If MY grandson is learning sexism....
He tells me he must get 7 men to lift the bridge and move it over.
My full attention snaps in gear as my initial amusement pauses, morphing into disbelief. His mom is a strong, resourceful single mom; I am his grandmother active in his life since the beginning.
Furthermore, what 7 men are really active in his life? Not many.
I test him hoping to find out he might be using the generic 'men'.
I tell him I know 7 women who can help us move it.
He is startled, smiling like maybe he doesn't want to hurt my feelings, shaking his head sticking to his 7 men (not even big strong men).
Well, grandmother, he strives for a conciliatory solution when I insist I'll ask my 7 women friends, we can ask 100 women and 1 man then.
I'm sure he doesn't even know how many 100 is, just that it is an unbelievably huge number and that we would need a LOT of women to have the equivalent strength of 7 men.
So very sadly, my grandson already knows men are strong, men are to be called upon, relied on, especially when there is a difficult task to be accomplished.
I raised my daughter in what I thought was an anti-racist, anti-sexism, progressive home, school, and community that I traveled over 3000 miles to seek out and find. We had no tv and I arranged my work and school time to coincide with her school hours as closely as I could - so I was the one mostly raising her.
We had no tv, yet my daughter came home from her progressive school one day, at 7 or 8 years old, grabbed a towel to drape over her luscious afro, and began swinging it back & forth like a white girl's mane, declaring she was now a Charlie's Angel!
That is when I learned, if you allow your children to breathe the air in this country, to eat the food, to drink the water, they are going to be filled with racism, sexism, misogyny - all the values that are so prevalent and pervasive in our society they permeate the water, the air, the food.