there’ll be no stories of giants
some parents say - to contaminate
their little minds - no fairies
no mystery or confusion
and the mother swoops down and
thrusts her face right up to the baby’s
who’s a little grumpy then?
plasters her nose against his
so his arms shoot up in panic
till he gets his breath.
and the father lifts him up
in the palm of his hand
high above his head, twirling
the baby gasps his breath in
just before he’s - tossed into space
to be caught
and given back his weight
wasn’t that fun?
“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*
I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves – thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.
* Gloria Steinem