Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I wish I was a boy...

One of the peculiar things about moving to South America is getting used to the "upside-down" seasons. It is December and school is out for the Summer! Christmas and Summer! So to wrap up the end of the academic year (runs March to December!), Santa visited the kindergartners and brought them presents. The poor dude was sweating profusely, and had about 70 kids take turns to sit on his knee. I have to give it to him, he was cheerful all the way through. This was the first year Amalia did not run away from Santa, due no doubt, to the wonders of peer pressure. Which leads me to my gripe of the day; I am finding myself being offended by more things than usual. Normally I am an easy going kind of person, readily adaptable, and very tolerant. But I am huffing and puffing more than usual, discretely though, as I do not enjoy creating uneasiness.

So, my rant is that Santa brought cute dolls for the girls, the kind with over-sized heads and pretty humongous eyes, and cool water shooters for the boys. I could see Amalia eyeing the boys opening their presents, and then excitedly opening hers. She showed enthusiasm, took her doll to one of her classmates to show her she also got a doll, and then carried on eyeing the boys and their water shooters... I did not say a word, and shortly afterwards, came her statement: "I wish I was a boy... and that I got a water shooter too". Why oh why did they again insist on drilling it that girls and boys are different? It really hurt me to feel her disappointment, and I did explain to her that I thought the shooters were cooler too, I am a girl and happy about it, that you do not need to be a boy to have a water shooter, and that I will buy her one as soon as we make it to the mall. Man, was I angry! Before, I was pretty much oblivious to the way my daughter looks. Now I notice every small thing, how she is the only girl in her class with short hair and without pierced ears... In fact, and I am not joking, in the four months we have lived here I have not seen any other little girl with a hairstyle above the shoulders!

This is a country of contrasts, to use a cliche, where women are everywhere in the work force, where a female was president for a full term and exited with an 80% approval rate, but it is also where the current male president thinks it appropriate to make a joke about what in essence is rape, and still there is a pervasive sexism abounding. 
So I get angry about these little things that happen in school, stew, then question myself and wonder if I am making too much ado about nothing... But I cannot help but being angry.

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog from a comment you left on another and I can relate completely to what you are saying. Neither of my daughters have their ear's pierced, and my youngest has a short bob haircut too, (her choice).

    But I think things are changing, (a bit). Ten years ago when my oldest was in Kinder, she received a doll at school. This year my youngest in primero received colouring pens...of course they were Disney princess!

    I think our daughters look to us for role models more than society.