Rising like a nymph from the foam
she hurled a handful of white bubbles in the air,
her hair in tendrils
clinging around her glowing cherubic face.
“Please play with me,” she pleaded,
piling delicate bubbles on her head.
“Look! All the rainbows in the world are here.
I see purple and red and yellow.
How does that happen?
What’s inside the bubbles?
Now I’ll make a castle.
Or I can be a unicorn
if I put it all in a heap on my head.
Watch me and I’ll make it snow.”
She cupped her hands
scooped up bubbles and blew them in the air,
showering the walls
and laughing as the bubbles popped in her face
The cherub rolled around in the froth
until it covered all of her.
“Now I’m a snowman.
Can I get out now, Grandma?
“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