Gender Stereotypes: Judgement Call
Yesterday I started going through the bins of the Destroyers clothes, hoping for some reusable items for Buddy. Bins? Yes. Like 6 of them. How does something so tiny have that much to wear? The answer is not only that she outgrows them fast, because the Destroyer is twee. She is still fitting into 12 month stuff at 19 months old. She’s a lot of little person in a teeny body. She is also incredibly spoiled.
So after sifting through 6 giant bins of pink tutus and sundresses and patterned tights, I pulled out about three onesie pajamas that Buddy could use without having to register him for the Pride Parade. Sunday chore accomplished.
So not only did this job make me all teary and nostalgic for my tiny first born, but it got me thinking about gender stereotypes. Are they all bad? Why do they even exist? Why can’t my son wear leg warmers?
Now that we are having a boy, every item of clothing that husband buys for the Destroyer has an alternative motive. She seems to be moving on from everything pink to tomboy dinosaur t-shirts. I understand the idea. Then we have some hand-me-downs for Buddy.
But how come its ok for a girl to be a tomboy, but Heaven forbid the boy be girly? I know a lot of men that feel really strongly about that.
No one bats an eyelash when a little girl plays with a toy truck. You never hear a mother worrying that her daughter will be a lesbian. But if a boy plays with a barbie. O.M.G. He must be gay.
And so what if they were? That affects me how, really? Newsflash:Gay people get married. Gay people have children too, so I don’t have to worry about not having grandchildren one day. It’s not like they are being diagnosed with some life altering disease.
Admittedly, we are pretty traditional over here. The Destroyer has a pink room. She wears dresses, and piggy tails and has lots of stuffed animals. And lots of toy cars. Buddy’s room will be blue. He will wear blue jeans and wear Beatles t-shirts. But if he wants to be a dancer one day instead of playing hockey, I’m in support. A lot less concussions in dancing than hockey ya know.
So I’ll keep this short and sweet today. Here’s the bottom line:
I will expose my children to many different things. I think that stereotypes sometimes exist because they exhibit the behaviour of the majority. For instance, I think boys stereotypically would rather play with a truck than a doll. Not ALL boys, but most. And so that would probably be the first thing I try. But if he wants a goddamn barbie, he can have that too. Whatever.
I will love my children through all of their choices. My job is to steer, and accept, and support. My job is to correct, and assist, and love.
They will be judged by everyone else, and I will help them decide who to hear and who to tell to fuck off. But I won’t be joining the panel.