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"You dress him like a girl."

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi Mamas. I just kind of need a place to vent I guess.


Lately I have been getting comments from people about how I dress my 12 month old son. The comments are basically that I dress him too much "like a girl."


One person even went so far, today, to tell me that one day my son might look back on pictures and be embarrassed. 


DS doesn't wear anything ruffled or with lace. He doesn't wear clothes that say things like "Daddy's little girl." But does he have a pink onesie? Yes. It's unisex, and it has an elephant on it. When I show it to him he giggles and says "ell-eeeee."


He also has a pair of light purple pants with fireflies on them that I sewed for him before he was born (and before we knew whether it was a boy or girl). He also has a sunhat that I made that's multicolored polka dots. It was the sunhat that got the "he might be embarrassed later" comment.


I don't understand this at all. My son is not aware of social constructs of gender. He doesn't know pink means female and blue means male. I dress him in what's cute and what we buy from consignment shops and the goodwill store. I think he looks adorable no matter what he wears. I don't know, maybe if I dressed him in taffeta dresses it would be one thing. But a sunhat? Are you kidding me? 


I asked this person just what I was supposed to put him in, and his response was "A Brewers hat. That way you can start him on his path to be an all-star." UGGGHGHHHH. Yes, that's right. Because boys are sports heroes. All of them. Duh. 


So I just said, "While I'm at it, why don't I get him a hat with penises and scrotums all over it so he can know for sure and everyone else can know for sure that he's ALL MAN." The response was "I'm not being sexist, I'm just saying he'll be embarrassed whne he's older." Whatever. I just said "That's sexist garbage and it's about your hangups, not my son's."


Do any of the rest of you deal with this nonsense? You dress your girl too male or you dress your boy too female? 


BTW, here's a picture of the offending hat.



post #2 of 22

Who are these people?  So RUDE!!  I'd be inclined to write them off as someone whose opinion merits consideration and carry on.  That hat is adorable.

post #3 of 22

Good heavens. My son is five and still chooses to wear a dress to parties most of the time. And nobody has ever said anything like that to me. That hat is adorable. So is your ds. Don't let people and their weird hangups get to you.

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

@Vancouver Mommy - You're awesome. My nephews both liked wearing dresses during dress-up time at daycare when they were toddlers. My brother (their dad) was so upset about this, he asked the daycare teachers to no longer allow his boys to wear any female dress-up clothes.


So sad and so ridiculous. More parents should be like you and let their kiddos be free. :)

post #5 of 22

We dressed my son the same way. Color is for everyone.

post #6 of 22
Originally Posted by Partaria View Post

@Vancouver Mommy - You're awesome. My nephews both liked wearing dresses during dress-up time at daycare when they were toddlers. My brother (their dad) was so upset about this, he asked the daycare teachers to no longer allow his boys to wear any female dress-up clothes.


So sad and so ridiculous. More parents should be like you and let their kiddos be free. :)


Thanks! My ds feels that parties are fancy and none of his regular clothes are fancy enough. A while ago he rifled through all his dresser drawers, looked at me and said "I must have outgrown all my dresses!". Last party we went to there was a little boy the same age who was actually transgendered. He and his parents were so happy to see another little dude in a dress!

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
A while ago he rifled through all his dresser drawers, looked at me and said "I must have outgrown all my dresses!"


Um, that is ADORABLE.




Color is for everyone.


Well said! Love that.  

post #8 of 22

I can definitely relate. Our issue is more with the length of my son's hair (he's 2 and we haven't cut it) although he has his fair share of "girl" colored clothing (and a pair of awesome pink sandals!)

I constantly get asked if he's a boy or girl. In fact, on a recent plane trip, a woman started cooing, "oh, she's so cute!" and my son was dressed in a navy blue shirt with a truck on it and khaki cargo shorts. It amazes me that long hair is so strongly associated with femininity. It doesn't bother me or my DH when my people question my son's gender, but I do wonder if it will start to bother my son as he gets older. 


My brother often dressed up in girls clothes as a kid and once even decided to wear a sparkly blue dress to a wedding when he was 3. My parents didn't try to convince him otherwise and didn't bat an eye at the party. I remember one of my dad's colleagues saying to him, "I thought your last one was a boy?" and my dad simply said, "He is," and left it at that. To this day, I'm proud of my parents for not shaming my brother. --And my  bro turned out to be a very manly man :)

post #9 of 22

I don't think there's anything effeminate about a pink shirt or a cute polkadot hat, the people around you suck.  Not that wearing effeminate clothes should not be an issue, but at least you'd be pushing a gender norm and stretching people's ideas if they actually were girly clothes,  and it would make more sense that you might get the odd comment. 

