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Would you let your son wear a dress/skirt? - Page 4

post #61 of 183
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Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
They actually went to preschool so I think their gender roles were set pretty early so I never had to worry I guess.
Wow.
post #62 of 183
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Originally Posted by nina_yyc View Post
No, never. I don't have a boy though . But if I did, I wouldn't. I don't let DD go out in inside out, non-matching, or non-season-appropriate clothes either. I think presentation is important and I would like to present my family as typical of our culture's values and norms and appropriately dressed for the occasion. I don't like the idea of other people judging me and I also want my kids to feel like they 'belong' and are like everybody else. Clothes are shorthand for strangers about who you are. I'm all for fighting the patriarchy but I'm picking my battles. Strangers thinking my kids are weirdos? Nope. DH making dinner and getting up with the baby? Check.
I just found this interesting - these are pretty much exactly the reasons I would have for trying to provide space for my child to dress the way he wants (and to know how to dress to fit in if he needs to do that, as well). That is, if he wants to present himself as a guy in a dress to strangers, I would want him to be able to.

It's interesting!

BTW I work in a fashion-related industry. Irony.
post #63 of 183
I would let my boys if they wanted to. it's just clothes.
post #64 of 183
Sure, in the context of men's clothing, like a kilt.
post #65 of 183
At age 2, I let DS wear his big sister's hand-me-downs (or clothes from their current closets!) if he wanted to. He was too young to care. He even wore a dress to preschool once when he was 3 (but he did come home in the "boy clothes" I packed for him.)

Somewhere around age 4 or 5 he picked up on the idea that "other kids care about this boy/girl stuff, and I should keep the girly stuff at home so I don't get teased." I never enforced that, except to gently remind him "are you sure you really want to go out wearing that?" after he'd already made the connection.
post #66 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
In the future yes, right now no.

If when DS is old enough to understand the difference between gender appropriate cloths and cross dressing he makes a conscious decision to cross dress then I will support him. However, I do not want to waste half my clothing budget buying 3yo DS sparkly pink high heeled shoes that neither fit him nor go with any of his other cloths.

Are you sure that pointing means he wants one?
I never said anything about spending a wad of money...nor did I say anything about sparkly pink high heeled shoes

And, yes, I know my son...pointing to himself is his way of saying that he wants it for himself (he doesn't speak very well, so I've had to learn his body language).
post #67 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
If people think he's a girl, that's fine. He doesn't care. If people think we're odd, that's fine too. We are.
Yup, took the words right out of my mouth
post #68 of 183
Thread Starter 
After reading what's been said so far, what pops up in my mind is how did pant-wearing become normal for women in our society? It didn't just happen overnight...some bold, daring women had to decide they were going to do it no matter what judgments they were going to inevitably face by society. That got the ball rolling and helped less daring women feel comfortable with "dressing like a man". I see the same thing possibly happening with traditional girl clothing--the more boys and men want to wear feminine clothing (and not just in a "cross-dressing" context, either...wearing them as a part of every day life) the more acceptable it will become over time. I'd imagine this would be quite a bit more difficult for males since the ridicule of a boy being "gay" or "girly" seems to be much more intense than it has been for girls being "manly" or "butch" or what have you. That could just be my perspective, though.
post #69 of 183
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some bold, daring women had to decide they were going to do it no matter what judgments they were going to inevitably face by society.
My great grandmother was one of those women! we hear the stories all the time and my DD was named after her!
post #70 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I just found this interesting - these are pretty much exactly the reasons I would have for trying to provide space for my child to dress the way he wants (and to know how to dress to fit in if he needs to do that, as well). That is, if he wants to present himself as a guy in a dress to strangers, I would want him to be able to.

It's interesting!

BTW I work in a fashion-related industry. Irony.
Not ironic at all Perhaps you think of clothes as a means of expressing your personality, which is totally appropriate to your industry! I don't think of clothes that way; I have a hard enough time pulling together something that looks appropriate without worrying about expressing how I feel on the inside.

BTW, I work in the television industry and limit TV. Hey, if I worked in a brewery I wouldn't get my kids drunk.
post #71 of 183
I would and I have. My son wore a dress practically the entire summer he was four. He looked adorable.

