12 June 2008

More on marriage and gender

Today Olivia, a rather clever and bossy 4yo at daycare, kept calling Ella back to the gate when I was trying to get us on the bike to go home. The last of the very important questions she asked Ella was:

Olivia - So Ella, who are you going to marry?
Ella - Camilla.
Olivia - But she's a girl! And you're a girl too. And girls can't marry girls! So which boy are you going to marry, Ella?

At this stage Ella started speaking very quietly and I couldn't hear what the reply was. When I questioned her about it later, she said she'd said:

"But I want to marry a girl!"

So I told her that if she really wanted, she could marry a girl. And that she was free to tell Olivia that her mum had said that that was ok.

Half an hour later the topic came up again and - after having to tell her again that one cannot marry one's mum, or dad, or brother or sister - Ella declared that she would marry Camilla AND Phoebe because they are her two best friends. I had to break the news to her that you can only marry one person because that's the law. And we should try to stay on the right side of "the law". She started worrying about who Phoebe was going to marry then.

The rest of our conversation focused mainly on getting the point through that one does not have to marry if one doesn't feel like doing so. For example, I am not married and very happy that way. And some of our friends aren't married and doing very well too. Of course some of our friends are married and are happy that way too.

A bit of non-conventionalism and libertarianism never hurt anyone, right?


the godmother said...

oh you're fantastic.

jeanie said...

ha ha - I remember the fascination with marriage at that age.