Since I’m “grown up” and it’s 2015 I often live with the misguided illusion that the world has been fixed by now. That the problems of my youth have been solved. That the human race is evolving to higher levels than previously achieved. Of course this is completely false, and often I’m shocked out of my comfy mental place. For example, with Ferguson I noticed that all my white friends had the same opinion of what happened, and all my black friends had a very different opinion. Also, I noticed on FB that whenever my white friends posted something about a black person, about 90% of the time it was negative. It is usually a warning like, “this guy is out from jail and on the loose!” Racism still exists? Even among those I know who would not claim to be racist? You betcha. And racism exists in my own heart, too if I’m honest.
Another example. I know a boy who loves the color pink, and I have seen with my own eyes that he gets made fun of for this reason. “Girl stuff,” even in 2015, is still considered “less than” or “other.” In popular movies created for children, girls and women are usually side characters or there is only one “token” woman in a major role who then of course has to fall in love with the main character (Ahem, the movie Planes and Lego: The Movie). I obviously, am not that cool with this idea. Having boys has made me more of a feminist than ever. (Just ask my husband how often I talk about the “Bechdel” test). I do not want my children thinking they are better than girls, or that “girl stuff” is less valid or meaningful. And I know I can’t control everything, but I can try to make a change by normalizing “girl stuff.” So when my 2 year old started showing an interest in TV, I very purposefully included My Little Pony into our regular tv rotation. I hope that by being purposeful yet not making a big deal about this being a show marketed “for girls,” it will just be another show, and pink will just be another color. And someday when my son hears another boy declare something is “just for girls,” I hope he will think that is a very strange thing to say.
A few days ago while I was upstairs I heard my husband turn on the tv for our son. When I came downstairs I saw both of them, and my Dad!, watching My Little Pony together. It really is a great show. Triple win. I hope I’m doing my part, however small, to make the world a better place, one bronie at a time.