Telling a young girl she can’t wear what she wants because it’s not appropriate encourages the idea that men’s reactions should dictate society’s norms, and that all women are meta-Eves, tempting and ensnaring men with our sultry-eyed gaze. My parents’ culture is steeped in patriarchy, in the philosophy of the one-step machismo machine, where there is just one kind of man, and two kinds of women: the angel and the whore. These limited ideas of masculinity breed men who want ownership of women.
DO NOT DISMISS A SOMETHING A CHILD IS PROUD OF. LOOK AT IT. POINT SOMETHING OUT AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE IT. IF A CHILD DRAWS YOU A RAINBOW, TELL THEM YOU LOVE HOW IT HAS RED. THEY WILL THINK “WOW. IT DOES HAVE RED. THEY LOVE HOW I PUT RED IN IT. I PUT RED IN IT. AND THEY NOTICED.” MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD KNOWS YOU ARE PROUD OF THEM.
AND DO THIS AT EVERY AGE. I DON’T CARE IF THEY ARE 3 OR 33 DO THIS. PLEASE.