Breeder. It’s a word you hear passed back and forth with very little thought at many of the events I attend. In LGBTTQ circles it refers to folks who are in hetero relationships. Little to no thought is given to the word, and depending on who it is coming from it can be completely benign or laced with arsenic. Regardless of who says it, it hurts my heart every time I hear it.
Personally, I hate labels. It doesn’t really matter if there is any negative connotation to them or not. I don’t like them. Why can’t we all just be who we are, and leave that up to others to discover as they get to know us? Why do we need to cover ourselves with these long shipping crate stickers declaring ourselves “this” or “that” or “the other”? I don’t see the need.
So… I hate labels in general. But I really hate it when someone calls me a breeder. I have a daughter. I am involved in a heterosexual relationship. Is that really all it takes?
My husband and I had been together for TEN YEARS before we made a conscious decision to become pregnant. And if we ever choose to do so again, it will be given equal weight – but in all honestly, our one daughter will probably be the only child who ever comes from our bodies. Does that make us breeders? Really???
I know heterosexual couples that I’d be tempted to call breeders. Folks who had children because that’s just what you do. You get married, you have kids. People who have baby after baby after baby… people who barely give it a second thought. They may have earned the label.
But people like myself? Who choose to have a child after years of careful consideration? I’m not a breeder.
I know people who are involved in homosexual relationships that, given the opportunity, would be breeders. They get married, and they want to have kids – because it’s just what you do. The only thing that slows them down is that it takes a little more planning when you have to outsource for parts.
Maybe I’m being a little sensitive, but I think I’ve earned that right. Being involved in dogs, all I can think of when I hear some woman being called a “breeder” is a bitch with a litter of four or five puppies… laying on her side, passive and resigned, as they all jostle for a nipple. I don’t think anyone really deserves that.
So please, think twice before you call someone a breeder. I know, a great deal of the time, it’s not said with anything negative behind it… but it’s not a nice word, and it certainly doesn’t convey anything positive. Like any label, it has the ability to harm – so please think before you throw it around.
So yesterday I didn’t post my photo. Sorry everyone. I wasn’t feeling great in the evening, and by the time we got home from doing a bit of grocery shopping (that we had to stop early because of how I felt) I just crashed right out. I did take a picture though, so am posting it now. 🙂 Believe it or not our little pumpkin head is still in one piece on our front step. LOL I guess he doesn’t have to join his “friends” in the compost just yet. 😉
Now onto something more serious…
I’m always surprised at the comments that people feel completely entitled to make as long as it’s prefaced with “I’m not racist, but…” or “I’m not homophobic, but…” or “I’m not _____, but…”. To some degree I’ve come to expect things like this from earlier generations, it still bothers me BUT I’ve come to accept it. I don’t agree with it, but I realize there is likely little I will do to change their views. However, to hear this from someone who is younger than I am just shocks me. Perhaps it shouldn’t, but it does.
Why do I bring this up? It’s been bugging me for a few days. I was having a polite conversation with an acquaintance who prefaced a statement with one of the aforementioned qualifiers… then proceeded to blurt out several racist stereotypes (which I won’t repeat). I probably had a completely dumbfounded look on my face as I stood there in shock for what felt like an eternity, because he nudged me and asked “ya know?”
Well… actually? I don’t know.
I really thought this type of thing was something people my age (and especially those younger than me) had moved beyond. The idea that someone who would have grown up in the same culture I had would still be holding onto ideas like this just totally threw me for a loop. You can complain about a specific person, a specific incident, without complaining about an entire race of people who are as diverse and eclectic as night and day.
I actually debated about whether to blog this or not. The fact that I’m still bothered by it a few days later is what decided it for me. It really hurt my heart. I hope these things aren’t something my daughter ever has to hear. The only “I’m not ____, but…” she should ever be faced with is this:
I’m not vegan, but I can’t argue with vegan baked goods… DELISH!
My rant over, here’s a picture for today. Marnie (the cream and white Chihuahua puppy) tattling that the other Chihuahuas (blue tri-colour Roo and black tri-colour Ned) won’t share the pillow.
There are some people who doubt it’s existence… but I believe today’s photo of the day will prove that it is alive and well here in the heart of the prairies. Prairie machismo is that force that fuels everything that some men do. The force that compels them to be “bigger than”, “stronger than”, “tougher than” the next guy. It is the force that inspires jokes about rednecks on the prairie. It goes beyond testosterone driven displays well into the range of blatant stupidity. It is the crushing of beer cans on the forehead while pouring gasoline on the bbq and wearing nothing but green and white body paint stupidity… It is, as this man has done, wearing shorts and a tank top when it is five degrees celcius out.
So kudos oh great and mighty prairie man. For proving, once again, that “real” men are all about scaring little children by displaying way too much flesh.
Seriously though? Come on guy… cover up. It’s cold out there. You don’t look tough, you look silly. Everyone else is out with long pants, jackets, hats, and mittens…. dressing like it’s still Summer is just plain goofy.
The Lentil Ladies (our collective kitchen group) met today. We made all sorts of wonderful dishes: curry with cauliflower and sweet potatoes, tomato soup (from scratch), and wonderful organic filo pastry apple desserts. But something happened that made me stop and think…
Lily-Ann was wearing her baby doll (whom she calls “baby suzie” and who is sometimes male and sometimes female depending on the day you ask her) in a sling I made for her. When she plays with her doll she wears her constantly – like I wore her. One of the mom’s in our group commented to me that “She’ll be a good mom some day.” This filled me with great pride, because I understood what was behind her words, but also made me grieve a little too.
Lily-Ann will be a good mom, if that’s the path she chooses. And my friend’s compliment means the world to me, because she knows our children learn by example. But, the idea that someone would assume for my daughter the role of mother does bother me. What I hope for her is strength, compassion, love… And while these traits can be found in the best mothers, they can also be found in the best business people, the best artists, the best politicians, the best teachers, the best activists, the best of us.
Seeing a girl child holding her doll close to her heart brings about dreams of the future and what it holds… and for many all they see are stereotypical gender roles. Instead, I see a girl with endless possibilities. A person who is not afraid to love, openly, outwardly, fully. One who will hold children close, for they are precious – but that doesn’t mean she’s destined for motherhood.
With passion I see her building with blocks. With enthusiasm I see her painting. With zeal I see her “cooking” for anyone who’ll sit for even a moment. With joy I see her performing song after song for us, her captive audience. I see her doing all these things, taking on all these roles and so many others… and then I see her stripping down and declaring that she wants to be “nekkid” and doesn’t want to wear anything but a legwarmer and a bracelet. 😀 She is, after all, only two.
So… I implore you… next time you see a little girl playing with her doll, don’t assume she’ll grow up to become a mom. She may become a boxer. She may become a novelist. She may become a mechanic. She may become an architect. An engineer. A vocal coach. A custodian. A playwright. Just because she’s a girl, don’t box her in. She has enough on her shoulders just trying to grow up, without having to grow through your expectations.
And you know what? There’s no reason she couldn’t grow up to be ALL these things… AND a mom. 😉
Okay. I’ll get down off my soap box. Here’s todays picture. Nothing special. Nothing inspired. Just a girl, taking a break from play, having a drink of water. Just a girl with endless possibilities.