I was in a store several weeks ago perusing the racks for some killer deals for myself and the family. I of course was looking at deals for the 6 yr. old daughter who seems to receive the most out of bargain obsessive behavior. I am in the racks going through the shirts and I come across one that said “Future First Lady.” I thought wait a second here I don’t think so… Not that I have anything against the first ladies of our nation but it insinuates that our girls can achieve success only by marrying a man with power. I take offense to this message. Just like is it really that cute to say “Diva” on a kid’s t shirt or “drama queen?” One of the definitions of diva is this from Wikipedia ” The term is often used with a negative connotation. This derives from the implication that a star who is a “diva” is arrogant, difficult to work with, high-maintenance, manipulative, fussy, highly strung, privileged and demanding.” Yes that is exactly the way I want my little girl to grow up being… please! As my prior post talked about drama queens it also points out something you would rather not be in the big scheme of life. I guess as I sat down I wondered if it was just me that had these feelings about these innocuous t-shirts?
As I looked around I found that there is a company that makes shirts for little girls that say “Doctor not Diva” and “President Not Princess” which seems to me to at least give girls the option of shooting for something more than trophy wife or future Mrs. Timberlake. I know that for some of you these shirts might make you smile and laugh a bit but as a mother of a daughter I want her to decide what she wants to do and that does not have to include riding on someone else’s coat tails. My daughter’s name is Hillary and she believes that she can be president someday and I know that now that Hillary Clinton has proved to the world she can be a candidate all on her own. I do have to tell you that she was quite upset however when she found out that Hillary Clinton would not be President. Her comment was “But I wanted a President who was a lady named Hillary.” Recently I heard Michelle Obama’s brother commenting on his sister, the future First Lady and he commented that if you told me that my sister was going to be an astronaut or something like that I would have believed it but if you told me she was going to be First Lady I would have not believed it. I paraphrase what he said because I was unable to find the actual quote. The whole point was that women like me and like our future First Lady believe our girls can be anything they want to be.
I know it is just a t-shirt but it means so much more than that to me. The fact that our society continues to give us messages that we can only achieve lofty goals through a man is not just unfair but just plain wrong. Call me a feminist which is defined by someone who believes in the the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. I know that a t-shirt is just a t-shirt but let’s be clear on the message it sends our little girls. It gives our society a free pass to continue giving our little girls a message that I am not wanting my little girl to hear. What do you think? This mom for one is not going to buy into this and I hope you will not either.