I Found a Glitch in My Feminism

A photo of a city street that has been treated so one side is blue and the other is pink.
Photo by Tayla Kohler.

Here is something I have been thinking about a lot now that most of my friends have children:

With the little girls in my life, I never hesitate to buy them a book or gift that is traditionally "masculine." In fact, I often seek it out. I want them to see the "male" domains of life as equally available to them as the "female" ones.

With the little boys? I instinctively avoid anything traditionally "feminine." I don't buy them dolls or tutus unless I have been explicitly told that they want these things.

Why? I want boys to see the "female" domains of life as available to them, too.

The issues, I have realized, is that I worry about their parents. That they will see the girly stuff at best as lame and at worst as offensive.


There is actually a part of me, underneath all the feminist shine, that thinks a fuzzy pink blanket lives somewhere on a range between lame and offensive.

I know I know I knoooooooooooooooooooow that this is a pile of baloney! Long before I had all these babies in my life to trigger inner feminist crises I was reading essays on our cultural obsession with elevating masculine things over the feminine and shaking my head at how sparkles are "lame" but sports balls are "cool."

It's just a lot more real when you are standing in a kids' store and realize that it feels like the gift you are choosing is a brave political point and not just a sweet, fun, or cozy treat for a little human you love.


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