Friday, August 23, 2013

Feminist Rant

Pirette is 2.5 years old.  (Oh, and I'm up the duff again, if anyone cares.)  We don't do the girly thing around here.  For one thing, I find it cliche' and unoriginal.  For another, the daily pink from head-to-toe look is just aesthetically gross.  Add to that the assumption that girls must look/dress a certain was is just sexist.  And finally, if Hull 2 is a boy, I want to re-use as many clothes as possible.  So we keep it pretty straigtforward around here.  ie, jeans, T-shirts, etc.

Then the heat wave hit.  We live in a baking hot corner of SW London (god help me), and our house is fucking oven.  So in an attempt to minimize the Pirette's heat-related misery, I stuffed her in a sundress. (She has 4. They're ALL yellow, and covered in flowers and butterflies. That'll be my mother hitting last summer's end-of-season sales.)

I couldn't believe how differently people treated her, just becuase she had on a dress.

All this time the neighborhood mothers have been chiding me and grinning and saying stuff "I tried to dress Cutsie in trousers, but all she'll wear is dresses and skirts!" and "She'll decide pink is her favourite colour, just to rebel against you!" and my personal fav, "It really is what little girls want, you'll see!" Gag.

And I know when she gets to school there will be huge social pressure to fit in, and she'll want pink and glitter becasue that's what ALL the other little girls have (and it's truly scary how ubiquitous the girly shit is). But I hope the phase will be short-lived before she comes to her senses.

But boy, does the social conditioning start early.

All those mothers who claimed that girls really are different and really do want to drown themselves in pinkprettytiaraprincessgitter crap made such a fuss over Pirette when they saw her in a dress.  All day long, everywhere she went, she was fussed over and petted and told how pretty she looked.  Even by complete effing strangers.

Small wonder then that at the end of the day she cried for the first time in her life at bedtime because it was time to get her into her (dinosaur-themed) PJs.  She didn't want to take her dress off.  She wated to be pretty.

And I found myself having to explain to a 30-month-old toddler that dresses aren't what make us pretty.  That dresses are just a piece of clothing, but what makes us pretty is how nice we are to other people.  TWO AND A HALF FUCKING YEARS OLD.  I really didn't expect to need to have that talk for another, oh, 8 years or so.  Jesus.

There will be more on this subject later.  Don't even get me started on "girls" toys.  I tell you what, though.  Raising a daughter in this society of incredibly narrow gender roles and their near universal adherence is going to be one hell of a challenge.

*Don't blame me for the shirt. My mother bought it.  Besides, I do like rainbows.
**Pirette was thrilled with the airplane ride at the fun-fair, because only the week previously she said to me, "Want to fwy hewicopter, be piwot, go up sky touch cwouds."  Awesome awesome awesome.


Anonymous said...

So glad you are back!

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but THANK YOU anyway for having independent thoughts! And please don't give up, I'm convinced you're doing your daughter a huge favour. I have "only" boys, and it's so much easier - nobody's telling them that sitting in a tower looking pretty waiting for a man to rescue them is a good career move ...