nic fouts

the many sides

Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy

“Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.”
–Sir Isaac Newton

I witnessed a perplexing event today. While intaking a quick lunch before heading off to Robotics, I saw a small family partaking at the same time. This family consisted of (what I presume was) a father, a son, and a daughter. The children both appeared to be around the age of 8-10, though I am terrible at guessing ages so put a 5 year swing on that to be safe. I would ordinarily have completely ignored this setting since the children were fairly well behaved. Then the son went to refill his beverage.

And that’s when I noticed. His t-shirt was a parody on the “in case of emergency, break glass” signage one might see over some aid tool. I wasn’t able to catch all of the wording, but the top part read “In Case of Annoying Sister” in big red letters. I was actually able to find the very same shirt with a little internet sleuthing so you can see the whole thing:

While I am entirely a proponent of funny t-shirts (hello, have you ever seen me?), this took me as an odd choice for a young child to be wearing WHILE EATING LUNCH WITH HIS SISTER! A couple of thoughts raced into my cognition, and the top of the list was why a parent would purchase that shirt in the first place. (If it was gifted to the child for birthday/christmas/whatever, it’s not any better.) It’s just reinforcing the stereotype that brothers have to think their little sisters are annoying and should be avoided. And what must the little girl think of her brother wearing that shirt. How does her world-view change (or become reinforced) when that is allowed to exist in her own home?

It bothers me that this shirt exists in the first place, but it takes a lot more public outcry than I can drum up to make retailers change their practices. Ignoring that problem for tonight, I don’t understand what leads a parent to think that this is what they want in their house. For their family. For their children. There are enough external forces in the world driving siblings to dislike each other, why add to the internal ones?

September 3rd, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | no comments

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