Princesses annoy the ever-living shit out of me. They are the most degrading and unrealistic role models for young girls. For as long as I can remember, anything I have ever watched portraying a princess included them either fawning over or defining themselves by a man (a trait I have pitifully exhibited in the past; oh well, can’t go back and change it now!). There was also some whining or bitching about not having legs (when clearly being a mermaid seems awesome as hell) or stating without stating that the only way to not live in rags at the mercy of someone else is to find a rich man who has a foot fetish. I cringe for my child. Absolutely cringe.
I have told a few people, but I might as well get it out right now: originally, I wanted a boy. Now, before anyone gets all crazy and says “Oh my! You should have just hoped she/he was healthy” let me just say that all mothers in some form think about what they would rather be confronted with, even if your ultimate decision is that you don’t care. Which was my ultimate decision. But I knew that with a boy, I would not have to teach him about how to stand up for himself in response to a sexist remark, just how not to be sexist. I would not have to teach him to wear something less provocative or come home before a certain time, I would just teach him that rape was bad (as all mothers of sons should be teaching them). And I would not have to remind him how degrading it is to be a prince, because it isn’t portrayed in that way. They get the girl, they get money, they get the kingdom… no fawning, no work, just ride up on a horse and wake up comatose women by kissing them. These are modern jewels of wisdom, ladies and gentlemen.
That is why I advocate raising a queen. Scarlett is not Princess Scarlett. She is Queen Scarlett. She has an empire of toys ranging from dollies to lightsabers to footballs to Kermit the Frog. One day, she will know that when she wakes up in the morning, she can remind herself that she is beautiful and capable of anything, no matter the storm she weathers. She can have her own business, freelance art, work up a corporate ladder, or go to medical school and she will know how to do it with dignity, grace and independence. There will be no knights in shining armor. My husband is not my knight, he is my king, and my equal. She is going to witness the relationship we have so lovingly cultivated from acquaintances, to friends, to BFFE’s, to lovers over a steady course of time. None of this “I need you, you complete me” crap. Her father doesn’t ‘complete’ me. We were two people who became complete in our own lives, finding ourselves out of tumultuous relationships, both familial and otherwise. And in that completeness, we discovered that we loved one another for who we had grown into. She will understand that complexity before I make her believe that she needs a man, no matter what, in order to ‘complete’ some part of herself.
Queen Scarlett will have flaws, and she will understand them, not fear them. She will not scoff at the opportunities she is given, and she will not think the grass is greener on the other side. Because it isn’t. She is going to understand the importance of rhetoric and the importance of being well-versed in politics and other real media. None of this One Direction, Justin Bieber insanity. I wonder how many thirteen-year-old girls took to Twitter begging for Bieber’s release and how many of their mothers responded by saying the little creep could have killed somebody (my guess is not many, or the girls would have known better in the first place). She will practice the religion of common sense. And above all, she will be kind and loyal. There will be no sneaking off to the ball, because I will make sure she never has a reason to be afraid to ask about it.
And all the mothers out there that think this is impossible can laugh all they want now. You have obviously never met the Queen Mother…