Friday, January 22, 2010
I think it would be a stretch to describe me as a complete feminist. I believe in a lot of the principles of feminism and I certainly think women are capable of doing anything they want to do. I was however raised in a traditional household where the woman shopped, cooked and cleaned and the man worked. I default to that. Not because I think I should (or am expected to.) It's just habit and convenience - since I am a stay at home mom.
I am very aware that I am raising two girls though. One day they will be young women and I want them to see the world in terms of equal opportunity. With that in mind I have consciously tried to show them that I am capable of anything.
When something is broken I (try) to fix it. I lift and move heavy things. I show them that I understand the basic workings of my car and that I can maintain it. (Yes that is the sound of my husband laughing out loud.)
If I'm not able to do something I give a reason that doesn't involve gender.
"This is a two person job."
When there is a spider - I take it out.
I chase monsters from under the bed with authority.
We have gone away - just us girls.
I thought I was doing a really nice job.
At the infamous swim party a few weeks back, the six year old received a party favor.
It was a geode. Not familiar - neither was I.
The six year old reliably informs me "You smash it and there's a crystal inside!"
"Great!" I say "Let's do it."
We try with our hands but it becomes clear this won't do.
"Let's get a hammer." I say.
"But that's Daddy's job." says the six year old.
I am crushed, indignant, insulted and embarressed all at once.
My daughter thinks I can't handle a hammer.
Where did I go wrong?
What do I need to do around here to show her that I can use tools -
wear a hard hat and overalls?
As you can imagine that geode took the brunt of my indignation.
I showed it who could use a hammer.
Maybe Daddy needs to cook more dinners. Maybe he needs to take them to the supermarket, maybe I need to walk through the house carrying lumber on a regular basis.
Maybe I just need to accept that I am who I am and she will be who she will be.
I can tell you one thing for sure though. The upcoming birthday is going to involve a toolbelt.
It may be pink with flowers but it will have a hammer.