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'Skateboarding Wasn't Just For Boys': Mom Writes Open Letter About Gender Stereotyping

| by Emily Smith
teen helps young girl learn to skateboardteen helps young girl learn to skateboard

After taking her young daughter to the skate park, one mother wrote an open letter to a teenage boy that has since gone viral.

Jeanean Thomas took her daughter to Churchill Park in Cambridge, Ontario, to skate, Fox News reports. However, she was discouraged when she realized the park was full of boys. Thomas decided to write about her experience at the park and called the letter: “Dear teenage boy at skate park.”

“You’re probably about 15 years old, so I don’t expect you to be very mature or for you to want a little girl on your skate ramp for that matter,” Thomas wrote in the letter. “What you don’t know is that my daughter has been wanting to skateboard for months. I actually had to convince her that skateboarding wasn’t just for boys.”

Thomas added that her daughter immediately wanted to go home when she saw boys smoking and heard them swearing at the park.

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“I also didn’t want my daughter to feel like she had to be scared of anyone, or that she wasn’t entitled to that skate park just as much as you were,” Thomas wrote. “So when she said, ‘Mom it’s full of older boys,’ I calmly said, ‘So what, they don’t own the skate park.’”

After a few minutes, Thomas noted that a teen boy approached his daughter. Thomas wrote that she was ready to deliver a speech on sexism but was instead pleasantly surprised.

The boy spent the next hour teaching her daughter how to balance and steer. Thomas wrote that she was proud that he was part of her community and thanked him for his kindness to her daughter.

Thomas added that her daughter left the park with pride and confidence.

The letter was originally circulated on Twitter and was later published by The Cambridge Times on Oct. 19.

Here is the full letter:

You’re probably about 15 years old, so I don’t expect you to be very mature or for you to want a little girl on your skate ramp for that matter.

What you don’t know is that my daughter has been wanting to skateboard for months. I actually had to convince her that skateboarding wasn’t for just for boys.

So when we walked up to the skate park and saw that it was full of teenaged boys who were smoking and swearing, she immediately wanted to turn around and go home.

I secretly wanted to go too because I didn’t want to have to put on my mom voice and exchange words with you.

I also didn’t want my daughter to feel like she had to be scared of anyone, or that she wasn’t entitled to that skate park just as much as you were.

So when she said, “Mom it’s full of older boys,” I calmly said, “So what, they don’t own the skate park.”

She proceeded to go down the ramp in spite of you and your friends flying past her and grinding rails beside her.

She only had two or three runs in before you approached her and said “Hey, excuse me …”

I immediately prepared to deliver my “She’s allowed to use this park just as much as you guys” speech when I heard you say, “Your feet are wrong. Can I help you?”

You proceeded to spend almost an hour with my daughter showing her how to balance and steer, and she listened to you – a feat not attained by most adults.

You held her hand and helped her get up when she fell down and I even heard you tell her to stay away from the rails so that she wouldn’t get hurt.

I want you to know that I am proud that you are part of my community, and I want to thank you for being kind to my daughter, even though your friends made fun of you for it.

She left the skate park with a sense of pride and with the confidence that she can do anything, because of you.

- Jeanean Thomas

Sources: Fox News, WGNTV

Photo Credit: Flickr, Submitted via The Cambridge Times