It has been a strange week, both online and in real life. Being blasted with so many messages online, attempting to sift through the words just used to incite and the conversations that are there to discover truths and build our collective strength.
Hearing women sharing their stories of rape, and abuse. Finally feeling strong enough to share the demons they have battled, in the hopes that others may find some strength from it.
It gives you hints that perhaps there is hope for us after all. Perhaps as a society we are becoming more supportive of these stories, and don’t shy away from the hard discussions any longer.
Or at least, I thought it was, but after the conversations I have been having at home I am wondering if we are still missing something huge. If “my generation” is fixing issues, but the issues are still there and occurring in our kids.
My son came home from school with a beaded necklace. Handmade in class, and worn proudly. Except he was very quick to point out that he made it with mostly boy colours, but some girl colours too.
Pink, purple, yellow. Girl colours.
We don’t do a lot of gender rules here at our house. Our girls muck the coop and wield the tools alongside our son. I work alongside dad outside or in the home. We do things together, based on our skills and likes.
And then that evening my son handed me a book to read that he had checked out from the library. He said he checked it out because it sounded interesting, even though there was a girl word in the title. The book? The Princess Gorilla.
We read through, and at the end we chatted about the great book. He agreed that he liked it, even though it was about a princess. . . which (of course) was a girl topic.
This is all new in my little boy. This is coming from somewhere, and I am not loving the seeds it is planting in his mind. He has been in school for less than 8 weeks, and suddenly there are rules for girls, and for boys.
Hubby and I discussed during on of our long weekday walks, and he chimed in with his distaste. Doing writing homework with our grade 3 he said even HE was taken a back by the statements in her book.
“Susie helps her mom in the Kitchen”. “John’s Dad fixes the truck.”
Simple statements, but all one sided. We both agreed that while we don’t need to see a massive shift in ideals and overcorrections, it would be nice to have the other side of the genders integrated into their worksheets.
I mean, maybe John’s dad WANTS to make dinner ever now and then.
I don’t normally over think these things, and I tend to focus on what I can do instead of focussing my energy on what others are doing, but this was too many “coincidences” in too short of a time.
So, we will continue to tackle these discussions head on. We will continue to treat him as we treat our girls, and likewise.
Oh, and he WILL be getting the kitchen centre and supplies he has been dreaming of for his birthday, and perhaps we will read Princess Gorilla again tonight.