Percussive sit-ups surrounded by Philip Glass. A sleeping child cries out, a memory from when they drove through the long night, a journey they made many times, their children, so young then, filling the dark with their fragile breath, this same ethereal music playing. Occasionally lights of other travellers speeding over that cold landscape bathed them as if recording tiny moments in the history of vulnerable people. Again he hears the cry, realises it begins deep in his own heart. Pain increasing, he sweats, counts. Days will pass, however slowly, and then his family’s safe return, if he can just keep going.
“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