Revisionist tale

i pick up and put away fallen toys and random
pieces of clothes and imagine my life before. when
floors were bare and so was the refrigerator and there
was no rush to fill it nor prepare dinner because ‘who eats?’
on Fridays anyway, not me & i exhale

winded after constant bending and rising, straightening items
that stand less than four feet tall, preparing to vacuum. in amazement
that in a four year-span brown can become gray expanse
and worries change in chameleon fashion from single and dating
to play dates and naps. quiet time alone, now, a coveted reward instead
of an unwanted declaration. i replace

markers to their bins, dolls to their perches and dress-up clothes to
their closet. closing the door, i remember unfinished tasks that
await in the next room and consume the silence in thirsty
gratefulness, undaunted by her impending arrival.

 

© Khadijah Ali-Coleman

“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.

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* Gloria Steinem