I don’t know about you, but I like checking out other perspectives now and again. Every once in awhile, however, I come across an article that truly pisses me off. This week, that particular article happened to be another mom stating that it’s not cool for parents to allow their boys to “dress like girls”.
Now I put the “dress like girls” part in quotes because what the hell does this actually mean? Does it mean letting a boy wear a tutu? The color pink? Letting them sport a longer hair cut?
A little history lesson for you all, no more than one hundred years ago all young kids wore frilly white dresses. By the 1920’s the standard was set: blue for girls and pink for boys because — get this — pink is the stronger color. It wasn’t until the 40’s that our current view of children’s fashion developed. So again I ask you, what does it mean to dress like a girl?
Tutus are something dancers wear. It’s fun. It’s athletic. It’s a fashion statement. Hair, well, it’s just hair. Ten years from now the styles that are considered masculine and feminine will have changed. And the color pink? For heaven’s sake, why do we need to genderize color? Can’t our kids just wear what makes them happy without their parents dramatizing that choice?
The author of the article I referenced earlier specifically stated that if she had a son, he would be doing “boy” sports and wouldn’t be learning how to cook. Her daughter, however, would be learning how to change a tire because that’s a basic life skill. (And apparently cooking is not. Ramen for the win!)
My mind was so boggled, but as a mother of two daughters and a son, something quickly became clear: this woman doesn’t have a son.
If she had a son she might realize that there’s no discernable difference between little boys and little girls when they’ve got pants on. Both genders like to climb and play rough. They both like to wear clothes that make them feel good about themselves. They are both interested in what their mother does, whether it be cooking dinner or painting her nails. They are both interested in what their father does, whether it be cooking dinner or hammering nails.
None of above mentioned activities defines a gender.
As a mother of a little boy, I can tell you that he’s one of the most sensitive people I’ve ever met. (And I’ve heard similar tales of woe from other mothers of boys.) He’s sensitive almost to a fault and loving and smart and kind and hardworking. It’s these qualities that will make him a strong man someday — not his participation in football or his lack of tutu.
The author of this article that made me so mad said we can really “Make America Great Again” by making our boys be boys, but I have a better idea…. Why don’t we “Make America Great Again” by not worrying about gender stop telling our kids who they are supposed to be?