I am a 12 year old (13 soon) female. I’m on a swim team, and the pool is close enough to my house that my younger sister and I can walk there. A few months ago, we were walking home and I was wearing a beach towel wrapped around my swimsuit straps like a little dress. We were turning at a stop sign when an old man stopped at the sign with his window rolled down. He yelled to me, “Now that’s how I like it!” I was really scared, and when I got home and told my mother, she said I should have covered myself more. But what kind of person foes it make that man to catcall a 12 year old? I still don’t really know if that actually was my fault… Also, last night, my dad, older sister, and I were sitting around a campfire, me and my sister popping our knuckles. My dad said “You shouldn’t do that unless you want giant hands” “That’s gross, and it’s unladylike.” We couldn’t tell if he was joking or not, but I’m a little afraid he wasn’t. Sorry if those stories were boring or don’t belong here, but thanks for reading 😛
My 7 yo daughter asking her dad : – I don’t understand why my little sister says she loves me but when I try to kiss her when she sits in the couch she pushes me away. To which he replays: – ‘she’s a girl, what did you expect!’ :-/ I of course told him off and explained to our daughter that kissing someone out of the blue when they don’t see you coming or expect a kiss ( aka without some kind of consent given either through words or through facial expressions ), can be weird and scary for that persom even if it was meant well.
A while back I was watching TV, as one does and this random add for old navy caught my eye(for those of you who do not know what it is, it’s a large reputable clothing company in North America). The commercial was advertising there kids clothing. The names of jeans featured were what angered me. The boy’s jeans were called the “Karate jeans” and the girl’s jeans were called the “Ballerina Jeans”. I understand this is a small thing but it still bothered me and I thought it is important to share. It’s these stereotypes that bother me the most. As a girl who does mix martial arts *which karate is a part of* I found this preposterous.
In the media and among the metropolitan elite (AKA middle-class London) ‘the Patriarchy’ may now have become a punchline, but in the school playground, ‘the Patriarchy’ may be alive and well and still influencing our children – or in my case – grandchildren. The fear that our children and grandchildren are still being contaminated by male chauvinism arises from a stray comment by my 9-year-old grandson. We were en route to Kidzania, the Utopian theme-park at West London’s Westfield Shopping Centre where kids rule and gender-equality across all the child-run ‘businesses’ and ‘services’ is automatic. Discussing with my 9-year-old grandson which ‘occupations’ he and his 7-year-old sister might wish to sample from such options as doctor, dentist, fire-fighter, airline pilot, etc, he mentioned a few things he might like to do, and then suggested his sister might wish to ‘serve drinks and food’ on the ‘plane.’ Here, I should point out that his mother – my daughter – is the CEO of a rapidly expanding UK charity which recently won a major award, so my grandson’s paradigm of womanhood is not someone who whiles away her days having manicures…His maternal grandmother (me) is an award-winning journalist who had a 40-year career in media before co-founding a successful fashion website. Even his great-grandmother was a feminist, albeit a reluctant one who would have hated the label but certainly didn’t ask permission for anything from a man. But despite these clear examples of gender-equality, his visceral response was that his sister could ‘serve drinks and food.’ He’s not receiving these messages at home (he’s definitely not; his father is emphatically a feminist). So where, except in the school-playground, is a 9-year-old picking up such worryingly antediluvian views? Is the playground the last bastion of male chauvinism? Instead of ciggies or snogs, are kids going behind the bike-shed to be indoctrinated in a fear of feminism and the Power of the Patriarchy?
My husband just walked into Hamleys Regent Street to buy some Lego. He asked where to find it and was in return asked ‘Girls’ lego or boys’ lego’. He walked out in disgust.
I am working hard in raising my boys to be feminists. My six year old is so proud of his colorfull clothes (boys clothes in Sweden are mostley black or navy blue, so I make an effort go find “happier” clothes) and the fact his best friend thinks he looks like a girl. (Not clothes but his face/body, the friend is a girl if it matters for the story) It breaks my heart that he one day might take “looking like a girl” as an insult. Already his friends opinions about what girls are like and boys are like, weighs more then mums “girls and boys are the same but people are different”-attitude. I’m afraid that I can’t impact them enough and I will loose respect for them as adults.
A male coworker, let’s call him L, was discussing this other male coworker, let’s call him G. So G is married to a woman, and has a couple of kids, and they are apparently having trouble finding reliable childcare. So occasionally the wife will take time off, and occasionally the husband will, in order to pick up their kids. So L’s comment was that “G’s wife decided she wanted to work, so now he has to take time off work to deal with this childcare situation.” How do I even start on how sexist this is? First of all, BOTH parents are working to support the family, and BOTH parents are compromising to make it work. So how is it the wife’s fault? And I don’t know who “decided they want to work”, you HAVE to work in order to make money to survive. They probably needed two incomes.