“Pink is a girl color.”
“Boys are police officers.”
“Girls ride horses.”
“Super heroes are for boys.”
When did my kids become so sexist? How did I let this happen? Am I so busy navel-gazing and second-guessing my parenting skills that I’ve allowed gender stereotypes to sneak in like hidden high-fructose corn syrup in, well, everything?
Every time I hear my kids limit themselves or each other based on their plumbing, I want to dress them in drag and report myself to the PC Parent Police. I’ve always told them that being a boy or girl has nothing to do with what they should like or be, but apparently my voice isn’t loud enough to rise above the din of pop culture.
I recently read “Secrets & Mysteries: The Glory and Pleasure of Being a Woman” by Denise Linn. It was a real eye-opener. Linn writes about reclaiming divine femininity and being comfortable with who you are as a woman. Over the course of my life, I’ve often felt embarrassed and encumbered by the fact that I’m female. I bought into others’ expectations of who I should be and how I should act, even though it felt wrong.
I don’t want that for my kids. I want my son to respect women and love being a man. I want my daughter to find strength in her femininity and power in herself. I want them both to delight in the differences between the sexes but feel secure in and proud of who they are.
How do I do that? I thought I was on the right track by letting Wee Man paint his toe nails despite his father’s objections. I hoped my Barbie ban would keep the Roo safe from blonde/boob caricatures. But there are so many subtle and pervasive messages about what characteristics go with which body parts, I’m in over my head.
I guess I’ll just have to keep correcting and redirecting as I hear them try to stuff boys and girls into their respective boxes. And take them to G-rated drag shows.
Or maybe I’m just doing that thing again where I’m crazy. Could be I just need to lighten up, get the Roo back into soccer and a the Wee Man a new nightgown.