

It’s these early stereotypes that contribute to the challenges children face when they reach adolescence and beyond. Use this story as a tool to open up a dialogue with your own children. Especially if they are partial to playing with toys that are generally considered to be made for the opposite gender. Talk to your son or daughter about Katie and ask how they feel about bullying and why it was wrong not only in this story specifically, but in any situation.

And as always feel free to visit the video section here on SheHeroes to hear stories about other girls like Katie who broke their own stereotypes and went on to succeed in their own lives.

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