All posts tagged: Inequality

Why I Want My Son to Be a Feminist

As a parent, one of your strongest instincts is to protect your children from harm or hurt, physical or emotional. My grade-school-age daughter came home one day and looked a little glum. I asked her what happened. “I wanted to play kickball with the boys,” she said. “But one of them said that girls couldn’t play.” My own school days started coming back to me in a flash. “Did you ask him why girls couldn’t join the game?” I asked. “Did the other boys stand up for you?” “He said that girls couldn’t play well enough. I’m a good player, Mom! And no, the other boys just snapped in line. They decided I could be the referee.” My son noticed that something unfair was going on, and though he had the wrong word for it, knew inherently that it was discriminatory. My son, who is a year younger than his sister, was listening to our exchange. He looked up from doing his homework. And said: “He’s just racist.” My daughter looked at me with raised …

You Can’t Play Drums in a Dress

A young girl learns to play drums at the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls (Photo: Emily August/Flickr) I was never a girly-girl. To hear my mother tell it, there were no pants tough enough to escape my wrath —  there’d be holes in the knees the first day out. She could buy Danskins or Levis. No matter. I despised sitting still.  I had to chase and run and climb. I  couldn’t help climbing that tree. I had to. Oh, that tree. It was a weeping willow. I’d climb to the second perch and it was exactly perfect for reading and hanging out.  Exactly perfect. Even now, all these years later, I can close my eyes and be in that tree. I can feel the way the branches came together to make me a nest. I can smell the fresh, leafy scent and the faint aroma from the stream down the hill. My parents let me be exactly who I was. They didn’t assign gender roles. Sure, I had Barbies, but I also played with …