Saturday, September 3, 2011

And so it begins ...

... a sun-splashed day in the Puget Sound neighborhood.  I'm in the restroom stall at the Mukilteo ferry dock. From another stall comes the piping high pitch of a small child.  "Why you no sit on seat?"  Mom's response:  "We don't want to get any germs."  Setting aside the mental image of a grown woman straddling a toilet seat in order to pee from a crouch, my greater concern is the imprinting of fear on the little girl's psyche:  GERMS.  The scene is repeated at the restroom sink:  "Wash your hands real good so you don't get any germs."  I can only guess at how this all translates to the challenges ahead.  Math, science, competitive sports, mountain climbing, the office of CEO:  girls have historically been held back by fear.  The scene has changed, admittedly, in the past generation or two, but we still have a long way to go.  I'm 100% in favor of hand-washing -- but let's do it without instilling germ phobia in our tiniest citizens.

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