Thursday, February 28, 2013

"It's Not Boy Time; It's Girl Time!"

It's the eve of Women's History Month, and I've got a burning question for you:

Should there be some roles/positions that are just for men and just for women, or should there be equal opportunities in every area for both sexes?

These things come to mind:

"Boys will be boys..."

"Sugar and spice and everything nice; that's what little girls are made of." 

If boys are emotional, they are "sissies."

If girls like to wrestle with siblings and climb trees, they are "tomboys."

Baby girls can wear blue, but put a baby boy in purple or pink, and GASP!  

All my friends swear that parenting boys is SO different from girls...yet to be proven in our household as Baby E is quite the active child.

Words I still hear today include "policeman" and "chairman."

Boy clothes often sport skulls and guitars and phrases like "stunt man," while girl clothes are covered in butterflies, glitter, and phrases like, "I'm a princess."

I still see constructions signs warning drivers:  "Men at work."

I see toy ads picturing little girls playing with pink toy kitchens and nurturing baby dolls while little boys are rolling metal trucks through dirt piles. 

In movies, girls are usually the empty-headed damsels in distress who predictably fall for the most ridiculous of tricks (Ariel trades her voice for legs, Sleeping Beauty touches a needle, Snow White eats an apple, Belle lives with an abusive beast, etc.) while sporting long, flowing hair, a tiny waist, and HUGE eyes.   Boys are the heroes.    Message: girls need to be rescued and better look pretty when it happens.

I still see the generic "he" used for males and females.

I want my daughters, and my son, to grow up and be whatever they are gifted to be.    If my son wants to play with dolls, frankly, I'm happy.   I mean, I would love to have a kind, nurturing son!  My daughters love toy trains and love watching the garbage truck, police cars, and the UPS trucks drive by our house.     Good!  They might learn how to change a tire someday or aspire to be part of something moving and exciting.

I guess I don't get what drives parents (and society) to STILL, after all these years, put limits on children.   I'm guessing it's fear.   Fear that a child will be a misfit.   A too-sensitive guy or a too-assertive female.

Sigh.

Now I have two daughters and a son.   All these thoughts are going through my mind.  Who will they become?  What possibilities will be taken from them simply because they are a certain sex?    How do I raise my children to be strong in who they are, naturally, not letting the world limit them?

What do you think?   Are some roles/positions male or female only?   Is that ok with you?  What do you hope for your children?  Is society's movement toward "anyone can be anything" detrimental or helpful to our sons and daughters?    Does this at all play into adoption where society tells adoptees what they should/shouldn't be and should/shouldn't feel? 


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Note, the title of this post comes from Miss E, who often reminds me that though she has a brother now, it's still girl time.   ;)




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