Monday, August 14, 2006

F is for Feminist

I went to the bathroom today at lunch at Red Lobster (I had never been there. It wasn't much more than "eh"), and a little boy was in there with his mom. Whenever I see mothers and male children in public I always observe and hope to pick up something I could use, or file away certain things in the "don't ever do this with your child" section of my brain. He washed his hands and threw the wadded up paper towel in the trash. When he made it in one shot, the mom said, "good job! You made it!" (Positive reinforcement-good). Then, "but, all boys can do that." Insert noise of record scratching and going silent here.

Will I feel the need to say things like that to my son? I wondered. Why would she say that? Why would she be reinforcing the stereotype that only boys are good at sports? What if that had been her daughter instead of son?

I'm the first to admit that I'm a big f-word: feminist. I read Bitch Magazine! Girls are just as good as boys! Ahh! But when the baby was born, I breathed a huge sigh of relief that I'm never going to have to worry about my child being a slut. I know. I know! That's horrible! But it's true. For some reason, it just seems easier to raise a boy to be respectful of women than to teach a girl about sex and all those great double standards our society has about women who embrace their sexuality. "Yes, you should be proud of your body, but you shouldn't be an exotic dancer because that's exploitative. Just because you're the one making the decision about titty flashing doesn't mean titty flashing is ok. You don't really want to be on Girls Gone Wild, it's just the over sexualized, women's body objectifying culture that make it look appealing. I know our society is preoccupied with beauty, but you're fine just the way you are. But don't get fat. Not because it would look bad, but because it's unhealthy." It's complicated to be a woman these days. There are so many different messages being hurled the way of young girls. It's hard to figure out where you stand. I feel sorry for all those teenage girls who shop at Abercrombie and Fitch because it's cool, and they feel the need to buy shirts reading "Future Trophy Wife," and "Who Needs Brains When You Have These?" across the chest.

So I got out of that one easy. But I will NOT let my son run around thinking girls can't play sports and that crap. That shit will not fly at the Hippie Mama Household.

9 Comments:

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Jenni said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. I decided a couple of years ago that if I had children, I would want boys, and for just that reason. Since I've been pregnant, though, I have a suspicion that I'm having a girl. AAAH!

I can't stand all these slutty whorebag girls that just giggle and act stupid instead of being their own person. I really do worry about trying to raise a girl who will be surrounded by sluts, and keep her from being one herself. By the time I graduated high school, all the freshman girls were skanky, and it's just gone downhill from there.

It does seem like it would be easier to teach a boy how to view and treat a woman.

 
At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Jenny said...

"Just because you're the one making the decision about titty flashing doesn't mean that titty flashing is ok."

I want that on a shirt.

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger Hippie Mama said...

HA! That would be a great shirt.

When I was first pregnant I thought it would be a girl, too. Then when I was around 3 months, my mom told me she really thought it was a boy. Turns out she was right!

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger EmmaK said...

Funny post. I admit that bringing up my two girls will be challenging in our hyper-sexualized world. But you'll also have your cross to bear, possibly even having a teenage son with a really stinky room and filthy hardened socks in every corner.(Unless, of course you bring him up to be neat and tidy). I just don't think I'd be able to stand the stench of masturbation and sweaty feet that pervades the room of most teenage boys!

 
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