KP has been playing hockey since she was 5 years old. It's not exactly the most welcoming sport for girls or women. Once she had to tuck her ponytail into her shoulder pads so the other team wouldn't know she was a girl. Boys have made obscene noises at her on the ice. In other words, it takes some moxie just to lace up the skates in the sport. But she's stuck with it, even spending 6 months in Sweden playing professionally when she got that chance. [A side note--she'd love to move to Sweden, if she can figure out the way, and my guess is she will--lucky her, all those great movies! Oh, and health care...yes, yes, I have to sneak in some Canadian content every once in a while.]

A few weeks before she went to Sweden she was in Sports Authority picking up some last minute hockey equipment when this happened: A girl, maybe 8 years old, picked up a pair of pink hockey gloves. With a big smile she showed them to her mother, "Look, Mom, I could wear pink and play hockey." The excitement and hope in the young girl's voice was palpable. Her mother said, "Girls do not play hockey. Any girl who plays hockey is masculine and not feminine, and would not wear pink." KP picked up the pink hockey mouth guard she had been looking for, walked over to the mother and daughter and said, "Excuse me, but I wonder if you think that I am feminine or masculine?" She was wearing a skirt (newsflash--you can play hockey and wear skirts, though apparently some people can't imagine it). The mother said "feminine I guess." KP thanked her, looked at the small girl, and told her about how she was picking up a pink mouth guard in preparation to go skate professionally in Sweden. Then she said, "Girls can play any sport they want to and maintain's all in how you are raised." Oh mama. I'd like to have seen how conversation went at the dinner table that night in the young girl's family.

So what's feminine? I'd hate to define it, and why do we need to? Be your own person. Travel lightly in the world. Contribute. Share. Be a source of positive energy. And wear whatever colour, for whatever sport--it won't change your gender!