Tuesday, March 08, 2011

"If they try hard enough, men can do anything they want to": International Women's Day.

My sons when they were little, pretending to give birth
When my two sons were little, I divided my time between grad school, spending time with them, and working as my wife's assistant in her law office.

One morning I needed to meet my wife outside a courtroom to bring her some files. I had my two boys in tow. They'd never been in a criminal court, though they knew many lawyers.

While we were waiting for their mother to come out of court, we saw a neighbour who was a lawyer, dressed in his classic blue suit, white shirt, and tie, walking down the hall.

"What's he doing here?" my sons asked.

To me,  it seemed obvious. He looked the stereotype of a lawyer: middle aged, white, & male.

"He's a lawyer," I said.

"But, we thought lawyers could only be women?" my sons said. And indeed, when I thought about it, most of the lawyers that they knew were women.

"But, boys," I replied. "Men can do anything that they want to. If they try hard enough."

I thought I was being pretty clever, but the ironic inversion was entirely lost to them, as indeed it should have been.

*

Football Coach to my ten-year old daughter on an all-boys tackle football league: "Hit 'em harder, sweetie."

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