I want to quickly say something about this BS of victim-blaming at the ripe old age of 6 years old, and before these particular girls have presumably even become victims of anything.
I read this last week. I don’t care where in the world it happened. I don’t care if crap like this only happened at one school in the entire world (ha, I wish); it’s still one school too many.
Summary: Little girls (age 6) are separated from little boys, who are sent out to recess while the girls are told not to wear leggings because it will make little boys want to “touch their cute bums.”
Let that sink in.
It should no longer surprise me when I learn something new that reinforces what I already believe: that sexist conditioning begins at a very young age. This particular kind of conditioning makes me livid because it tells little girls that they are supposed to worry about what boys might do to them. That they are the ones responsible for changing their behavior (and clothing), not boys. That preventing bad things from happening to them is somehow within their control (it largely isn’t). That age 6 isn’t too early to be thinking about the magnetic sexual hold their female bodies will have on all of the male population.
I’m so grossed out.
Six-year-old girls should not be torn between A) a consumerist society that sells their size in leggings with the words “Sassy” and “Diva” glittered across the “cute little bum” and B) the morals police from the mid-twentieth century–the teachers and role models who continue to feed them one line of misdirected “advice” after another, in service of the patriarchy.
I read the headline of that story to a friend and she said, “Aren’t you glad you have a little boy instead of a little girl?”
No. I mean, yes, I love my son, but no. Little girls are awesome. We should be helping them be even more awesome, not feeding them misogynist crap like this.
We should be putting little boys in a room and telling them that UNDER NO UNCERTAIN TERMS SHOULD THEY EVER BE PUTTING THEIR HANDS ON ANYONE’S BEHIND EVER EVER EVER WITHOUT PERMISSION EVER. I don’t care if the leggings are see-through. I don’t care if they say “Touch this” across the ass.
My son will know this. He will know that girls are his equals. He will know to keep his hands to himself. He will know he is responsible for his own bad behavior, not a alsdhgoawrh pair of aljfndgphrg leggings.
And to all the little girls out there who are definitely not reading this blog post (but maybe their mamas are? Or their daddies? Their teachers?), you gotta check this out.
To the list of things we should teach little girls to say–“Stop interrupting me. I just said that. No explanation needed.”–I would add, “I’ll wear whatever I want, but that doesn’t mean you get to touch whatever you want.”