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This upset me and made me furious in equal measures...

(43 Posts)
Misfitless Sat 28-Jun-14 10:35:21

A good friend of mine said to her DD the other day "DD, get down from there, stop climbing, you're a little girl, not a little boy!" shock

Just wanted to post, couldn't believe it! She is only about 6 years older than me and our DDs are the same age.

I just can't stop thinking about it, and how sad it is that girls can experience such sexism from their own mothers!

Misfitless Sat 28-Jun-14 10:37:36

I wanted to say something but didn't. I wanted to shout climb, climb...go as high as you can, well done, keep going!

Of course I just stood there open mouthed and speechless, and really wish I hadn't!

vesuvia Sat 28-Jun-14 11:10:25

I recommend that you ask anyone who says that girls can't climb or shouldn't climb to watch a video of free climber Catherine Destivelle.

For example

overmydeadbody Sat 28-Jun-14 11:13:43

If she is a good friend of yours you should challenge her misconceptions.

I would have challenged a friend who said that, I would have had a conversation with them about it, and I would have let them know how shocked and appalled I was at their attitude.

If fact, I would have done this even if they weren't a good friend.

BTW, I am a climber (quite a good one too) and plenty of wome and girls climb.

EduCated Sat 28-Jun-14 11:17:59

Just sad That's not even subtle, is it?

See also Brooke Raboutou

KiaOraOAotearoa Sat 28-Jun-14 11:31:02

I would have asked the friend if she's aware little boys don't climb with their willies, they use hands and feet just like little girls do!
Good grief!

zipzap Sat 28-Jun-14 11:43:25

That's really sad and upsetting - little girls have as much right to climb trees as little boys.

There are times when it's not appropriate for them to be climbing trees - wearing best clothes, about to go out, wearing an outfit that could make it dangerous to climb etc - but I'd apply those to both boys and girls, not just to girls.

And of course with my over-protective, worry-wort mummy hat on, given that I've always been useless at climbing trees (and anything elsecome to that!), I'm always freaked out and a touch envious whenever I see kids successfully climbing up trees.

A friend's dd loves climbing trees and quite happily shimmies up the equivalent of 3-4 stories high and I always end up watching with a mixture of fear and fascination! I'm sure she would go higher still if there were other trees around that were suitable; I'm secretly quite glad that there aren't - but that's the worry wort in me rather than because she's a girl. Her brother climbs trees well too - but even he is happy to admit his little sis is better than he is!

YouMakeMeHappy Sat 28-Jun-14 11:46:47

That's silly! I don't agree with dressing boys in pink and giving them dolls prams to play with, but surely climbing trees is a gender neutral activity?!

VashtaNerada Sat 28-Jun-14 11:48:45

You don't agree with letting a boy wear pink or play with a doll? Won't derail thread but just taking a quiet moment to scream into a cushion.

AskBasil Sat 28-Jun-14 11:49:27


What an arsehole your friend sounds, sorry.

But what an arsehole. Fancy stopping your kid from playing something on the basis of her genitals.

What an arsehole.


BravePotato Sat 28-Jun-14 11:54:08

Did you get a nice warm feeling of righteous indignation?

pinkyredrose Sat 28-Jun-14 11:54:50

I don't agree with dressing boys in pink and giving them dolls prams to play with WTAF??!!

AskBasil Sat 28-Jun-14 12:46:55

What's your problem BravePotato?

Do you think it's reasonable to stop kids playing games they want to on the basis of their sex?

Or are you just here to be unpleasant?

Misfitless Sat 28-Jun-14 12:49:09

BravePotato confused I think that's a rhetorical question and a dig that I did nothing, but I'll answer anyway.

No, I was speechless, and then wanted to kick myself for not saying anything, so I acknowledge that you have a point.

The thing is, we were waiting for our DCs to go into school for their taster day, my own DD had fallen over and I was picking her up and trying to calm her down at the time it was said. Then I was trying to reassure her, as she was saying she didn't want to go, but come home with me.

In my defence, my daughter took priority and rightly so, it was neither the time nor the place, but I have asked myself if my daughter hadn't been crying, what would I have done/said.

Zipzap I've noticed that as DDs are always dressed in very pretty and expensive clothes and made to look perfect within an inch of their lives, it really inhibits what they are allowed to do...this is always the case, sadly.

