When my niece turned three I was faced with the ultimate aunt dilemma: give in to the suggestion that her gifts be princess themed, or start prepping her early for her feminist awakening. I chose the somewhat subversive middle ground. A sparkly pink soccer ball (athletics!), a pink keyboard (music is good for the brain!), and a princess costume - it was blue and it involved LED's in the skirt (technology!). Yes, we spoil our niece and nephew every chance we get.
At one point in the day, after presents had been opened and everyone was high on sugar, she had the costume on over her jeans while we played something more akin to keep-away than soccer. My brother-in-law turned to me and said, "that is result of the work you do. A little girl choosing to be a princess in jeans and a soccer player."
Of course, the fact that she and I can wear jeans and play sports is thanks to generations before us, but it makes me ridiculously happy when kids independently subvert the giant and pervasive structure of gendered binaries. Which is why this made my day:
And not just because my sister (who carried around playschool cowboys in a gold lame purse) always wanted to play Skelator, Stripe, and Darth Vader to my She-Ra, Gizmo and Princess Leia.
Image via Cake Wrecks.