Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sugar and Spice, and Puppy Dog Tails

I was walking the Baby, waiting for her to go to sleep. Yeah, she's getting heavy, and this walking thing will only get older as she does. But when she lays her head on my shoulder, and I hold her warm, solid 12 lb body in my arms and feel her angel's breath on my neck, I will do anything. Out of love, out of gratitude for the gift of this little person who has been given to me to love. To hold. And hold her I will.

So anyway, I was walking the Baby. I was thinking about the fact that her dresser has no mirror, because the dresser was mine and the mirror got broken and never got replaced. I was thinking that I'm glad there's no mirror on that dresser, and I won't put one in her room until she insists. There's no mirror in her brother's room, and that's not an issue. She doesn't need one either. I won't teach her to place undue emphasis on her appearance. She'll have dolls, yeah, but also books, a chemistry set and some dinkies.

Now, wait just a minute, here's the thing. My daughter is three months old, and already I'm trying to figure out how to protect her from gender bias. Sexism: a nice, light topic for my first blog entry.

Do you see it? In even having these thoughts, I'm subscribing to gender bias myself. Not because there isn't a real problem with what little girls learn while they're growing up, but because I'm thinking she'll need protection. After all, there's every possibility that she'll love football and abhor makeup.

This is obviously too big a topic to cover in this little blurb, but it bears consideration. I can honour my daughter's femininity without being sexist. There's a line there. For me, it falls between soft pink cotton and itchy, frothy tulle, between pretty sandals and pierced ears. I'm guilty of wanting to put her in pretty things, but I won't hurt her so I can decorate her. Don't get me started.

What about the rest? Make-up, belly shirts and how old for the first date? I have no freaking idea. Thank heavens there's time. I'll just have to figure it out when we get there.


Susan Adrian said...


It is hard to find the line sometimes. I swore I would never dress her in pink. I hate pink, I said. {sigh} She LOVES pink. She loves dresses. She loves changing outfits twenty times a day. None of this comes from me, so I think it's just what she's interested in. {shrug} She doesn't have a mirror in her room, though...

Anonymous said...

Great thoughts, Cindy...ah, I couldn't go back to work and had to read the rest of your blog. I envy you the new baby stage, but I do appreciate the two hours per night writing time I am carving out, now that summer is here, and I know you get about two minutes a night...if you are lucky, that is.

Yay, for the dinkies! And get her some legos, and a wagon. I didn't get a daughter, so I have never faced these issues, but I always wanted legos and a wagon. In 1965, girls didn't have a choice, and I didn't have brothers.

I'm glad your daughter will have a choice...and no mirror!