Originally Posted by Lazurii
I'm mot sure if this belongs here, so, mods, move if needs be. Thanks!
My son is almost four. He likes "boy" things like mud and blocks and trains but he also loves nail polish and tutus and glitter and getting his hair done and pink. We even painted his room pink because he asked for it. I'm totally okay with whatever he wants and support his likes and dislikes.
My daughter will be two in March and likes pretty much the same stuff as my son. But somehow it tweaks me out. Likes she's too "girly". At 15 months she already had a firm opinion on clothing and would reject outfits. She will, however, sit in the mud with her frou-frou dresses and eat bugs. I have, ashamedly, try to steer her into liking less gender-specific things.
Another thing that bugs me is we're now getting gender specific presents for the kids, and BuggaBoo gets creative stuff and flash cards and books and Doozer get dress-up princess stuff. And then BuggaBoo and Doozer are fighting over the dress-up and his present is forgotten. I've told people that BuggaBoo would appreciate dress-up clothes as well, but that's met with blank stares.
So, am I the only one who feels this way? I am trying very hard to change how I feel, but to see my daughter slip into preconceived gender roles is somehow disheartening. Like I did something wrong in her upbringing, like I pushed her into it.
been thinking about how to answer you on this one.
anytime this comes up here, i find that our family is kind of different when it comes to comfort levels with gender, sex, and identity.
honestly, though we are very dissimilar in how we live out the core of what you're getting at, i do understand your motivation or the thoughts, conscious or not, behind your actions.
the way i see it (and i really don't feel like debating this, that's not why i am posting, i promise i don't care what your kid wears) is that the reason some of us cringe about the pink stuff is because, essentially, it's what is being forced upon girls. when there are no other options available, and really, there aren't, and something is presented as the only choice for a particular group of people, it's hard not to resist it or feel resentful. it's not just the color necessarily, it's what it represents: sweetness, passivity, delicateness, or a hundred other adjectives that i personally feel limit exploration, intellectual curiosity, action, etc. .
the categorization by color and the labels, spoken or not, attached to that color cause problems (i say damage, you might say hesitation/enforcement of gender roles/socialized conscription or whatever) that are harmful specifically to girls.
at the same time, while imposing rigid roles upon boys is pretty harmful, there is no denying that it is males who hold the power in our society. it's pretty clear (to me_) that the message being sent and received is that it's OK to embrace attributes of boyhood, and it's kind of freeing for a mom who "lets" or encourages her son to embrace characteristics thought of as female-- nurturing, caring, etc. and doing so is NOT GOING TO HARM his social capital. boys who turn into caring men are not going to suddenly stop being powerful.
the messages sent to girls is a whole other thing... and i feel like you sense that. and that's why you are so bothered by a girl who wants to adopt what society/media/predominant culture is telling her is what she should be doing.
i am not sure if i am making much sense, but at any rate....
i consider myself fortunate. dd has not shown any inclination towards any of that stuff, but we don't have any of it, at all, in the house. there isn't any pink shiny stuff for her to dress up in and we never go shopping. we don't watch tv and she stays home with dh, so she doesn't have much exposure to princesses, and consumer culture, etc.
she does have toys of all kinds, and doesn't seem to express any interest in anything over another except for musical instruments and art supplies. when our second child comes, he too will have the same stuff to play with. but we're not going to suddenly have pink stuff for him, either, so i really think we're trying our best to stop any of the ok-for-you-but-not-for-you sentiment; however, i see how you arrived at the situation you describe.