Friday, June 24, 2011
How to talk to little girls
I just read this article from the Huffington Post.
This has also been much discussion around our house simply because we have been on the hunt for baby items, and it seems that everything tends to be gendered, or at least color-gendered. Our friends have been gracious in donating their baby stuff to us. Between purchases on Craigslist and donations, we are almost set with the basic stuff: crib, bedding, car seat, jogging stroller, outfits, etc. I am accepting any and all hand me downs whether it is "boy" or "girl." I mean, who really cares if a boy or girl sleeps on blue sheets or is wrapped in a pink blanket. I don't care, really. A sheet is a sheet is a blanket. Why do we dress baby girls in overtly "feminine" clothing? And why do most baby boy items have emblems like footballs and monsters and dark colors?
Much of my response to those who ask why I didn't want to find out the gender of our baby so soon has been somewhat of a retort to this whole gendering thing: I usually quip "I don't want to subject this child to gender-limits before it is even born." Yeah, I know, I am being a smart ass, and my closest buds and family know that, but to strangers, they seem offended by my response. Of course little girls are adorable when they wear frilly things, but why can't my girl wear a blue onesie with a baseball on it?
Bloom's article seems to suggest that simply because we address girls by noticing their clothing or looks, we are dooming them to a life of self-obsession about their looks. I disagree. I think that part of the reason so many young girls seems to be so obsessed isn't because some stranger said they looked cute. I think it is about the massive amounts of media kids are exposed to now a days. My childhood role models were the Brady Bunch kids, and they were hand-me-down rough. Hannah Montana and the likes seem to be a bit more glamourized than Jan, Marsha, and Cindy.