Girls are weird. My daughter said these words to me yesterday as she wrapped a toy snake around me like a feather boa. They're far weirder than boys I've decided. I'm pretty girly and girls baffle me.
I wore Hello Kitty barrettes to an executive meeting the other day. I don't think that makes me a WOMAN CHILD but rather it simply means that by the rules of post feminism I can be whomever I want. I'm 43. I'm NOT OLD.
I am, though, exactly old enough to remember that there used to be a place on forms that asked when your last menstrual cycle was, when you were applying for a job. They weren't allowed to ASK you any more. That was illegal. But it was still on the forms in some places, a reminder that your mother's life was different from yours in ways that were unfathomable.
And now I have a daughter.
She has a purse in which she puts pieces from a train and matchbox cars. She likes books and dolls and playing with toy kitchens.
She will never live in a world where those forms exist.
She isn't being raised to think of girl toys and boy toys, they're just toys. My own mother raised me like this, she was very forward thinking. I'm just the norm.
She's also tough. She's strong willed, outspoken, raging through the terrible twos as she discovers that no, in fact every thing is NOT Hers no matter how much she sobs. She is me born 40 years later. But she's also her own person in so many ways it's overwhelming. She's like her brother in her empathy and kindness. This morning as I pinned my sweaty hair up out of my face she put her hand on my hip and looked up and said "Oh you're beautiful Mommy."
Despite the lessons she is learning of the TERRIBLE TWOS and despite the crazy words I hear being spouted by the Fundies by their never ending war on female rights, I look at this amazing girl and I think, she was born at such a lucky time.
Perhaps I am an optimist. But I do think, that despite all the things I teach her that everything is not hers, quite the opposite is true.
She's got the whole world. And she can do anything.