In the news this week, the Victorian state government announced a crack-down on “gender definition” in schools across the state. This generally means any kids franchise such as Thomas The Tank Engine and Peppa Pig will be scrutinised under a new crack-down, something said characters wouldn’t understand. Here’s my take on it.
As a kid growing up with a disability, I played with toys that I was able to play with unassisted (Except Barbie, Barbie needed to be dressed). I wore blue and pink, owned a big, yellow Tonka truck, watched Johnson and Friends and owned a Baby Born. I loved getting down and dirty in the garden, that was after I came home from shopping! I saw no difference between me and the other children, I was different because of my Cerebral palsy not because of what I did. In my opinion, my lifestyle was a great balance of boy stuff and girl stuff, something I have continued into my adult life because I can.
When I heard the news about the Victorian government’s plan, I cringed, “Isn’t anything sacred anymore?” I thought with the biggest eye roll I could muster at 7:35 in the morning. I believe in gender equality, but not going this far. There wasn’t a law banning boys from the Barbie aisle at Kmart nor was there ever a public outcry over a little girl picking up a Bob The Builder plush toy. Kids are their own personalities and we should be embracing that. If I ask my nephew when he’s older “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and he replies “I want to be a Preschool teacher, Aunty Kait!”, I will just smile and give him a high five or a cuddle and say “That’s great to hear Oliver, go chase your dreams buddy! “.
I will close this post with a quote from a song from Linkin Park, “In the end, it doesn’t even matter”