There’s a Reason We Give Girl Gifts and Boy Gifts



I’m quick to shop but slow to wrap gifts so it was the day of the first night of Hanukkah when I sat down to wrap the kids’ gifts. I put a pile in place for Jane and a pile in place for Alexander. I looked at my daughter’s pile and I looked at my son’s pile and I realized that they were very gender specific and her gifts were meant to make her adorable and his gifts were meant to make him smart. This is not the mother I’d ever intended to be.

Because Hanukkah is an eight-day event I was able to scramble out and buy more gifts in an attempt to balance everything out.

Before you string me up let me explain how we got to this place.

Jane is going to England in March with her class. It’s a trip she’s really looking forward to and since she wears a uniform to school each day she doesn’t have a ton of winter clothes. She has a lot of summer clothes but England in March will be quite a bit colder than winter in Los Angeles so her massive summer wardrobe is mostly useless. I bought Jane boots, jeans, sweaters and the Nicki Minaj lipstick she’s been longing for. Everyone knows you need pink lipstick for¬†international travel.

Alexander has been wanting an iPhone. He got one on for the second night of Hanukkah. He also got some puzzle games and a zillion Pokemon cards. I’m not a creative gift giver. I ask people what they want and then I buy it.

When your daughter is 14 and your son is 11 they will want Free People Sweaters, pink lipstick and iPhones. You can buy them things that they don’t really want and they’ll remember Hanukkah that way or you can get them what they’re actually wanting and delight them. I like to delight my kids.

I also want smart kids. I want kids who are nicely dressed and care about their appearance. I want kids who think outside the box and kids who love math. I want the world for them so I set out to buy the world one gift at a time. I had a plan of attack and I think we all know what happens when parents have plans.

I bought Alexander clothing (OMG the cutest sweatshirt ever that has a sports coat attached… I’ll post pictures one day) and picked up a diary for Jane along with some board games. There are other tchokes but you get the point.

Let me tell you what happened when I bought the things they need to be well-rounded. They mostly shrugged. Most of it is going back. I’m going to have to spend time waiting in store lines while the goyim get ready for Christmas.

The one and only benefit of an early Hanukkah is not being at the mall when it’s packed and I’m going to be standing in line returning pajamas that my son doesn’t want and a diary that isn’t as adorable as it needed to be for a 14 year old.

Sometimes girls just like pink and boys just like blue no matter how much you try to offer them yellow.

The Feminists Entertain Me but I’m Raising These Kids With a Hefty Dose of Gender Bias


Recently I rediscovered Reddit. I’ve always loved reading there, but I never submitted, commented or otherwise participated in their discussion. I’ve found my happy place though with the TwoXChromosomes SubReddit (which is just a subgroup). It’s a really great little board, and I’m scared to share it with too many folks because I don’t want to be that blogger that made the feminist happy place suck.

What I love so much about the internet is that it forces me to think. I don’t find that I’m changing my mind, but rather that I’m thinking things through more¬†critically. Critical thinking is always good. Lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that I’m a very different mother to Alexander than I am to Jane.

In the last two months Alexander has played with fire and Jane has a male admirer. Alexander played with fire alone in the house, Jane got a text from a boy. Ask me which one had me in orbit? Apparently playing with fire is a phase that little boys grow out of, the text messages may never end.

I care more about my daughter’s chastity than I do about the fact that my son is a budding pyromaniac. I can rebuild after a fire.

Further I will let my son wear nail polish, but not pink, because that would be feminine. I will let my daughter wear jeans, but not from the boy’s department. I know.

But I do think about women and our clothes, and I wonder why we have to wear high heels to dress up and men can wear proper shoes. I get irritated that we’re supposed to have misshapen feet from jamming ourselves into pointy toed things, and that we can’t run to catch up because our feet are cramped and our skirts are prohibitive.

I watch Jane play at school and I wish she’d wear the shorts from her uniform and not her skirts because then she could run and play. The boys don’t have to worry about skirts flying up.

And then I remember all the wonderful things about being a girl, and I look at the privelages of being a woman. And I remember that we’re just different, and different is good.

I just wish we were all a little nicer.