I bought my 2-year-old son a raincoat that looks like a firefighter’s jacket. For my 4-year-old daughter, I bought a cute hot-pink, cinch-waisted number with a black piping an a bow. I bought them a couple of months ago at Costco and brought them out of the closet this week for Seattle’s most recent, unseasonably cold and monsoon-y weather. (Yes, even for Seattle it’s been a freezing, soggy mess.)
My son was so excited to be firefighter. Pride beamed from his face when I buttoned him up. Then my daughter promptly asked what her coat made her. Unbelievably, these words almost left my lips, “Just a cute little girl.”
But no, no, no way
Jose Gloria Steinem! Since I have been enlightened to the plight of feminism, I know better than to absentmindedly (albeit innocently) limit my daughter’s world view of what she thinks she can be. Instead, I said, “You are a powerful business woman — a CEO!” This sparked all kinds of questions about what business women do and wear.
Not five minutes later she opened a “shop” to sell jewels in exchange for cotton ball money. The first step of the game was to fill a small zippered pouch with mommy’s jewelry. Next, my daughter scrutinized the selection for quality and appropriateness (setting aside the marbles I had surreptitiously placed inside claiming “those aren’t jewels!”) When she was pleased with the goods, she dispensed as many cotton balls as she felt necessary.
A pawn shop owner wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned when I said “business woman,” but whatever. She’s being entrepreneurial. We’ll go with it.
Since then, she’s been telling anyone who will listen that her coat is, in fact, her “business woman coat.” And then pride beams from my face as I mentally pat myself on the back for being so open-minded and all Girl Power Hear Us ROWR!
Then last night as she got out of the bath, still naked, she wanted to play her jewelry pawn shop game. In lieu of wearing the coat, she said she was going to be a “naked business woman.” I am a terribly immature person so I immediately busted up laughing. I said, “No way! Business women wear clothes in this house!” Which launched a whole flurry of “but why’s?”
But why can’t I be a naked business women? But what do naked business women do?
Not wanting to explain the economics and moral implications of being a prostitute, I did what I normally do in these situations — I punted to Daddy. Daddy is even worse at answering difficult questions but his answers are usually funny which provide a nice segue onto other topics. Plus, I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say to our naked little pawn shop owner.
“Daad-dy, why can’t I be a naked business woman?” Apparently there isn’t a mature parent between us because he busted up laughing too and said something very patriarchal like “Not in my house young lady!”
And you know what she said? Hand to G.O.D. she said… “Fine. But naked business women always shake their booties.”
And then she danced. Naked.
And this is why feminists mothers are destined to raise pawn shop owning, stripping daughters.