It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Redressing the imbalance, one diaper at a time

balance_scaleGender inequity. It starts when they’re in diapers, you know. In fact, the fundamentals of the inequity are IN their diapers. And lots of (most!) parents encourage it, every day. Hold onto the outrage here. It’s subtle.

And it goes like this:

Big brother peers at his baby sister on the change table, asks the obvious question. And his loving parent gives him the facts: “No, she doesn’t have a penis, because she is a girl.” That’s it. A simple question, a simple, factual answer. No harm in that, huh?

But what is the little boy hearing?

“She doesn’t have…” Girls miss out. Girls lack something.

No wonder men think their bits are so all-fired superior. No wonder so many women are ambivalent about their own.

Most of us probably don’t think much about it. Facts is facts, after all. But me, I’ve been having this conversation for the better part of two decades. After a while, the unspoken assumption began to really grate, and I determined that I would put a stop to it. At least in my own little arena of influence.

So, at Mary’s house, when the obvious question is asked?

“Yes, you have a penis and testicles, because you are a boy. She has a vulva and a vagina, because she is a girl.”

See? Everyone has something good down there. Easy.

If he’s been insufferably and intractibly smug about his sticky-out bits and her lack thereof, I will add another sentence: “You don’t have a vagina, because you are a boy.” Which will be uttered in tones of some wistful regret. Poor you, who doesn’t have The Good Stuff.

Chalk one up for genital equity.

November 28, 2008 Posted by | health and safety, Mischief, sex, socializing | , , | 10 Comments