04/22/2004DEAR READERS: Last week I printed some of the letters I received in support of the 13-year-old girl, "I Have a Dream," who aspired to be president of the United States. Her teacher and classmates ridiculed her. The letters have been wonderful and deserve to be shared. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I was deeply touched by that girl's letter. Her "teacher" needs to find another profession, and her parents need to find a lawyer to file a bullying case against the school district for doing nothing to stop the harassment.
Any court judgment that results from the suit should be used to send that forward-thinking young lady to a great prep school and to pay for her college education. If there's money left over, she should put it toward her very first political campaign -- perhaps running for a seat on the local school board. Hey, you have to start somewhere. -- SHE'S GOT MY VOTE, KAHULUI, HAWAII
DEAR S.G.M.V.: Not a bad idea. You should be her campaign manager.
DEAR ABBY: I am a state-licensed psychologist. A number of years ago, I surveyed 1,500 boys and girls attending five elementary schools in Miami. I asked them to answer "yes" or "no" to a series of 10 questions, which included if they had ever thought of becoming president of the United States when they grew up.
To my surprise, I discovered more girls than boys answered "yes." I also learned that half the students had been told that only a male could be president.
Through my nonprofit foundation, Women Are Wonderful Foundation Inc., I do all I can to promote female leadership. Young women deserve all the support we can give them to realize their ambitions. -- ANN MOLIVER RUBEN, PH.D., WESTON, FLA.
DEAR DR. RUBEN: And because of people like you, she is getting it.
DEAR ABBY: Please encourage that bright young future leader to check out The White House Project at www.thewhitehouseproject.org. It's an organization dedicated to electing a woman to the White House and other positions of political leadership. It has an area called "GirlZone," which highlights areas where girls can become politically active, and participating Girl Scouts can earn their White House leadership patch. And, Abby, please tell "I Have a Dream" that we all wish her success in her pursuits. -- POLITICAL FEMINIST IN HOUSTON
DEAR FEMINIST: Thank you for another great resource.
DEAR ABBY: Back in the '60s, during my senior year, a member of the FBI came to speak to our class about recruitment. I inquired about female agents, and the agent, as well as my entire senior class, broke out in uproarious laughter. When the agent finally recovered, he told me there were secretarial positions within the agency, but nothing more.
I eventually wound up in another male-dominated field, and I have realized that gender has nothing to do with the ability to do the job. I smile today when I see female agents representing the FBI. I wonder sometimes how difficult it was for that FBI agent to adjust to women "infiltrating" his domain.
So, please tell that girl to hang onto her dream and realize that her tormentors are the ones who will be stuck in dead-end, unfulfilling positions (and wonder where they went wrong), because they never learned to dream "big." -- SUNNY WILSON, GAUTIER, MISS.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)