Last night, my Brownies ventured out in the cold wet that is East Tennessee's December to decorate gingerbread cookies at a willing grandmother’s lovely house. This particular grandmother isn’t grandmotherly in any frumpy sense of the word; she’s stylish, enviably energetic and fun, and young. Her beautiful house was spotless and slip covered in white. She cheerfully gathered up all the girls and thoroughly explained the art of making gingerbread cookies. It was magical.
But the best part of the evening--at least for me--was when she asked whether any of the girls knew who Martha Stewart was. Almost all the girls raised their hands. Then the dialogue took an unexpected turn:
Hipster Grandma: Well, Martha taught me a lot—an awful lot—about cookie making and other things. She went to jail, though.
Alarmed Brownies: What? Why did she go to jail? Was it the cookies? Was she bad?
Hipster Grandma: Well, Martha did some bad things at her job. BAAAAD things. And she had to go to jail. But personally, I think she was singled out because she was a woman. She didn’t do anything anyone else wouldn’t have done. I really think she went to jail because she was a woman. Had she been a man, she probably would’ve gotten probation. OK, girls, grab your icing, and let’s go!
Pan to Brownie troop leaders giggling inappropriately in kitchen corner.
Those hipster grandmothers, I tell you what: you think you've signed your Brownies up for cookie making, and what you get is a solid dose of righteous feminist indignation.