Sunday, March 1, 2015

"I want my child to be gay"

I understand where she's coming from, but I'd be lying if I said this didn't make me a little uncomfortable. Maybe it's the not-so veiled essentialism dressed up as anti-essentialism (it's okay for boys to be princesses but not girls?), a facet of far-left ideology that often goes under-analyzed, but that's only scratching at the surface.

I get it though. She wants her daughter to be like her. And while I feel as though I should be championing this article,  it's coming from the same person who wrote passionately about her "girly" daughter and the princessification of girlhood while thoughtfully coming to the conclusion that one can still be a feminist in a dress and a tiara. Hasn't feminism already solved the debate that one can be a feminist and still be feminine?

Sarcasm aside, another thing that frustrates me is the polarization of childhood narratives. Why is it that every women remembers her childhood as explicitly girly or explicitly tomboyish? Where are all the girls who like neither sports nor sparkles? I was just a nerd. Joining the soccer team held as much appeal as playing dress-up. (As a fat, uncoordinated kid, the former was out of the question, the latter I viewed as "baby" rather than "girly.") Like Kohn, though, when I played with dolls I tended to rather... destructively. (Running them over with G.I. Joe's Jeep was particularly gratifying), which I guess pushed me into tomboy territory, but I didn't see myself as different from the other girls. Tomboy was sort of the default, and no one used that word. (This is where a discussion of the intersection of class and gender would come in handy, if the left weren't so resistant to talk about class.)

I can't stress enough that I don't think there's anything wrong with having pride in any part of one's identity, but I get frustrated at how middle-class and upper-middle class lefties talk about gender roles and sexuality. Most of what I've read, the two pieces included, follow the same template.