I think this is the first year that Alexis has been aware that it was International Women's Day, which is weird, but only because she's a far more effective feminist than I am. While life has beaten me into believing some things just aren't fixable, she's wide-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to kick some butt for equality.
See also: Today she busted into class and asked if anyone knew what day it was. When nobody guessed the correct answer, she declared, "It's International Women's Day!" She's in fifth grade now, so of course the kids are old enough for there to already be that one sexist jerk in the class. He played his part perfectly by replying, "Well, that's dumb. We should have International Men's Day because men are better."
Based on some past stories, he wasn't jerking Alexis' chain. He legit is THAT guy.
Alexis being Alexis, she had a comeback. "And YOU are why we need an International Women's Day."
So, here's the thing - sometimes I worry that I need to teach Alexis to simmer down. From where I sit, it seems as if people raise their fists in solidarity with strong girls, but strong women are a completely different story. There's an age at which we stop celebrating defiance, persistence, and strength. I don't know what that age is, but of the 20-somethings I know, every one of the women have lost that spark.
I know I lost mine right about then. It's really only back because I have these two little girls looking up to me and the thought of them encountering all of the same crap I have makes me feel about 135938509135 pounds of guilt. I have an obligation to try to make things better.
Just as Alexis finished telling me the story of the time she owned That Jerk with a little feminist wit, her favorite commercial came on the radio. And by "favorite" I mean PLEASE STOP PLAYING THE DAMN GRANITE COMMERCIAL ABOUT THE WIFE'S MIND BEING BLOWN, KISS FM. Every time it comes on, Alexis yells "THAT'S SO OFFENSIVE" at the radio and it legit startles me. I am going to crash the car one of these days.
For what it's worth, I see why she thinks it's offensive. It makes me want to roll my eyes, but I'm not REALLY bothered by it. It's more of the kind of sexist crap that exists in the background but that isn't worth getting riled up about because there are much bigger fish to fry. Like, you know, politicians who think it's totally cool to grab body parts. Ahem.
In the moment that I was thinking about how misplaced her annoyance is, it dawned on me.
Her annoyance isn't misplaced.
She doesn't accept ANY sexism. She believes that equality is equality and the size of the offense isn't what matters. In her head, you speak out about it all because maybe then sometimes you'll be heard. You stand up, you speak your mind, and you keep standing there until the offender sees the problem.
So, hey. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks because here I am learning how to persist from an 11-year. Thanks for the International Women's Day lesson, Alexis.