I was meeting her for the first time, but she felt she knew me.
‘Some of my daughter’s classmates told her she was too small to play their game,’ she explained, ‘and I overheard him tell her “Do you know what? One of the greatest basketball players in our school is one of the smallest kids I know.” I’m not sure he knows what that meant to her, but she certainly does.’
I have worried about raising a sensitive boy who is acutely aware of what is fair and what is not. Is it fair to impose my values about fairness and kindness and inclusiveness on him?
He’s the one who has to navigate his own world, not me. Am I putting him at a disadvantage? Is he cursed to become a doormat or someone’s punching bag? Should he be tougher?
We were just two moms ducking Vancouver’s spring rain and suddenly her words celebrated a boy, my boy, who stands up for fairness and kindness and inclusiveness.
Now I know there is no one braver and I’m proud of him, but most of all, now I know he (along with everyone around him) will be okay.
So here’s the thing, sometimes girls just want to do girlie things, as some studies on newborn monkeys are starting to illustrate. I was a child of the 70s, and went to elementary school in 80s, when feminism transitioned from theory to practice.
Feminism at that time focussed on opening opportunity for women. “Anything boys can do, girls can do better!” was the triumphant call to all little girls. The fervor of the campaign was fierce. So fierce, that they not only forgot about choice and equality, but they railroaded them. Continue reading