“Strange Parent Enforces Heterosexual Pair Bonding on a Toddler, You’ll Never Guess What Happens Next!”
Ugh, it’s so awkward when people try to ascribe some sort of future romantic intention onto Momo’s outgoing nature. It’s just… gross. For one, she’s two, so flirtation isn’t really in her game plan yet. Second, it’s always with boys – no one calls her and her female friends ‘girlfriends’ when they hug. Third, it just reinforces the tired assumption that relationships between boys and girls must ultimately end in romance – indeed, that this is the only way men and women can interact with each other. Which, when you think about it, has a HUGE impact on sexism and homophobia among adults who learned this.
There’s this trope, especially when you’re watching a movie, that of course the male lead and the female lead will end up in a relationship. In the absence of a female lead, any woman will apparently do – even the niece of your deceased ex-girlfriend (I’m looking at YOU, Captain America!!) – but of course, never two leads of the same gender, or the male lead and his sidekick, etc. Sometimes you’ll get no relationship at all, but even that is often ambiguous.
There’s this constant message of compulsory heterosexuality, and compulsory romantic partnership in general, that’s already invading Momo’s sphere – through movies where any man and woman will suffice, to books where there’s always a mommy and a daddy, to people who look at two little kids hugging and only see ‘boyfriend and girlfriend!’
Leave my daughter alone! The world is already weird enough for her without also giving her this layer of gender performance to think about!