What girls can do

Right now I’m reading It’s a Boy like all the other mothers in Cyberspace. Several essayists write about how, in spite of their best efforts, their sons were drawn to violent play, in accordance with gender stereotypes. Others write about how their sons were drawn to sparkly jewelry or the color pink, to the discomfort of acquaintances. I started thinking about a conversation we had at dinner a few nights ago. Earlier in the day, I had taken Jio and Lilia to play Mushi King, the game of fighting beetles. Yoshi told Lilia that she shouldn’t play because it’s a boy’s game. He was kidding, I think, but I was still shocked to hear those words come out of his mouth. I said, as I often do, “Girls can do anything that boys can do!” Jio, with whom I’d had a little discussion about Kingston by Starlight piped in with, “Girls can even be pirates!” Good boy.

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