Well, if you’re not and she isn’t then…?

Ladies, take a moment to think about your childhood and think about how other women characterize their own childhood.

I was a tomboy

I wasn’t girly

I did boy things

Almost all of my friends were boys

I never played with Barbies

I DID play with Barbie but I cut her hair and made her do boy things
What is this? Why is this?
Is being a girl a shitty thing to be? Do girls need to be told that they should strive harder to be like boys because girly things are what, exactly? Stupid? Fake? Worthless? Embarrassing? That the whole point of equality is to get away from GIRL and go be like BOY?
Of course there is the semantics part of this whole thing (because semantics is FUN). If ALL the girls are being like boys and doing only boy things wouldn’t is stand to reason that these activities are not BOY things but KID things? We moved a lot when I was a kid, but mostly groups of kids were mostly mixed but sometimes we would group up, girls and boys and go do different things. Also, someone’s mom yelled at me because I told her son that I hated his guts.
As a side question: where the hell did everyone grow up that there were always the ‘streams’ that the kids would go play in and catch tadpoles and get muddy and… whatever… whatever… the creek? We had a creek and pond nearby but it was so polluted, we never went in there. It’s always the stream and the tadpoles and learning and just like boys.
But that’s neither here nor there.
Why do we do this? Why do we find so much shame in pink? Is playing princess so much worse than playing war? What are today’s little girls hearing from us? That the only way to learn and explore is not with a dress but jeans? That there are no learning opportunities, no real fun, no real way to be a person until they put away the tiara and pull out the baseball hat? Why would you tell someone that?

3 thoughts on “Well, if you’re not and she isn’t then…?

  1. I did what I wanted as a kid. I ran through the fields with my brothers in jeans and t-shirts and 2 hours later would be dressed in a tutu for ballet class.
    We are trying to take the same approach with Jacob. He loves playing in his kitchen, drawing and stamps and art projects, dancing to Angelina Ballerina, going to the playground to ride bikes. I’m trying to make his childhood as gender neutral as possible and let him pick and choose what he wants to do. It’s hard with all the gender specific toys on the market, but we look for ways to be creative.

  2. How about this interpretation: those of us who weren’t interested in the tiny pink box of “girly” expectations weren’t willing to stay in it, and experimented and did what we wanted because we were more creative than that box allowed us to be.
    I loved barbies, but I mostly used them to play “birth.” i was six when I witnessed my sisters birth, and it kinda stuck with me. Not exactly conventional play, but extremely feminine in a more literal sense than an association with pink.
    I don’t have a problem with pink in itself, but when a color (or something else) gets associated with expectations placed on you because of your gender… why would that NOT provoke a reaction?

  3. Misogyny is pretty pervasive in our society… and so is stereotyping. The only way to beat it is to educate others… possibly with a clue-by-four.
    I have a romantic partner (who happens to be female) who fairly routinely responds to the sort of “all women are X” sorts of comments by throwing up her hands and saying, “Yet *another* way that am apparently *not* a woman. God, I just want to throat fuck you with my total lack of a penis right now.”
    “Women” are universally catty drama queens? Heck, I have a bisexual friend who has determined that she cant date women because “they are all friggin’ insane”. Really? ALL of them? WTF?
    …and then there is my son, who when he got mainstreamed into a public school, found that he had to take some shit for enjoying things like gymnastics, sewing, baking and dance… and had to actually defend himself against a crowd of young peers at a 6th grade school dance, who attacked him because he had been the only boy dancing that night.
    …Luckily for him he also had studied Tai Chi and Tae Kwon Do and nobody really even laid a hand on him… but shit, dude, WTF is that about? Can’t we get past this already? How about we all go ahead and grow the hell up about this crap?

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