Yesterday, Amy posted I’m sick of heterosexism too, a very thought-provoking and challenging post. My reaction while reading consisted of several “Yes, that’s true, but” and “Yes, but” responses.
My first instinct was to email her to discuss the post. But over time I’ve learned that when the “Yes, but” reaction hits that hard, I’ve got plenty of thinking to do. Rather than just throwing my thoughts at Amy, I’ve decided to do a post on the subject. (Amy, if you read this, you just avoided a long, rambling, and nonsensical email. Whew!) However, the issues are still percolating in my brain, so I’m not ready to do the post yet. Also, I’m not in a serious enough mood today.
In thinking about all of these issues, I remembered an “incident” that reflects my values and beliefs in childhood. To set the stage, you need to know that I played withh Barbie dolls, but I followed certain parameters. For instance, Barbie owned and ran a horse ranch, always. Barbie was not married, and she did not have kids. But she had horses. An entire herd of Breyer horses belonged to Barbie, the lucky woman.
Ken, the incredibly boring boyfriend
Duchess, the Clydesdale mare who served as lead mare for the entire herd. She always knew the best spots for grazing, and could keep order amongst the horses. Strong and wise, she could put her hoof down when she needed to.
One more thing you need to know: I’ve always been overly honest, and in addition to that, my mother always told us we’d be in a LOT more trouble for doing something wrong and lying about it than we would if we told the truth. The result was constant truth-telling, no matter how painful the truth was.
I was in my room playing, and my mom came in.
Mom: “Why is Ken in bed with Barbie?”
spotted elephant: “They’re having sex. That’s whey their clothes are on the floor.”
I picked up Barbie and Ken, and dressed both of them. Ken left, and was tossed to the side.
Mom: “Where’s Ken going?”
SE: “Oh, they’re finished having sex now. Barbie wants Ken to leave.”
Mom, starting to look very upset: “Doesn’t Barbie want Ken around?”
SE, getting irritated that Mom isn’t getting it: “Barbie has a whole group of horses to move to a better pasture today. She has work to do!”
Mom: “But Ken could help.”
SE: “He doesn’t know ANYTHING about horses. He’d get in the way. He might cause one of the horses to get hurt!”
Mom: “Barbie only wants Ken around for sex?!”
SE: “Yeah, why else would she want him around?”
Mom runs from the room, and would never, ever discuss this incident again.
I still have Duchess.