WOMEN take note. I haven’t had a rant in a while, but this one chapped my ass.
I was having lunch at Tao Natural Foods in Minneapolis today, sitting at a table next to 3 young woman with a 4 or 5 year old little girl. One, the friend of the mom, was talking to the little girl in baby talk about —well let’s fast forward—that doesn’t matter…..
The little girl notices a 3 dimensional hot dog in a bun above the kitchen against the wall. This hot dog is a display, large, in a bun with eyes and a mouth, 2 legs and gym shoes, arms, and hands squirting mustard on itself. The little girl is describing the hot dog character to her mom and the friend saying “she is putting mustard on herself” and the mothers friend answers…” yes, he is putting mustard on himself”…the little girl says again…”she is in a bun” and the friend answers her again, “yes…he is in a bun…what do you think he is doing?”
This hot dog had nothing that would define it as male..or female. The girl was CHOOSING to call it a her. COME ON ! ESPECIALLY women…An opportunity to NOT do the expected thing—defaulting gender to HE, male, him……..to teach and acknowledge…. especially when the little girl is SAYING her, she……
What is wrong with this woman I asked myself. Are we still that unconscious? Especially coming from a woman to a girl who is forming her context as we speak…..the unconscious message she delivered to this little girl in powerful. It is what shapes her world—one message at a time. I’m sure this woman wasn’t even hearing the little girl, being so programmed herself.
yes, it chaps my ass
I sat there for 10 minutes trying to figure out how to say something—how to bring attention to her language without embarrassing the mother…or friend…or feeling awkward or upset….. how to make her think twice before she opens her mouth again (she also rambled on about “doing her nails” with the girl and such to the girl). After all the distance we have covered we have hardly moved.