Walking through Target when a t-shirt catches my eye in the girls’ department.
I’m a proud member of the MOB (Mothers Of Boys). I don’t see a shirt in the boys’ department reading, “My Skills Make Girls Run.” That would never be tolerated. As a grown-up girl, I’d be unhappy if it were.
Then there’s the sign I saw in Kirkland’s.
Where’s the one reading “Boys Rule: Your IQ Test Has Come Back Negative?” Kirkland’s would be boycotted post-haste if that sign ever made it to the shelves.
The battles for women’s suffrage, educational equality, and Title IX were difficult. Necessary. Admirable.
Today women earn only 77 cents per dollar earned by men working the same jobs. Women hold only 17 percent of the seats in Congress. Women are victimized by domestic violence . Poverty rates are highest for families lead by single women. There’s still work to be done.
Is this how we want to do it? By using little girls to demean little boys?
The notion that it’s acceptable to degrade boys isn’t new. I love the old Schoolhouse Rock songs and often feature them in my posts. My seven-year-old son and I can sing the lyrics to nearly all of them.
But there’s a line in Unpack Your Adjectives that makes me want to crawl under the table. My heart breaks as my son laughs along, unaware of the politically-loaded, mean-girl, angry-woman sentiment behind it:
“Girls who are tall can get taller,
Boys who are small can get smaller,
Till one is the tallest
And the other’s the smallest of all.”
This is 2012, not 1950, 1969, 1975 when Unpack Your Adjectives first aired, or Thelma and Louise’s 1991. The vitriol is overkill.
Women pursue education. They earn more advanced college degrees and bachelor’s degrees than men.
Women hold power in the voting booth. In the 2008 presidential election, about 66 percent of women voted compared to 62 percent of men; that’s 70.4 million women compared to 60.7 million men.
Girls play sports. A 2008 report from the Women’s Sports Foundation found 69 percent of girls participate in organized and team sports. That’s nearly equal with the 75 percent of boys who participate.
Sisters, hear me when I say I’m indebted to you. Now can we please celebrate the partial victories, keep on keeping on, and leave our kids out of the combat?
Think about what we’re communicating to our daughters. What we’re allowing to happen to our sons. Will this attitude ameliorate animosity or deepen it? Solve inequality or perpetuate it?
Teach respect. Work for equality. Rise above the hurt and the hate. Burn the cattiness with all the gusto once used to burn the bras.
My son isn’t responsible for your pain. No amount of discrimination justifies using our children as pawns in an ongoing, grown-up fight.
And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:16 NIV
This is just my opinion. What do you think?