A note about The Deviated Norm

This here is a low traffic blog on topics close to my heart. As such, comments and engagement on old posts are always welcome and will be responded to. Except! for comments on old posts telling me to lighten up, not take things so seriously, or let things go, 'cause that shit's just plain ironic. Those comments will get a suggestion to visit Derailing for Dummies.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


So a couple weeks ago I was cooking at work with the kids. It's something I do sometimes. A disturbing trend I see is that the girls are always helping me while the boys sit back and then whine and moan when they have to help clean up.

As we're frying something, a much older man walks by and says to the girls (since the boys were sitting elsewhere, while the girls watched how to actually do it) "Pay attention, you're going to need to know how to do this for your husband when you get married!"

(Keep in mind I'm at work, with kids, and this is a resident)

"Well I think it's good for everyone to know how to cook for themselves" I try to reasonably say while wanting to leap at the man's throat.

[Clearly affronted that I insulted his masculine prowess at being the best at everything] "Well of course I know how to cook for myself, I did too before my wife came along. We all know that men are great cooks, afterall we all know the best cooks are men."

"Hehe (ugh)... I bet your wife would disagree with that." (What the fuck! damned if you do cook and damned if you don't.... fuck this jackass)

After he got out of earshot I told the kids "that's not true" but I'm sure that message has already started its evil little passage into their hearts. These girls aren't even 10 and they're getting told by adult men all about their duties...

In the paper yesterday there was an opinion piece about a "horrible" mother. Apparently some girl didn't wear her underwear for her yearbook picture because she'd already learned that pantylines = unattractive and unattractive = utter disaster. He was talking all about how horrible the mother was for bringing her on television to talk about her shame of having the whole school see the photo, when what do you know, apparently the kid didn't sit "properly" enough for the writer's tastes. But what he said (I'm paraphrasing) was that "she didn't learn the lesson well enough the first time"...

And it hit me, in our society girls are supposed to be learning how to behave properly all the time. Someone could break into a girl's bedroom and do a fucking spotcheck on whether she was being appropriately feminine (is she drooling? is she snoring?) and I'd hardly be surprised.

Does he really think that she isn't constantly being reinforced with this bullshit? Why does he think that she thought pantylines were bad, she sprung fully formed from her mother's loins believing them to be evil????

So I say this: sexist old white men (and really sexists everywhere) I'm done with it all. I refuse to let you poison one more little kid's mind with your crap. Pick on someone your own size.

1 comment:

  1. Don't feel so defeated about the cooking incident, E! Remember that you were the one in power in that situation, and kids notice power dynamics. If you're the teacher and you say this guy was wrong, they might actually listen to you. Anyway, all it takes is one voice (yours) to give kids the chance to see that there are possibilities other than what society tells them is the norm.

    One thing you might do to drive this home is to communicate to the boys how unacceptable it is that they clearly already think cooking is below them/not interesting/not for them. I'm assuming this isn't a situation in which you can be out as trans, which is too bad. I'd really like to see more transguys use their male privilege to be models for changing the sexist dynamics they suffered from when they were living as women.

    - BF


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