Rant & Rave - “Why can’t I take off my shirt?”

Today, a young girl of maybe 6 or 7 years old came up to me at my parents’ flea market. She pointed to a very large, very overweight man in his late 50s, who had taken his shirt off and wrapped it around his neck and asked me, "Why does he have his shirt off?" 

I said, "Because he got hot"… - knowing what her next inquiry was going to be and desperately searching my mind for a suitable answer for this innocent child, who hadn’t even grown tits yet! - and deserved to have relief from the heat…but since I was not her mom, I couldn’t obviously let her and I really didn’t want to start trouble in my conservative county.

And there it was, "Why can’t I take off my shirt!? I’m hot too!"

I told her, "Because a lot of people think that it’s wrong for girls. For now, you can’t take off your shirt like he can, but maybe someday. Okay?"

She looked so very frustrated and jealous of the big, fat man. She looked up at me, searching for some sort of replacement for a handheld fan or shirtless child’s tummy.

I looked in my pockets for something from my earlier family reunion, that I could possibly give her to make her content and distract her from the 90 degree Farenheit weather.

I found a toy truck and a pink, plastic container filled with bubbles. I held them out and told her she could take her pick. 

Feminism behold! - the girl looked up at me and slowly admitted that she liked both things. I smiled down at her and told her that there was nothing wrong with that and she could have them.

And as she walked away, truck and bubbles in hand, I shit you not, the girl lifted her shirt up partway and flapped it to cool her skin.

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tagged as: double standards. double-standard. double-standards. feminist. gender. gender roles. gender stereotypes. rant. rave. small town grrrls. smalltowngrrrls. feminism.

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