He's nine now and more of a pants and shirt type of guy.
post #72 of 183
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Originally Posted by hipumpkins View Post
For those of you who say, "no" how do you explain it to the little kid?
When DS is trying on all the pink sparkly shoes, I simply say "You are not old enough to understand the repercussions of cross dressing." Of course once he is old enough to understand, then if he still wants pink sparkly shoes, I'll help him find a pair that fit and don't have too high heels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenful View Post
I never said anything about spending a wad of money...nor did I say anything about sparkly pink high heeled shoes
Yes, I know, but DS has no interest in having a dress, but tried to convince me to get him some once, and I said no.
Quote:
After reading what's been said so far, what pops up in my mind is how did pant-wearing become normal for women in our society? It didn't just happen overnight...some bold, daring women had to decide they were going to do it no matter what judgments they were going to inevitably face by society.
In ancient Rome, pant wearing for men was considered something only Barbarians did.
post #73 of 183
You know what's funny? If you look at older artwork, from times when gender restrictions were even more defined...toddlers of both genders wore long gowns. I have even seen artwork with older boys (looking to be 4-6 yo) wearing dresses. The one in my son's curriculum, it was a boy wearing a dress, carrying a sword.
post #74 of 183
A two year old boy in a dress isn't likely to be made fun of by strangers, 99% of them will just assume the child is a girl and go on from there. And friends get used to it pretty quickly

And at 4 years old my son was perfectly able to understand the consequences of doing something outside of gender norms. He didn't want to cut his hair and I didn't want to force/bribe him into doing it, so he had really long blond, curly hair and everyone who didn't know him assumed he was a girl (regardless of what he was wearing which was mostly typical "boy" clothes). When he started to notice that people thought he was a girl and seemed to be getting upset about it, we talked about it a lot and he decided it didn't matter to him, he liked his hair. Six months later he chose on his own to get his hair cut with no big drama. I asked him why, he said it was hot and got in his eyes too much when he was swimming. He still likes to wear his pink shirt with the shiny butterflies on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyVorpe View Post
I am very sure I will not allow my sons to wear female's clothing. I've allowed nailpolish when he was under the age of 3, but that's actually something I feel weird about now.
I do not want my children thinking that whatever they want to wear is fine with me. Because it's not. Just because its out there, doesn't mean its for everyone's body. My teenage daughters (when they get there) aren't going to be able to tell me they want to wear little tanktops, tube tops, short shorts, skirts, or dresses. They will be dressed in clothes that are appropriate for age/weather/modesty. I'm not a terribly modest person, but...my children won't get to chose to show off body parts that don't need to be advertised.

My sons--they won't get to wear big huge baggy pants that show their bums (or boxers...whichever they decide). They won't get to wear clothing with chains, cuss words, or negative messages on them. They will wear nice clothes and look respectable. I'm firmly in my thoughts that your kids wear what you buy and that's what's acceptable to them. You don't have to give a very long explanation as to why they can't wear something. My 5 year old wants to wear girls heels. I said no. He asked why. "Because those are for women to wear with their pretty clothes. You have nice shoes to wear with your handsome clothes." the end. And if he asks again, it gets repeated. No big explanation on why the feminist movement happened, no burning bras conversation, nothing other than "Those are women's. your sisters won't wear your dress clothes, you don't wear theirs. the end"
I wouldn't let my son wear short shorts, tube tops or inappropriately short dresses either. Or let my daughters (if I had any) wear pants that were so low that their underwear showed, or clothes with inappropriate messages on them. And I wouldn't let a 5 year old child of either sex wear heels. You can have boundaries about what is appropriate clothing without them being based on arbitrary gender roles. For example I don't buy clothes with characters or logos on them.
post #75 of 183
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Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
My reason for not wanting to allow my teenage daughter to walk around topless have to do with the unwanted attention she might get from men in our highly sexualized culture, not because I think there's anything "wrong" with women being topless (particularly since it's perfectly acceptable, culturally, for men to be topless). So, if you don't want your son to wear a dress, because you are worried about unwanted attention, teasing, etc., I can understand that--it's not where I choose to draw my line, and I think the general observance of rigid gender norms is harmful, but I can understand, even if I don't agree. But if you don't want your son to wear a dress or a pink shirt because you think those things are "inherently for girls," then I don't get it. Nothing is "inherently for girls" or "inherently for boys"--we choose, culturally, what those things are, and what we choose is constantly in flux.

