The other day The Pixie chucked a huge wobbly because I wouldn’t let her wear my birthing tiara (which, in itself, is another story).
“You’re not the boss!” she shouted at me, in that Reichstag-storming voice again. “Girls aren’t the boss! Boys are the boss! Daddy’s the boss!!”
I was shocked. Surely, I *was* the boss and my daughter, of all people, should recognise me as such. Luckily, Mr Justice weighed in on my side.
“Mummy *is* the boss,” he told her. “Just as much as Daddy is.” (Okay, so he was almost on my side.)
But this just incited The Pixie even further. “You’re a toy!”, she shouted, pointing at me in a J’accuse manner. “I’m a toy!! All girls are toys!!!”
And with that, she ran off sobbing to her room and slammed the door.
Okay, so she’s been a bit Tired and Emotional following her trip to the dentist (see “Thumb Kind of Trouble“), but to call me a “toy” in this enlightened age where, yes, I may be trapped in domestic servitude but, like Panadol, “it’s my choice”… Is she pointing out that the fight for women’s rights is far from over? Or is she just wanting to demote me from Boss of the House because I wouldn’t lend her my plastic tiara? It’s a hard call to make.
In writing about this particular episode, I can’t help but make comparisons with Germaine Greer, another eminent feminist of a different generation, who – like The Pixie – has anger-management issues and is prone to baffling outbursts.
Ms. Greer was recently here in her native Australia to give the keynote address at a Writers Festival. According to a friend, who was at a small gathering to which the Mighty Greer spoke, she angrily berated the organisers of the Festival for not knowing what a keynote address actually was. Because if they *had* known, they wouldn’t have asked her to give one at the start of a writers festival – they would have asked her to give an “opening address” (or some other such thing) instead. And boy, was she pissed off about that. It was therefore only fitting that her keynote address ended up being called “On Rage”.
Personally, had I been at that small gathering, I would have swooped up to the podium (assuming there was a podium and it was a room large enough for me to swoop in), taken her by the hand and then placed her firmly on the Thinking Spot.
“Germaine, sweetheart,” I would have then said to her, once she’d served her 69 minutes (one for every year of her life) and had apologised to the room. “There are plenty of real battles out there for the fighting and the definition of a keynote address is just not one them.”
Keynote address or birthing tiara – honestly! Sometimes feminism’s worst enemy is the feminists themselves.