Thursday, July 25, 2013

a consideration on equality

This is my boy.  He turns 4 today.  His favorite things are trampolines, kayaks and tools.  He loves trucks and lego and action figures.  But he also loves my little pony, princesses, baby dolls and baking.

A little while back I made a tutu for my daughter.  After finishing it, Bugaboo asked for one too.  I'd like to say I gave it to him right away, but I hesitated.  I could see no good reason for him to not have one, because there isn't one.  So I made him a tutu.

He loves it.  If something so simple could bring him so much happiness, how could I have not wanted him to have it?

The actual issue is on a different level entirely, because if I want to raise him to be a man who sees women as equals, how can I not let him play with 'girl things'.  If we start pointing out what is for girls and what is for boys at an early age, how can they not see themselves as suited for some things, but not others.

In school I wrote a paper on gender as a social construct.  Since having a little boy and a little girl, I know I was, to a degree, incorrect.  They really are different creatures.  They have different ways of thinking, and while all kids are unique (wildly so), there are noticeable and predictable trends of 'girl' vs 'boy'.  That doesn't mean they can't do the same things, just that they will probably find different ways to do them.

As a feminist who sometimes struggles with my decision to be a stay-at-home mother, I want my children to grow up to be happy with themselves for who they are, not because of which social gender stereotypes they are or are not conforming to.

So, while girls and boys are not the same, you can't teach them to think of each other as equals unless you treat them the same.

I was impressed by actor Dustin Hoffman's insights into inequality.  While preparing to film Tootsie, he started to ask himself how he would have been different if he had been a woman.  I ask that of myself when deciding something for my children; would my decision be different if he was a girl?  If so, than I am making a mistake.

Women, as a group, are not given equal rights as men, but at the same time, a girl who plays hockey, or builds with lego is praised, while a boy who wants to do ballet or play with baby dolls is at best tolerated.  There are scores of great children's books showing brilliant strong females, but where are the stories of sensitive, delicate boys?

My ramblings don't really have a finite point, I'm just circling around the thought that no man would think of a woman as equal when they're told they cannot do the same things as a child.

So, while the thought of nail polish on my little man goes against my grain, I'll not let that be a decision that leads him to be an adult who would hesitate letting a woman do a man's job.  Or vise versa.

Happy Birthday Bugaboo.

*This was originally meant to be a post about tutus entitled "a foray into frills", but this felt more important.  Also, please notice that I avoided saying "men treating women as equal" and instead put "thinking of women as equal".  Oh, and I highly recommend following the links.  Just a suggestion.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

rip sweet hp (and hello summertime!)

So, after 5 years, my sweet sweet laptop has died.  My darling hubby is a bit of a mr-fixit, and I knew it was over when he suggested I start browsing the lappys and tablets next time I was at the store.  It's serious when even he doesn't think something's salvageable.  So I've stolen onto his system (which is much more tech-y and password protected and overwhelming than my cute little setup) for this little update, which is basically to say that while I'll try to keep things up to date, computer-type things are on tenuous ground for now.

 I'll keep on sewing (and knitting, and painting, and gardening, and camping, and kayaking, and having picnics on the beach, and perhaps this forced 'summer break' is not such a bad thing) though.

Have a brilliant summer!

*my children are oddly safety conscious; it was their idea to wear their life jackets in 6 inches of water, not mine.

Monday, July 1, 2013

beach time baby!

Happy Canada Day!

And while it's officially been summer for a week or so we are finally feeling it!  I've been wanting to make some of these up for a while, so I'm happy to finally have gotten a chance to do some up and take them for a test run.

Woohoo, beach ponchos!

Actually, I was thinking more of a pool poncho.  You see, after swim class, we normally warm up by sticking our toesies in the hot tub (my guys are too little to be jumping in entirely) and then I try and wrap them up in our towel as best I can.  The towel doesn't really stay on them well and always gets wet, so I made up some towel ponchos.  Unfortunately, Bugaboo got an ear infection so we missed the last swim class, however, these work just as well at the beach or waterpark.

Bugaboo wanted a dinosaur...

(he makes a pretty good dinosaur, stomping along the beach)

And for Little Bean, I decided a jellyfish (she's pretty easy going).

Hope they get lots of chances to use them this summer!