October 3, 2014 by jeliwobble
I am the owner of four small persons, one of whom is of the male persuasion. He is a rambunctious, boisterous, flappy little man, who likes to play with cars, Lego, balls of all kinds but especially baseball and soccer, Wii, computers and Minecraft. He likes to help in the kitchen and cook with his dad, when his dad is on his 5:2 fast day, and cracking eggs is the best bit. He is sartorially aware, even at 7, and likes to put a nice outfit together each day for school, even though he’s quite bad at picking appropriate clothes for the weather! He prefers a collared shirt over a non-collared one. His favourite colour used to be orange, but is now red. He likes sword fighting with sticks and making guns out of his Lego. He wants most of all to be a dad when he grows up.
He also has long hair. Apparently, according to some, this single point makes him my fourth daughter.
I’ll just leave that there for a moment, while I ponder a few other points that have come up today.
It’s been a day for it, today, it really has.
First off, this morning, this joyful article from Jezebel on how science has to ‘sparkle’ (and, consequently, be all about cosmetics and perfumes) in order for it to be appropriate for *Girl* Scouts.
And then, this delightful PM, sent to a friend who hand makes beautiful soaps for children:
And, finally, this blog post made up my mind to make my own.
I had a bit of a row, inasmuch as we ever really argue, with Him Indoors a few nights ago. He took offence at the general lumping together, and tarring with the same brush, ‘all men’ in the following meme:
I did laugh at it. In context, George Carlin does have some great points to make about the differences between men and women. But, Him Indoors was essentially right. We do tar each other with the same brush because we all want everyone else to fit inside our own ‘normal’ box.
While we are busy, trying to make our essentially malleable children fit into our normal boxes, we are busy perpetuating a normal that is fast becoming outdated. Frankly, it’s about time it was outdated, but it does actually hurt my head that anyone in this day and age thinks it’s appropriate to advertise Sparkly Science for girls, or that boys have to have ‘appropriate’ colours that don’t include what one would normally expect to be entirely neutral, or that men in alternative, nerd or geek culture are somehow given a pass to be sexual predators because they’re cool with women who are different.
Or that having long hair somehow feminises my son.
It’s about time we stopped thinking about the *differences* between men and women, and started realising that we are *all* human, all unique, and all beautiful in our own special ways, whether we are male, female or trans, whether we are a different race, religion or sexual orientation, whether we are a scientist, a film star, or a supermarket cashier.
No one has to fit into any ‘box’, no one has to conform to anyone else’s expectations but their own. No one should have to suffer for anyone else’s belief that they are somehow less because of who or what they are.
Not one person should have to fit inside anyone else’s idea of what ‘normal’ should be.
We are all exceptional as we are *all* exceptions to the ‘normal’.