I peeked at the preview (during the time I could have/should have been doing something WAY more productive) and saw it looked potentially cute and relatively harmless.
Something about "boys' toys being for girls too" and stereotypes and all of that.
Since it seemed to involve a bunch of cutie pie's singing "We are the Champions" I thought my own little rock star might actually enjoy it, and kept it up on my computer screen to show her at breakfast.
My boys left early for school with their grandfather
(for 6:45 AM haircuts….which is soooooooo not kosher)
so Carolyn and I had some alone time.
As she was munching on her waffles I played the video.
It was cute.
A bunch of little girls trying to communicate that they could ride skateboards and build things just as well as they could play baby-dolls and do ballet.
Skate and build away!
Then the girls skated/ran/barrelled into a toy store and congregated in the "girl aisle".
You know the one.
It's easy to recognize because it's stocked with all things pink and glitzy and domestic and barbie and Lala Loopsy.
Anyway….when the diva/construction workers arrived there they skidded to a stop and let out a decidedly un-girly collective roar.
Then a caption came across the screen saying something like, "Disrupting the Pink Aisle!"
Apparently the point of this video is to encourage girls to embrace and enjoy subjects such as math, science and engineering as much as boys seem to do. A new toy company has designed some sort of engineering toys that are supposed to help break down the gender barrier in toys.
Great idea. Lovely thoughts.
I am, in fact, all about any kind of equalization toys.
As a kid I had all different kinds of toys.
I had the requisite Cabbage Patch Kid…but mostly I just used it as a pillow for my stuffed dogs.
I played Barbies….but they hung out with Luke Skywalker in the Ewok Village and did violent battles against Professor Cold Heart from the Care Bears.
My brother (please don't hate me for this dear brother of mine!) had an "Adoption Doll" my mother had made him named Charles.
He looooooooooved that baby.
Dressed it and carried it and put it to bed.
And cuddled it.
As we grew up my brother turned more to potato guns and Ninja night-stalking.
I, however, never really grew more "girly."
Sure…I dabbled with makeup in the 7th grade….but I didn't really like it.
I did gymnastics instead of ballet and mowed the lawn instead of doing KP.
My parents didn't push us one direction or the other….they just let us BE.
Now I have a daughter myself.
And I think the apple, perhaps, rolled a small distance from the tree.
She loves loves loves playing "family" and being a mom to her baby dolls.
She loves playing "teacher" and setting her animals and babies up in neat rows.
She loves pretending to clean the entire house--complete with doing laundry.
She loves playing "waitress" and taking orders and serving all of us food and lattes.
She is all things glitzy.
She adores pink and butterflies and unicorns.
She loves kittens and puppies that fit in tiny leopard print purses which she carries everywhere.
She is the reason Toys R Us created that pink aisle.
My daughter also has the ability to tackle her 3 year older brother and take him down to the ground.
She can do burpees (the pushup things that result from any of our kids arguing) with better form than either of her brothers.
She looks at me with barely concealed disdain when she sees another little girl acting scared of bugs.
When she grows up, my almost 7 year old wants to be a cashier at Target.
She is a little girl.
She is tough.
She is HERSELF.
Here's the thing.
I truly agree with the premise of gender equality.
There are very few things that should be limited to one person or another based on their sex.
(Having babies and upright urination are among the few exceptions.)
As long as a person is capable of doing something….they should be allowed to do it.
My son played 4th grade tackle football this year.
(Uggh. Scary sport for a mom.)
He was beyond appalled when he heard about another team with (gasp) a GIRL on it.
He came home sputtering and blubbering about what an AWFUL thing it was.
His brother was aghast when he heard about it too.
They came together to tell me about this HORRIBLE thing…fully expecting me to agree with them.
"Well," I asked, "Can she run pretty fast?"
"Yeah," said my younger son, "She went really far."
"Can she tackle?"
"Ummm….yeah. She took a lot of people down. She blocked a lot."
"When she got tackled did she cry and run away and say it wasn't fair?"
"Mom! No! It's football!"
"So….why shouldn't she play?"
"BECAUSE SHE'S A GIRL!"
After I pointed out that several boys on his team had cried about unfairness this week,
and several boys on his team didn't run too quickly,
and several boys on his team were afraid to tackle….
I shared my view with them.
