At the post office a few weeks ago, Elisabeth and I joined a long line of people waiting to mail packages. The woman in front of us turned around and smiled. We smiled back. She and I started chatting and at one point she remarked, “I bet she’s the apple of her daddy’s eye.” “Both of us actually.” I replied. She nodded and the line inched forward.
I began to wonder about her assumption that my daughter would be “cherished above else” by her father but not by me. [Granted, the woman didn’t come out and say that exactly but it was implied.] Is this one more way that sexist stereotypes affects our daughters, “Daddy’s Girl” and all that crap? I’m not sure but it didn’t feel right when it was said aloud and that’s usually a red flag. And while the woman wasn’t explicitly objectifying my daughter (nor was she talking directly to her) is this a great deal different than commenting on her prettiness or how well dressed she is? Which, come to think of it, she had mentioned earlier.
Maybe I am off-base here, over-reacting or splitting hairs. It’s possible; I am a little tired. But here’s my sexist (and racist, homophobic, etc.): would she have talked about her adorable smile and her big blue eyes then made the dreaded apple comment if Elisabeth were a little boy? I kind of doubt it.
Maybe Storm’s parents are onto something.