Originally Posted by velochic
Discouraging one child from playing with certain toys doesn't affect all of the children. This is not like prayer at a meal. It is an individual situation that the DCP can easily do. She simply doesn't think she should have to because it's not something that is on her "how to raise a child" radar.
No, she doesn't think she should have to do it because she is uncomfortable acting as the mother's proxy in her campaign to coercively manipulate her child's developing gender identity.
Looking back at the original post, the mother's concern really seems to be about gender roles, not "commercialism" as such. Especially once you throw in the additional information about the mother being just fine with her son playing with girly items
. I can't believe this has repeatedly gotten passed over in favor of a tangential debate about marketing.
As a woman it really shocks me how many women on this forum are so dogmatically devoted to repressing certain gender expressions that the little girl's feelings aren't even a factor in the discussion so far!
If it were a fundamentalist Christian mother telling the DCP to not let her kid play with "boy" toys, instead to redirect her to the kitchen playset, etc., because it's against her religion to cross traditional gender roles, the responses on this thread would be radically different.
When I see little girls wanting to adorn themselves being compared to guns and violence, it makes me sick.
Now of course the mother has a right to have things as she wishes in her own home. If she wants to set her kid up for years of therapy by emotionally penalizing her every time she explores gender expressions that don't perfectly match the mother's own, hey, it's a free country, right? The OP isn't trying to buy the girl princess pink underwear and Dora shirts and send her home dressed like that in place of the clothes provided by the parents.
All the DCP is asking to do is not to have to make this little girl unnecessarily miserable. The original question was, why isn't she (THE LITTLE GIRL) allowed to like froo froo stuff??? The DCP isn't pushing gender roles. She gives no disapproval to the little girl's brother for playing with the girlie stuff. It's a very valid question - why isn't the girl allowed to like what she likes? The OP isn't really asking what she should do as far as the policy of her business. She seems to know her own mind pretty well about day care policy and has apparently handled other sensitive situations in the past. What she wants to know is why she is being asked to enforce restrictive gender norms. She wants to know, why the discriminatory policing of a young child's imaginative play?????????
I think on some level, looking at this family, the differential treatment of daughter and son, she would probably also like to know: what is so awful about being female that gender-typical female interests must be quashed, while the boy is free to define himself as he chooses?
I sure want to know, myself.
It's none of her business, you may say. But she has to take care of this child, she obviously has benevolent concern for this child, and as a child care provider she is in this family's business whether they like it or not. She has been afforded a glimpse into something very ugly, masked as a liberal ideal. It's not just that she's being asked to do something she doesn't want to do.
If I were the DCP I would find it violating to be asked to do this - to tell a little girl she can't play with certain things because she is a girl
. To be asked to monitor, limit, and control a child's play experiences based on gender. As a woman, I wouldn't be able to do it. As a woman, I would find it degrading. The mother is asking the DCP to become the kind of person who puts limits on what girls can do, be, think and feel. That's not something that can be turned on and off. It's a matter of deep philosophical perspective, perhaps even spiritual in a sense. And it's just not covered by the day care fees. The OP is right to be perplexed and bothered by this situation.
But I am glad this little girl is being exposed to a woman who can model being relaxed and comfortable about female identity. Because she's sure not getting it at home.