Misfitless Sat 28-Jun-14 12:58:24

Thanks for the videos on Catherine!

grimbletart Sat 28-Jun-14 14:58:47

I would find it very difficult to be friends with a woman like that. Mothers should not be metaphorically squashing their daughters' ambitions, confining them, infantilising them, trashing their spirit and diminishing them. They should be encouraging them, supporting them and challenging them to take on activities that are life-enhancing, that expand their world, not shrink it.

I can't decide if those sort of mothers made me more sad than angry really as they illustrate just how to crush a girl's spirit and leave her with low self esteem. sad

Misfitless Sat 28-Jun-14 15:11:00

I know. I completely agree with you, grimbletart! Well said.

illcounttothree Sat 28-Jun-14 21:02:50

Misfitless - it's not too late to speak to your friend about this. You could just bring it up over coffee or something. 'Listen, what you said the other day, about DD not climbing a tree because she's a girl... Do you really think that girls shouldn't climb trees?' It may genuinely be her view, or it may have been a throwaway comment on her part, but either way it would be worth challenging her so that she stops and thinks about the constraining effects her comments could have on her daughter.

Misfitless Sat 28-Jun-14 21:09:17

Yy, *illcount" you're right.

Have been wondering how I could broach the subject. I think I need to, otherwise it's a classic case of letting sexism continue because I don't have the balls to challenge it. If something makes me feel that annoyed, I really should have the conviction to speak up!

Misfitless Sat 28-Jun-14 21:11:21

Did I just say balls? Self correction...inner strength! smile

zipzap Sat 28-Jun-14 22:27:39

misfitless that's really sad - it's one thing to have a best outfit to go to a wedding or to go to a family lunch for granny's 70th birthday or some other occasion when everyone's dressed up...

But to spend your life in pristine dresses and be expected to conform to some strange notion of girly perfection all the time is so sad.

I only have boys but I do have lots of dneices - some sporty, some tomboys, some girly princess loving. But even the 'girly' ones love to rough and tumble and play outside - there are plenty of practical but pretty clothes around that combine both features. I'm always amazed when I go to take a dc to a party at soft play, quite how many of the girls will turn up wearing party dresses that are not very suited to soft play centres and then don't have as much fun as they could as those that have turned up in jeans or leggings etc with a pretty top instead. (thinking of a few particular examples; I'm sure there are plenty of other outfits that would work too!).

Definitely sounds like it would be a good idea to have a chat in general terms even if not just about the tree climbing if the girls never seem to have much fun - or even if they're not running around and burning off much energy - that can't be good for them!

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 29-Jun-14 10:41:48

Watched the Catherine Destivelle vid with my DSs. Wow.

I have had a friend said that to her daughter - you mustn't be naughty, you are a girl. shock

Agree with grimble.

ROARmeow Tue 01-Jul-14 12:44:53

I loved those videos! Sooo interesting to see climbs like that being done.

Lottapianos Tue 01-Jul-14 12:53:04

If its any consolation OP, this is not unusual. I work with young children and hear this kind of thing often from parents and even occasionally from Early Years staff.

'Oh she loves climbing - should have been a boy!'
'Always running around, just like a boy!'
'Oh he loves his trains - typical boy!'
Mother to 2 year old son: 'stop crying! boys don't cry!'
Dad to me when I suggested developing his son's pretend play skills through using dolls/teddies and a tea set: ' Dolls? Really? Won't that turn him a bit.........'

I always try to challenge it in a smiling, perky sort of way - 'oh some little girls love climbing too!' 'oh some little girls love their trains too!' No idea if it actually sinks in but I can't just stand there and say nothing!

kingbeat23 Tue 01-Jul-14 13:57:51

I told my dd to stop climbing today but that was due to me being worried for her falling and even I cringed inside and died a little bit. I told her that I was sorry I just worry she might fall and to carry on climbing but maybe once I'd left the playground. DD is a dresses and skirts girl, hates any trousers apart from leggings. Refuses to wear them but crawls through bushes and rolls down hills, climbs walls and fall over. A lot. I just but cheap crap that I don't mind if it gets buggered. Maybe suggest that to your friend if the real issue might be behind ruining the clothes. If it's the fear that her DD might fall suggest she doesn't look??

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