In a happy occurrence that supported our continued efforts to teach our daughter about gender equality, she pretended to be British Astronaut Tim Peake this week. Continue reading My Sunday Photo – our daughter as Astronaut Tim Peake
Among my daughter’s classmates (age 4-5) there are children who have already decided, figured out, or been taught that there is such a thing as gender specific colours – specifically ‘girl colours’ Continue reading Gender specific colours: In praise of boys who like ‘girl colours’
As another summer season beckons, the garden is becoming a place for us to hang out in again. This year, our daughter is 5-years-old, and it’s always interesting to see how her age each year changes how she engages with this outdoor space.
This particular Sunday, I was doing various little garden and/or kitchen tasks while she was pottering about. She excitedly came over and asked “What is this?”. She had a woodlouse on her hand, crawling around, as she moved her hand to compensate for its movements so I could see it.
I was surprised that she wasn’t scared of it, this classic creepy crawly. In fact, she was so enamoured with it that she wanted it to be her pet. She called it ‘Lucy Louse’, and she wanted it to come and live with us.
I explained to her that it was a creature of the wild, and it wasn’t fair for us to trap it inside with us. It was driven to be free in the outdoors, and not kept as a pet.
She was disappointed, but accepted this. She bounded off and then enjoyed the rest of her time with Lucy, until she bade a fond farewell.
This desire for a pet is ongoing. She would love to have one. She is a very social person who likes companionship, and has many imaginary friends. She is desperate to have a sister, but knows my wife and I don’t want any more children. This desire is in part my motivation for arranging regular playdates (2-3 a week), so she has that social activity in a home environment.
Anyway, this was one of the photos I snapped that day. I like that it shows her grubby fingers that have been pottering around in the garden. I also likes that you can see the classic Yoda quote on her Star Wars top: “Judge me by my size do you?”
It applies here too, that a small and humble woodlouse could generate such joy and empathy in a little girl.
Playing football has been a rite of passage for British boys for generations – whether at home, in school, at the park, or in the streets. But this has not been the case for girls – which is a shame, as we should be empowering girls with football. Continue reading The Women’s FA Cup and beyond: Empowering girls with football
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy returned to the big screen in Vol. 2, and so did a slew of new merchandise – including this Guardians of the Galaxy Electronic Music Mix Star-Lord toy. Continue reading Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Electronic Music Mix Star-Lord toy
Recently I have been hosting boy girl playdates with my daughter and various boys in her class. They’ve been fascinating to witness. Continue reading Observations on hosting boy girl playdates (#mysundayphoto)
It was love at first sight when our daughter spotted this Spider-Man camera toy.
She has never really been one to use pester power too much, and if she was I’m sure my wife and I wouldn’t easily acquiesce to her demands.
That said, on the rare occasions that she DOES beg me to buy her something I tend to go along with it, as this happens so rarely. TBH, it helps a lot if it’s something I think is cool. Continue reading Girl with a Spider-Man camera (#MySundayPhoto)
For the first time since becoming the father of a daughter, it seems that the keepers of the galaxy far, far away have admitted what we knew all along – that Star Wars is for girls too… Continue reading It’s official – Star Wars is for girls too…
As a secularist and an atheist, my biggest issue with our daughter attending school – where she is really thriving – has been how religious teaching, specifically Christianity, has become part of her education. This is despite it being a non-faith state school. Continue reading Jesus Christ? He’s just another superhero…
Anything involving LEGO and DC superheroes is always going to catch my eye, so we found ourselves at The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes exhibition in London. Continue reading The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes (London) review
An important part in any geek parent’s life – taking their kid to a comic shop for the first time. Continue reading Taking my daughter to her first comic shop (#MySundayPhoto)
Finding geek clothes for girls is something that’s always been an ongoing quest of mine. As our daughter wears a lot character/graphic clothing, I was keen to check out the Character.com clothing website. They’re an online shop that sell – you guessed it – character clothes, for both kids and adults. Continue reading Geek clothes for girls (and boys) from Character.com
