Go, go, gender warrior!

March 4, 2009


Photo by amaz

My Schmoops live in a Barbie Princess wonderland. Both of them wear dresses 99% of the time out of choice. They own all (or nearly all) of the animated Barbie movies and their dollhouse is populated by the Disney Princess dolls. Their coloring books are full of Disney Princesses. The elder Schmoop even has Disney Princesses on her shoes. As a dyed in the wool gender-activist, I try to do my best to work with what I’ve got. The best I’ve been able to do is I got the Prince Philip doll to wear a nightgown. I’m not trying to totally rock their world over here, just show them some other options now and then. 

Schmoopette, the younger Schmoop, is far more malleable than her older sister in terms of gender expression. She’s put Prince Philip in a ballgown once or twice, though she was feverish at the time. She’s just now starting to identify who is a girl and who is a boy. Yesterday, after her “Mommy & Me” (or in this case, “Nanny & Me”) music class, she was talking to a little boy and announced “I’m a girl!” When I affirmed that yes, she’s a girl, she went on to announced that her sister is a girl as well. I then asked her, “What about me? Am I girl or a boy?”

Her immediate reaction was to look at me as if this was a stupid question, shake her head, and say “No.”


In her world of pink and purple and sparkly dresses, my jeans and hoodies must be seen as more “boyish” whereas my earrings and scarves (and, y’know, boobs) indicate girl-hood. I didn’t correct her or assert that I’m really a girl, I just kind of laughed as I hadn’t expected the response. 

Fifteen seconds later, she decided that I am a girl, but I find it kind of reassuring in an odd sort of way that she thought about it for a while.


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