Thursday, April 17, 2014 02:38 PM
(Last updated on Friday, May 30, 2014 08:42 AM)
Tea Patriarchy
 by Fëanor

My sons' daycare is having a tea party for Mother's Day to which all the mothers are invited. We saw the invite, and poppy asked G if he'd like her to come. He explained that tea parties aren't for boys, they're only for girls.

Well, that comment didn't make either of us very happy. We're trying to raise open-minded, liberal, feminist kids here. How did this sexist crud get in his head already?

The world is a confusing mess. Little kids are trying desperately all the time to figure out how it works. What are the rules? Who are the good guys, who are the bad guys? So when they notice something repeating - a pattern amongst all the madness - and they think they've found a rule, they are going to latch onto that rule for dear life, because that rule is their handle on the world.

I have long hair, and often I tie it up in a ponytail. Sometimes a kid will see my hair and they'll laugh and point and say something like, "Only girls have ponytails!" Sometimes they'll repeat it, loudly. Sometimes they'll even get mad. G got a little mad when we tried to contradict his statement about the tea party. It's because we're challenging their fragile, hard-won understanding of the world, and they don't like it.

All that means is we have to keep challenging it, and keep challenging it, over and over, until he understands. Just because there's a way things are usually done doesn't mean that's the best way or the only way. Don't let the patriarchy define how you see and interact with the world.

That being said, it'll be nice not to have to go to the tea party.

UPDATE: I should add, poppy ended up going to this tea party after all, and despite a mortifying moment involving Griff's answer to a particular survey question about his Mom, I think everybody had a good time.
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Parenthood (Not), Parenting (Not)

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Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

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