“Look how your children grow up. Taught from their earliest infancy to curb their love natures — restrained at every turn! Your blasting lies would even blacken a child’s kiss. Little girls must not be tomboyish, must not go barefoot, must not climb trees, must not learn to swim, must not do anything they desire to do which Madame Grundy has decreed “improper.” Little boys are laughed at as effeminate, silly girl-boys if they want to make patchwork or play with a doll. Then when they grow up, “Oh! Men don’t care for home or children as women do!” Why should they, when the deliberate effort of your life has been to crush that nature out of them. “Women can’t rough it like men.” Train any animal, or any plant, as you train your girls, and it won’t be able to rough it either.”—
The best part of this essay is when she advocates for children to be brought up with no gender-role stereotyping, and gets in some not-so-subtle digs at heterocentricism and heterosexism in the process.
Did I mention this was written over a hundred years ago? Because it totally was.
Now I walk down by the shipyards, Near the place where I was born. Sayin’, “Ah, Maria, if you’da known me when…” But she only smiles, By the light on the Navesink Banks. Sayin’, “Listen, baby, I know you now.”