I enjoy calling myself a feminist. I’m an easy believer in my daughter getting to do anything from dance to basketball.
(Although I do catch myself thinking: What’s the point of sports? Women’s porfessional leagues suck. And then I realize that I’m assuming that my children will be the VERY BEST. Why can’t she just play on the local team? Because I’m INSANE and want season passes to New York Giants’ games. First female football player!)
But I find this position more difficult with my son. I’ve certainly let E be who he is, but as he gets older, I worry about others (classmates, family, friends) making fun of him.
At camp last week, he showed up with a giant pink bow in his hair. The parents and teachers were kind and slightly giggl-y, which was okay. But when I picked him up, he didn’t have the bow in his hair. I asked after it and braced for the worst. He responded: It’s in my pocket so I don’t lose it.
And I believed him.
But I know that the day will come when the pink bow is in his pocket and he’ll tell me why and I’ll have to hate one of his classmates for the rest of the school year. And I DREAD that day. Not just because he will learn about the lines between boys and girls, but because he will be hurt. Hurt, in part, because I’m not teaching him accepted cultural ideals.
So now, here we are at Target. And I ask E: What rain boots do you want?
Me: Not the fireman boots, huh?
(my inner feminist just slapped me)
So I look to Scott, who isn’t moved by these feminist fears of mine, and he says: Who cares?
When I coming-to after the perfect-football-spiral-hairy-womyn finished kicking my butt, I respond: HECK YEAH WHO CARES!
Because who knows?
Maybe a classmate will say: Those pink kitty boots are for girls!
And E will say: Who cares?
And that child will think for a moment and respond: HECK YEAH WHO CARES!