" IF"  Poem for Boys and Girls

Gender Equality is nothing new.   My beloved Nancy Drew was born in protest to the all-boys serial stories "Hardy Boys" - Publisher Stratemyer scoffed when the Mommies demanded equally grand stories for their daughters, but he did it.   


NOBEL LAUREATE   Poet   Rudyard Kipling also won rebuttal works by and for the ladies...like this one from his famous poem for boys "IF"

IF   1895 

by Nobel Laureate - Rudyard Kipling - Written for Boys

a challenge to young boys and girls from poets of the time

If you can keep your head when all about you
 Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
  But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
  Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
  And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
  If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
  And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
  Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
  And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
  And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
  And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
  To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
  Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
  Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
  If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
  With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
  And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.

IF   1931

BY ELIZABETH LINCOLN OTIS   -  Written for girls

If you can dress to make yourself attractive,

      Yet not make puffs and curls your chief delight;

If you can swim and row, be strong and active,

      But of the gentler graces lose not sight;

If you can dance without a craze for dancing,

       Play without giving play too strong a hold,

Enjoy the love of friends without romancing,

       Care for the weak, the friendless and the old;


If you can master French and Greek and Latin,

       And not acquire, as well, a priggish mien,

If you can feel the touch of silk and satin

       Without despising calico and jean;

If you can ply a saw and use a hammer,

       Can do a man’s work when the need occurs,

Can sing when asked, without excuse or stammer,

       Can rise above unfriendly snubs and slurs;

If you can make good bread as well as fudges,

       Can sew with skill and have an eye for dust,

If you can be a friend and hold no grudges,

       A girl whom all will love because they must;


If sometime you should meet and love another

       And make a home with faith and peace enshrined,

And you its soul—a loyal wife and mother—

       You’ll work out pretty nearly to my mind

The plan that’s been developed through the ages,

       And win the best that life can have in store,

You’ll be, my girl, the model for the sages—

       A woman whom the world will bow before.


Source: Father: An Anthology of Verse (EP Dutton & Company, 1931)