Pink and Blue

Pink and Blue

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Ok, I admit I never really wanted a girly girl.
I would have struggled with a little princess since I despise Barbies, I dont really wear make up, I own neither hair straighteners nor curling tongues. I don’t wear heels – not even on my wedding day.
I find tutus to be highly impractical items of clothing for children, and the notion of the vulnerable but beautiful princess having to be rescued by a knight in shining armour makes me cringe ever so slightly.
I get very angry about “bra’s” and “bikinis” for toddlers and baby girls – in fact I have just bought a boy’s rash guard for winry to go swimming in as I could not find a plain and simple girls swimsuit in winry’s size…

However I do confess that I am a little dissappointed that Winry won’t let me put her hair in bunches or allow me to put the odd hair clip in her beautiful blonde head of hair.
And her drawer full of lovely dresses hardly ever gets opened because all she wants to wear are trousers and t-shirts.

Please don’t get me wrong – I utterly and unconditionally love my little tomboy.
I have every confidence that she will grow into a very strong independent person – she already speaks her mind very decidedly and most certainly knows what she wants…
It makes me happy that when she is allowed to choose a kinder egg at the checkout – she always goes for the boys rather than the girls version.

The thing is – I have a Daughter and a Son, and I do worry about her a whole lot more than I do him…

Feminists have a bad reputation these days and that concerns me as a mother…

I feel very comfortable in my role as a housewife and mother, It is fulfilling and important work – and it is work – make no mistake there …
My Husband works and provides for his Family and this is most certainly a good solution for all involved in this particular family…

But apart from Breastfeeding there is nothing my husband could not have done at least as well if not better than I did. I truly believe that. And the decision for me to take maternity leave instead of him taking paternity leave was simply based on the fact that his salary far outweighed mine at the time.

But alarmingly – even though we live in such an advanced society in a developed country such as the United Kingdom, I still feel as though my Son will have more opportunities, more freedom of choice and a generally safer life, in social terms, than my Daughter. I fear that his voice and opinions will carry more weight and that his feelings and worries might be regarded as weaknesses.
I strongly believe that my daughter should feel able to become an Engineer or mechanic or CEO if she so chooses and get paid the same as her male counterparts.
I would like my son to feel able to become a midwive or nursery school teacher or househusband without worrying if people might think him a peadophile or a wet blanket.

I would like my son to respect women wholly and not to think of a mini skirt and crop top as justification for disrespect or an open invitation and waiver of consent… I want him to feel able to cry without feeling weak.
I would like my daughter to be feel able to have nothing more than soap, toothpaste and deaodorant in her bathroom cabinet, to be able to be interested in science and politics without being called nerd,
or maybe become an athlete without concerns about appearing too butch…

I think you get my point …

So … I get ever so slightly annoyed at gender specific toys such as blue toolboxes and pink make up bags,
and I try to encourage Winrys interest in sports and books and superheroes and digging in dirt just as much as Sameths very obvious interest in baby dolls and toy kitchens.

It outrages me that womens nudity is smeared all over the media in a sexualised way to sell products as part of the “sex sells” ideology but every week I read stories about breastfeeding mothers being asked to cover up or leave public places due to other people being uncomfortable with it.

I am very aware of men in Car advertisements and Women promoting anti-ageing creams.
I do worry very much about the steady stream of photoshopped images of women in the media that both my children will be exposed to during their childhood and young adulthood and what it might do to alter their body image, perception of themselves and attitude towards the sexes …

I am very careful not to let my children overhear remarks like “Urgh I feel so fat” or “does my stomach look fat in this?”… When Winry asks me why she is not allowed anymore sweets my answer will be “because too many sweets are not good for you and will hurt your teeth”.

Incidentally – when she got to choose underwear and picked a pack of boys underpants with funny faces on them I didn’t bat an eyelid.
When Sameth puts a pink necklace over his head or plays with her pink toy hoover it does not concern me in the slightest, and I have no quarrels about putting him in a pink sleeping bag either – these things aren’t cheap after all …
We call their genitalia by their actual names and try to be honest, factual and open with them as much as we can.

I realise I am going on a bit here …
But since having children I have realised more so than ever before that it is still going to be a long time before men and women are truly equals and treated as such.
It is a complex issue with room for many discussions and varying points of views …

But the one thing I as a mother can do to help is to raise my Son and my Daughter as equals, teaching them the same set of values, applying the same set of rules and affording them the same opportunities.

So I try not to show my slight disappointment when winry refuses to let me put bunches in her hair and will in a few years time let sam play dress up with dresses and jewellry if he so chooses…
I make sure that I communicate with them openly and honestly and make sure they understand that they can both come and talk to me about ANYTHING without shame, embarassment or fear of judgement.

“Why do people say ‘grow some balls?’ Balls are weak and sensitive. If you want to be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.” ~ Betty White

Until next time …

Ta da xx

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