Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Does anyone else think that my daughter's Barbie toy from McDonald's kinda looks like a transvestite?
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against our transgendered population, and in fact, I happen to have had a few transvestite friends in college. But getting this Barbie in my daughter's Happy Meal started a conversation with my children that I wasn't exactly prepared to have. You see, when my daughter opened up her Barbie toy and took it out of the plastic bag, my 8-year-old son grabbed it from her and examined it closely.
"It looks like a man," he said as my 2-year-old grabbed it back and smoothed her lovely blond locks.
"My beautiful Barbie!" she said.
But I couldn't help but notice that, yes, this Barbie had startlingly male features, complete with a square jaw and overly done up lips and eyes. I muttered under my breath (my first mistake cause little ears hear EVERYTHING) "it looks like a transvestite."
"What's a transvestite?" my son asked. (And now my daughter is saying "transtestite" over and over while she lovingly combs Barbie's hair.)
Here is where I stop for a moment and have to make a decision. Do I tell him exactly what a transvestite is? Do I take the Mommy "out" and say "you'll find out when you're older?" or do I make something up?
I go with # 1 because I like my children to be informed and like to be honest with them.
"A transvestite," I say slowly "is a man who decides that he wants to be a woman, so he has operations to make himself look and sound like a woman. Or it could be a woman that wants to be a man." I brace myself for the barrage of questions.
"Why would a man want to be a woman?"
I say "I honestly don't know." (which is true, because honestly, life is just a little bit harder for us boobie bearers.)
He looked puzzled for a moment, and said to me "Do you wish you were a man?" Sometimes, I think, but then I catch myself.
"No, I am happy with being a woman."
"Good. Because I would NEVER want to be a girl."
"OK, good. But it's OK that some people feel differently, and you have to accept all kinds of different people, right?"
"Yeah, I know."
"But there's still one thing I don't understand."
"What's that buddy?"
"When did Barbie become a transvestite?"
And that, people, is my life for ya.
Should I have just said "you'll find out when you're older?"