Mattel approached me to be part of their ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign, and I was happy to do so. As the stay-at-home dad of a little girl, I am well versed in playing dolls with my daughter (though only a couple of them are actual Barbies). Continue reading Mattel’s ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign
As far as I’m concerned, this Batgirl’s Batjet LEGO set justifies the entire existence of the DC Super Hero Girls brand. Continue reading LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Batgirl’s Batjet (41230)
With the arrival of DC Super Hero Girls LEGO, alongside increasing numbers of LEGO Female Superheroes minifigures in the regular Marvel and DC Superheroes line, 2017 is the year that female LEGO superheroes finally shatter the plastic brick ceiling. Continue reading LEGO Female Superheroes have finally broken the plastic ceiling
I want to celebrate some Disney Princesses…of colour. Continue reading Celebrating Disney Princesses of Colour
To me, this is the defining image of Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia. Continue reading Be like Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back
An utterly delightful Christmas treat for us this year was seeing this stage adaptation of Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Southwark Playhouse in London. Continue reading Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Southwark Playhouse
Like a doomsday device counting down to zero, I have awaited my daughter’s embrace of Princess Culture with dread. Continue reading We should all be the Wonder Woman of the party
Spotted these in a high street shop this week. One globe is as you would expect – blue oceans, green and brown landmasses. The other is pink.
It may not say ‘boy’ and ‘girl’, but there can’t be any doubt that this is the intention. Continue reading Does the world need pink and blue globes?
Me: “What did you do at school today?”
4yo: “Played princesses.”
Now, this answer should horrify me. I hate princesses, and their pastel domination of our girls’ childhoods. As a brand, they represent everything I don’t want for my daughter.
But I was curious, as I had a suspicion it might not be what I feared. Continue reading Reinventing Princesses: The League of Extraordinary Ladies
My 4-year-old daughter likes pink. She likes Frozen. She likes My Little Pony. But she also likes green. She also likes superheroes. She also likes Star Wars. Continue reading She passed the Fake Geek Girl test. But she shouldn’t have to.
We were watching an event on TV recently, and I noticed William and Kate, aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, our future King and Queen, in the audience. Continue reading The British Royal Family and the problem with Princesses
When my daughter was about 2-years-old, on a trip to the local soft play centre a rather confused looking older boy asked me “Is she a boy or a girl?” about my daughter.
Resisting the urge to point out he’d already answered his question I simply replied “She’s a girl.”
“Why is she wearing a Spider-Man t-shirt then?” he retorted. Continue reading Superheroes are for Girls (and Boys)
I took our daughter to London’s Science Museum. It’s one of those places that we had always intended to take her to repeatedly. Knowing that many girls are dissuaded from an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing), the Science Museum was going to be a key way to encourage it.
Well, we finally got round to it – motivated by knowing our chances to do this mid-week term time were lessening every day. Soon she’ll be at school and we’ll be locked into the holiday/weekend museum crush. Continue reading Female Empowerment: Raising a Confident Girl
For as long as I’ve been blogging about being a parent raising a daughter in the shadow of princess culture, I’ve had online feedback suggesting I check out the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon (aka MLP:FiM).
At first, I ignored them. What were they thinking? These people clearly didn’t understand I wanted to show my daughter content with themes of female empowerment and self-confidence; to find stories and characters that didn’t patronise young girls; that had imaginative female led tales of action and adventure yet with stimulating and thought provoking scenarios. My Little Pony was surely part of the problem – not the solution. Continue reading In My Little Pony, Feminism as well as Friendship is Magic
Do you want to have an age appropriate talk with your child about prejudice, discrimination, and identity politics – but don’t know where to begin? Well, show them Zootropolis (aka Zootopia in the US) and talk about that. Continue reading How Disney’s Zootropolis (aka Zootopia) Tackles Race and Gender Inequality
For International Women’s Day, Oxfam approached me with an intriguing proposition. Knowing that I often write about my hopes and aspirations for our daughter, and the potential barriers in her way because of her gender, they put me in touch with another dad of a little girl.
