I was in a store a few weeks ago and saw a t-shirt for a tween girl. It read, “Who needs boys? I can win on my own.”
This hit a hot button of mine: reverse sexism. “Shades of a trophy bride,” I thought. “This is how you want your girls to see boys: as an unnecessary means to an end?”
Then I thought, “On the other hand, it’s great to see girls being able to say they don’t need a male frame into which to put the picture of their successes.”
“Yeah,” I countered to myself, “but there’s still the whole them/us didactic going on in this. What does gender really have to do with winning? Isn’t this a major basis for hierarchical arguments, that one’s gender defines the parameters of where and how one can compete and excel? Does this just lead to creating matriarchal hierarchists to oppose patriarchal hierarchists? ”
“And, why does winning or losing really have anything to do with the male/female relationship anyway?” yet another little curmudgeon inside me piped up with. “That is so game oriented. Must our interactions be definable in terms of winners and losers?”
By then, I had a whole sexism symposium going on in my already overcrowded little head, so I decided to declare a break and not worry about it. I went on with my shopping and went home.
But, weeks later, it still keeps hopping into my consciousness like a contentious kangaroo. So, I’m passing it on to you, my fellow egalitarians: am I making a mountain out of a mole hill or are there serious issues this little shirt brings up? If so, which ones are important and where am I being over sensitive? Please, let me know what you think.