Another ski lift story: you may remember the four year old Canadian girl who i shared a ski lift with last week. The one who could ski like a rocket? Well, if nothing else, i admired her confidence, confidence being a great trait in anyone.
Well, i remembered the second conversation that i had with a four year old Canadian girl on the lift (ski lifts in Canada are very social affairs).
She was with her mother, and we got chatting: “what will you do after skiing”, i asked. “I want to play a game on my iPad”, she answered, “but it only has boys games on it”.
This reminded me of a conversation with my niece, who gave me that disbelieving “are you pulling my leg again” stare when i tried to convince her that there are no such things as boys Lego and girls Lego: there is just Lego.
Note: on this, it turns out that i’m wrong. To their shame, Lego produce sets for girls which are decidedly more pink, with better hairstyles. Not that i’m one to comment on hair. Although to their credit, they’ve just released their first wheelchair riding mini figure (well done Twitter for driving that change).
But i digress: there are no boys games and girls games, although for sure there are games that i like which girls may not like, and games that girls like that i may not. It’s a free world, at least if you’re white and middle class. And male.
Which reminds me of a conversation with a friend, who was pleased to have been awarded a pay rise to level her pay with that of her male (and junior) colleagues. So pleased that she said thank you. Which was nice. Thank you for treating me fairly. You’re welcome. Maybe she played too many girls games when she was little?
It’s ok for girls to be pink. It’s ok for boys to be blue. It’s not ok to pay people less for the same job. It’s not ok to expect people to be happy with the promise of equality a hundred years from now. It’s not ok at all.
It’s ok for girls to play boys games, not least because there are no boys games, and even if there were, it would be ok for girls to play them because, you know, they’re just games. And girls can do what boys do. Seriously.
Note: don’t get me started on why we have ‘football’ and ‘women’s football’, because i can assure you i can tell the difference.
Mainly because the women are paid less.
Equality is not the most complex issue in the world, and yet it’s one of the most intractable. Maybe it starts when we are young. Maybe, just maybe, the world would be better if there were just games, where you could be beaten by boys and girls.