789. Sugar and spice

789slugs

Pam had done her doctoral thesis on the influence of nursery rhymes on learned sexist behaviour. Nursery rhymes are a fun way to teach children about music, rhyme and language, but they also imprint an indelible bigotry on the child’s mind. For example, what boy doesn’t know what little girls are made of?

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And everything nice
That’s what little girls are made of.

How sexist is that? Pam worked for it to be banned from children’s libraries. And behold! she was to give a lecture on this very topic tonight in the local community hall. Cedric thought he’d attend.

He seemed to be the only male in the audience. Everyone sat in a circle. Cedric sat in an empty chair. A woman turned to him.

“How dare you sit there and separate me from my sisters,” she said.

Cedric had nowhere to sit. He sat in a chair outside the circle, over by the wall. A woman turned to him.

“Typical male,” she said, “refusing to be part of the circle. Too scared to join in.”

Cedric rejoined the circle. A woman turned to him.

“How dare you sit there and separate me from my sisters,” she said.

Cedric left.

“Good riddance,” said Pam.

Slugs and snails
And puppy-dog tails
That’s what little boys are made of.

38 thoughts on “789. Sugar and spice

      1. Cynthia Jobin

        Oh, but she was a she-devil…and a killer. She had to be put down because she was killing the neighbors’ cats. I was once walking home from school in winter and I remember seeing a cat’s limp body being flipped up in the air, higher than a six-foot snowbank, and there was Fritzi, doing her thing on the other side of the snowbank….

        Liked by 1 person

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        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          I have a terrible dog-cat story as well! Our dog will do anything to protect our cat. But she will not tolerate any other cat – and I saw her kill a feral cat by first breaking its back by shaking it. It was horrific!

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  1. Cynthia Jobin

    The only time I didn’t cringe at that “sisters” designation was in the years when I was learning about guns in a course sponsored by the Second Amendment Sisters. I learned gun safety, not to be afraid of and to shoot a rifle and a semi-automatic Glock pistol, at the shooting range. But the shotgun’s recoil nearly knocked me over, and my right armpit was black and blue for days.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
          1. Cynthia Jobin

            I keep forgetting….the birth order in a family makes for a world of different experience. My one sister, after five brothers, is fifteen years my junior (I left for college when she was three) and our life experience is vastly different: I had young parents, she had old parents; I set out for adventure, she never left home. We have little in common but genes….but we try, and there is love.

            Liked by 2 people

            Reply
  2. noelleg44

    This is exactly the sort of mind boggling inanity going on on college campuses in the US now; I’m surprised you didn’t have him charged with committing a microaggression and have the women demand a safe space in which to meet!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

Gentle thoughts and expressions of astoundedness are both gratefully accepted.

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