About a week ago, I was milling around a toy store with my kids in search of pirate garb. There was an "Under the Sea" exhibit and I wanted them to appreciate it fully and perhaps learn to plunder in someone else's domain. I overheard a dad telling his son, "No...that toy is pink. It's for girls. I'm not buying you that." I had to re-position my eye-patch to get a good look at this tool! WHAT?! REALLY? In those short statements he has effectively shown his son that:
1. He is wrong for liking that toy.
2. He should only ask for toys that are made in "boy colors".
3. If he should have the desire to possess a toy outside of the colors assigned to "boy" toys, he will not get the toy and will be chided for voicing said desire.
Why are parents still assigning gender roles? What difference does it make in your kid if they want to play with a toy that may be traditionally assigned to another gender?
I know I am not the picture of the traditional parent because I don't care about what toys my kids play with. My daughter wants to play with Betty Boop and IronMan in the Batcave? Fine. My son wants to wear a tutu and practice ballet with his sister? Fine. As long as they are doing something constructive, using their imaginations, leaving me alone so I can use the bathroom unmonitored for once, and not destroying the ENTIRE playroom...I am cool with it.
I wanted to shake that dad out of his khakis and warn him of his influence over his son and how he could raise a gay child afraid to assert his opinions, or a chauvinist male looking to prove his superiority and dominance over women. I bit my tongue. I don't want people telling me how to raise my kids or how to speak to them. Secretly though....I hope his son IS gay, comes out in high school, kisses boys in front of his dad, and is never afraid to assert himself. My kids may be insane little freaks that scream potty words and enjoy dancing in tutus, playing pirates, vampires, zombies, AND princesses....but they will NEVER be ashamed to do so.