Every job (or sport or team or position) has certain criteria.
If somebody meets that criteria….they should be able to fulfill that job.
Irregardless of gender, race, religion, physical disability or anything else that the discrimination act may throw out…..
If they can do it…..do it.
However…I also shared with my kids this side:
If they can't do it….they shouldn't do it.
People should not be put into positions or accepted onto teams or promoted into roles if they cannot or do not fulfill the criteria.
Irregardless of gender, race, religion, physical disability or anything else that the discrimination act may throw out.
At some point….that football-loving girl may not be able to run as fast as her team mates.
Or tackle them.
Or handle being tackled without severe bodily harm.
Then…she shouldn't be playing.
Because here's the deal (and yes…I'm done with my political-ish rant now):
God created boys and girls differently.
Not just the obvious differences….
But the ones that are deep inside and can't be easily seen.
The Bible describes women as "The weaker vessel."
Like it or not….it's in there…1 Peter 3:7, in fact.
As a kid/young adult/middle-aged adult I have spent way too much time trying to prove this scripture wrong.
I have often gone out of my way to prove my strength….
And, in fact, am a pretty tough girl.
But….RH is still stronger.
If we did the same work out regiment for our whole life….
he would still be stronger.
Even if I did that psycho Cross Fit stuff he adores….I'm sure he would still be stronger.
The Bible also says that women were created as a help-mate to their husbands. As a perfect complement to a male persona.
Men are instructed to protect and provide care for women.
When Mary found out she was to be the mom to Jesus the angel told her, "Blessed are you among women." (Luke 1:28)
Among women. Among all people, surely.
But among women especially.
You see….women are a different group than men.
Men make up a different group than women.
You can take away toy guns from a boy…
But he'll find some sticks or his fingers and make a weapon to protect people from "bad guys."
You can give a girl a toy truck instead of a doll….
But she'll wrap that truck up in a t-shirt and rock it as she sings.
Some girls love to:
Build with a hammer and nails….
Twirl and sing in the grass….
Play with dinosaurs….
Have a tea party with dinosaurs….
Play kick ball…
Drive race cars….
Wear tutu's everywhere….
Eat (real) mud pies…
Cuddle with their moms….
Insert the word "boy" in the section above and it works just fine too.
On the whole (and NOT always!)…gals are the nurturers.
The whole "maternal instinct" thing is just plain true.
Even when they're not mama's.
God made females that way.
So let a little girl use a jack hammer to smash up a bunch of rocks.
But….if she wants to take all the little pebbles she's created and name them and make a family of them and put them in a pink shoe-box home….let her do that too.
Carolyn like the video I showed her.
Who wouldn't like girls in tutus riding skateboards?
But when it was over,
And she was left looking at the "anti-girl stuff" slogan over her favorite aisle in the toy store…..
I had something to tell her.
You can be anything you want to be.
Don't let anyone EVER tell you can't do something JUST BECAUSE you're a girl.
And don't let anyone EVER tell you you SHOULD do something because you're a girl.
Be a doctor.
Be an engineer.
Be a stay-at-home mom.
Be a teacher.
Be a roofer.
Be a missionary.
God created you to be YOU.
If something makes you sad that doesn't make other kids sad….that's ok.
If something is interesting to you that other girls don't seem interested in…that's fine.
It's ok and good and wonderful to love glittery pink and purple dust pans.
It's ok and good and wonderful to love being a "mom" to your babies.
It's ok and good and WONDERFUL to enjoy the things God made you to enjoy.
Right now the world is telling you that you have to go out and compete like a boy.
Like a man, eventually.
Let me tell you my precious kid….
Got out there and compete like YOU.
The wonderful girl God made.
If you want to do something? Try it.
If you can do it? Do it.
If you find out you don't really like it or it's not for you?
Find YOUR niche.
Because I promise….God made you a very special perfect niche.
Perfect for a tough tackling little glittery diva like you.
Be what you want.
And she looked at me wide-eyed.
And swallowed her waffles.
Then she got her glittery self into the car for school.
I never in a million years thought I'd be a stay-at-home mom with two degrees.
But I know I'm exactly where God wants me to be….and I find pure joy in that.
And if Carolyn decides that a career as a Target cashier is what she really wants?
Well…maybe I'll get a discount at the Starbuck's there.
They have cake-pops, you know.