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Breaking through gender roles

Even if you’ve never seen the hit Broadway musical, “Annie Get Your Gun,” you’d probably recognize one of its most famous numbers.

Ethel Merman and Ray Middleton attempt to one-up each other while singing the lines, “Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.”

It’s that competitive and determined ideology that seems to drive Brianna Robinson — on and off the racetrack.

The Dawson-Bryant junior was recently crowned Miss Lawrence County but her interests aren’t just in glamorous or “girlie” endeavors. The 16-year-old is turning heads in the racing community not only because of her young age, but also because she’s excelling at a mostly male-dominated sport.

Whether they realize it or not, Robinson and her family are a great example of what can happen when a child is allowed to throw traditional gender roles to the wind and pursue his or her passions.

While stereotypes of “what girls can do” and “what boys can do” have definitely evolved over the decades, there is still a long way to go to reach true gender equality.

Forcing children, and adults, into molds of what is considered “masculine” and “feminine” only stands to constrict that person’s potential.

Kudos to Brianna Robinson for breaking down that barrier in her own life. We hope she can be a role model for other people — young and old, male and female — to encourage them to follow their interests and talents as far as they can.