The godmother to my 2-year-old daughter is a very dear friend. She is exceptional, loving, intelligent, brave, and funny. However, I am concerned about one thing. Since having children, I’ve become hyperaware of how sexualized a lot of toys aimed at girls are. I grew up playing with Barbies and ’80s-era She-Ra, and it didn’t ultimately do me any harm, but it definitely instilled in me certain patriarchal ideas that have been hard to shake even in adulthood. I’m trying to avoid that with my daughter, but her godmother is a huge comic book fan, particularly Wonder Woman. She often gives her Wonder Woman toys, most of which are fine, but recently she gave her a book that I just don’t like—one page is dedicated to ogling Wonder Woman’s legs, even though it’s a board book aimed at toddlers. I know this has not crossed our friend’s mind. I also know that my daughter doesn’t seem to notice—she loves superhero everything, spends half her time dressed as Spider-Man or Batman, and adores her godmother. So am I being silly? I can’t single-handedly stop the patriarchy from influencing my daughter’s life, and I wouldn’t want to risk damaging this relationship or making her godmother uncomfortable about giving my daughter gifts. On the other hand, I’m not really ready to invite these messages into my home.
—Fairy Godmother, Fairly Worried