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"Princess Boy" and letting our children be proud of who they are - Page 2

post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post

 

Quote:
 Dad wanted attention, and his son was the perfect person to get it for him.

 

Much better stated. I just think she is using her son to "prove" something. To me it is much different than using a picture of your daughter to sell your handmade slings. The focus doesn't seem to be so much of a look how awesome my son is, but rather a look how awesome WE are as parents. Like they deserve all this recognition for not making fun of their kid who wears a tutu.

 

And that is where she loses me.


For me the difference lies in the fact that the fictional person in this quote is selling slings and happens to be using one of her kids as a model.  She isn't selling her child's love of wearing dresses and the concept of allowing kids to experiment and try on new personalities. 

post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanine123 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post

 

Quote:
 Dad wanted attention, and his son was the perfect person to get it for him.

 

Much better stated. I just think she is using her son to "prove" something. To me it is much different than using a picture of your daughter to sell your handmade slings. The focus doesn't seem to be so much of a look how awesome my son is, but rather a look how awesome WE are as parents. Like they deserve all this recognition for not making fun of their kid who wears a tutu.

 

And that is where she loses me.


For me the difference lies in the fact that the fictional person in this quote is selling slings and happens to be using one of her kids as a model.  She isn't selling her child's love of wearing dresses and the concept of allowing kids to experiment and try on new personalities. 


Sling-making-mama also isn't selling her kid as rebelling against society.  You can argue that sometimes slings get weird looks, but I can pretty much guarantee you that no one in junior high school gym class has ever been teased for being worn in a sling as an infant (let alone been tortured or killed for it!).  Adults cross dressing is not accepted by many people in our society, and I applaud anyone who bucks that societal expectation and makes a stand saying "this is who I am, and I think you should accept me."  But the teenager or adult who does that accepts any societal repercussions that come with going against the grain.

 

This is a very young child who 1) is not actually bucking any societal expectations (is there ANYONE on this thread who thinks it's weird for a preschool boy to play dress up in a girl's dress?) and 2) did not consent in any way to be the poster child for bucking societal expectations.  He's being sold (literally) as something that he's not, in a way that could have real social repercussions for him down the road, and without his consent.

 

If, in 15 years, he and his parents want to co-write this exact book, I would applaud it.  But as it is, it's a selfish ploy on the part of his parents to make some money and gain some infamy.

post #23 of 46

I'm not seeing how this is using her son to make money. Does the book mention her son by name? Does it specifically identify the child in question as the authors child? Or is it just a book about a boy that likes princess things and dressing up like a princess? And why is it "using your child" when the topic of the book is something that goes against societal norms?

 

And where are all these parents living where a boy who loves "girl stuff" is going to be widely accepted by society as a whole? I'm really curious, I live in a part of a very liberal country that is often considered too liberal and we still get plenty of people who think they need to tell us and our son that dresses and pink are for girls. To be honest it does sound like there are people in this thread who are uncomfortable with the subject of the book and trying to find other reasons to dislike it.

post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post



Quote:
 

This is a very young child who 1) is not actually bucking any societal expectations (is there ANYONE on this thread who thinks it's weird for a preschool boy to play dress up in a girl's dress?) and 2) did not consent in any way to be the poster child for bucking societal expectations.  He's being sold (literally) as something that he's not, in a way that could have real social repercussions for him down the road, and without his consent.

 

If, in 15 years, he and his parents want to co-write this exact book, I would applaud it.  But as it is, it's a selfish ploy on the part of his parents to make some money and gain some infamy.


I don't think that the folks who frequent MDC are a very good sample population to determine the social acceptability of prepubescent cross dressing.  I know my family would FREAK OUT if they saw my 18mo old son in a dress.  Because I was raised in such a restrictive gender-norm society, gender roles are my activist cause and my hill to die on.  I would totally use my son to get that message across, you had better believe it!  In fact I do in a way as I now make most of his clothes.  He is my little gender-neutral billboard.

 

Would I see it as a ploy to gain personal infamy if I wrote a book about my princess-loving son?  No way.  I would see it as my attempt to further normalize his behavior.  So its not that the parents are saying "Hey, our son likes dresses because he is a freak".  No, they are saying "Boys (like our son) can like dresses and that is OK.  I really don't see the issue here.

 

I applaud them.

post #25 of 46
I didn't watch the clip, but I saw photos and I notice this family is African American, I ve to wonder if culture is playing into this. Perhaps in some social circles, even conservative ones, this kind of dress up play is ok, but it's seen as more taboo in other cultures? I just mention it because I know there are a lot of African Americans who have very strict views on homosexuality and could see this as a real issue, related to that.

