When you found out you were going to be a parent, what was the first thing you really wanted to know? Boy or girl, right? Whether you found out before the birth or at the birth, that's the one thing we are all dying to know. (I personally don't see any point in waiting - but that's for another post.)
Now imagine being so excited about your baby boy or girl, loving and nurturing that child for three or four years, then sending them to a school that refuses to identify your child by gender. Nobody - not the teachers, not the principal, not the other students, refers to him or her as "him" or "her." A preschool in Sweden is doing this. They're referring to the kids as a group, as "friends."
Sorry, friends, I just don't agree.
While I also don't agree with enforcing gender stereotypes, I can't support flat out ignoring gender. What about potty time? Will everyone have to stand to pee? Or sit for that matter?
My daughter is being raised in a house where her father does all of the cooking and most of the kitchen clean-up. Her mother pays the bills and is better at fixing most things. It's up to the parents to teach their children that it's ok for boys to cook and girls to assemble patio furniture.
At her school, there is a boy whose favorite color is pink. There's nothing wrong with that. There is another boy who loves dance class. I find nothing wrong with that, either. Nor is it wrong that I carried my baseball cards in a purse when I was a boy. You can read about that here. Those kids are busting the stereotypes, and I'm pretty sure they're doing it all by themselves.
|Even the inflatable pool is princes themed|
Her choice. Naturally.
This past weekend, we were headed to a birthday party for one of her classmates. The boy had chosen a Spiderman theme for his party. As we drove there, my daughter volunteered, "Daddy, I hope there are girl superheroes at this party, like Wonder Woman."
|My Feminist Superhero|
These are her politics, not her parents'. Not that we disagree with them. During dinner one evening late in October of 2009, my wife and I were discussing the race for governor in New Jersey, and we asked our daughter, "Are you a Democrat or a Republican?"
A cupcake. A princess. Wonder Woman. Sweet, strong, independent. All words that describe my daughter. All things she chose. Based on gender? Probably. Based on nature or nurture? I think mostly nature, with a little bit of unintended nurture.
Because I knew she was going to be a princess the minute I found out we were having a girl.