Sunday, November 24, 2013

Princess vs. Power Tools

So I saw this video on facebook the other day. It's a really entertaining ad, de-bunking the idea that girls would want to play Princess over playing with tools.

I think this ad is interesting for a few reasons:

1. First off, I see more evidence that little boys are pigeon-holed into "what boys should do/be" than girls these days. Isn't is still weirder to most people for a boy to play with a doll or take ballet classes, than for a girl to be part of a soccer team or play with cars? I support the idea that kids should be able to follow their own inner-guidance and do the things that make them happy, regardless of whether society deems them "male" or "female" activities.

2. Where is the evidence that girls who play with dolls, or boys who play with dolls, are automatically going to be bad at science? Or not grow up to be engineers?

3. Why is it important that girls grow up to be engineers? Implicit in this idea that being an engineer is a superior calling to being a mother. I think this sense of resentment of our "traditional roles" is a remnant of the days where women were considered the inferior sex because all they did was take care of the home. Um, can we just lose this idea? There is nothing inferior about the 24 hour job that is raising a family, preparing nutritious meals and keeping a cozy home. Whether a woman or a man is doing it, this is serious work. The quality of care a child receives impacts our society as a whole in a very real way... for generations! The job of "mother" or "father" should be valued in our society. So-called "stay-at-home" mother and fathers are absolute heroes and should be treated as such. The "bread-winning" partner is also a necessary component... and if they are both doing both, power to them!

4. Progress, as I see it, is not where every member of our society is free to take on more of the traditionally male societal roles. Instead, I believe progress is where each member of our society is valued for their intrinsic worth as a human being, regardless of their sex, skin color, job title, salary, height, weight, etc...

Societies go through waves of valuing that which is inherently "male" or inherently "female". Right now we are obviously at a place in time where MALE values—i.e. reason over intuition, ownership over sharing, interests of the individual over interests of the collective—are extolled, and men and women alike are encouraged to develop their male qualities over their female qualities. Everyone has both. Balance is key.

I support a society where everyone's light is able to shine. I support a society where we are able to pursue our joy, regardless of our gender. I support a society where the loving parent is just as valued as the ingenious biologist. We all have something to contribute, and something to learn here on Earth.


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