Oh jesus christ would you just fuck off and stop trying to turn every thread into some sort of bizarre political grandstanding about gender issues? Are you some kind of SJW or something?
Says the person so obsessed with the gender wars that he takes a statement that not once mentions gender, and turns it into a sex based profaity rant. Likewise, he misses the main point for his umbrage and high dudgeon
And your sad story of the person who was not encouraged is just that. A person who wasn't encouraged. That woman's parents were complete jerks. Parents are that way some times.
I certainly was actively discouraged from a science career, Parental units wanted me to be a priest, and when my older sister decided to drop out of college with only one semester left, they took it out on me, refusing to give me any assistance at all. Really weird, and in retrospect, I guess that since she was groomed from a young age as the smart one, and I was the jerk always breaking things and annoying everyone, it was terribly upsetting for them.
She settled into a lifetime of minimum wage jobs, while I became a professional on my own. I haven't lost my great capacity to get on people's nerves though.
But sad stories abound, and mine is just one more, not too dissimilar to your friend's. I knew what I wanted to do with my life, and I did it. To allow others to dissuade you from your passions is you giving them power they don't really have. It's nice to have supportive family, but by no means mandatory.
Now try telling me that all you have to have is "passion" and that society has no bearing on how one grows up.
Perhaps some folks mistake passing interest for passion. Perhaps some cannot experience passion at all. Perhaps some of us are immune to "societies" approval or disapproval. I only speak from experience, and the experience of colleagues and friends. Of course that is a limited set, one that includes males and females, those who were encouraged, and those who were not. Made no difference to them - they were working their passion.
But there is one thing that is not debatable. If you allow others to dictate what you do in life, you are placing their dictates above your interests.