The Normality Of ‘In-Between’

There no longer seems to be a grey area. No ‘kind-of’.

No ‘In-Between’.

You are expected to be either completely for the cause, or completely against it.

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Sometimes, this makes sense. For example:

  • Domestic Violence – completely against
  • Equal Marriage Rights – completely for
  • Secular education – absolutely and completely secular
  • Lycra in my cosplay – no way, uh-uh, not for me

But there are some things that are not life/death, or even moralistic in their conundrum-drumming.

Today’s example of “Taking your advocacy for a First World Issue too far” is gender-specific clothing.

I’m talking pink for girls, and blue for boys.

Now, before you get all defensive and start muttering for Thor’s sake, woman – can’t we just let kids wear what they wantthat’s my frackin’ point!!

We don’t do gender specific clothing in EG Inc. The spawnlings can wear whatever they want (outside of school uniform requirements). I seriously cannot be stuffed arguing this point with them. Pick your battles, minions.

But it amazes me how often complete strangers will point out how confused poor Zaltu will be because I have dressed her in blue today. Or if she is wearing torn jeans and a Batman t-shirt, then I at least saved the day by adding a pretty yellow bow.

Zaltu-Batman

Apparently, unless she is wearing a skirt she must automatically be in the extreme Tom-Boy camp. But if she happens to wear a t-shirt with a pink flower on it, then clearly she is in the extreme Pretty Girl camp.

I have this one particular shopping centre Zaltu and I frequent about once a month – we buy the requirements, and then stop to watch the ice-skating with a milkshake and a doughnut.

And every time, every time, I am admonished by some absolute stranger on my parenting. More often, it is about Zaltu’s outfit. Apparently, this week I was lucky I had remembered to put the pretty bow/clip in her hair to stop from confusing her gender identity. Poor Zaltu was only wearing her favourite jeans and blue dolphin shirt.

Over the last year, my responses have been progressing from “Thankyou for noticing her favourite hair clip WITH her favourite-colour shirt” to “At what point between your table and ours, did you think it was okay to come over and pass judgement on a two-year-old?”

EG Dad says I’m doing it all wrong.

He thinks I should be submitting all comments to scientific evaluation:
TPB-Posterity

“Now, for this survey, on a scale of 1 to 10 – how much do you think I should care about your opinion on my daughter’s outfit?

Okay, now on a scale of 1 to 10 – how much do you think you can @#$% off?

And remember, this is for posterity, so please – be honest.”

Whatever happened to simply being a kid who likes clothes?

Why do we have to join any extreme group on this issue, or any issue that doesn’t involve basic human rights and equality? I don’t think Zaltu (or her brothers, for that matter) care about whether she is wearing a pink shirt for all pretty girls out there.

 

She is simply wearing a shirt because I told her she has to wear a shirt to play in the park next door. It’s a little cold outside.

I am all for encouraging children to wear whatever they want. However, this should not then make them the pin-up poster for the cause. It should not be their social uniform every day, to the point they are interrogated if they wear something else the next day.

It has become so prevalent, where even though I picked up a wicked pair of boots today, I cannot talk about it to anyone without the awkward feeling of explaining myself.

I’m not a Tomboy. I’m not a Pretty Girl. Neither is Zaltu. Nor are most other females I know.

Zaltu-TARDIS

We are not walking talking stereotypes for you to label for your marketing or judgemental pleasure. We are not dressing to fit the category you are trying to shove us into. Just because we are female does not mean we have to be the same as all females all the time. If I bought a pair of shoes today, that does not make me a ‘girl’. If Zaltu plays with Lego Friends today, that does not mean we are abandoning all equal rights in play. If I choose not to take the spawnlings to see the new Ghostbusters, it does not mean I am spitting in the face of ‘girl power’ (thank you Lisa, for a damn good article about this).

We are somewhere ‘In-Between’ and we shouldn’t have to justify, defend, or explain that to anybody.

 

Sydney Writer’s Festival

Sinister’s school class had an excursion yesterday. All the way over to the Sydney Writer’s Festival.

His teacher was rather considerate and even gave us a list of writers appearing on the day, including Liz Pichon.

