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Monday
Apr132015

Pronouns Are Hard

Pronouns are hard, y'all. I mean, I went 30-something (*grumble*grumble*grumble*) years saying "She" when I really should have been saying "I."

It took a 9-year old with a sassy mouth and heavy dose of perspective for me to figure it out.

There is an argument I've had with that 9-year old so many times that I think the argument itself might now by 9 years old. "Leggings are not pants," goes my side of the events. The kid, however, maintains that they ARE SO pants. She will dutifully provide the dictionary definition of pants as she argues her side of things.

But.

They're not pants.

She has to at least wear a shirt that goes past her bottom if she wants to wear them.

And ... there I go. I said "she" when I should have said "I."

I have to wear a shirt that goes past my bottom if I want to wear leggings. Because ME. I am not comfortable wearing skin tight anything. The kid is perfectly comfortable under such circumstances. In fact, she's extra comfortable because leggings are stretchy and allow for a random back-handspring at any moment in time.

I've had the same pronoun confusion problem when I've been out in public. I've found myself thinking things like "She shouldn't wear that," or "That's a super not appropriate outfit she's wearing" and so on. Really, what I should have been saying is that I shouldn't wear that or I would feel out of place wearing that other thing.

For what it's worth, I figured this all out when I found myself trying to explain to the 9-year old why she shouldn't wear leggings as pants. I wanted to say that they're too provocative/sexy/blah, blah, blah but HOOBOY did I find myself wanting to eat my words because VICTIM BLAMING MUCH?

If a little girl wants to wear a pair of pants that happen to be tight and someone thinks they're too sexy or whatever, that someone is the one who is in the wrong. Not the little girl.

If that little girl feels confident and comfortable, she should wear the leggings.

If that grown woman over there feels confident and comfortable, she should wear the leggings.

I'll just be over here wearing jeans because I'm neither of those things when I'm not in my uniform. And that's OK because at least now I've got my pronouns right.

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Reader Comments (2)

I love this. Especially today with the twitter hashtag that's going around :)

April 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

I agree to a certain extent. But...would your point be the same if she were wearing say, shorty-shorts or a cropped top? And let's say "she" is now 14 and 16 years old? I don't want my daughters to ever feel like THEY are responsible for what others perceive, but I also want them to not feel as though everything needs to be out there for the viewing pleasure of their male classmates. KWIM? It's a tough balance for sure. And I wish there were an easier answer than just saying "I" vs "she" in place of some of the cautionary things I say to my girls. :-/

April 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAngie W.
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