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"Pace is all. Rhythm is master. Consistency is your friend."

Friday, May 12, 2006


So my son just told me, after watching a preview for "The Little Mermaid" movie that he doesn't like that movie because he thinks it's weird. I asked him why and he replied "Because it's for girls." He has also informed me before that he can't believe that I used to like to watch "The Fox and the Hound" when I was a little girl because it's a "movie for boys to watch." Over Christmas when he was looking through the Toys R Us catalog, he told me that he used to like a certain toy, but now he doesn't because he found out that it's for girls. What is going on?

I try my best to teach that in most respects girls and boys are the same. There are obvious physical differences (which at the young age of 3 1/2 we have already had to cover some of to my dismay), but other than that girls and boys can participate in the same activities. For example, he tried to take a doll away from his little brother once and I told him that boys can play with dolls and girls can play with trucks. It doesn't matter. But I don't think he bought it. And all this comes from a boy who doesn't attend day care or preschool yet. In fact, when we talk about preschool in the fall he has told me repeatedly that he's "only going to have big boy friends, not big girl friends." When I asked him why, he responded, "Because I don't need big girl friends."

So where does it come from? This need to congregate together by way of gender. I mean, we have "Girl Power," right? Women feel that we're in opposition to the male-dominated work and political worlds, right? Why is it always us versus them? Wouldn't it make more sense to get the other side to join with you in changing the status quo? Wouldn't it be easier? So why do we have this separation? And how does it start so young? And what's a mother supposed to do when she tries her hardest to present a consistent, gender equality message and her son/daughter comes to her and tells her that she throws like a girl?

I don't know. I guess that's why I'm asking. Is there such a thing as inherent or genetic predisposition toward men feeling superior to women? Is it learned? If so, how? Because one thing's for sure, until we figure that out the battle for women pushing for equality and recognition for unpaid work is going to be one that will continue for generations with little progress.


At 5/12/2006 08:22:00 PM, Blogger cherylann said...

you should definitely have steven talk to him. are any adults that he's around like that... whether it be friends or whatever? that's weird. but i've noticed that josslyn is really girly... and i'm not, so maybe it is genetically inherent. i don't know. weird. ps- i love the little mermaid.

At 5/23/2006 10:35:00 AM, Anonymous Brian Coleman said...

Hi Nancy,
Love the blog!! With regard to your little guy, (and by 'little' I mean smaller than Steve) and his interest in only having big boy friends as he hasn't a need for big girl friends. Isn't this normal developmet? isn't he simply identifying? You didn't write anything that indicated that he thought men were superior in anyay, just that he didn't need big girl friends.....I'm not trying to be contentious, I just don't understand the leap from 'boys wanting to play with boys' to 'a predisposition to men feeling superior to women'

I don't think that this anything to worry about, it's seems age-appropriate and, in time, he'll learn to love and respect women as his better looking equal :)


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