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Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Talk

Tonight Veevs and I watched Swiss Family Robinson together while Rhett and Spe went on their Father-Son Outing. I have such fond memories of this movie from when I was a child. I especially remember loving when a pirate got an arrow shot directly into his bum. I used to howl with laughter over that one. Who didn't love their sweet treehouse? Or the tiger who falls into the pit? Or the girl pretending to be a boy?

The bum/arrow combo? Kind of made me cringe this time around, truth be told. The treehouse? Totally fake. The tiger? Clearly a trained animal. The girl pretending to be a boy? Oh, honey! Step into the modern world! Case in point: After being held captive by pirates, stealing a pistol and holding the Swiss Family Boys at gunpoint to try to get her own way, Bertie is discovered to be Roberta, and is suddenly a helpless female. Even Veevs noticed. When the Swiss Family Boys are wrestling with a vicious river anaconda, Roberta sits and watches.

Veevs looked at me, "Why isn't she helping?" I looked at sweet Roberta, crouched up under a tree limb, screaming each time a reptilian coil broke the river surface and smiled.

I knew we would have this talk one day.

"You know, Veevs, when this movie was made a lot of people thought girls couldn't do some things just because they were girls. Like fight snakes, or climb mountains, or help build treehouses. But girls can, can't we?"

Veevs flexes her bicep and grimaces. "Yeah, I'm really tough."

"And some people thought boys shouldn't cry or do things that they thought girls should do. Like decorating cakes, or sewing, or cooking." I look at the Swiss Family Boys, who clearly have more important things on their mind than cooking (like how to cut the snake in half now that they have finally found the machete).

"See, sis, the point is that you should be able to choose what you want to do, whether you are a boy or a girl. If you are a girl who likes to sew, then you should be able to do that. And if you are a girl who likes to fight snakes, you should be able to do that, too."

Veevs looks up at me pointedly. "Can you turn the volume up, please? I can't hear when you are talking."

I turn the volume up. Roberta is begging to turn back because it just keeps getting worse and worse, Swiss Family Brother has lost the compass, and Swiss Family Other Brother is positive that he can find their way home without it.

Honestly, I'm just waiting for the Swiss Family Boys to start fighting over Roberta. Because I've got some more to say on that topic. I'm just getting warmed up.

14 comments:

Texas Mommy said...

I love that movie too! It is funny to watch movies that I loved as a kid because of all the special effects aren't so special any more! I still love them though. I loved all those parts too. I always wanted to be Roberta and have both those boys fighting over me!! lol!

Queen Elizabeth said...

I love that movie too - and I am right there with you about your sticking points. Ah, the halcyon days of youth!

Josh said...

You're such a good mom. Really.

ajhcreative said...

Oh that was so funny to think about that movie, it has been soooo long. Keep driving that girls can do anything attitude into her. I love it! Btw- thanks for helping me get through another crazy sunday

Julia said...

great post! That movie is a classic. I think we made a movie night of it with the whole family when we watched with our kids. My favorite part is when they unleash their secret weapon of logs and bowl all the pirates over. Oh, and when the pirates fall in the tiger pit. I guess I gloried in the gory :)

Leisha said...

I love it, way to go! When Rachel was 18 months old I taught her to flex her muscles and say "I'm tough and I'm strong!" And yet...my son would still say things like "We'd better wait til Dad gets home..." for fixing things, etc. Arggh!

Jen said...

This post makes me feel almost ashamed for loving the teen girl squad cartoons at homestarrunner.com. Almost.

Veevs will definitely be a well-adjusted, strong, vibrant adolescent.

Melissa said...

Ooooh... I like this! We may have to pull our copy of the movie out so that I can make the same point to my kids!
So glad you stopped by my blog :)

Valerie said...

I hate it when women are portrayed as being weak. But I love that movie none the less. Such a classic.

Sue said...

Bravo! When I watch that movie now, I feel so - squeamishy. Icky.

TnD said...

Have you seen Gone with the Wind as an adult. There is seriously a rape scene in it between Rhett and Scarlett. I don't want to be dramatic or anything, but yes, times have changed.

Jo said...

I loved the book more than the movie, but liked the movie too. I love the part where your daughter tells you to turn up the volume!

OHmommy said...

LOL... can you turn up the volume. Funny!

I should tune my kiddos onto the classics!

tiger lamb girl said...

We just watch SFR on t.v. last weekend, lol. I LOVE this movie. No matter how outdated, it cracks me up still. Especially when they do their race toward the end - just before the natives attack them.

Must get it on DVD...add to my collection of great oldies (you KNOW which one is the greatest, don't you? SOM!)