A mom asked for advice after telling another mom and her son to leave a public park because she, her daughter and friends were having "girls only" playtime

By Maura Hohman
October 31, 2018 03:15 PM
Credit: Getty

One mom online who’s espousing what she believes are feminist values has other parents rolling their eyes.

Writing in to the Washington Post‘s advice column, the mother in question asked about what she called “playground drama.” She explained that she has “a daughter, and some other moms of daughters and I have started getting together at a local playground at a set time each week.”

“Recently a mom of a boy brought her son to the playground at the same time we were there,” she continued. “I asked her (nicely, I thought) if she would mind leaving because we had wanted it to be a girls-only time.”

Next, the mom of the boy got angry and refused, which prompted the advice-seeker to look for a “better way to approach her.” She justified her request because it had been “a sweet time for moms and daughters and having a boy there is naturally going to change things.”

“We live in a world where boys get everything and girls are left with the crumbs,” she added, concluding, “I know I can’t legally keep her from a public park, but can I appeal to her better nature?”

The responding columnist, Carolyn Hax, immediately disagreed with the mom’s mentality, beginning, “Can I appeal to -your- better nature? Goddess help us all.”

“Shooing off the mom and her boy was terrible. And justifying it as a cosmic correction? Wow,” she continued. “That kid is a human being — not with privileged little man feelings, either, but with feelings, period. Perhaps even a disposition that fit better into your idea of girl behavior than one or more of the girls there.”

Hax then called out that the mom who was told to leave was “fed the same crumbs” as the advice-seeker and that she probably was just looking to “hang with some fellow moms in the park while she was out with her child.”

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She also recommended hosting any future “exclusive gathering” on “private property,” and that the mother seeking advice reexamine her own idea of entitlement: “Ask yourself who was claiming possession of public space for her own purposes.”

Commenters generally agreed with Hax’s mindset. “Retaliating against a child for the historic wrongs done to women is also wrong. He’s a child. Treating someone unfairly on the basis of their gender is how we got into this mess,” wrote one.

“Some attention needs to be paid to the exclusion of the mom in this situation … Parenting can sometimes be really hard and really lonely. This woman doesn’t know the boy’s mom or her situation,” remarked another.

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In a blog post on Dearly.com, a fellow mom of boys, Prudence Hill, also presented a strong argument against the events that transpired.

“Moms of boys can have their own issues, but they are less likely to fall into the cult of femininity I see with some moms who only have daughters,” Hill wrote. “Most of the time, this kind of thing is benign … But there can come a point where it starts to get toxic. When men are framed as an irredeemable ‘other’ and women as inherent possessors of virtue.”

She continued, “Boy moms rarely make it a point to have special ‘mom and sons only’ time … Trying to rationalize your ‘no boys allowed’ party with a lot of political justifications is harmful nonsense. It doesn’t help boys or girls learn to play together. It’s just cliquish, mean girl behavior held together by a feminist scrunchy.”