||Circumstances created by gender inequality cultivate the formation of toxic ideas that females grow up with. Often, our culture forces women to fit within narrow categories, and this massive pressure to conform can lead to feelings of shame, depression and even self-destructive behavior. Although I recognize the issues clearly, there is still a personal struggle with the pressures to remain within the confines of the narrow categories created for me and the harmful rhetoric surrounding my gender. Through the use of humor, educational devices, and accessible media such as colored pencil, animation, and plush toys, my work confronts the unrealistic expectations placed upon women and our ability to overcome. Our society is in dire need of a positive narrative that empowers females to recognize their limitless strength and capacity, which will inherently improve the quality of life for future generations to come. Girls Can't Ride the Giant Wild Boar is a children's book that addresses and confronts these issues. The protagonist, Polly, is a young girl who lives in a society where she is expected to appear and act in a certain manner. She ignores everyone's expectations of her. She believes that she can achieve a goal that is beyond anything anyone has ever accomplished, and she is told it is impossible by everyone she meets along the way, especially for a "silly little girl with crazy dreams in her head." In the end, she not only realizes her dream, but earns an unexpected reward for her staunch defiance of gender norms. I spent most of my life abiding by a strict, patriarchal religion. As a female, there were opportunities and rights to which I was denied access. Like Polly, I also had big dreams that I was told were impossible. Unlike Polly, however, I believed what I was told. At the age where I was becoming a woman, I was faced with contradictory messages about what it means to be a woman. The patriarchy was telling me that I would feel an all-encompassing sense of fulfillment through staying at home, rearing children, and serving my husband. Feminists were telling me that I didn't need a family to feel fulfilled, and I could make my own choices. The voices in between the two told me I should do both. Needless to say, becoming a woman is a challenging experience in itself, but being bombarded with mixed messages is overwhelming. In response, my graduate work wrangles the clash between these ideas.