Freedom to be who we are

I took Ben for a short walk with me last Friday, so he could go and ride his scooter.

We stopped at a place where there were a few ramps so he could have fun. Another child was riding a scooter too. The child had short hair and was wearing a cap and hat, shorts, a baggy sweatshirt, and a blue scooter… a boy, Ben and I thought.
I talked to the child’s father (I confirmed that he was a father), and he said that the child’s name was Maira and that she, unlike the other girls, liked to dress that way, have short hair, etc. He briefly mentioned that she suffered bullying at school!

I have been reading quite a few books about feminism and always learning something about parenting with Ale, so I felt ready to talk to him about it. I told him that I think it is very important, as a woman, that he supports and respects his daughter’s decisions (even though Maira is 7 years old), and that if she has love and support at home, to be whatever she wants to be, that is what matters most. He seemed to be very supportive of his child.

He also thought that I was Bens mother! Of course, he would. After all, society (and the patriarchy) say that girls, women, mothers, and stepmothers should be a certain way. Surprisely I, a ''stepmom'', was just having quality time with Ben, not being mean to him as the Disneys movies would capture.

We both are immigrants in New Zealand, he is from India, and I am from Brazil, and our main reason for being in NZ is safety. After this chat, I believe that safety also includes the freedom to be who we are and allow others to be who they are.

Ben and I – Whangamata, nz 2022

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