It’s no longer the Golden Age of radio in America and finally girls will have more than a cracked fairy tale to be her moral guide.
All around her are images of womanhood, independent and clear. Live-streaming, in movies and in newspapers, women are being positively depicted, and a young girl sees herself, without feeling uncomfortable in her skin. Successful women like Hillary Clinton, Mae C. Jemison, Sara Blakely and Oprah Winfrey smile from the covers of glossy magazines.
The narrative has changed, she can do both- be a mother and have a career. There’s no sky and no limit to her dreams; from pink sneakers to blue high heels, she can perform! Hopefully she’ll think outside the gender box, because there’s no social corset and hairpins to keep her tied down, unless she wants to wear them. Now, metaphorically and literally, she can breathe.
Technology has made life better for all, by freeing her from domestic drudgery to a life of luxury– washing machines and egg beaters gave the gift of time, to read books and to learn. Because we always knew she could code, given the opportunity to learn code.
The apron has been spun around and the letter “S” reveals two things, one it always was a cape and two, it’s washable. She has choices! And while there’s much to get excited about, there’s still a wall to overcome. Gender orientation is such a huge part of society’s psyche, that it’s not easily cast aside. And maybe that’s why it continues to be practiced in maternity wards across the country, where the gender color-code begins, when our babies are separated by little blue bands for boys and a little pink bands for girls. Shouldn’t we start out with the same, equally?
Instead, adults complete the gender code cycle, by unwittingly buying into the color system, toys that should be tools of development create subtle pigeon-holes. We as a society still respond when we see a little boy playing with Barbie dolls, because we ourselves have been raised to adhere to the gender color code. And so the stage is set and the cycle continues, gender orientation is passed awkwardly along from one generation to the next.
But things are changing, I did see a little boy playing with a pink truck. And on Dacia Street a little girl was busy fixing the wheel of her baby carriage, her hands were dirty with axle grease. I smiled, this is the stuff of her fairy tales.
And hopefully, babies will eventually all be allowed to grow up according to what’s in their heads, and not by what’s inside their diapers.