For those minions who do not have pre-teen spawnlings reading and doodling all over the notebooks, Liz Pichon is the author of the infamous Tom Gates series.


Tom Gates is your average year-5 spawnling, just surviving every day by regularly escaping through his daydreams and doodles. According to Sinister, it’s pretty spot on with the inner dialogue, and the presentation within the book is unique and refreshing. 

He’s not the only one who thinks so – Liz Pichon was very popular at the Festival; boys and girls alike.

The Sydney Writers Festival is an awesome opportunity for writers to share their insights, and for readers to support the greater literary community.
For kids, they learn about some basic creativity skills – and get a day out of school grounds too. 

It was good thing the teachers gave us a heads-up about attending guests; gave me extra time to ensure Sinister had his book ready to be signed.


Of course, now he has devoured that book again, we need to work our way through the current family stack again.


I don’t think we’ll be obtaining any more autographs just it… Unless Mr Riordan is up for some travel?
The Sydney Writers Festival ends this Sunday with a huge kid-friendly event: Glowtopia. It’s held at the Bangarra end of the Rocks, filling up the entire length of Pier 4/5 with artists, music, authors, storytelling and roaming book characters to find (Hello, Waldo…) 

Fun starts around 10am. Liz Pichon will be there around 1.30pm, along with many others. Check the website for more. 


FCBD 2016 Re-Cap

I Survived FCBD 2016.

Not sure how, but we did.


For those playing at home, EG Inc cosplayed with a Doctor Who theme: 9th Doctor; 11th Doctor; River Song; Osgood; and of course, the TARDIS. The Dalek is a bonus, given to us by family a few years back. Yes, it’s ride-in for a small child.

No, you are not small enough.

I love the cosplay. It’s just simple fun. It’s dress-ups for geeks, but it’s not a game. It’s a community. A nod to anyone’s fandom.

But I noticed something that this year’s FCBD (Free Comic Book Day): there was less cosplay then previous years.


We had a little game in the car on the way to Kings Comics. I said I would see 5 Batman-cosplayers in the queue for FCBD. Sinister said 6; Nefarious said 4. 

I saw one.

I saw two Deadpool.

And I saw one Iron Man. And one Captain America.

Don’t get me wrong; there were some awesome contributions. But the pool was running a little dry this year.


I had a chat with staff at nearby Kinokuniya and they had also noticed a difference, albeit more pronounced at Kinokuniya.

When we first came across FCBD in 2010, there was a great community of cosplayers working with the stores as part of the celebrations. 

There were storm troopers (501st?), Trekkies, and a guy with a full-size Dalek.  There was chatting about the comics on offer, discussions about artists involved, and a general positive air about the whole event. FCBD is about promoting comics and reading for everyone – it’s not just reassuring established geeks, but inviting new readers to the genre.

The queue at Kings still had this, though not as strong as previous years. Kinokuniya, however, had no vibe. The staff were great but the line so long and impersonal…

How to fix it? I don’t know. Like I said, Kings still had it – but they were putting on a huge birthday party as well. They also have a different community: they are still a local comic bookstore (a large one, but still a ‘local’). They also have a great family focus for the day; plenty of activities and interaction with the kids. 

Kinokuniya is a bookstore which has a pretty good comic selection… And a bigger manga section. The majority of cosplay who turned up at Kinokuniya were manga-inspired. But a good chunk of them didn’t even go upstairs to the store. They were just hanging around downstairs in the foyer. 

There’s not a problem with this – I like the mix. But I wonder this the telling difference between the two. And will this continue to reflect on future FCBD?


But enough about the cosplay and stores – what goodies did I pick up?

In the freebies: Lady Mechanica; Serenity; Mooncop; Spectrum; Pokemon; Dream Jumper; Doctor Who; Science Comics; Darkhorse All Ages; and DC SuperHero Girls.

We also bought Gwenpool #0, a 9th Doctor comic, and my favourite: a signed trade copy of Black Magic. Nicola Scott was at Kings today. I’ll be sharing my chat with her over at GeekMom shortly.

Whatever happens at my end, make sure you go out and enjoy YOUR FCBD. That vibe I was talking about? It comes from YOU.

Don’t disappoint me.