because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Fuck the Patriarchy

"Laura," said the ten-year old. "Why can girls wear 'boy' clothes but it's weird if boys wear 'girl' clothes?"

I don't know where the question came from, but it comes up more than you'd think - this idea of what it is to be "girl" and to be "boy". I didn't know how to answer it, not off the cuff that way, and tried my best to say something about fragile masculinity, finding my way to the answer the more I talked.

The twelve-year old - the eldest of the three of them - patiently waited for me to run out of steam and then said: "I know the answer."

"Go on, then," I countered. "I'm listening."

She cleared her throat. "Well, for ages women have been thought of as like, weaker, haven't they? All through history men have been the strong ones and women have been like, less. Men have been above women for everything. Men thought they were more important."

I stopped walking, because I wanted to fully focus on what she was saying. She sounded... smart.

"So for a woman to dress like a man means she is dressing importantly. But, if a man dresses like a woman it's like he is dressing down. Like he is dressing as a weak person. But, now that women are getting more equal, it matters less. Maybe one day it will be a privilege for men to dress like women. Because women are strong, too."

I pulled her in for a hug and said, "Babe: I think you're absolutely right."

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