Thursday, September 20, 2012 • 5:49 AM Comments (5)

What Do Feminist Preschoolers Think? The Boys Don't Wear Installment

posted by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Yesterday, which happened to be my eldest’s 17th birthday (pause, yes, WOW, move along) he and I went to pick up Saskia at her pal Addy’s house. Saskia and Addy made felt crowns during their play date. Given the birthday in our midst, I suggested to Addy, “Maybe you want to make Ezekiel a crown.”

She wrinkled her nose. “Boys don’t wear crowns!” she exclaimed.

“They don’t?” I asked. “Really?”

She looked at me as if I had missed an important—and so obvious—memo about boys and girls and who does what.

So, not wanting to stop there, I suggested she make a crown for Declan, her baby brother. And you’d think she saw me as a lesser, stupider person just then. “Declan’s a boy!” she reminded me. “He can’t wear a crown.”

“What if he were king?” I asked. “Then he’d get a crown.”

“He’s not a king!” she insisted. “He’s a baby.”

Saskia did not weigh in on this one. I imagine she’d have Addy’s back, though. I tried to think of a better next line, but instead I went back to the other room to report this breaking gender news to Addy’s parents—and the non-crown wearing birthday young man. I think I should make him one, just because. I wonder what I should have said, if anything.

Comments (5)
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Maybe: Crowns are about power. He'd be one powerful baby if he could wear a crown!

Posted by DeborahSiegel on 9.21.12 at 7:06

I wonder what a crown means to her- why it implies a specific gender? (Maybe it was in a book or movie?) I assume that a crown implies any kind of royalty of any sort. The power idea above is even more expansive and potentially inclusive than 'royalty'- though could be shattering if someone else decided you didn't have the power to wear one... I think all babies should get crowns.

Posted by SarahH on 9.21.12 at 23:44

Girls, what about Where the Wild Things Are? Crown-wearing boy yo, and a pretty iconic one to boot. What about Chronicles of Narnia, the boys wear their encirlettes of gold with humility and chutzpah. (A small crown is a cool crown.)

Posted by Tracy on 9.24.12 at 18:55

Also, is that stock photo or a real picture? If it's the latter, count me as officially freaked out. Please tell me they're all wearing bicycle shorts underneath.

Posted by Tracy on 9.24.12 at 18:58

I suspect her conviction had more to do with asserting her place as top dog (i.e., older sister) than official crown-wearer standards. Might have been a different answer altogether before Declan was born.

Posted by Lauren on 10.11.12 at 5:15
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