“We’re rebels in our family,” Grandma used to say. Her own mother wore trousers and cut her hair short; Grandma went to university and became a Doctor. I worried I disappointed her – I wasn’t sure what to push against when so many doors were open thanks to them. I tried to hold the door for others, but it never felt much like rebellion.
She’d love my children though: blue-eyed boys who like to wrestle and climb trees… in pink sequin dresses and glittery rainbow cowboy boots.
The best thing about their rebellion is they don’t even know it’s happening.
Not so much a story, more of a musing from a fictional person whose experience is similar to (but not identical to) mine. The challenge of the millennial feminist was that so much had been done, and yet so much remained. Some of the more obvious doors were wide open to us, or at least appeared to be so, and invisible barriers may not be harder to knock down, but it is perhaps more difficult to form a consensus about which to attack and how to remove it. As a feminist, though, I believe in equality and that means building up men too – to be the best they can be and to have greater freedoms than their forefathers. So my greatest acts of feminism start with two little boys.
35 responses to “FF – Rebellion”
Feels like a trip through the memories today. Some nice points though. I always ended up holding the door for ten minutes while half the city entered and left the shops too. Well done, Elmo.
Yes, holding doors is a tricky balancing act. Like so much in life.
Yup, life in a doorway.
Not quite a story, no, but very lovely
I’ll take that, Neil. Maybe a story will come later, maybe not.
That’s a lovely story! And your conclusion ‘So my greatest acts of feminism start with two little boys.’ is spot-on.
Thank you, Penny, for both parts of this lovely comment.
The innocence of childhood, I hope they can hold onto it, and that others don’t destroy it.
Amen to that, Iain. The world could use a generation less hung up on expectations and stereotypes
Happy children are normal children, in my view.
Absolutely. Happiness is our greatest goal for our children.
My boys played with dolls. In fact my youngest wouldn’t go anywhere without a rag doll I made for him with his likeness embroidered on it. Sweet story.
The nurturers (male or female) will always be some of the strongest and best of us. I’m glad your son was able to be and celebrate being among them.
I think it’s respect and letting people be themselves and shine. I worry boys are being left behind. Lift people.
Exactly. I think the world would be a better place if we just let everyone like what they like. Apparently that’s still controversial though.
Interesting post. The key words are ‘balancing act’.
Thanks Sandra, isn’t that the case for everything?!
I love that her boys can dress how they wish.
Me too! My little one’s rainbows are rubbing off too. A friend told me her boy has been inspired to wear a bit more colour himself!
Interesting reflection, Jen.
I can easily picture many stories and perspectives in the background of your musing.
I’ve been reading memoirs and biographies about some of the people who lived though the changes during the last half of the 20th Century (Carole King, Carly Simon, and Joni Mitchell, from the music world).
I bet they have some stories to tell. So much change has happened in our politics and thinking. I’ve been watching some tv / movies from my youth and even in that short time there are a lot of things that would never be done / said now.
Yes, to even have a path to own, is a rebellion. So many before us could not choose (and so many nowadays try to take away that choice, under all manner of pretense of ‘morality’ and ‘religion’ and ‘life’), that to live one’s choice, is already to make real the doors that others had opened. And … yes to boys climbing trees in tutus, tiaras, and chunky boots!
I dream of a world where it’s not a rebellion to make these choices, but we’re definitely not there any time soon.
Well done. I like that the little boys can feel free to wear pink sequin dresses and glittery rainbow cowboy boots.
Thank you! Honestly, my favourite thing is that last line – they generally don’t even know it’s a rebellion. That’s the dream isn’t it? Like women with trousers and short hair – it’s no longer a rebellion for most of us.
A lovely memory 🙂
Looking back 45-50 years, I don’t think my three sons would have been happy at all wearing pink fancy dresses 🙂 It was nothing we taught them, at least not overtly. Back then, though, it was still okay for boys to be rough-and-tumble, just as it was okay for girls to play football in the back yard. We really didn’t worry too much about some of today’s overriding issues.
I don’t think boys *should* wear pink dresses any more than girls should. I hated pink and dresses as a child, but I was allowed to choose not to wear them. It’s the choice that matters, at least to me.
I like hot pink in small doses. As you say, it’s a matter of choice.
i guess holding doors is better than caught holdig the bag.
LOL, I guess so
A bit of whimsy and wishing, perhaps?
Mostly based in truth, although I’ve nuanced the details.