I know this was all over the Internet last week. But. But. But. If you haven’t watched it you must. It is incredibly sad and funny, and shows in such a chilling way how even the most well-intentioned adults force gender roles upon kids. (Don’t worry about the car safety aspect – distractingly horrifying unless you read the note in which the dad makes clear he is not holding the camera while driving.)
A three-year-old boy, dancing ecstatically with his sisters to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”, is devastated when dad says to him, “You know, you’re not a single lady, right?” Obviously, cringingly wrong on so many levels. (Like, taken literally, how does it makes any more sense for the eight-year-old girls in the car to be singing that song than a three-year-old boy? )
But I love the father’s self-awareness, and the determination of the rest of the family to make it right. The older girls are so lovely - one cuddles him, while the other gives her father a deathly glare. The mom, hilariously, keeps reassuring the kid that he can be a single lady too – and of course she is exactly right. I used to be criticized for not correcting my son when he said he planned on being a mommy; after all, the literalists carped, he cannot actually grow up and be a mommy.
But until he was old enough to ask whether boys could be mommies, it seemed more important to emphasize life’s possibilities than its limitations. I love the way the family in this video tries hard to do the same for their aspiring single lady.