Since Alan Rickman (and to a lesser, more childhood extent David Bowie) died earlier this year, I've been bereft of a celebrity crush.
But, rest assured, the situation has been rectified. My heart--or the very, tiny sliver of it that's devoted to celebrity crushes--has been now been given. To Justin Trudeau.
He sealed the deal with this interview, where, at about 1:10, he bats his beautiful eyes and says:
"I talk to our daughter Ella all the time about how she can do anything she wants and she’s just as good as…she’s better than any man. That’s she’s brilliant. That she’s wonderful and everything. And [his wife] Sophie’s like, 'Good, that’s great. But how are you saying that to our sons as well? How are you training your sons to be focused on women’s rights and women’s opportunities the way that you're focused on telling your daughter that she can be anything?'"
OK, so maybe I'm actually in love with Sophie? Or both of them? Let's not quibble.
Because the point is, that it's a darned good point.
Just as one example, I'm already collecting lists of books with strong women to read to Little Miss some day, but I can only name one that I've ever read to the Kid. I can't wait to start telling her about all of the historic heroines I grew up admiring, but I haven't shared any of those stories with my son.
And, I know, particularly at the age where "girls have cooties" on the playground, there's something to be said for stories where a boy or girl can see themselves as the lead character. And, of course, we want both of our kids to see brave, strong men, too.
But that doesn't completely set the unease in my mind to rest.
Because I'd never think twice about buying Little Miss a t-shirt with the Founding Fathers on it or Albert Einstein, yet it feels weird to sit down and buy the Kid a shirt featuring Malala Yousafzai or Jane Goodall. It's like, somehow in my head, he shouldn't care about those people as much because they are women and he's a (very small) man.
Right? I can't believe I just typed that. Because why shouldn't he care? After all, they're human beings, just like he is, and they've made significant contributions to our world, contributions he's old enough to understand and take an interest in.
My own unconscious bias about what he should and shouldn't like was disturbing to me.
So, when Clever Belle, a t-shirt company focused on giving girls alternative clothing choices, asked if we'd like to try a shirt--while I was so tempted to pick out a cute one for myself--I sat down with the Kid and let him choose one instead.
And we talked about it. In simple terms, I told him the stories of why people would proudly wear the words of these women on their t-shirts.
"This shirt is about Malala. She was really brave and stood up to some really bad men who didn't think girls should be allowed to go to school."
"This shirt is about Jane. She's a lady who has spent her whole life studying chimpanzees and helping to protect them."
In the end, the "monkey shirt" won out. Yes, it's probably because it has a monkey on the front. And, yes, it's just a t-shirt.
But, the overall conversation is one that I'm glad we started and one I want to work to continue.
[Thanks to Clever Belle for sending us a free t-shirt. And Justin Trudeau for being brilliant and gorgeous and marrying well.]