They besiege her, home again
laden with shopping, briefcase &
kiddie bric-a-brac left in the car.
She covers the kitchen floor with goods
& tries to give each of them the
precious attention they need. Despite
this clutter & babble, everybody
talking at once, he is reminded
of stillness, a painting by a
Dutch master in its every detail,
a family, a room frozen for all
time within the frame of memory,
those random pinpricks of light, glimpses
that shine from this present the instant
it slides into the vast sheet of
darkness they each trail behind them.
“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