From under the bridge

Familiar as I am with the Internet and Lewis’s Law, I was prepared that including the tag “feminism” on my last post might attract a certain genre of obtuse commenter.  I was not disappointed.

You won’t see the comment if you head over to that post now — such is the magic of the “delete” option.  It has been relegated to the trash bin, where it will languish for 30 days before passing into digital oblivion.

To be honest, I’m rather flattered.  Someone actually felt strongly enough about my post to reply to it in extensive detail.  I’m talking more words that the original post itself.  Whole paragraphs in response to excerpted sentences.  I don’t think anyone’s put that kind of work into commenting on my writing since, oh, high school?  Goodness knows that nobody gives me that much feedback on my research paper drafts in grad school, even when I straight-up ask them to do so.

I was also highly entertained.  The irony was just so delicious.  People would think it was “cruel” to outfit my baby boy in a pink dress?  Thank you for proving my point, dear commenter.  Oh, and I’m so glad you told me that women wear high heels to present ourselves as “frail, vulnerable damsels” and attract help from men, and that women are less interested in science because we can’t find husbands that way.  My silly little female brain couldn’t possibly have any thoughts of its own about women’s motivations; clearly, I needed someone to come along and mansplain it to me.

In fact, the comment was so ridiculous and such a perfect example of our society’s problem with fixed gender roles that I was almost tempted to leave it up.


4 thoughts on “From under the bridge

  1. Grad mama, I did enjoy your original discussion of the gender role for you son. Probably not as open minded on the subject as you appear to be. I would let him choose as he grows, not look for opportunities to sway his preferences; however, I thoroughly enjoyed this ‘brush-off” to your comment maker! I enjoy your blogs. Keep them coming; I’m keeping you on e-mail status.


    • See, I don’t believe that exposing my son to stereotypically “girly” things IS trying to “sway his preferences.” I believe that it’s presenting him with all of the possible options for likes and dislikes, then allowing him to pick from those as he chooses. Approaching it as “boys are by default a certain way, but some boys choose to be different and that’s OK” still starts with the assumption that there is a default “male” way to be.

      But thanks, I’m glad you enjoy reading, especially this post. 🙂 I certainly enjoyed writing it.


      • Little story. I have sitting on a buffet in my entry a doll with a note written on the back that says, “Given to Roger by Aunt Lizzie in Canyon City when he was two.” That would mean he received it in 1962. I treasure the doll. I’m sure he will claim it again for his home when I am gone. I don’t remember how much he played with it. I apologize for the “sway” statement. There is a difference between swaying preferences and giving opportunity.


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