> Ma and her girls were Americans, above doing men’s work.
>(Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter)
When I first read those words as a child, they shocked me. I had not before that realized how it is possible to oppress someone by praise, by convincing them that they are so precious and so fragile that they take pride in not even trying. Those words are burned to my brain now, and pop up whenever anything remotely like that seems to be happening around me. (For example, whenever “women’s pushups” are mentioned.)
Sometimes these days I wonder if we are oppressing our children and especially teenagers that way, trying to push the idea that childhood is so precious that people should be completely free of cares and responsibilities during it, to the point of not asking 12-year-olds to do chores, and not letting 16-year-olds work during summer breaks.
Free Range Kids seems to think so, anyway.