Sunday, January 12, 2014

Old steroetypes die hard

My Mom worked while we were growing up. While all the other moms were home after school, we went to a neighbor's for a little while before Mom came home from work. Truth be told, we were considered strange in our neighborhood. What kind of mother leaves her children in the hands of a neighbor? The neighbors -- and a few relatives -- were sure we'd grow up to be delinquents. Some how we turned out all right, despite the fact that Mom worked.

No matter how forward-thinking Mom seemed as she moved from secretary to division head to vice president, she maintained some old-fashioned stereotypes. One of the most lingering stereotypes came out again today.

The girls and I were over helping Mom take down her Christmas tree. We had a few ornament boxes and some other boxes that needed to go upstairs. I told her the girls and I could carry the boxes upstairs. Mom said, "You know how I feel about women carrying boxes. I'll wait until a man comes over to do it."

I rolled my eyes and picked up a box. A few minutes later all the boxes were upstairs. The brunette twin snuck upstairs carrying an ornament box. I said, "You are not allowed to tell Grammie that you carried a box upstairs." The brunette twin just smiled and said, "Girls can do anything boys can do."

Of course I agree with her, but we won't tell Grammie. She might have been a workplace pioneer, but she's not quite willing to accept that women and men can do a lot of the same things. At this point I think it's too late to change her mind.

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