Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I Have a Bone to Pick...

...with Hanes, Jockey, or whoever it is that makes little kid's underpants. Now this post will come as a shock given my recent tell-all of Emma's new found "girliness." However, when we went to pick out Emma's big girl underpants, she took one look at the Lightning McQueen logo and said, "I want the cars!" Now being the proud feminist that I am, I was not only excited by her choice, but ready and willing to purchase them for her, except that they don't make any cars underpants for girls.

Then she saw Sesame Street and declared her desire for ownership again, but of course, there are no Sesame Street underpants for girls. And frankly, this one surprised me because Sesame Street is so gender neutral.

Then she asked for "fireman underpants" (this prompted by her purchase of fireman rain boots a few months back), and I don't think I need to tell you where this is going.

In the end, she settled for Disney princess underpants and Little Mermaid, and I do mean "settled." But c'mon. Are we seriously programming kids at potty training age to desire one "gender appropriate" thing over another?!? I was angry at the complete lack of choice in clothing logos for children. Even the generic pants that did not align themselves with one animation conglomerate or another were completely gender biased. There were flowers, pink lace, cutesy puppies and kitties, etc.etc.etc. Emma didn't like any of them. I think she finally settled on the Disney stuff because she recently saw, "The Little Mermaid," and, "Beauty and the Beast," and she liked the movies. But in the end, I felt sorry for her. I wish she were old enough for me to explain how society tries to box us in to what it deems to be socially appropriate gender roles, but that they DO NOT define us. I wanted so desperately to find her "fireman underpants" so that she could assert that side of herself. But alas, there are none. And already at 2 and a half, my daughter has had to succumb to society's warped definition of what little girls should be. It makes me sad.

The only consolation in all of this, is that now I know that despite her over-assertion of "girliness" on the outside, she's a strong, assertive tomboy underneath! Literally. A girl after my own heart. Go get 'em Emma!

3 comments:

KHS said...

Why not let her wear the Cars ones? I mean, I know the boy design is different from the girl design, but really, does it matter at this age? Everything's all covered up . . .

Just a thought. . . (not to underscore your justified frustration)

Karen in San Diego
http://bsinchina.blogspot.com

KHS said...

P.S. You're definitely not alone-- check this out: City Mama. She has a post about the same thing!
Karen

KHS said...

Me again. I just checked out Target. They have girl Sesame Street ones there. And Elmo ones (which I suppose are technically Sesame Street, too). Just so you know . . .
Karen