I think it's great that the book exists, but I don't like this being about "who the child is." They are a CHILD, that's all, and while some may be transgendered and are beginning to realize that, the majority of boys dressing up as ballerinas/fairies/princesses are not. So it shouldn't be turned into something it's not.
post #26 of 46



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

I'm not seeing how this is using her son to make money. Does the book mention her son by name? Does it specifically identify the child in question as the authors child? Or is it just a book about a boy that likes princess things and dressing up like a princess? And why is it "using your child" when the topic of the book is something that goes against societal norms?

 

And where are all these parents living where a boy who loves "girl stuff" is going to be widely accepted by society as a whole? I'm really curious, I live in a part of a very liberal country that is often considered too liberal and we still get plenty of people who think they need to tell us and our son that dresses and pink are for girls. To be honest it does sound like there are people in this thread who are uncomfortable with the subject of the book and trying to find other reasons to dislike it.

For me, there's a fine line between letting your child be who they are and all the different things they like and embracing that, and promoting it as a cause or pushing the kid in one direction or another.  Here's another thing that rubbed me the wrong way a bit; when I've seen segments on TV or the internet, it seems like it's just the same couple pictures of him....it just feels to me like this is one aspect of something he likes, and they're turning it into who he is.  I feel like this family is veering too much into the promotion aspect for my personal liking, pushing too much if you will - I am all for kids experimenting with different things they might like; I can list out my cred with my daughter and son, if I need to - I just....the book, the talk shows, it feels more exploitative than embracing their son for who he is and letting him experiment with all the different things he can like and not like in a supportive environment.

 

I actually just had to have this conversation with my mom over the holiday because my almost 7 yo son had on some of the "sugarplum" glitter nailpolish my 4-yo picked out for me, and she was surprised/unimpressed - whatever, they're still stuck in that caring what people think thing.  I'm not sweating her and my dad disagreeing with me letting my 7-yo son wear nailpolish.  DH and I were on the same page, and that's all that matters.

 

Well, turns out it didn't all wear off and we forgot about it and he still had some left on his nails when they went back to school, a girl said something to him like, 'nailpolish is only for girls!' and he said, "no way, my dad said rock star guys wear it all the time." and then another one of his buddies said that he had worn it a couple times, too.  And nobody has said anything to him since.

 

Annnnyway - I contemplated posting something about it on my blog or on FB because I was proud of him and his friend, but then rethought it because I didn't want it to become a "thing" for him, you know?  He's just barely 7, and he did a super thing and had a super friend back him up, and I told him "right on", etc in our own home and it was a great moment - no need to make a bigger case out of it than that - I think what happened was exactly what needs to happen for it to become more of a mainstream thing; people speak up against the stereotypes, and a friend backs them up - and that's how it spreads.  Next time someone says something to that litlte girl, maybe she'll say, "a couple boys in my school have worn nailpolish before, it's no big deal" and it spreads and spreads and spreads. 

 

annnnnyway annnnnyway....I'm pretty sure this little boy didn't ask to be brought on talk shows and have a book published about this one aspect of his very young life.  He could be a million things between now and then, and just...he didn't look happy or enthusiastic on the show I saw, and I dunno, if my kid was sick I'd probably call and cancel or reschedule or something...cause who wants to drag a sick kid onto a TV set?  I mean, he's 5 - that's a lot of pressure to put on a kid.

post #27 of 46

I don't know, a LOT of books and concepts (Free Range Kids, ect.) DO start out as "Hey, look at my cool kid.  It's because I am an awesome parent, look at how cool it is that I am parenting with this awesomey awesomesauce and doesn't it suck to be you out there in nonenlightenedland."  :)  Perhaps not that crass, but...

 

Even if I do agree with the concept, it is a little eyerollery, no matter who is doing it.  Just saying, this mama is not the first (nor the worst, in my opinion) offender about strutting her Awesomey McAwesomesauce for the world to see, pointing to her kid as proof of it.

 

I

post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

I'm not seeing how this is using her son to make money. Does the book mention her son by name? Does it specifically identify the child in question as the authors child? Or is it just a book about a boy that likes princess things and dressing up like a princess? And why is it "using your child" when the topic of the book is something that goes against societal norms?

 

And where are all these parents living where a boy who loves "girl stuff" is going to be widely accepted by society as a whole? I'm really curious, I live in a part of a very liberal country that is often considered too liberal and we still get plenty of people who think they need to tell us and our son that dresses and pink are for girls. To be honest it does sound like there are people in this thread who are uncomfortable with the subject of the book and trying to find other reasons to dislike it.

