It’s NOT Fair: Gender Issues….

Plato_Aristotle_RaphaelFrom our conversation during the car-ride home:

Claire (6yrs): <enraged, nostrils flaring, voice raised> Mom, you know what’s NOT FAIR about boys and girls?!!

Me: <oh no, did some boy tell her today that girls can’t love dragons?> What, sweet girl?

Claire: Girls can wear BOTH dresses and pants, but boys can wear ONLY pants. That’s just not fair! What if boys want to wear dresses? It makes me so mad.

Me: Huh, yeah, …. huh….

Claire: I mean, who made up that stupid rule? I’m sure originally girls AND boys were allowed to wear dresses, and the boys probably looked very pretty.

Me: Originally?

Claire: Of course! The old philosophers wore dresses … Plato and Aristotle …. and Jesus did …. you know those robes. And the medieval knights had skirts sometimes. Who decided to be unfair to boys and change things?

Me: I …. I’m not sure. It does seem kind of silly.

Claire: <starting to sound like she’s speaking from a political platform, rallying the troops, hands gesturing wildly> Someone should tell the government! And announce it in the towns! More people need to think about this! Ugh, it’s just NOT FAIR!

Me: For sure! Yes! <why not? She’s got a point about Plato, Aristotle, and Jesus…>

Claire: <calming down a bit> Well, at least one thing IS fair.

Me: Oh yeah? What’s that?

Claire: Boys are allowed to pick ANY  color as their favorite color. Even pink. I saw a boy wearing a pink shirt today, and he looked very nice.



  • My friend’s boy was a big dress-wearer when he was between 4 and 5. He loved the red checkered dress. Also, here’s a blog for you… this lady has a son who’s very ungendered. She’s kind of a crusader to challenge social norms such as this.

    Conall’s favorite colors are yellow and pink, by the way. He loves his brown boots with the pink flowers on them. He also loves his pants, which have embroidered flowers down by the cuffs. He would gladly wear pink rubber boots if the pair we’d had would fit him, and sometimes tells me that the fire truck or police car he’s playing with is a pink one.

    Elisabeth MJuly 24, 2013
  • Thanks for the recommendation! One thing that frustrates me a lot is the way toys at places like Target or Walmart are divided so decidedly by gender, and then take these genders to an extreme. So since I have two daughters, if we go to buy a lego set, we can choose between a VERY pink set that consists of a beauty parlor or kitchen on the one hand, or a VERY black/blue set that consists of constructions trucks or fighting space ships on the other hand.

    Nothing in between.

    ChristiJuly 24, 2013
  • makes sense to me… 😀
    I love that your daughters can talk so freely with you. we’d have had our mouths washed out with soap had we dared speak of such things as children

    Vivian R Palmer HarveyJuly 24, 2013
  • The legos are better than when I was a kid though. If you bought a pirate set…NO GIRLS. Now at least all the themes have a token girl, at very least. I haven’t seen the castle sets at Walmart but they seem like a nice in between. Lots of knights AND princesses (and who says you can’t put a princess head on the knight and switch it up.) I do wish they hadn’t separated the two worlds though. I only have boys, but if I had a boy and a girl I’d like to buy sets they could put together together.

    GaleJuly 29, 2013
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