Saturday, June 03, 2006

Vertical segregation in the nursery

With heads hung in shame, I announce the official cancellation of our cloth diaper service. We are now using disposables full time. The official reason is leaks. Very mild inconvenience was not a contributing factor, nor was Mason's self-consciousness over how big his ass looked in those bulky plastic diaper covers (H-U-G-E !!)

Each Pampers diaper is adorned with one of an assortment of Sesame Street characters, which tend to annoy us (Jeff) less than most other children's characters (read: any representatives of the evil Disney empire especially W the P). We generally accept Sesame Street as a positive thing, something we both hold fond memories of (except Elmo, of whom we hold no memories because he was an irritating addition in the 80's and who incidentally is voiced by this big black guy, Kevin Clash - funny, eh?) .

So anyway, every time I reach into the Pampers bag I play this kind of Sesame Street character roulette and try to guess who it'll be. And even though I hate Elmo, I often guess Elmo cuz I think the Elmo-to-cool muppet-ratio is totally high (I plan to do an Andy Rooney style verification).

But what sucks more than pulling out an Elmo is getting one of the "girl Elmo" ones - the orange she-Elmo with eyelashes and ribbons in her hair/fur/whatever. After many pfft-what-is-the-point-of-her?s, it dawned on me... Sesame Street had NO FEMALE MUPPETS!!! Sesame Street, champion of diversity, had NO female muppets - ok, Prairie Dawn - yeah right, who? So they introduced Zoe the stoopid female Elmo in 1993. 1993!

I can't believe that reality escaped me all these years. I mean wow, what have they been saying to generations of little girls? That's right: YOU CANNOT GROW UP TO BE A MUPPET BECAUSE YOU ARE A GIRL. Add that to the already lengthy list of crushed dreams all of us little girls had to eventually face. I've just barely accepted that I'll never play in the NBA.

Here's what Sesame Workshop has to say for their sexist chauvinistic patriarchal misogynist thinks-boys-r-better anti-grrrl-power asses. Pffft.

Mason is alarmed to hear that gender bias exists right here in his own nursery.

Mason does his part to combat gender inequality by choosing the Zoe.

Mason is wearing a Zoe Pampers swaddler by Proctor & Gamble, for the Stamp Out Diaper Sexism Campaign