My 5yo is a better feminist than I am

So, we were drawing reindeer for our front window the other day, when Big D asked for clarification of which gender each of Santa’s reindeer were.  I responded that I thought that  most folks thought they were all male, but that wasn’t necessarily the case, and we could make some of them female reindeer if we wanted to do so.

Flash forward to Buddy drawing a HUGE breast on one of the reindeer, which I subsequently (and completely accidentally, I swear) cut off.  This lead to the following conversation between Big D and myself while coloring and cutting.

Big D: “So do the reindeer babies come along with Santa so they can have ummies?” (Family shorthand for breastmilk)

Me: “I’d think that the mama reindeer who are nursing their young would stay home that year, and take care of their babies.”

Big D: “But what if they have JOBS?”

Me:  Stunned silence followed by “Well, I guess they could pump their milk for that one day of the year, and the baby reindeer could hang out back at the North Pole where Mrs Claus and the elves could take care of them while the Mama reindeer did their jobs with Santa.”  

Gulp.  Who knew my 5 yo could bust my feminist chops in one Christmas-themed swoop?

Anyway, Big D decided that only the very smallest baby reindeer would need fawn-sitting, and the big-kid reindeer would come along with Santa and their parents for training.  Our final scene is still lacking the reins and lines connecting reindeer, but you can imagine that the big-kid reindeer are tethered to their parents.  I was happy to point out that they could be tethered to both mother AND father reindeer, and hoped that it somewhat redeemed my earlier lapse.  

I value the time I spend being a homemaker and nursing mother, but has this experience really colored my perceptions so much that such traditional roles have actually changed my default feminist settings?

Anyway, as mortified as I was by this, I’m incredibly glad that she called me on it.  My role as homemaker hasn’t kept me from teaching my girls a thing or two about what I *could* be doing with my time!  Phew!


This entry was posted in gendering, social studies, verbatim. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My 5yo is a better feminist than I am

  1. Grandma Freya says:

    From the mouths of babes, eh. *grin*

  2. cabochons says:

    I think it’s great when our kids show us that we actually have succeeded in our various paradigm changing quests. I remember watching a black mother and son fighting because he was taking for granted the world that she had worked so hard to get, the acceptance he took for granted, and she couldn’t see that had happened because she was so focused on getting it for everyone. We’ve made some great progress, and it’s sad when we don’t realize it.
    BTW- did you point out to them the whole “most reindeer bulls drop their antlers in the fall, so Santa’s reindeer are probably all female” bit? That’s always fun, but as the Snopes page says- Reindeer don’t fly either, so they could magically keep their antlers, or be the unusual males who drop theirs late.

    • Siggi says:

      Hah! I hadn’t thought about the all female reindeer bit, but they are so happy making all sorts of little reindeer families that I think I’ll just let them get on with it. Plus, like you say, they could be a species indigenous only to the North Pole, with antlers that stay on until New Years or somesuch. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Pingback: Holidays at our house | Turkeydoodles

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