timberland returns A Halloween riddle
What has fuzzy brown webbed feet, big white tusks, goofy googly eyes and puts me in a rage?
It’s a walrus, and it was the only Halloween costume available for my 16 month old son.
Sure, guys have it easier. Men make more money, on average a full 30 per cent more than women. They still aren’t expected to put their careers on hold to raise children, giving up precious rungs on that ladder in order to do so. They have a faster metabolism; on men grey hair looks ‘distinguished’ and rarely do they walk through a dark parking lot clutching their keys as weapons and fully expecting attack.
I don’t know a single man whom, after watching a Criminal Minds marathon, will go to bed and curl up next to a crowbar. Mind you, I don’t know a single man who would watch a marathon of Criminal Minds, but that’s not the point.
To top it off, should he so desire, a man can stand up and urinate off the back of a boat. The world is their rest stop, and certainly, that’s unfair.
In truth, I have as much chance of seeing the dawn of gender equality in my lifetime as I do seeing Elvis live and in concert.
But while men have it easier, little boys have it rough. And the walrus proves this.
Combing a local department store for Halloween costumes rammed the point home.
There are racks and racks of costumes for girls. There are princesses and furry pink ponies. There are unicorns and butterflies, kitty cats and ladybugs. There are pink teddy bears and pink lambs, purple dragons and good witches with pointy white hats.
There are even tiny versions of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and teeny weenie little Princess Leias.
Even the so called unisex costumes aren’t particularly appealing, and while my darling son would look cute as a plush yellow chick, that’s not the point. He might have been a cute lion or a zebra, maybe even an alien or a monkey, but the racks had been picked clean of these offerings, and the only zebra that remained in his size was missing an eye.
Before you judge me for buying into the stereotype of gender specific clothes, hold on a second. It’s about choice. Where mothers of little girls get to decide what costume suits their darling the best are they a princess or a pony, a pink spotted leopard or a fairy? I am told my little boy is a walrus. Because that’s all there is.
(And before you judge me for failing to make my son a Halloween costume like your mom did when you were little, stop and think about how sexist that assumption is I’m a mom, therefore I ought to be able, and have time, to sew. You wouldn’t expect the same skill set of my husband, would you?)
The Halloween costume is just one example. Take a walk through any department store and you’ll soon discover that the little girl section is three times the size of the little boy section. Little girls get colours, styles and sizes galore. Little boys get sweat pants and T shirts. You don’t even get to choose what colour or style you want, either you just look for what fits and grab it before the next mom comes a looking.
Shoes? Good luck. Again, it’s a matter of finding what fits and making do; whereas little girls not only have rainboots, they have rainboots with strawberries on them, they have ladybug rainboots with little antennae shooting off their toes. My son has rainboots that his cousins outgrew. They’re blue.
On October 31, he won’t be a walrus. He might have to wear the ugly sweatpants and the lame, off yellow t shirts, he might even have to wear the previously scuffed, utilitarian rain boots. But he won’t be a walrus. He’ll never be a walrus.