But, personally, I simply don't agree that there is "gender-appropriate" clothing. I know some people do, but I don't. What about having a penis would make a skirt inappropriate? It might still be cool and comfortable for a boy to wear. Nothing about havin a vagina makes pants inappropriate for girls. Girls and boys are much physically similar than they are different, so I think it is quite reasonable that some boys would prefer skirts as more comfortable, just as some girls do--and just as some girls find pants more comfortable.
I'm under no illusion that there's some kind of innate universal standard that says dresses are for girls and pants are for boys. Obviously it's totally random that these rules developed in our culture. There's no article of clothing that's inherently gender-appropriate. The culture we live in determines what's appropriate. I don't assign some kind of moral judgment to kids wearing inappropriate clothing. I just prefer to dress my kids in clothing that doesn't draw unwanted attention to them. And if I'm going to subvert the dominant culture, clothing standards is not a battle I find particularly productive or meaningful.

And really, everyone follows cultural standards sometimes. So I find it disingenuous to say that of course it's fine if boys wear dresses because that happens in other cultures, but then you wouldn't encourage your kids to follow the accepted clothing standards in other cultures when it comes to certain other articles of clothing, or lack thereof. I understand the argument that topless girls have a sexualized connotation in our culture....but don't boys in dresses also have a sexualized connotation to some people?

I don't really have much invested in this issue, I just find the debate interesting. And I'm not raising my kids with overly rigid ideas about gender, for goodness sake. I've thought through the issue, and for our family, I prefer if our kids stick with clothes that are appropriate for their gender in our culture.
post #76 of 183
Hmm, I think it would depend on his age. Right now if my son (who's 4) would want to wear one around the house I'd be fine with it, however outside of the house I'm not sure. I would be afraid of some one making fun of him and making him feel bad. "Girly" shirts or pants would be ok I guess. He really does like butterflies and you don't EVER see those on boys clothes. When he is older and can understand what his decision might mean (I don't know, I guess 8??), then I'd say go for it.

He has asked to wear nailpolish once and I said no, its for grown-ups only. But that was b/c I really didn't want to put those chemicals on his body.

But this discussion is completely mute in our house. DS could care less what he is wearing. Clothes are just something that interferes with his nakedness LOL
post #77 of 183
My 7yoDS wears dresses all the time. Everyone in our family is comfortable with it, including relatives and his friends (all girls, FTR). He only wears them around the house and wears them for fun (as in he is aware of gender roles). Otherwise he wears and prefers boyish clothing for going out. My 4yoDD often wears his clothes and they pretend to be each other. Sometimes they both wear princess dresses. I have no problem with it. He also has long hair, which I have no problem with but DH has a problem with that as people think he's a girl. DS knows he's a boy and IMO has the right to choose what he wears.
post #78 of 183
Quote:
They actually went to preschool so I think their gender roles were set pretty early so I never had to worry I guess.
oh, good thing.

seriously?
post #79 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
I let DS wear his sister's dresses and skirts, but he's mostly just worn them around the house. I feel weird about taking him out in public in a dress, but I'd also feel weird about telling him he absolutely couldn't wear a dress.
Ditto. DS2 has never worn a dress out of the house, but he did wear a satiny, pale purple nightgown, with flowery trim at the neck as a shirt when we went out to a homelearning meetup. He told me it was his "chainmail". I didn't mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackray View Post
My son ran around the house in princess costumes for a few weeks when he was 3 or 4. Other than that, no, I wouldn't let him wear skirts or dresses if he asked (he never asked). Is there something wrong with boys being boys and girls being girls?
My boys are boys, no matter what they're wearing. My girls are girls, no matter what they're wearing. I honestly don't even understand this sentiment. Dresses are about fashion, and cultural requirements/stereotypes, not about inherent gender differences. (I do believe there are some innate differences between genders, but I also believe they apply in general terms, not individual ones.)
post #80 of 183
ds has a equal number of "girl's" clothes and "boy's" clothes. He doesn't at this time have any dresses, but mostly because I haven't come across any that he likes. He'll be 2 in a week and has NO IDEA that he is a "boy".

He has long hair and is "beautiful" and people often think he's a girl, and that's fine, because there is nothing wrong with being a girl, sometimes people think he's a boy, and that's fine because there is nothing wrong with being a boy.

I am not going to teach my child that he can't do something because someone might "make fun"of him. If that were the case we would never be able to leave our home! He lives with 3 gay men, so should he not be able to spend time with them because "someone might say somethign MEAN to them?" Or should he not be able to spend time in public with my mom and her wife because, gasp, people might be rude! One of our house mates is black, should ds never be in public with him lest someone say something racist? My other housemate is Latina and often works with immigrants, oh no don't let ds out with her someone might have *something* to say about that!
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