Yesterday morning when I dropped E and Z off at daycare, complete with now-finished butterfly wings, I went inside to find two boys dressed as Batman and one as a "Little Ninja." They were running around making air kicks and punches to go with their personas (one got in trouble for hitting, pushing and knocking other kids down in the five minutes I was there). At least three or four girls dressed as princesses. The four-year-olds were getting ready to go outside (they had had their party the previous day) and the girls among them were gathering around to admire E and Z's wings. When Z put on his fuzzy purple antennae, one girl said, "Those are for girls." "Why?" I asked. "Those are for girls," she repeated. "Well he's a boy and he's wearing them, so they must be for boys too," I responded. My little, futile bit of rebellion against rigid gender roles (probably about as effective as my Kashi Tasty Little Crackers are against the doughnuts the other parents brought). I was relieved to see another boy arrive in a green frog costume and another in something red and fuzzy, like a dragon or monster.
I went straight to a meeting, where around the table sat 18 men and three women. I rarely find myself in meetings this unbalanced (I also rarely work with industry, which I'm sure would be equally Y-chromosome-dominated). These were mostly energy people and lobbyists. I kept envisioning them as a bunch of Cromagnons squatting around a fire, wearing colorful, phallic neck ornaments, planning the next Woolly Mammoth hunt. When one man said he'd finished his comments at 1:30 that morning, I felt really happy that I'd been up until almost that late making butterfly wings for my kids, and NOT working on comments on the rule we were discussing.
A. Do those superhero and princess costumes on three year olds have anything to do with the six-to-one male to female ratio in my meeting?
B. Am I traitor to feminism to get more satisfaction out of making things for my children than anything I do for actual monetary compensation?