You know what makes me happy?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You know what makes me happy?

Feminist dads.

At the beginning of the school year, my head teachers and I let the parents know that they are more than welcome in the classroom, should they want to come in and do art, make music, read a story or cook something with us.

On Friday, one of the dads came in to do a small art project with the kids. He arrived early to set up, and was playing with his daughter and chatting with the English teacher and with me. For whatever reason, all the kids were late that morning (okay, maybe not all of them.....just most), which gave us a lot of time to fill him in on class goings-on and whatever. I mentioned that I found a nifty t-shirt that I want to start wearing to school, to counteract some of the "I like princesses and only want to draw with the pink marker"* bullshit that's going on in the class.
The shirt has a crown on it, and says "Self-rescuing Princess." (available here)

This dad, whose daughter Maggie is a super kid and well on her way to being a kick-ass empowered girl, loved the idea of the shirt. He told us that he was so frustrated at Halloween, because even for little girls, the ready-made costume choices were frilly princess, frillier princess and slutty pirate girl.....oy vey....**

Then he said that last week, when the grandparents were all in town for Thanksgiving, his dad was reading "The Paperbag Princess" to Maggie. Grandpa was a little uncomfortable with the message, apparently, because he finished the book and gave an addendum: "Then the prince went on to Stanford and got an MBA and became a CEO."

To which Dad responded with an addendum to the addendum: "And the princess grew up to get the world to achieve WORLD PEACE!"

I love that this dad is just quietly and calmly going about being a fantastic feminist ally and active partner in raising an empowered feminist kid. He's not reciting empty tropes about "girl power" while encouraging Disneymania. He doesn't work till 8pm all week, then take the kids to the park once on the weekend and expect a cookie for it. He just chooses the books and movies and costumes carefully, buys the striped leggings instead of the frilly shit, and comes into the class to do art with us.

Okay, so when it's his turn to do Maggie's hair it turns out a little wonky, but no one's perfect, right?

I'm so glad that I've got this family in my class, and I wish all our parents were this cool!

UPDATE: Feminist Dad is also insanely good at holiday gift (a box of See's chocolates! Woot!) had a lovely, lovely hand-lettered note.

*Maggie ended up deciding that she wanted to be Pocahontas for Halloween, so dad made the costume himself.

**There's only one pink marker, for whatever reason, and I'm sick to death of seeing all-pink drawings. So I hid the marker in the closet. I know, I'm evil.


Anonymous said...

Thinking back...I don't think you were EVER a princess. The closest we have is a photo of you in ballet togs that Madeline's mom took of you. Some of your better Halloween costumes were: snail, penguin,tiger...All home made costumes. ~maman

kat said...

yes, once. I was Snow White (if not for halloween, then just for fun. I remember a yellow flannel skirt that you made and a red cape that I wore with a black leotard)....
I do remember being VERY ANGRY the year that I was Cleopatra, because when we did the little Halloween parade at school, they called kids up by groups of costumes, and they called up the princesses. They expected me to get up with the princesses and I was Not. Pleased.

Yes, even at the tender age of, like, 5, I was a stickler for historical accuracy....

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