It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a feminist. My parents raised me and my siblings (2 sisters and a brother) to believe we can be whatever we want regardless of gender and to me, that is the perfect definition of feminism- just straight up equality.
Even these days, when things seem more equal and there are very few frontiers that have yet to be crossed by some female pioneer, it’s hard not to cringe around the toddler set. Watching classic Disney movies (holy shit, have you seen Peter Pan lately?!!?), shopping at a toy store where the sections are defined as ‘boy’ or ‘girl’, even innocent comments from other parents or toddlers (“Boys will be boys”), there is still so much stuff that I don’t want involved in my child’s brain. I think of her as a child first, and a girl second. She loves her dolls, she loves her weird toy motorcycle that screams “NINJA WHEELIE TIME!” with a background of hard riffin’ guitar (I mean, who wouldn’t?). She’s a kid. She just wants to play.
That said, when she was first born, I was TERRIFIED I was going to have a Princess girl on my hands. What was I, the artist formerly known as “Boy Norah” (the kids in my town growing up were not that creative), going to do with a sparkly tutu wearer? While Ramona likes to dress up once in a while, she’s not really that kid. But what if she was? If I had a son who wanted to wear a sparkly tutu, I would NEVER tell him he couldn’t. But my first instinct in this fictional scenario would be to gently nudge her towards less…”girly” clothes.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a year, partially based on conversations had with a friend who’s house is currently under attack from my little ponys and rainbows and unicorns and sparkles. It was her biggest nightmare too, but it’s just who her daughter is, and why would she stifle that, especially because in the long run, who really cares. As she put so eloquently on facebook “I am a convert to the idea that sparkles and feminism can coexist.” But what actually prompted me to write this post today, other than a bout of insomnia, will be the subject of my next blog post… that catchy Goldiblocks commercial.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Not 5 minutes after I published this post, my daughter said, as I was dressing her, “I am a pretty princess. I want to be a pretty princess forever. No one will know where my castle is, except my neighbor princesses.”