For me, there's a fine line between letting your child be who they are and all the different things they like and embracing that, and promoting it as a cause or pushing the kid in one direction or another.  Here's another thing that rubbed me the wrong way a bit; when I've seen segments on TV or the internet, it seems like it's just the same couple pictures of him....it just feels to me like this is one aspect of something he likes, and they're turning it into who he is.  I feel like this family is veering too much into the promotion aspect for my personal liking, pushing too much if you will - I am all for kids experimenting with different things they might like; I can list out my cred with my daughter and son, if I need to - I just....the book, the talk shows, it feels more exploitative than embracing their son for who he is and letting him experiment with all the different things he can like and not like in a supportive environment.

 

I actually just had to have this conversation with my mom over the holiday because my almost 7 yo son had on some of the "sugarplum" glitter nailpolish my 4-yo picked out for me, and she was surprised/unimpressed - whatever, they're still stuck in that caring what people think thing.  I'm not sweating her and my dad disagreeing with me letting my 7-yo son wear nailpolish.  DH and I were on the same page, and that's all that matters.

 

Well, turns out it didn't all wear off and we forgot about it and he still had some left on his nails when they went back to school, a girl said something to him like, 'nailpolish is only for girls!' and he said, "no way, my dad said rock star guys wear it all the time." and then another one of his buddies said that he had worn it a couple times, too.  And nobody has said anything to him since.

 

Annnnyway - I contemplated posting something about it on my blog or on FB because I was proud of him and his friend, but then rethought it because I didn't want it to become a "thing" for him, you know?  He's just barely 7, and he did a super thing and had a super friend back him up, and I told him "right on", etc in our own home and it was a great moment - no need to make a bigger case out of it than that - I think what happened was exactly what needs to happen for it to become more of a mainstream thing; people speak up against the stereotypes, and a friend backs them up - and that's how it spreads.  Next time someone says something to that litlte girl, maybe she'll say, "a couple boys in my school have worn nailpolish before, it's no big deal" and it spreads and spreads and spreads. 

 

annnnnyway annnnnyway....I'm pretty sure this little boy didn't ask to be brought on talk shows and have a book published about this one aspect of his very young life.  He could be a million things between now and then, and just...he didn't look happy or enthusiastic on the show I saw, and I dunno, if my kid was sick I'd probably call and cancel or reschedule or something...cause who wants to drag a sick kid onto a TV set?  I mean, he's 5 - that's a lot of pressure to put on a kid.


They are focusing on that part of him because that is what the books is about, that one aspect of him. The book is for kids 4 to 8, which means it isn't supposed to be a whole complicated story about who the kid is and what that means in the grand scheme of things. It's supposed to be about "this is my boy, he likes pink and glitter and princess stuff and that is ok." Mostly like what happened is his mom went out to try and find a book for her son that wasn't imbued with an insane amount of gender stereotypes in how boys are supposed to be and could find much of anything so she decided to write that book for the next parent that wanted to find something like that for their son.

post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post


They are focusing on that part of him because that is what the books is about, that one aspect of him. The book is for kids 4 to 8, which means it isn't supposed to be a whole complicated story about who the kid is and what that means in the grand scheme of things. It's supposed to be about "this is my boy, he likes pink and glitter and princess stuff and that is ok." Mostly like what happened is his mom went out to try and find a book for her son that wasn't imbued with an insane amount of gender stereotypes in how boys are supposed to be and could find much of anything so she decided to write that book for the next parent that wanted to find something like that for their son.


True enough.
 

post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

They are focusing on that part of him because that is what the books is about, that one aspect of him. The book is for kids 4 to 8, which means it isn't supposed to be a whole complicated story about who the kid is and what that means in the grand scheme of things. It's supposed to be about "this is my boy, he likes pink and glitter and princess stuff and that is ok." Mostly like what happened is his mom went out to try and find a book for her son that wasn't imbued with an insane amount of gender stereotypes in how boys are supposed to be and could find much of anything so she decided to write that book for the next parent that wanted to find something like that for their son.


I do agree with that part.  I'd probably happily buy that book. Heck I'd write that book.  But, I wouldn't take my son on talk shows.  I wouldn't put my family problems on Dr Phil for the same reason... it brings unwanted attention on the children.  Even if only for a short time.  (I always wonder how dr Phil thinks he's protecting the kids by blurring their faces... as if you won't know their parents)

 

Remember that boy wearing the awesome Daphne costume at his preschool Halloween party?  He probably had on the BEST costume in the entire class!  But, he ended up with some attention that he didn't want or ask for because of her blog.  I seriously doubt she had any idea it would get posted all over the US like it did.  Seriously.. it was on every other facebook post.   OK.. that was a really great costume... and he did really rock that wig.  But, still.  He's going to be mad about that some day.  It's like having your mom come into school wearing bright red sweat pants and a Mork and Mindy  T-shirt just to bring in your lunch box.  

