Thursday, July 8, 2010
Boys who play with Dolls
I was cruising the park scene this afternoon when I was approached by 3 college students with a video camera. Their target was found and they approached.
They asked if they could ask me a question. Sure, why not. Then they qualified and asked if they could ask me a question and then film my response. Ok. They turned on the camera first and got ready to ask. For one second, I thought they were going to ask me something dirty or do something just to shock me on camera. Then I remembered, it's me. It'd have to be pretty damn good to get a reaction.
"Can boys play with dolls?" That was it?! Of course they can! I told them my son even has a princess castle set. Oh yes, Little People pink princess castle courtesy of his Nana Kay.
They were very pleased with my response.
I don't get the big deal. I don't see a problem with my son playing with dolls. I see no big deal in Shiloh Jolie Pitt dressing like a boy. I don't see the an issue in children playing with everything, including gender identity. It's not just normal, it's healthy.
My son wants to be either a robot or Spiderman. He thinks his bruises from playing on the playground are the beginning of his Spiderman transformation. If enjoying toys labeled for the other sex is questionable, then thinking you are slowly changing into a make believe superhero is crazy. Oh wait, it's not because Superheros are a boy thing. Duh.
It's a load of crap and, of course, you get even more of it in Brazil. My son also used to like to have his toe nails painted. Of course blue or red, something related to Spiderman. Aren't we all surprised. I saw no problem with it and ignored my husband's protests until we had a little incident at the park. Thankfully Luka was too little to get it but a group of older boys, around 4 yrs old and he was 2 1/2, were following him around pointing and laughing. He didn't get it. I told him they thought he was funny and I stopped painting his toes.
The next time he asked, I had to explain that certain things are for girls and certain things are for boys. It was a conversation that made me kind of sad. I felt like I was telling him, here's your box and you have to live in it. Enjoy! But I feel that it was the lesser of two evils. Kids are mean. In his class, him playing house with his friends is ok but a boy with painted nails is not.
But part of me wonders, where's this coming from. My kid had no idea about societal standards of his masculinity at 3 years old. Wonder how it came about in the other kids...
And the machismo machine lives on.
Thoughts? Do you steer your kid towards gender specific toys or let them choose for themselves? Would you be ok if your son wanted pink shoes or your daughter wanted to cut all her hair off?