The day was originally born of a time when girls seemed to be stalled and floundering. "A national intervention" was what Marie Wilson, president of the Ms. Foundation for Women, called it -- one that "sends a positive message to girls and focuses on their potential.'' It came at a time when books like"Reviving Ophelia" worried for girls' futures, and when experts told us that young women lacked for self-confidence, strong role models, and solid opportunities. Bring them to the office and show them what is possible, the thinking went. And do so without boys around to steal their spotlight.
By 2003, however, times had changed. We were beginning, then, to think of boys as the problem children, or, more accurately, the children with problems -- more likely to be victims of violence, or suffer from learning disorders, or to be diagnosed with ADHD. At the same time, we didn't see our girls as quite so helpless anymore. Shouldn't all our children have a chance to see what Mom and Dad do all day, we wondered. Don't both sexes need a glimpse of what their futures might hold? Even "Reviving Ophelia" author Mary Bray Pipher came out in favor of adding boys to the day.