Tuna and I were chatting today, and he told me that the 10-year-old neighbor boy has his ears pierced. My reaction was surprise, a little shock, and sadly judgmental. He said, “well, so-and-so has her ears pierced and she’s way younger”. I said, “yeah but she’s a girl. Well, I guess I was eight when I had my ears pierced, but I’m a girl.”
And I stopped myself. I realized what I was saying, and how I had reacted with sexism at the forefront of my mind. Tuna just looked at me and watched me analyze myself, all the while grinning because he knew this all along.
Such humility, and how far I still have to go. I wonder what other prejudiced, sexist, racist, classist, _______-ist behaviors and thoughts have cemented themselves in my subconscious… Those isms are sneaky, sliding into our inauthentic selves, stifling and hardening over the truths of what really IS.
Rather than holding onto the shame I feel from this, I am choosing to realize that It’s gonna take some more jack-hammering lessons from the kiddos in my life to clear out those isms, and the simple truths underneath these isms may have room to grow and flourish again. The Talking Heads song “Nothing But Flowers” sums it up: “This was a shopping mall, now it’s all covered with flowers.”
We don’t need to believe that only girls can pierce their ears any more than we need that shopping mall. Once we keep only what matters, and allow those isms to fall away, nature will prevail and we’ll all be covered with flowers, boys and girls alike.