Sep 20, 2011

A Princess Fairy Dancer in a Big Floofy Dress

So, I recently came across this blog post:

And it's been bugging me.

Somehow, I thought being a 'feminist' meant that one supported the rights of girls and women to define themselves (rather than being forced into or out of roles by society's dictates).  What is so damn wrong about a kid wanting a princess party?  What's wrong with a little girl wanting to wear a sparkly tiara and a big floofy dress? 

I have a degree from Smith, my favorite pants are cargos, my favorite everyday shoes are my Danner workboots, I'd rather shoot targets than go shopping but, damn it, I love wearing big floofy dresses and sparkly tiaras.  I took figure skating as an adult and I loved every single fucking minute of it (ok, maybe not the time I landed on my kneecap and saw stars but all the other minutes) and every fucking girly outfit. So why should I expect my daughter to be any different?  Why would I *want* her to be any different?

The reason I've been given is that "princesses are only someone by virtue of marrying the prince" - well, maybe in Disney movies.  So, should we now denigrate all the good work done by Michelle Obama or Princess Anne of Britain?  Because, after all, they're only somebody because they're married to... oh, wait... hmmm, Princess Anne is somebody in her own right.  Gee, whaddya know, so is Michelle Obama.

Shouldn't we judge a little more carefully?  Shouldn't we guide our girls with a little more discrimination than simply: "feminine = bad"?  Shouldn't we say, "y'know what?  Sparkly tiaras are cool and so are dance class and floofy dresses.  You can be Cinderella for Halloween.  And next year, you can be Tiny Pteranodon and the year after (this year), you can be Word Girl.  Wanting to be a princess doesn't preclude being something else.  And that's what we should be teaching our kids.  Our girls *and* our boys.

And, y'know what else is cool? Standing on your own two feet and deciding who you want to be - for yourself, not for someone else - whether they be misogynist or 'feminist'. You want to be a police officer?  Please wear your Kevlar for your mama.  You want to be a stay-at-home mom?  Feel free to call me when you're going bananas (because you will, I promise, go bananas at some point).  You want to be a fighter pilot?  Here's wishing you blue skies and smooth air.  (And get me a ride along!).  You want to be a fairy princess dancer in a big floofy dress and a sparkly tiara?  Have fun but no stealing my 4" shiny candy apple red heels with the little black ribbon bows, ok?