Wednesday, September 01, 2004

More on Motherhood

I don't know whether or not Callista will follow in my feminist footsteps or not. One day about a year ago, she piped up that "girls can't be doctors". I wasn't 100% sure where she got this, but I suspect a kid at daycare may have said something. The incredible irony of this is that there are two women in our four-person pediatrician's group who she's seen just as often as the men. Amazingly, the messages she gets from culture about things are actually more powerful than *reality*!

I have since "proven" to her that women can in fact be doctors (and that there are many women doctors and even men nurses). She's also learned a couple of other lessons:

1) Girls and boys can like any colors (i.e. don't make fun of boys about pink)
2) Girls can be anything they want to when they grow up (except Dads)
3) It's good to grow big and *strong* (so far, she's never questioned this one)

I do think she's coming around. Possibly even turning into a little feminist. Once I found a paper in her room which said "For Boys" on it in red crayon. I asked her what it meant, and she said "boys at her daycare said girls can't like red, so this is for them."

Also, she once came running happily proclaiming "Mommy, I got fuzzies on my legs, JUST LIKE YOU!" I'm pretty lackadasical about shaving my legs. Not that it *never* happens. It's just not a priority. In any case, I felt a tender regard for her sweet innocence. I reacted by saying "That's great! You're really becoming a BIG girl!"

So we'll see. Whether or not she's feminist isn't something I can truly control. My hope for her would be that she a) has a happy life, b) uses just means to acheive said happiness and c) knows how to think critically so that she doesn't fall into traps that promise long-term happiness, but fail to deliver. Thinking critically in
life is like knowing how to steer your boat in an ocean - you'll inevitably be tossed around in ways you can't control, but you need to be able to navigate somewhat so you can keep yourself afloat. That's all I truly want for her. I'm crossing my fingers...


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