Well, Then By All Means, Let’s Spoil It For Everyone

When I was in third grade, I was in a Bluebirds troop. Our leader decided that we would put on a play: Snow White. We drew lots for roles, and I was excited when the slip of paper I drew from the bowl read “Snow White.” I would get to be the main character!

And then one of the mothers objected. Snow White, she said, was a story about a woman who cooked and cleaned for seven men. It glamorized traditional gender roles. And if we put on that play, she’d pull her daughter from our troop.

The show did not go on.

I’m remembering this, because it turns out that father-daughter dances (and mother-son ballgames) are discriminatory.


The only way to accomplish equality, clearly, is to ban the offending event.

Here’s an idea: what if we changed it? What if we made it a “Family Dance” or a “Family Ballgame” that didn’t specify gender for any of the parties? What if, in the case of my Bluebird troop’s play, the mother had suggested another story she thought offered a better message? What if she’d worked with the troop leader to rewrite the story so that it taught a lesson she found more palatable?

There are a lot of ways we can teach our children to deal with discrimination. I want to teach Baguette that she should start by looking at how to make events/traditions/the world more inclusive. I don’t want her to learn that the way to increase fairness is by limiting access for all.

Fort Bragg Father Daughter Ball gives Families night of fun, fantasy - FMWRC - US Army - 100916

Seriously, who looks at this photo and thinks, “That’s enough of that nonsense”? If you want to be a part of it, find a way to be a part of it. Don’t ruin things for everyone.

That’s not equality. That’s spite. And it’s not what I want to teach my daughter.

Photo by familymwr, via Flickr.

6 thoughts on “Well, Then By All Means, Let’s Spoil It For Everyone

  1. very interesting babe, I always wonder how hubby will feel about never going to a dad and daughter dance or me gong to a mommy and daughter activity. I would love a family dance or family activity…if only.

    1. See, I think there ought to be a way to schedule Special Evening Out for lots of different combinations of people. Because that’s really the point–to have that special time.

    1. Thanks! I don’t understand why we can’t broaden things like this instead of eliminating them.

    1. Thanks. I didn’t grow up with father-daughter dances, and when I started hearing about them, I thought they sounded silly and sentimental. Then we had a little girl, and when I think about how much Mr. Sandwich and Baguette would love this kind of event, I don’t think it’s so silly.

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