Over My Dead Body


I had breakfast with my great niece this weekend.

She is six years old and in first grade.  She has a lunch box with some pop star I’ve never heard of on it and she likes her teacher, who is nice.   She wears a uniform — a khaki skirt and a navy blue polo shirt and she has long black curls that she can toss over her shoulder with a lot of attitude.

We were at a family diner, giving her aunt, my niece, a wedding breakfast and my great niece had the Mickey Mouse pancakes.  When they brought her the little metal pitcher of syrup and the little white ceramic container of butter she told me, “I’d like to put this whole thing of butter in my mouth right now — I love butter.”

She told me that, for the wedding, she was going to have her nails painted, and she was going to get to wear lip gloss, and she was going to wear a dress with a “cream skirt and a burgundy top with buttons” and she had to walk out first before the bride and she was nervous, but not afraid.

When the time came, she walked out, posture perfect as a ballerina’s, tiny tiara on her head, and did everyone proud.

They may think that they are going to make her grow up in their Handmaid’s Tale version of patriarchy, but they are wrong.  Or, at the very least, they will have to get to her over her great aunt’s dead body to do it.

Picture found here.

6 responses to “Over My Dead Body

  1. I feel just the same. I have two grand-nieces. Their grandfather, my brother, brought the first issue of MS magazine home to me as a gift when I was sixteen.

  2. I can’t tell you how happy this made me!

  3. It’s a hard battle to fight. I went shopping with my niece and nephew (8 and 6) respectively. They are so definate about what is “girls” and what is “boys” and no amount of persuading could convince them that girls can be interested in dinosaurs and there is nothing wrong with a boy choosing the pink cake if that’s the one he wants.

    I was born in the 1960s, and although my dad and mum were what I would call “old fashioned”, my interest in fossils, meccano and car engines was encouraged. We seem to have moved backwards, particularly in the last 10 years, and sadly gender steriotyping is more entrenched than ever.

    • I hear you. When G/Son was only two or three we went to a park that had lots of riding toys and while he loved riding the bat mobile and the big truck and the fire engine and the train engine, no way would he ride the pink car because pink is for girls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s