Today while Bryan and Griffin took the dog for a walk, Penelope and I stayed at home and played with her Horde of Dolls (HD). For her birthday she got a dozen Disney Princess dolls from my parents and has enjoyed changing their clothes and making them fight dragons.
While we were playing today, she wanted them all to get married. And since they're all Disney Princesses, they all have Princes... I'm not quite comfortable with that, for a variety of reasons.
I know that her obsession with Princesses is a stage. As is her obsession with marriage. Bryan and I are married, so are her Granny and Grandpa. Her daycare provider is married. A significant number of the adults in her life are married and it's natural that she would replicate the relationships she sees in her imaginary play.
And while I have a number of friends with same sex partners (some married, some not married), we don't see these people as often as I'd like. So I worry, because that's what I do.
I worry that the prevailing cultural attitudes towards women & LGBTQI2-S will be stronger than the message they get at home. I see this in her insistence that pink is "only for girls" and some things are "only for boys" - and while we work at home to change that, it's an uphill battle to fight against the message she gets a daycare, on TV, and even in books.
Bryan and I have had multiple conversations about our parental goals. We want our kids to be happy and healthy. College? Would be great, but it isn't necessary, our kids can be productive members of society without a BA/MA/PhD. Politics? They don't have to vote the same way we do, the just need to vote. Religion? While I do hope my children are Atheists (like we are) we will support them if they decide to join a religious or spiritual group.
But I will consider myself a failure of a parent if my children don't support equality for all people.
And so, when Penelope insists that all her Princesses marry Princes, I can't just let it be. Here's what that conversation look like:
And then, after we talk, Mulan and Snow White exchange their vows...
Love, Love, Love. Love is all you need.
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