Some campus researchers report playing mommy is no longer a forgone conclusion in little girls’ playtime. Ever since ‘childhood’ was invented during the Victorian Age [years set aside in which children now freed from obligatory labor could be indulged by doting parents], playing games has been intrinsic to their development. But while boys played rough-house games, girls mostly played domestic ones.
During these last two generations, sales have dropped for infant dolls and assorted mommy paraphernalia. And why not! The world of little girls is no longer restricted to little-girl-play. Not when little girls can do whatever little boys can when it comes to games of skill. Frankly, how important is it to be able to climb trees and tear telephone books as an adult? Not when the world they experience on their screens seems wide open to them be it flying a plane, driving a car, or operating a business.
There may still be glass ceilings, but no longer glass entrance-ways. Little girls see women in sports, government, armed forces, and space. Why would they only want to play diaper-changing…?
And so the progress of modern womanhood proceeds apace. At least in the West. As to the Middle East, not so much, for there the female of the species is often still chained to their pedestals. Held above the everyday riff-raff of life, women are often considered — and kept — apart.
To little boys in the West, the equality of the sexes is becoming a given. Still, there are some here who look at the old gender distinctions and mourn their loss. No, not any women I’ve met lately. But women anthropologists from Margaret Mead to Frances Mascia-Lees.
Are there some reasons to regret the blurring of the old “roles” like home-making, children-rearing, and income-earning? Probably not among today’s little girls. But when they become big girls, who knows…?
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