A mini protest

Dads’ night is coming up at Eleanor’s school. This is meant to give children a chance to show off their classroom and to honor the dads for all of their hard work. I baked cookies for last year’s event, and when Greg came home from the party and I asked whether mine had been popular, he said that dozens and dozens of cookies, including mine, had been left. He questioned why so many cookies had been made.

Eleanor’s school only has a half-day program, so nearly every child has a stay-at-home parent. Still, when the organizer of this year’s event fretted that she wouldn’t have enough volunteers, I told her that I would help. I went to sign up for cookie baking last week and saw that about 30 moms had already signed up. That’s about one-third of the moms in the school. And each will provide two dozen cookies.

Now even a quick scan of those numbers tells me something is off. Why are we providing 700 cookies for a crowd of 150? I love cookies, but this does not look good. This looks like a bunch of women feeding the stereotype that women can’t do math.

Beyond that, there is no moms’ night. The school does have a Mother’s Day celebration, which is organized by the teachers, all of whom are — yes — mothers.

So I haven’t signed up to bring cookies. I know that if I wanted to make real change, I would prod some of the dads into organizing a moms’ night, but that’s not what I’m looking for either. I just want my time to be valued. And I want other women to value their time too, at least enough that they refuse to spend an afternoon making cookies that won’t be eaten. Haven’t we progressed more than this?

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