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Published: Saturday, 2/1/2014 - Updated: 5 months ago

BGSU event hopes to inspire girls

'Dress-up day’ lets kids don professional garb

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Little girls who love to play dress-up have more choices than princess gowns and tiaras.

Bowling Green State University will host an “alternative dress-up day” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today for children ages 3 to 6.

Girls and boys are invited to the free event, part of the university’s focus on “Girl Culture” during the month of March, designated as Women’s History Month.

The activity, one of many events recognizing women to be held throughout the region this month, will give children the chance to dress up as aviators, farmers, judges, filmmakers, and in other clothing designating professions in which women are underrepresented.

Many dress-up costumes for girls are sparkly, frilly, princess-themed outfits.

“It’s fine to be girly,” but wands and rhinestones aren’t girls’ only options, said Sarah Smith Rainey, an assistant professor in BGSU’s women’s, gender, and sexuality studies program.

They can pick up gavels or zip up flight suits too.

Ms. Smith Rainey, who has twin 3-year-old daughters, said much research in her field is aimed at teen or preteen girls, but little of it focuses on young children.

“I can tell you from experience that my daughters are speaking about roles and who can do what,” she said.

The dress-up stations also will feature hands-on activities, such as making and flying paper airplanes in the aviation area and crafting Olympic medals at a sports station.

The event will be in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union’s Room 308 on the Bowling Green campus.

Other activities planned today include a production of the play We did it for you! Women’s Journey through History, presented by the American Association of University Women.

The public is invited to the free performance at 1 p.m. at Notre Dame Academy, 3535 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo.

About a dozen members of the association from branches throughout northwest Ohio will read parts of the play written by Thea Iberall.

Ms. Iberall, a California author, will be in Toledo to help the cast prepare. The play, first performed in 2010, has been staged by numerous AAUW branches and other events, Ms. Iberall said.

It features a cast of about 20 historical women, from Anne Hutchinson to Virginia Woolf to Hillary Clinton.

“I believe there are women’s values that are being left out of the public discourse, and it’s been left out for the last 5,000 years,” Ms. Iberall said.

Gail Conrad, a past president of the AAUW Toledo branch, hopes young people attend the performance and learn about women who don’t receive enough mention in history books.

“Women did marvelous and do marvelous things, and you ought to know about it,” she said.

Women interested in expanding their business acumen can attend an event today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. targeting female business owners and potential entrepreneurs.

LYDIA, or Ladies Your Destiny is Awaiting, will be at the Radisson Hotel at the University of Toledo, 3100 Glendale Ave. The entrepreneurial event is named for the Biblical character Lydia, a seller of purple cloth, said Janet Harrington, the event’s organizer and the owner of InVisions Salon and Spa in Toledo.

The event features vendors and workshops with women experts in fields such as media relations, nonprofits, and law. Ms. Harrington has conducted similar events in Georgia and California and said she scheduled the local function for March because of the connection with Women’s History Month. Event registration is $59.

“My heart’s drive is to see women excel in their gifts and their talents. If you bake cookies, open up a cookie shop,” she said. “I just believe that we are so multitalented, and we have so many gifts.”

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.



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