You may see the word “fuck” in this post 10x more than usual because I had quite the “mom moment” on Friday that demanded this project of me.
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I needed to take some time the other day to poll my peers and be sure I wasn’t over reacting with my emotions before I wrote this blog. I had quite the uncomfortable situation on Friday when I went to pick my 4 year old daughter up from daycare.
When I went in to pick up Gaia I walked in at the same time as another mother…That mother was greeted with warmth and right in front of me and Gaia she was told “xyz was great today, he was so good and had a great day” the teacher then immediately turns to me and tells me “Not Gaia, she did not have a good day today, she was bad today” I looked at my child, who is normally the happiest kid in the room. (I mean we can’t even walk her into school without every kid screaming her name and running at her to play, she is not a sad child.) looking the most sad and beaten down I have EVER seen her look. So I asked the teacher to elaborate and she goes on to tell me she wasn’t “bad” for her, but was “bad” for the other teacher, because when the other teacher talked to her she just looked at her blankly and didn’t say anything. (ps all of this is being said RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY KID!!!!!!)
Well first of all, I don’t really know this new assistant teacher, she was never introduced, is new, (and yes a month is new), and we will get into her tone with me in a second….
Of course Gaia is going to not engage with her if she is being punished for something she is allowed to do at home and then not given a justifiable reason for it not being allowed at school.
I am a body empowerment activist and a hardcore feminist. My life’s work is empowering women to own their bodies and to show them that they are worthy and that their body is theirs to use however they want. If they want to lift weights and be strong, I empower them. If they want to wear a dress and have high tea, I empower them, If they want to rock Dickies and Tim’s, I empower them… but let me take it back for a second….
I asked to talk to the new teacher, as I don’t know her personality as well as the other teachers, and wanted to find out why my child was so distraught and told she was “bad”.
This woman told me Gaia was punished for straddling a chair and not “sitting like a lady”
“Like a lady”
These children are 4 and 5 years old, and I do not need my child punished, her creation she spent the end of the day building, so proud and excited to show her mother, tossed back in the box, told she is “bad” because she choose to sit in a chair in some out dated way that this teacher deemed inappropriate for her gender, but is perfectly acceptable at home! These kids are 4 and 5 and there is no sexual thoughts in their heads…what kind of a sicko is this women to push her ideals that little boys even notice this type of thing? Disgusting.
Gaia spent the weekend questioning if she was “bad” (a term we generally reserve for murderers, kidnappers, rapists, Donald Trump, etc.), and that is just NOT ok with me. I have had to undo a serious amount of emotional damage in a very short time.
This is the age where the pillars of confidence are built, where we teach our children to be empowered and make their own decisions with their bodies, as long as it doesn’t cause injury themselves or others. This is NOT the age to be punished for someones religious, patriarchal views on how girls and women should act.
I fucking hate the term “Like a lady”!
“Sit like a lady”, “Talk like a lady” “Act like a lady” this isn’t the 1950’s anymore. Take your like a lady term and shove it where the sun don’t shine. I am especially serious when it comes to my kid. If she wants to straddle a chair, she can. If she wants to cuss at home, she can. If she wants to run around and wrestle with boys…she fucking can.
I am so sick of people pushing their outdated ideas onto children. Pushing their fucked up ideals and standards of sexuality onto kids…they are kids…if my kid wants to sit straddling a chair…I don’t think the little boy next to her is going to give a flying fuck.
Cut to Friday evening. I felt some pretty strong feelings about the entire situation and I wanted to ask in my VIP Group, what the women thought and got a pretty resounding common answer.
That is only 1/3 of the thread, it went on like this for pages and pages.
Sooo….Let’s talk about what acting “Like a lady” really means.
Acting like a lady means doing whatever the fuck you want as long as you are not harming yourself or others. It means wrestling with the boys, it means denouncing terms like “hit like a girl”, as we sing praises of badass ladies like Rhonda Roussey and Chris Cyborg. It means dominating the maths and sciences if we want to. It means taking leadership roles, it means playing like a girl (come on Serena Williams!) It means making our own choices when it comes to modesty or lack there of.
Acting “like a lady” means supporting other women, lifting them up to be whomever they want to be and not tearing them down and it means giving a big ol’ middle finger to old school ideas of women. (Or else hello Handmaid’s Tale becoming our real future)
I asked our gorgeous model for the day Trezelle what she thought about the entire thing and here is what she had to say:
“Since the moment we were born we’ve been shoved into one box or another. We’ve been told who we should and shouldn’t be. We’ve been blamed for the ill things that have befallen us all because we are who we are. We’re constantly being defined and treated like others would want us to be treated. Yes, I am a lady, no I will not conform to your preconceived notion of who I should be. I am a lady, I am strong, I am resilient, I am a force! Within me lies the greatness of choice, I choose my destiny, I choose my titles and I choose to be and act like whoever the hell I decide to! Take it or leave it, I am a free thinking, smart mouthed, in touch with my sexuality, accepting, and loving lady. No, not your lady, I am my own kind of lady.”
PS: For those asking, the director and owner of the school were totally on our side and have been responding to me and handling the situation with grace and class! This is why I keep my daughter here for those who know which school it is…the leadership.
Soooo…..Tell us in the comments how you feel when someone tells you or your kid to “Act like a lady”