Baby Changing Stations in the Men's Bathroom: Gender Stereotypes and the Sister-Brother Relationship
I hope having a sister teaches Michael that holding the door for a girl is good manners, but thinking she is not strong enough to open it herself is poor judgement.
I hope having a brother teaches Grace that certain odorous and noisy bodily functions are natural, and letting one slip in front of a boy is not the end of the world. In fact, it may just endear her to him. The same goes for getting her hands dirty.
I hope having a sister teaches Michael that getting a hand-me-down girl's bike is more a lesson in thriftiness than in humility, because real men do not think twice about sporting a little pink. Besides, it ain't nothing a little Batman duct tape can't fix.
Yes. My son currently rides this bike. With absolutely zero qualms.
I hope having a brother will one day help Grace understand that even though we now teach our boys that girls are just as good/strong/capable/smart/athletic as them, they have thousands and thousands of years of evolutionary sexist attitudes still creeping in and coloring their view. So losing out to a girl might sting a little. The kind thing for her to do would be to be the bigger (wo)man and not rub it in. At least not every time.
I hope having a sister will one day help Michael understand why seeing a baby changing station in the men's bathroom, instead of the women's, is not simply a victory for lone or gay fathers, but also a moment of empowerment for mothers everywhere.
It does exist. I saw it with my own eyes. Thank you Missouri State Capitol Building for this sweet victory.
Most importantly, since my daughter and my son only have each other, I hope they come to realize that the opposite sex is not an enigma. Apart from our anatomies, girls and boys are not so different from each other. Both equally experience the human condition: the emotions, the triumphs, the failures, the struggles, the breezes, the blows. Yet it might just be that boys and girls simply imagine different pictures in their heads along the way.
And the boys' pictures are usually more disgusting.
Originally published on www.areyoufinishedyet.com.