Friday, March 11, 2011
Time To Start Playing the Bikini Kill Records
In the spirit of International Women's Day this past week, I have to tell you: Isota seems to have some weird ideas about gender so far. We first noticed it whenever we would talk about school. Like, if we pass a school and talk about what school is and how she will go to one someday along with other kids, she consistently responds to the conversation with "Boy." Always, always just "Boy." And we try to clarify what she means, because it seems to be that she means boys go to school and girls don't. So of course we always tell her that girls go to school too, that girls do everything boys do. (We leave out the peeing-standing-up thing, because that whole ball of wax has got to be confusing to someone who hasn't even mastered the potty yet. Hell, it's sort of confusing to me, too.)
So the school thing was a little weird, but we figured maybe she just saw something on a cartoon where a boy goes to school (I am thinking Caillou, perhaps...Does anyone else watch that little Canadian cartoon? She is way into it) and now has it stuck in her head about that boy going to school. Who really knows what's going on in a 2 year old brain, eh? No biggie. But now I am noticing a new trend: at the park, when she tackles something a little out of her comfort zone like a tall ladder, she gets a little scared at the top and asks for me to help get her down. Then when she is safely back on the ground she says, "Boy." Sometimes it's, "No Sody. Boy." Like a boy can do that crazy ladder climbing, not her. Whhhaaaa? OF COURSE you can do it too, Sody!! This is not a good development. Where would she get this sort of idea? I would normally be able to explain it away with the thought that the older and bigger boys can climb up those ladders easy peasy, but we have seen plenty of girls her age and younger tackle them, too.
She is not shy and not afraid to try things, for which I am so grateful. So it makes these little "boy" episodes even weirder to me, and it gets me worked up. I know she is too young to be worried about inferiority complexes and things, but it's a tiny little glimmer of what may crop up down the line. And I want to end it right here. I want her to know that she is not inferior to anyone. I want her to know how strong, smart, and capable she is. I want her to know her worth. I want her to think for herself and tackle things and ideas and park ladders for the rest of her life.