I am frustrated.
By now most of you have heard about the onsies and t-shirts being sold at different children’s clothing outlets in Canada. They are brandishing messages such as “I only date heroes” and “Training to be Batman’s wife”.
In case you haven’t heard of it you can read more here:
What has become the most bothersome part of this story, for me, is the public’s reaction to it. I am not one to judge other’s opinions but it is unbelievable to me that anyone would defend these articles of clothing. The comments that keep popping up are deeply concerning. Comments such as:
“Oh Please! If you don’t like it don’t buy it”
“…plus don’t you want to marry a hero or would you rather the shirt say I want to marry a looser?”
My answer to you is no, I don’t want my daughter to marry a loser. In fact, I don’t want my daughter to think about marriage for a long time. I want my daughter to grow up to be a strong, independent woman who knows who she is and what she wants. I want my daughter to follow her own passions and path. I want my daughter to travel the world, make friends, study interesting things, fall down and figure out how to pick herself up, on her own.
I know if my daughter is all of those things first she will attract a strong, good partner with whom she can share her life. Someone who is confident enough to let her light shine without being intimidated. She will choose someone who is her equal.
Has sexism become so commonplace that when we see it we aren’t even fazed? Would you feel differently if the slogan was racist? Why is a blatantly sexist message acceptable?
The message that boys grow up to be powerful while girls grow up to marry someone powerful is terrifying.
While these t-shirts alone may not seem like a big deal, think about how many times a young girl faces these types of messages throughout her life.
If over and over a little girl is being exposed to boys in the dominant roles and girls taking the back seat how do you think that impacts her own goals? Moreover, how does that impact how a, now grown up, boy sees her.
Do we have to question why society doesn’t take women seriously? Do you really think we will ever get rid of the old boys club? We wonder why videos of young women being raped are spread across the internet and there are no real repercussions? The boys continue to play football or attend class while the girls are shamed for their role as a victim. Women are being physically abused by their spouses and partners and then we ask why did she stay, not why did he hit?
I am beyond frustrated.
I feel like I am facing an uphill battle. Despite the media, despite all of the messages depicting the contrary, somehow I have to teach my kids that girls are more than just trophies. I have to teach both my daughter and my son that girls are their own people, separate from the men that are in their lives.
We are doctors, we are athletes, we are professors and yes we are princesses.
I beg of you, please take this seriously. Know that these messages, on t-shirts that our kids will probably outgrow before they are even able to read, mean something. Know that our acceptance of them mean something. If we want a different world for our daughters we have to stop this systematic discrimination.
Let’s start teaching our girls that they are the heroes of their own story.