At 6 years old I got very upset watching cartoons.

“I want to be Dogtanian, I want to be Dogtanian!”
“No, you cannot be Dogtanian because Dogtanian is a boy and you are a girl. You are Juliet. I am Dogtanian!” said my little brother
“I am Dogtanian!! I´m older than you, so I get to choose!!”
“No way, you are Juliet”

It was the same with Superman and Lois Lane, Willy Fog and Romy and so many others – I just couldn’t relate to those female characters because they were wimpy and passive...they fainted, cried and waited to be rescued whereas the boys got to do all the cool stuff.

Now fast forward a few years and I’m in my early twenties. Imagine a confident girl with great grades, good at sports and very supportive parents. That was me. And yet still I played “the damsel in distress” quite often in life because I felt that was what was expected of me.

Today I am older and wiser, and I have the confidence to say: No, I don’t want to play that role anymore. It is not my role to play.

For my daughter, for my son, for myself. I remind myself everyday to fight against that deeply ingrained gender stereotyping because it no longer serves me.

That´s one of the reasons why I am passionate about Lead5050: for the support and confidence gained from being part of a group of like minded people.

I want my daughter Elisa to know that she can succeed on her own terms. That she can be a leader and take charge if she wants to.

I want my son Leonardo to feel relaxed in the knowledge that boys don’t have to always be agressive and dominant – it’s not a sign of weakness to be kind and gentle.

Roles should be determined by ability and character, not by gender.

Don’t let society tell you how to be a woman or a man.

Maria Castro
Lead5050 Co Founder

#changethenarrative #runyourownshow