A mother of two young daughters who claims she is an ardent feminist says she is horrified by her three-year-old daughter’s obsession with the color pink and princesses.
Writing in The Daily Mail, Sarah Fletcher, the mother of three-year-old Alice and eight-month old Charlotte, starts her complaint, “Why do I care that my daughter’s a girly girl?”
After noting that Alice is “obsessed with pink and princesses,” Fletcher moans, “She spends most of the day pretending to be a princess (I’m the prince and I get to rescue her on my horse), or a bride (I have to propose, give her flowers and then we get married) or a mummy (there’s nothing quite as humiliating as a three-year-old pretending to change your nappy and calling you stinky).”
Then real horror: “She almost always wears pink and has as much interest in stereotypically ‘boy’ toys as she does in my imaginary smelly nappy.”
Fletcher writes that she is making an assiduous effort to change Alice’s perspective; after Alice informed her boys can’t wear dresses, Fletcher corrected her, informing her “that anyone can wear whatever they want.”
Alice, though, was resistant, Fletcher writes resignedly: “It made no difference: she was convinced that this was the rule and I was wrong.
Another failed attempt: when Alice wanted mommy to be the prince and save her from a monster, and her mother suggested the roles be reversed, Fletcher writes, “She looked at me like I had lost my mind.”
Fletcher boasts, “I’m a feminist, and I hate it when people decide a car is a toy for a boy, or a fairy outfit is for a girl. People should be able to like whatever they want and dress however they want.” She acknowledges, “Yet I’m also a huge hypocrite — Alice has girly girl tastes, and I’m embarrassed by it.”
Eager to dismiss any femininity in her daughter, Fletcher says she decorated Alice’s bedroom with a jungle-themed duvet and stickers of animals and trees. She explains, “This was for selfish reasons. I didn’t want to spend every evening reading her bedtime stories staring into the glassy eyes of Disney princesses.”
But then Alice asked her mother to replace the animals with princesses.
Fletcher grumbles, “Why do I feel this way? Why do I feel I have to justify her traditionally feminine tastes? Why do I think other people are judging me for having a girly girl? I think it’s because I worry people will assume I’ve encouraged Alice’s interest in stereotypically ‘female’ things, as though I’ve told her pink is for girls and blue is for boys.”
Bewildered, Fletcher wonders, “I do wonder where her interest in pink has come from, and why she is convinced that boys can’t wear dresses. At her nursery, I’ve seen boys in princess dresses, complete with tiaras and sparkly kitten heels. Why has she decided it’s wrong?”
She concludes, “As a feminist, I believe people shouldn’t be forced to act in a certain way based on what gender they are. It’s an effort, but I’m going to embrace the pink. Maybe my younger daughter will be into monster trucks and burping contests.”