He is Alex Namusokwe (37), who is the father of Ethel (7). They live in rural Zambia, about 200 km from Zambia’s capital Lusaka. Continue reading Two Dads’ Hopes For Their Daughters’ Future
This time last year, there were a flurry of stories about my daughter and I published around the world. A US writer spotted an angle for a “sweet article about (my) daughter’s outfits”, and that got noticed by the likes of The Independent & Metro in UK, Buzzfeed and ABC News in US, and then various outlets across the globe. Radio and TV appearances followed. Perhaps you are reading this because you started following my blog after coming across one of those.
The premise was basically I was an at-home parent letting my (then) 3-year-old daughter choose what she wears every morning. And the outfits were kinda cool and not traditionally ‘girly’.
When I asked, the writers of those articles told me the same thing – what made this story ‘a story’ was the fact that I was a dad of a daughter.
While it was nice to bask in the mostly supportive comments (US conservatives aside – yikes), the fact people were reacting strongly to it highlighted an issue we have with parenting.
Is dad all there is?
Here’s a game for you. Try and find a female pilot in the original Star Wars trilogy. Is there one in Star Wars? Nope. The Empire Strikes Back. Nope. Return of the Jedi? Yes! Well, kind of. Continue reading Female Star Wars Characters: The Importance of a lady X-Wing pilot
My daughter has various dolls – Barbie, Cindy, some Phantom Menace Padme Amidalas, a Princess Leia, and a 90’s Storm (that I randomly found boxed at a local charity shop for £2). But I think she has found her favourite one yet – the Lottie doll. Continue reading Lottie, a Doll to Inspire Our Little Girls
Star Wars Day – May the 4th (be with you) – has become an annual celebration of all things Star Wars. It has also become a day for many of the licensees to promote their own Star Wars products – and we were fortunate enough to receive from Hallmark UK & Ireland a substantial haul of what seems to amount to pretty much every Star Wars product they make!
As a greetings card company, many of these were cards – but like many manufacturers in the gift business they also had some plush toys as well – both little and large. Very large…
Here’s a rundown of the highlights of our haul.
Star Wars Itty Bitty (standard size)
Hallmark Itty Bittys are cute little plush toys, and their Star Wars ones have lots of different characters – from cute Ewoks to fierce bounty hunters. All the main characters are there too. Especially cute was the Han and Leia double pack, on a Millennium Falcon cockpit card backing.
Darth Vader Itty Bitty (Jumbo)
Hallmark told me they were going to include a jumbo Itty Bitty of Darth Vader. We have a few other large Itty Bittys (of Batman and Superman) that are just shy of a foot high, so I figured this would be the same. It isn’t.
This Darth Vader so-called ‘Itty Bitty’ is huge – 2 1/2 feet tall! It has an elasticated ‘belt’ with spaces to hold 6 normal sized Itty Bittys – which looks quite sinister, as if Vader is collecting people as trophies.
Jumbo Vader is now (much to my wife’s displeasure) an established addition to our daughter’s room. She says Vader is standing guard, protecting her against monsters.
Star Wars Greetings cards
We got dozens of different Star Wars greetings cards, which will keep us in good stead for many birthdays of friends and families to come. My favourite is this Yoda one, which has a push out Yoda for the recipient to assemble.
Star Wars Gift Bags
There were also a variety of gift bags, which again will come in handy come gift giving times ahead. However, my favourite was this one featuring classic imagery from the Star Wars Marvel comics of my youth – so I may hang onto this one.
This was a curious one – a Darth Vader bottle shroud. It’s a cardboard cutout to turn your bottle of booze into the Sith lord.
Disclosure: As this article details, we were sent these items free of charge by Hallmark UK & Ireland.