Side note: Happy Birthday Nita!!!
So I went to the 8 a.m. service at church one Sunday. I had something to do for Sis. Elrod at 11 a.m., so I went to Sunday School and then had breakfast before helping Sis. Elrod out and running to R&P's for the Bears game at noon.
While partaking in the fluffiest (and most inexpensive) pancakes I'd ever had, I witnessed something that just made my heart drop.
There were two older ladies at the table with me in the church kitchen/eating area/fellowship hall/dining room/whatever. I'd say late 40s, early 50s, but they were sistas, so it's hard to tell their real age. There were two young girls with them. These girls were probably 5 and 6, 6 and 7, something like that.
The children finished eating and cleared their trays, threw their paperware in the trash, put the trays back and came back to the table like it was a cleanup relay race. Then they high-fived each other, up high and down low, so as to say good job.
I thought it was the cutest thing EVER. But then one of the old ladies said "What was that?" *insert old lady stank face here* The children, not knowing what they did wrong, looked at their shoes and said "I don't know." To which the old lady said, "you don't do that (referencing the high fives). You're little gurls. Gurls don't do that."
I'm sitting at the table indulging in some perfectly crispy bacon thinking WTH, old lady? What is it about clearing your own plate and congratulating your sister/friend for doing the same with a high five that is, indeed, unladylike? Kismet, I automatically thought about you and what you would have to say about this negative [and quite confusing] gender role that was assigned to these little girls.
It reminded me of how in my house (and many other Baptist homes in my area) girls couldn't "date" until they were 16, but boys could "date" at 14. If every parent had the same rules, then who exactly do these parents think their 14-year old male children are dating... each other? Then when parents find out about these teenage love affairs the 14-year old girls get in trouble for being "fast," "hot," "loose," or whatever other term you can come up with to mean female child slut. But the boys are free to continue trying to play hide and go freak and the like because they're "just being boys."
Oh, this cooks my grits in an Al Green kinda way. I am not open enough to think that men and women are equal, were created equal or will ever be equal. (Sorry activists, I just don't agree with that). What I am, though, is logical enough to think that the rules governing girls and boys and men and women should at least make sense.
Older women, and maybe even black women in particular are so protective of younger women that when they try to do what's best for young girls, they are usually setting them back, stifling their creativity, putting fear in their imaginations and ultimately setting them up for a fall.
I know my grandmas had fits when I didn't wear earrings and it's not ladylike to swear and I should always make sure the men have something to eat before I make my own plate and I should wear lipstick everytime I leave the house and chipped nail polish or biting your nails is tantamount to a federal felony and I shouldn't sit on boys laps (hehe), etc, etc. But, seriously, can someone please tell me what is wrong with girls high-fiving each other?
I suppose they should have done a curtsy when they got back to the table, huh?
P.S. Tomorrow I have another topic about black mothers (which you aren't going to like at all, so please stay tuned).