Super Girl, Disappointed
May 26th, 2013
We had a frustrating experience last weekend at a birthday party that I’m finally finding time to grump about it. Miss Mouse was invited to a party for a boy classmate of hers. It was to be held in a local park and had a superhero theme. Guests were encouraged to wear costumes/clothing of their favorite superhero.
I was a bit stumped at this since Miss Mouse doesn’t really know anything about superheroes, much less have a favorite, but I found a cheap pink cape online that my mom kindly purchased for her. She liked it a lot and eagerly donned it for the festivities.
But when we arrived, her enthusiasm evaporated and the next two hours weren’t the best of our lives. The source of the problem? She was the only girl there. Apart from a few older sisters who glommed together to play, the party was populated by four-year-old boys in spiderman costumes, chasing each other around and beating each other with sticks.
Miss Mouse glued herself sadly to my side and didn’t play much. I nudged her to the table when it was time for cake, but she was smooshed between two boys who were hitting each other with plates and after she got whacked in the face, she slipped away and informed me quietly that she didn’t want any cake. The afternoon was saved when one female friend from school arrived late and the two of them played on the playground together.
Unlike in other posts I’ve done, my problem was not with the party kids themselves. Boys are boys and they play like boys. I’m learning this. The birthday boy did say hello and invite her to join their game so I’m not faulting them.
No, my issue was this: where the heck were all the girls?
I am positive that the entire class was invited to this shindig and it’s about an even split of boys and girls. So where were the girls? At their age, the kids aren’t really making birthday party attendance decisions themselves. We parents are. Which means that the parents of the girls opted not to bring their kids to the party.
Why? Was it the super hero theme? Or just the fact that it was a boys party? Must we start ALREADY segregating the girls and boys, assuming that the one won’t want to play with the other? It frustrated me – a lot – that as parents we’re perpetuating the division of the sexes. It never crossed my mind not to bring Miss Mouse. It was her friend’s party. She’ll go.
In some ways, those other parents were right. My lone girl didn’t have an awesome time, surrounded by boys. And I’m sad for her that she didn’t want to play with them. But I felt like, if there had been more girls wearing capes, they could have all played together.