gender creative.

I was really flabberghasted to read the story about the 4 year old Albertan child being ordered by two judges not to wear so-called girl’s clothes in public. There are clear problems of transmisogyny, of gender stereotyping and misogyny here.  But even if you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about those issues, you’d still wonder, « Hey, what year is this?! And why do grown ass men care so much about how kids dress? »
I for one am stumped.
When my kid started out at a new daycare, I spoke to his main provider about him being gender creative. I gave examples. I said we made an effort, in our home, not to needlessly qualify with « girl » or « boy » when we mean « child, » because it’s limiting (i.e. « those are big boy scissors! » implies that both male babies and girls shouldn’t be handling the scissors. The sentence is inexact and sends the wrong message.) I said in daycare, that might mean not telling boys and girls to line up in separate lines. I probably didn’t communicate this example very clearly because I was asked if I wanted them to let him choose his line up when they do this or if I wanted them to correct him if he went in the girl’s line. (And I know now that they asked me because other parents have insisted that they « correct » their child when they go to the « wrong » line).
It made me wonder what would happen if I asked the daycare providers to force my left-handed child to use his right hand instead of his left when they do group crafts or play instruments. Being left handed, much like being gender creative, is a bit of a hassle in this world. Needing different sets of scissors or a differently strung guitar, much like having to have redundant conversations about his sex with complete strangers and well-meaning relatives, is just not that much fun (I dread these conversations, actually. For the record).
Just the other day, I saw a pair of discounted speciality scissors, the kind that cut in zigzags and I bought them, eager to have good fun with my kid, remembering how much I loved these when I was younger. I totally forgot that it would be near impossible for my child to use them without getting hella frustrated, as they’re totally meant for righties.
Despite the fact that it’d be easier if all of the children learned to use right handed scissors, I doubt a child care centre would force a left handed child to use his right hand even if the parents asked them to. How long did that shift take, I wonder–between feeling it was a-okay to whack a child using their left hand and teachers refusing to force kids to use their right?
How long will this shift take?
In the meantime, pray tell, are these yellow trousers, ‘boy’ enough?
(A big high five and tearful hug to all the adults out there being stellar advocates for kids. It may not always be make or break, but I feel learning at a young age that people can change systems, that some rules shouldn’t be followed, and that some people will have your back when it matters, that is priceless).

Laisser un commentaire

Entrer les renseignements ci-dessous ou cliquer sur une icône pour ouvrir une session :


Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Google

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Google. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s