The Petticoat Government

Approx. second half of 1880s poster showing An...

Approx. second half of 1880s poster showing Annie Oakley wearing short-skirted attire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There were six of us this weekend.

Females, that is. My friend, C, and me, and our four daughters.

C’s husband is working away, so it’s hardly surprising that her six-year-old son, the lone male wolf, staged a protest at having been over-ruled on the choice of DVD. He wanted Star Wars, they got Annie.

“I’ll bet he can’t wait for his dad to get back,” I said to C. “Must be a fucking drag being surrounded by all these girls.”

Coming from a long tradition of feisty, independent women, I am well-versed in the power of the sisterhood. My granddad used to call us The Petticoat Government. (Under his breath, whilst fetching us our fourth round of crust-less toast as we painted each other’s nails on the bed.)

M was a tremendous foil to the sisterhood. He was comfortable enough in his own skin not to be threatened by it, and at the same time provided a strong, positive male role model for our daughter.

I am aware that since He died, my daughter has a negligible amount of contact with men. She can go for days without seeing or talking to an adult male, let alone one who loves her and will read The Gruffalo three times to her before bed.

This bothers me. Just as I miss male company, I’m willing to bet she does too.

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