Gender Roles

NJ informed me yesterday that boys are better at basketball then girls. All the boys, he explained, did well with the dribbling drills in PE. The girls were not good.
Boys are made for basketball, CE told me.
Hmm, I said.
Then since I couldn’t leave it at that I added that actually, there are lots of girls who are very good at basketball. Then I pointed out that lots of people think girls are not as good at basketball and so they don’t teach them.
They went on to something else.
It was not surprising. But it was sad.

At the pool CE put her bathing suit on backwards. Do you want to change it? I asked her.
No, she said. I didn’t blame her. It’s hard to get on and off.
We went out to the pool. A lifeguard stopped me to tell me her suit was on backwards. I know, I said. She doesn’t want to change it.
We went swimming for a bit. Another lifeguard came over.
“Your daughters’ bathing suit is on wrong”.
(ignoring the daughter part) “I know. She doesn’t want to change it”.
“She has to”.
“What? Why?”
::gestures at chest:: “She’s a female”.
“She’s five!”
But she had to change it. So we went into the locker room.
Sorry, I told her. I think it’s a silly rule.
Why does she have to change it, NJ wanted to know.
Because, I said, lots of places don’t want girls or women showing their breasts.
Then finally he got it, and gesturing to my bathing suit (on correctly) said OH! It has to be like THAT!
I did not like this rule. I didn’t like having to tell a five year old that her body was something that had to be hidden.


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