When I first started stacking up girl progeny like a squirrel packing acorns away for a rainy day I tried to read feminist writings on the web. Not classical writings or vetted writings or even popular writings, just the random rants of bloggers who happened to be women and happend to be upset about something. I say ‘something’ not because I can’t recall what it was they were upset about, but because I was never sure inthe first place. They all seemed angry and eventually I stopped reading their anger.
I’d been looking for idea on how to raise my kids more gender neutral. To give them a person’s perspective of the world rather than a gender’s. I’m sure I didn’t look hard enough because I didn’t find what I was looking for until yesterday. Kinda.
In two instances related only by temporal proximity I did a bit of thinking. The first was a status update I made on Facebook: “Thanks to Kathryn Bigelow none of my children will ever be the first woman to win Best Director”. The other was a pair of articles about DC Comics’ character Wonder Woman and the bio of the author of each (http://www.digitalfemme.com/journal/index.php?itemid=1272).
So the first bit is tongue in cheek in a way designed to make others think. Most went for the straight up interpretation that I am just commenting on the hoard of girls I’ve got headed out into the great wide world here in the next several years. That’s fine. I, however, thought down the path of why-are-we-still-having-to-make-these-distinctions and how-long-will-it-be-before-we-don’t-?. That and I hadn’t ever spent much time considering that one of my daughters would be a lead creator. Anyhow, thinking.
The second instance got me thinking less about how Wonder Woman is a man’s tough princess, a madonna-whore, and more about author CherylLynn’s bio. I haven’t a clue what a “warrior woman” is or how one would go about being a “bad-ass mamajama”. I don’t know what it means to be either of those things because I’m not entirely certain what it means to be a warrior or a bad-ass. I’m not an aggressor. I’m not taking life by the balls and making it what I want—never have. This isn’t a plea, just an observation. It’s the thing (lack of thing) that makes understanding my friend’s desire to ride his bike for 100s of miles in a week difficult.
My personality aside, I can see why someone would want to plunge into icy water first, dance without inhibition, or generally suck the marrow of life from the bones of the world (metaphorically of course) and I want some of that for my children.