Gender Equality and Children

Why is it that when a little girl wants to dress up as something traditionally boy, or pretends to be a boy people make comments about how cute it is and how she is being raised right, but when a boy wants to dress up as something traditionally girl, all hell breaks loose and it’s a big deal?

All over Facebook and the internet I see little girls playing with trucks, dressed up in traditionally boy costumes and playing sports. I think this is great. But what I don’t like is how it seems to compare to boys playing with dolls, dressing up in traditional girl costumes and wanting to dance ballet. 

For example today on Facebook I came across this picture:

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I think it is awesome that this little girl is being encouraged to dress up as whatever she wants to be. The comments on the photo all pretty much had the same theme ‘Parenting Win’ ‘These parents are doing something right’ etc etc etc. 

Then I found this picture on Humans of New York:

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With the caption: “He wanted to be a princess, and I thought it was a little too early to be imposing gender.”

The comments on this picture? Nothing like the ones of the little girl dressed as a transformer. This mom was accused of being a bad mom for allowing it. She was accused of using her child to make a political statement.

Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this? We have started looking at Halloween costumes for the boys. At first Alex wanted to be a pirate. Pirates are an obsession for him. Then he seen a princess costume on the website we were looking at and he decided that he wanted to be a princess. When I replied ‘I thought you wanted to be a pirate?’ His reply? ‘I want to be a Pirate Princess Momma!!’

And you know what? If either of my sons want to be a princess for Halloween, or do ballet, or do any of the other stereotypically female gender typed activities, I am going to let them. And I pity the poor soul who even attempts to call me a bad mom or criticize me for it.  

Earlier this month I read a blog post about a mom who had taken her son into the local Walmart while he was wearing a pink headband. A man did some unthinkable things to this little boy including knocking the headband off his head and calling him a f*cking f*gg*t and saying he would get shot one day. I read her account on her blog, but it has since been taken down due to the high volume of traffic. The mom has allegedly also been hospitalized due to the stress the incident brought her. You can read an account of the incident here.

This disgusts me. Why is it  okay for a girl to be into things that are traditionally boy, but it’s not okay the other way around? I understand this is a controversial topic, and while I welcome comments; Please share your opinions respectfully. 

Love, hugs and more to come later

Lynn

7 thoughts on “Gender Equality and Children

  1. I don’t think it makes sense for a girl OR boy to dress as the other gender. If there is a girl Power Ranger or super hero, let her dress as that, or if a boy wants to be royalty, let him be a prince. I like that males and females have different roles. I don’t like when both are encouraged to be neutral. Just my thoughts. 🙂

    • I can see that and agree to a point. In our house we have fairly traditional mommy/daddy roles, so the kids will learn that from observation. But, I think if we are going to blur gender lines, they should be blurred equally. Not favoring one gender over the other.

  2. Our problems started with haircuts, the boys get their heads buzzed and I even buzzed mine for a time when the kids were wee and driving me nuts, one less thing to deal with. So naturally my daughter wanted her hair buzzed and we decided to explain to her that girls have longer hair than boys, pain in the ass though that might be, and she could cut it short like Mommy when she was older.

  3. I am right there with you… I encourage my kids to do whatever they want! My son even wears a pink shirt on occasion. He did dance classes up until he was 4.. He was the only boy in there. In fact one dad stormed his son out of a “fun with rhythm and music” class was too girly… I think there would be a lot more happiness in the world if kids could just be themselves!

  4. OMG people are CRAZY!! I’m with you 100% on this post Lynn! When we were at playgroup the other day Monkey picked up some wings and wanted to put them on as he wanted to be a butterfly. All I could think was CUUUUUUTE! And let him wear them as long as he wanted. He will be who he is going to be whether I let him wear wings or wear my necklaces or try on my shoes or not. The difference is whether or not he will be it with confidence. And the way I see it is that my support in whatever he chooses will give him that confidence. 🙂 Great post.

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