 

Also... I'll admit, I come from a different lifestyle, and a different place than others might.  So, to me, even thinking it's weird to see a little boy dressed like a girl, or a little girl dressed like a boy seems odd.  I don't know why anybody would gasp at a boy in a tutu.  Maybe "Gasp... how cute is he????"  But, not "Wow.  That's going to totally make him gay ya know".    So, I think in other parts of the US, that would be something to talk about.  Just not here, so I don't really "get" all the hype.  I don't think it's all that impressive of the parents.  

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post

 

Quote:
 Dad wanted attention, and his son was the perfect person to get it for him.

 

Much better stated. I just think she is using her son to "prove" something. To me it is much different than using a picture of your daughter to sell your handmade slings. The focus doesn't seem to be so much of a look how awesome my son is, but rather a look how awesome WE are as parents. Like they deserve all this recognition for not making fun of their kid who wears a tutu.

 

And that is where she loses me.


Agreed.

 

 

In general, we live in such a narcissistic age.  YouTube.........Facebook.........Twitter.......blogs.........even message boards..........all tend to blur the line between what we should and should not be sharing with others. 

 

 

post #32 of 46


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

I don't know, a LOT of books and concepts (Free Range Kids, ect.) DO start out as "Hey, look at my cool kid.  It's because I am an awesome parent, look at how cool it is that I am parenting with this awesomey awesomesauce and doesn't it suck to be you out there in nonenlightenedland."  :)  Perhaps not that crass, but...

 

Even if I do agree with the concept, it is a little eyerollery, no matter who is doing it.  Just saying, this mama is not the first (nor the worst, in my opinion) offender about strutting her Awesomey McAwesomesauce for the world to see, pointing to her kid as proof of it.

 

I

 

 

LOL!  I love the "Awesomey McAwesomesauce."  If that doesn't sum up Facebook, I don't know what does.

 


 

post #33 of 46
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

I'm not seeing how this is using her son to make money. Does the book mention her son by name? Does it specifically identify the child in question as the authors child? Or is it just a book about a boy that likes princess things and dressing up like a princess? And why is it "using your child" when the topic of the book is something that goes against societal norms?

 

And where are all these parents living where a boy who loves "girl stuff" is going to be widely accepted by society as a whole? I'm really curious, I live in a part of a very liberal country that is often considered too liberal and we still get plenty of people who think they need to tell us and our son that dresses and pink are for girls. To be honest it does sound like there are people in this thread who are uncomfortable with the subject of the book and trying to find other reasons to dislike it.


Thanks MusicianDad.  I was starting to get a little sad lol.  Nope...the book doesn't mention his name and in fact, the people have no faces.  And I would also like to know where all these enlightened people live too.  As far as I have seen girls are allowed to like "boy things" but if a boy likes "girl things" he must be (gasp) turning gay.
 

post #34 of 46
Thread Starter 

Exactly Chamomile Girl!  I don't live in an area where this is considered not a big deal.  I don't think it is but a lot of people still think boys can only act tough at all times.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post



Quote:
 

This is a very young child who 1) is not actually bucking any societal expectations (is there ANYONE on this thread who thinks it's weird for a preschool boy to play dress up in a girl's dress?) and 2) did not consent in any way to be the poster child for bucking societal expectations.  He's being sold (literally) as something that he's not, in a way that could have real social repercussions for him down the road, and without his consent.

 

If, in 15 years, he and his parents want to co-write this exact book, I would applaud it.  But as it is, it's a selfish ploy on the part of his parents to make some money and gain some infamy.


I don't think that the folks who frequent MDC are a very good sample population to determine the social acceptability of prepubescent cross dressing.  I know my family would FREAK OUT if they saw my 18mo old son in a dress.  Because I was raised in such a restrictive gender-norm society, gender roles are my activist cause and my hill to die on.  I would totally use my son to get that message across, you had better believe it!  In fact I do in a way as I now make most of his clothes.  He is my little gender-neutral billboard.

 

Would I see it as a ploy to gain personal infamy if I wrote a book about my princess-loving son?  No way.  I would see it as my attempt to further normalize his behavior.  So its not that the parents are saying "Hey, our son likes dresses because he is a freak".  No, they are saying "Boys (like our son) can like dresses and that is OK.  I really don't see the issue here.

