Saturday, June 16, 2007

pink dispair

There's a blog I really like called the Markos Moulitsas Zúniga began the blog in 2002. For me, he has all the progressive credibility credentials: ex-military, fled El Salvador as a child with his family, educated, informed, intelligent and articulate. Yes, it's liberal and so am I and of course, I don't take every word as canonized truth–it's just more information than I'm ever going to get from corporate media.
He has a bunch of contributing editors to his site and I generally find the writing and links very informative.

pink pinko baby
And I love that bloggers can periodically include bits of their personal lives. Someone once said that all politics are personal and that simple cliche bears repeating. The human element can be as strong a bond as philosophical agreement.

I read with mixed feelings this entry about his two-month old daughter which features a picture of the beautiful baby. I am as big a fan of infants as some of my sisteren are of puppies and kittens and the like. Even wrinkly red,
vernix-caseosa-coated, meconium-extruding newborns are irresistible to me. Which is why my feelings are mixed. She is a lovely child. But as I looked at the photo I was dismayed at the pink, puffy-sleeved, sweet-sweet-sweet embroidered dress/blouse she was wearing for this special photo.

Ach. I love pink. But when we dress our babies in hyper-gendered outfits we handle them differently. We place exagerrated emphasis on gender importance. We handle the spun-cotton-candy-sugar like spun glass. We handle the navy blue-clad more...firmly. I can't seem to make many inroads on this issue with even my most progressive acquaintances. I get their "oh, she's on her feminist rant again" tolerantly amused faces.

There's nothing wrong with the delicate or the rough-and-tumble. However, let's seriously question the one-or-the-other approach that saturates gender perception.

get a gun, daddy
In addition to the traditional portrayal of femininitude, were the predictable comments about having a daughter:

When you have a boy, you only have to worry about 1 penis.
When you have a girl, you have to worry about five million penises.

It's always amusing to see my friends have to pull out the daddy card and be that scary man that scares off the boyfriends. A buddy of mine is already talking about getting a rifle, and his daughter's only a year old.
Well, shit. These are supposedly non-conservative, untraditional commenters. These are the liberals, feminists and progressives. And while some add disclaimers to their references about "sugar & spice," there is wistful attachment to these traditional descriptions.

When you begin with the premise that the world is chock-full of penis-wielding intruders and little girls must be protected by their daddies, you strip away the potential survival power that a female might have and replace it with fear and helplessness.

This isn't just about pink dresses.


The Internets said...

It isn't that little girls need protecting. It is that teenage/early 20s boys are scumbags with too many tattoos & piercings and their pants hang way too low. Plus they mumble and have horrible BO.


Okay, there are lots of femmes who don't need protection. One of my fave (besides you, of course) is the gal over at Violent Acres. Anyone who describes herself as

> I'm a married woman in my early 30's with so much sand in my vagina that I give myself burns walking across my living room floor. But hey! It sure beats being you. badass enough, I think, to take care of herself ;)

P.S., check out her excellent June 13th entry. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

you come on like a dream
peaches and cream
lips like strawberry wine
your sixteen your beautiful and your mine
your all ribbons and curls
ooh what a girl
eyes that sparkle and shine
your sixteen your beautiful and your mine
your my baby your my PET