Patriarchy and Paper Cuts

My 8 year nephew flies towards me holding in the air a sheet of paper that’s flapping in the air-rush he’s creating from his speed. Its his homework and he wants me to help him with sounding out the words he’s struggling with.

Destroy! He exclaims. His eyes dancing. High Five I sing and we are -after 3 attempts- able to place a loud smack in the air.
What does it mean? I ask him. He’s onto the next one.

Uh-uh, try again I say.
I say it with him.
Tom-boy. Tomboy? He asks.
What does it mean?

I’m about to taint my gorgeous boys young mind with a word I’m appalled still exists in todays society! How do I explain this word? I think fast. Do I say its a word used to describe a girl who behaves like a boy? No that’s not it. Do I say its a girl who likes to do things that boys enjoy doing too? Who am I kidding, its the 21st centuary, which girl doesn’t? I’m stupified into silence. He’s wiggling like a worm, ass up, face down. My punkin :-). When his asking eyes meet mine I’m struggling for words… Uhmm, I start. It means a girl who likes to do things that boys like to do. I give in, willing myself to fade into bleekness. He raises an eyebrow at me and says, like a gay?

I’m dumbfounded.

I don’t like this word I tell him. Its not a nice word and I don’t like it. You can tell your teacher I said that. Is it a swear word he asks readying for guilt. No it’s not I respond gently, its a bad word. And you can tell your teacher I said I DON’T LIKE IT!

He bolts out the door into the garden to water the plants.

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