 

I applaud them.

post #35 of 46
Thread Starter 

I'm not saying the "who the child is" thing like that though.  This child may not like dressing up in a month or he might decide he wants to do it his whole life.  My point is they should be supported on their journey and accepted.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Lily View Post

I didn't watch the clip, but I saw photos and I notice this family is African American, I ve to wonder if culture is playing into this. Perhaps in some social circles, even conservative ones, this kind of dress up play is ok, but it's seen as more taboo in other cultures? I just mention it because I know there are a lot of African Americans who have very strict views on homosexuality and could see this as a real issue, related to that.

I think it's great that the book exists, but I don't like this being about "who the child is." They are a CHILD, that's all, and while some may be transgendered and are beginning to realize that, the majority of boys dressing up as ballerinas/fairies/princesses are not. So it shouldn't be turned into something it's not.
post #36 of 46

The book looks fine to me...i was uncomfortable watching the one interview i read though, because number one, the child seemed to be clearly labelled as "a princess boy" (indeed it almost seemed like the mom wanted to coin this new term), and number two, the child looked uncomfortable and miserable. They said it was because he wasnt feeling well...well in that case perhaps they should not have had him on the air. (I get the pressure the parents must have faced "but we have to SEE the princess boy!!!" but still...stand up for your kid!)...then again maybe the boy begged to be allowed on air...sure didnt seem that way though. The interviewer had to drag answers out of him, and it really need almost look like they slapped "princess clothes" on the kid, it didnt look like some cool outfit he put together himself (IMO, which i fully admit could be wrong.)

 

Also...another thing that kind of hurt my feelings for the boy...is they went into great detail during the talk show about the lengths everyone went to to make sure the boy was not teased when dressing up at school...got the teachers and other parents involved blah blah. Thats great. But wouldnt it have been better for all that to happen behind the scenes, for the child to just feel that everyone really liked his outfit, that it was no big deal, rather than "what i wear is so strange and disturbing and different that my mom had to get my teachers on board to make sure no one was mean"...but thats essentially what they said, right in front of the kid. Maybe an 8-12 yr old should know that, but a preschool or Kindy kid? Not so much.

 

So, i think the book is fine and considered getting it, but the marketing campaign, not so much.

 

 

post #37 of 46

queenjane, ITA with your whole post.  My issue is NOT with whether or not any given little boy likes to wear princess clothes.  My issue is with how the promotion is being handled.  The book even, MusicianDad made a good point about it and I can see how the book in and of itself could be valuable for people who say, live in an area like mine  I will point out that I live in a place where I have never seen a little boy in a tutu or princess dress, or even overtly "girly" out in public.  But the marketing of it, and the above that queenjane mentioned about making it such a big deal *in front of him* just rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe I just don't believe little kids should be involved in, or made poster children for, activism.  I think parents should advocate for their kids without putting the spotlight on them...especially little kids.   

post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

 

Also...another thing that kind of hurt my feelings for the boy...is they went into great detail during the talk show about the lengths everyone went to to make sure the boy was not teased when dressing up at school...got the teachers and other parents involved blah blah. Thats great. But wouldnt it have been better for all that to happen behind the scenes, for the child to just feel that everyone really liked his outfit, that it was no big deal, rather than "what i wear is so strange and disturbing and different that my mom had to get my teachers on board to make sure no one was mean"...but thats essentially what they said, right in front of the kid. Maybe an 8-12 yr old should know that, but a preschool or Kindy kid? Not so much.

 



That is a very good point.

post #39 of 46

I don't think putting a young child on a talk show is appropriate. I feel it violates their right to privacy. My older DD, age 24, went through a period where she didn't want people looking at her baby pictures. I can't imagine how she would felt about a televised interview floating around the internet.  Writing a book is fine. My younger DD, age 5, has gone through so many different pretend phases that labeling her as just one of them would be stifling. She's like being a super hero, with cape of course, an evil villain, a princess, a dragon, a dragon king, a mommy, and various animals. Me, as a parent, choosing one pretend persona  and labeling her just that is almost as bad as telling she can't pretend whatever she wants. 

post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Worm View Post

I'm not saying the "who the child is" thing like that though.  This child may not like dressing up in a month or he might decide he wants to do it his whole life.  My point is they should be supported on their journey and accepted.

I wasn't quoting you, I was quoting the parents' own words. If you look at their website, you'll see they say that.

I think there's a big difference at this age between what kids play and who they are, and it worries me to have kids be pigeon-holed as one thing or another. I love the concept of having a book where little boys see other little boys dressed up as fairies or princesses or whatever, but I don't see the need to label it as who the boy is.

I can't get too worked up though about a message of acceptance. I would just have altered that language a bit if I were the parents. And I wouldn't be bringing my son onto the TV interviews.
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