There is a large part of me that’s bad. If it’s equal to, or greater than, what’s good about me is up to others to decide. From my very flawed perspective, I think it depends on the day and the weather. (I hate the heat. Anything above 72 degrees – but I digress…I’m not good.)

I used to flip off other drivers that had anti-choice , misogynistic, Republican, or equally assanine bumper stickers displayed and, if I encountered their cars while parked, I would leave adoption application process forms or child abuse prevention pamphlets on their windshields. Now, as a mom, I just warn my children to watch out for those cars because the drivers “have problems” and we feel bad for them. That and vans, always avoid vans and delivery trucks, especially ice cream trucks.

There’s a part of me that wants to bubble wrap them against the ugly, violent Walmart-decorated idiocy of the world. To somehow helicopter over them like a vengeful, magical angel like the one in Scrooged.

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But, alas, I cannot and should not. I try to restrain my overly protective urges and balance out danger and fun for them. All the while knowing that there is some jackass waiting in the wings that’s going to point out some inadequacy in my parenting or kids. Or, worse in some ways, try to compliment my children in a completely inappropriate and sexualized manner.
“Oh, man, watch out when SHE gets older!”
“Boy! Just wait till she’s a teenager and you’ll be locking your windows!”
“Who needs brains when you look like that, right?!”
“Wow, mom! You got trouble on your hands…” (Insert lesivious, nausea inducing laughter after each reprehensible statement.)

First, shut up! My kid doesn’t need your rape-y esque innuendos and brainwashing because all of that shit you just spewed implies that being attractive draws, even justifies, abusive behavior and that (big theatrical “Gone With The Wind” shudder here folks) if she’s aware and emboldened by her allure she just might enjoy her sexuality and act upon it like a human. Here are some of my past responses to each previous comment. (Keep in mind they normally react with confusion, amusement, or revulsion and – no – I have not been hit in response yet.) And, yes, I was normally in a bad mood when these interactions occurred because I was out in public.

“Oh, man, watch out when SHE gets older!”:
– I know, right?! (Eyebrow lifting, good-ol’-boy clucking) Yeaaah, woooHOO!
-Yep, I better load that gun we own…

“Boy! Just wait till she’s a teenager and you’ll be locking your windows!”
– Nah, I like it when they fall out.
– Well, with folks like you, we already do! (Big shit-eating grin)

“Who needs brains when you look like that, right?!”
If only to know when to walk away…
– Yeah, other than having a meaningful life.
– How much do you think she’ll make?

“Wow, mom! You got trouble on your hands…”
Well, I did stop to listen to you.
– I know (insert fake laugh), I messed up so it better be the clinic that teaches her ‘good.
– Well, I am parenting in America…

Boys will be boys” always sounds like “rape is ok” to my ears and underlines gender bias being perpetuated in our society (Gender Bias Teaches Girls Not To Be Leaders…). Worse, it condones violence while inflicting on boys the expectation to be overly agressive to assert their masculinity. Here’s what I puzzle over:  if you do believe this, then where does that leave our daughters? Boys will be boys, girls will be…victims? Is that what we want to teach them? Boys equate bad, violent behaviors and girls are submissive victims?

I’m bad then. I’m a bad girl. Sex is good, rape is not, girls can wear pants, boys can wear skirts, sports are for anyone, and I use the “f” word as I vote with my educated mind from the seat of the car I purchased and drive.

I believe humans are flawed, affectionate, feeling beings that are taught to be violent by unnecessary trauma and are innately kind in most intentions. If you disagree, please seek out the proper treatment and avoid making comments about my kids. Also, we always lock our windows, asshole.

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