Monday, 10 March 2014

More Than a Woman

Saturday was International Women's Day: designated over 100 years ago to celebrate women, mainly in a political and human rights themed manner, as designated (and designed) by the United Nations.

I thought long and hard about what this day means to me and what it will eventually mean to Molly.  I debated writing a letter to Molly about this day in a post, then I decided that this post should be for both of my children in the hope that I raise Jack to care about women and women's issues just as much as his sister.

toddler with red balloons, chudleighs apple orchard and farm Milton

On International Women's Day (and every day) I want you both to know the following:

You are both 100% of everything.  I hope neither of you has to struggle with earning 81% of  anyone because of your gender, orientation, class, age or any other demographic.

The other day (Molly) when you told me that you played princess all day I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes and sighing.  You then explained to me that Jack was a princess, daddy was a princess and mommy was a princess.  When I asked you what a princess was, you told me that it was someone nice, who sings, dances and likes animals.  I'm pretty okay with your interpretation of what a princess is, especially compared to the Disney version in my own head.  My issues with princesses are my own, clearly not yours.

You can be anything you want* and we will both support you.

toddler with balloon

This International Women's Day I am thankful for the following things:

Books that support princess boys and princess girls like: My Princess Boy, 10,000 Dresses and of course The Paper Bag Princess

The Bechdel Test: Essentially it's a test for movies to support better gender representation.  To qualify or pass this Swedish film rating system, your movie must:
  • Have two or more women
  • These women must talk to each other...
  • About ANYTHING other than a man. 

I am especially thankful for movies like Despicable Me and The Hunger Games that bring us strong women role models who pass the test.

Jack, your love of pink teddy bears and Molly, your insistence that you are in fact Batman, help your dad and I both unlearn a lot of the gender stereotypes we are guilty of every day.

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*Within reason and I'll support you: I hear there is a shortage of clowns, just don't become drug dealers or prostitutes (literal or figurative). I can't handle that.

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