Edited by Jen Muise - 5/21/12 at 5:33pm
post #10 of 22

I know what you mean, I hate that my little pumpkin is getting so much sexism piled on her at such a young age, it's everywhere! The other day DP was making vroom-vroom noises with DD and this woman heard and said "Must be a boy's boy!". I feel like something like that happens every time we step out the door. A funny story, though, once DD was wearing all pink for once in her life and this guy started lecturing me on how my "son was going to end up being a sissy b/c I dressed him in pink". He said, "I know it's old fashioned, but it just isn't right to dress your son that way". I didn't correct him, I just said "Oh, it's OK, sometimes he likes to get in touch with his feminine side".

post #11 of 22

The hat is super cute (and I agree with a pp - color is for everyone). The comments you're getting are really ignorant, but it sounds like you're handling them so well. I admire that you're standing up to it without letting it get you down.

My dd wears a lot of unisex clothes and has shorter hair. She's called a boy in public fairly frequently, but now that she's 2.5 and more verbal, she just corrects people if she feels like it. A few days ago at the park, feeding the ducks, another mom brought her younger daughter over and kept saying, "Come feed the ducks with this little boy," "This little boy has bread to share," etc. My dd just turned to her and calmly said "I'm a girl," and gave her a piece of bread.

Now that she's older she also has more input into what clothes she wants to wear. Sometimes she picks stuff that's more "girly" in color or style, sometimes not.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Watch the first five minutes of the classic Free to Be You and Me. So awesome.


"I don't know who I am! I'm a baby, I haven't been anybody yet!"



post #13 of 22
My oldest has expressed embarrassment over her baby picture saying I dressed her like a boy.
I did dress her in boy clothes, but I thought I was going more gender neutral. They were hand me downs so most I wouldnt go out and buy, but being used they were so soft and comfy. The outfit in the picture was an olive corduroy overalls with a matching stripe shirt.

Dd didn't help by not growing hair till she was 2.

I knew I was borderline when I had to buy shoes and found I needed plain white, otherwise the girl shoes would look out of place with the "neutral" outfits
post #14 of 22

I try to get gender neutral stuff for my kids. BUt haven't had any rude comments yet. Keep doing what you are doing, it is so much easier if you have gender neutral stuff when you have the second kid and they happen to be a girl...

post #15 of 22

i like the grammar police response.

"you dress him/her like a girl/boy"

response: "that's funny.  i'm pretty sure i'm a woman."

post #16 of 22

We get a lot of comments from my parents as well as my partner's parents about 'how girly' or 'why do you dress them like girls so much' about our two little boys. I just say they are perfectly good clothes and there's no reason they can't wear them. My parents especially have a problem with teething neckalaces on the older boy. They say its too girl (and that he'll get hurt by it). Whatever! Colors are for everyone. 


The two boys have one older sibling of each gender and so they have all kinds of clothes waiting for them to wear. Lots of pinks and purples and flowers (that both their older brother and sister have worn) as well as lots of stuff with trucks and bugs and animals on them. 


I fully plan to let them wear what they want as they get older. We let both of the big kids pick out their clothes as they wish and as long as they match somewhat and are in clean clothes, there's no harm done! 

post #17 of 22

I get it from my FIL about their hair.  Harumph.  One of the boys has hair that is *harder* to tame when it's shorter, so I like it at a sort of "unkempt bowl cut" length.  Still toddler boy style, just not the buzz cuts my SIL's boys get.  I worry he'll over hear some day.  :(  FIL does it teasingly, but it still really bothers me.

post #18 of 22

Our two boys (6 and 4) both love the colour pink and have had quite a lot of pink clothes, including some pink and white sneakers (that always seemed to get everyone's attention....) Recently a little girl told my oldest that he must be a girl because he had a pink umbrella. He didn't miss a beat and told her that she should get herself a new pair of eyes. Way to go!


It's been interesting as DS1 has gotten older. He is quite indignant about this whole colour thing and totally gets that it is their problem and not his. I really admire this as I was a very conformist child. So, I guess we're getting some personal development mileage out of it.


We're expecting another baby any day now and I'm already overwhelmed by the pink/blue thing. My MIL is a bit annoyed that we don't know the gender because it means she can't buy any clothes. It's all so ridiculous!! It's just colours....


PP - I love his hat!

post #19 of 22

I love that hat. My oldest boy is only 3 but the whole gender ideals/bias annoy the heck out of me. My son can wear his hair long, rock pink sandals and take a ballet class and my DD can white water kayak, skateboard, rock climb and snowboard better then most grown men. What is wrong with that? Apparently a lot according to many people. Eh, ignore them. People will ALWAYS have issues with how others parent, if it isn't hat then it is something else. 

post #20 of 22

Aw, I wish my daughter was more like that.  I dressed her in boy hand-me-downs and lots of gender neutral stuff as a baby, and she was often mistaken for a boy back then.  And THEN, somehow she started always choosing pink.  Pink pink pink.  Oh, how I hate pink.  Some days she is just one big monochromatic pink blob.  It makes me feel like I didn't do well enough shielding her from gender stereotypes.  I think that's why it bothers me.

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