Friday, December 28, 2012

Raising a Feminist Man?

We have been watching some classic Christmas movies, including the 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  We don't go out of our way to promote the Santa myth, but we have played along and not burst Bean's bubble as of yet!

Tonight Bean says to me that only boy reindeer can be Santa's reindeer.  I said, "you know...I'm pretty sure I heard that boy reindeer don't have their antlers at Christmas, so if they have antlers they have to be all girl reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh... I'm not entirely sure about this - we can look it up if you'd like."

After working out that deer and reindeer are not the same thing and that female reindeer grow antlers, we talked about why the movie might be getting it all wrong.  Were all of Santa's reindeer actually girls, and the movie was totally wrong?  Or maybe not all of the the reindeer have antlers on Christmas Eve?

He was musing about all of this, and I thought it might be appropriate to add the "sign of the times" factor.

"You know, Bean, that movie was made at a time when a lot of people thought that girls and women shouldn't work.  At the very least, many many people thought that girls and women aren't as good at a lot of jobs as men are," I told him.

He looked at me intensely and said, "well that's dumb..."

"Some people still think this, honey.  And it's still really hard for women to get certain jobs because of it."

Silence while he thought.

"...some people think boys shouldn't wear skirts.  And some people think that women shouldn't wear pants!"

This was just too much for him to believe.  Indignantly he said, "well.  If I ever meet those people?  I will tell them that's NONSENSE!"

And, thanks to the same movie, a week before Christmas, while brushing his teeth, Bean said to The Beast, "so the elves make all these toys. And then Santa gives all the toys to the kids. But then there are no presents for the elves! That's pretty unfair to the elves, I think."

I'm putting all of this in the column of successful feminist parenting!

Also, if you want to know whether the male reindeer shedding their antlers earlier than Christmas tidbit is fact or not, this is a funny take on it.

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