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#1 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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A spread in a recent J. Crew catalog, featuring a five-year-old boy with pink toenails, is causing a sensation.

 

From the Yahoo! News article:

 

"When J. Crew sent out its latest catalog, we doubt that the classic clothing company expected it would be blasted by social conservatives as "transgendered child propaganda." But alas, it has.

 

The images in question fall under pages titled "Saturday with Jenna" -- featuring products personally favored by J. Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons and her family. This particular Saturday for Jenna includes painting her five-year-old son Beckett's toenails pink. The caption reads, "Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon."

 

Cue the outrage from America's culture warriors."

 

Source: Hot pink-toenailed boy in J. Crew ad sparks controversy: The Lookout, Wed April 13, 2011

 

In the past Mothering has tackled the subject of gender roles and boys with articles such as The Boy in the Pink Tutu, Real Boys Play with Dolls, and most recently Handsome in Pink in the July-Aug 2010 issue of Mothering.

 

What on your thoughts on this topic? Do you feel it is appropriate for boys to wear pink or otherwise step outside of mainstream gender roles?


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#2 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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What a ridiculous thing to get upset about.  My 3 year old son loves to paint his toenails; currently each toe is a different color.  Bright colors are fun!  Why should girls get to have all the fun?

 

Seeing stuff like this makes me realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by reasonable people in my daily life. 


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#3 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 05:25 PM
 
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"If the roles had been reversed and the photo...had been of a little girl playing in the mud with trucks, nobody would have batted an eye."

 

that about sums up my feelings on this.  and I agree.. why should girls get all the fun?  colors on the toes IS fun, boy or girl.

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#4 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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This song perfectly sums up how I feel. http://www.facebook.com/AnnaAntoniaMusic#!/AnnaAntoniaMusic?sk=app_2405167945

If you agree that boys should be free to wear pink (whether it's a shirt or nail polish) and girls should be able to grow up to become president, then share this very important, very timely song by passing on this link!

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#5 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 05:38 PM
 
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These people really need to stop being so uptight about a frickin' colour.

 

A colour, that up until the late 40's, was a boys colour. Seriously, there are people alive still who were alive and kicking when pink was what you dressed your sons in!


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#6 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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Why oh why is this news...?


 
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#7 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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What is truly ridiculous about this whole thing is that pink was considered a "boy color" and blue considered a "girl color" up until the 1940's. 

 

My good friend just let her 3 year old son get his ears pierced to the horror of her family; not because he was three and getting a body modification, but because he's a boy and we just don't DO that to boys. Puh-leeze! eyesroll.gif

 

Quote:
"If the roles had been reversed and the photo...had been of a little girl playing in the mud with trucks, nobody would have batted an eye."

 

^My thoughts exactly. Sexism hurts men too!!

 

eta: just saw musician dad beat me to the point, lol


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#8 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 05:46 PM
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I can't wait until DS can sit still long enough for me to paint his toenails!
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#9 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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Oh blergh.  I just rolled my eyes so hard I have a headache now.  

 

Yeah, blergh about sums it up really.

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#10 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 07:07 PM
 
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silly-ness. my ds1 loved pink until about 6 months ago and liked having his nails done.

FORCING a child (of any gender) to paint their nails? sure something to question. having some fun playing dress up with your dd/ds? no.


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#11 of 38 Old 04-15-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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It's just !@$#@ stupid. The controversy, I mean.
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#12 of 38 Old 04-16-2011, 05:44 AM
 
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I've seen pink shirts for men in the department stores, so it's not total taboo in our culture, just unusual. I think more people are coming around to the fact that girls and boys alike don't care about "gender specific" things unless someone keeps telling them otherwise. Do boys graviate toward certain things that girls don't and vice cersa? Sure, but that doesn't mean it's exclusive to that gender.

 

If people are afraid their sons won't be "manly"...and we all have different definitions of what manly is...I think they need to first and foremost cultivate honorable character in their sons instead of automatically complying with and relying on society's gender pigeon-holing to do it.

 

And I don't think that a five year old having fun with his mom & nail polish is flame-worthy. But then, I carry my infant son in a pink and orange mei tai and my other son loves his apron & play kitchen, so.... :)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

"If the roles had been reversed and the photo...had been of a little girl playing in the mud with trucks, nobody would have batted an eye."

 

that about sums up my feelings on this.  and I agree.. why should girls get all the fun?  colors on the toes IS fun, boy or girl.

 

My feelings, too.  A girl playing in the mud isn't a sign that our culture has overcome sexism; rather, that she gets away with it without any criticism--while a boy in pink toenails turns into a "news" story--is a sign that our culture bows at the alter of what is masculine and continues to denounce the feminine as weak, "girly" and not fit for boys. 
 

 


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To each his/her own. Personally I wouldn't paint my son's toenails any color. Or pierce his ears for that matter. My family and I are okay with gender roles. What others do is their business.

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Originally Posted by nocturne1980 View Post

To each his/her own. Personally I wouldn't paint my son's toenails any color. Or pierce his ears for that matter. My family and I are okay with gender roles. What others do is their business.



Even if he wanted it? Are the gender roles more important than your son being allowed to be who he is?


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Even if he wanted it? Are the gender roles more important than your son being allowed to be who he is?

I don't think painting nails or ear piercing is who a child is. Children can absolutely be who they are without certain things. There are many things I wouldn't allow my kids to do/wear, but I don't think I am stifling who they are, just guiding them until adulthood.
 

 


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Quote:
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I don't think painting nails or ear piercing is who a child is. Children can absolutely be who they are without certain things. There are many things I wouldn't allow my kids to do/wear, but I don't think I am stifling who they are, just guiding them until adulthood.
 

 

Part of who someone is, is what they enjoy. Why deny your child the joy of doing something they enjoy just because someone, somewhere decided arbitrarily that it's not proper for their biological sex?
 

 


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Now I can see not allowing a boy to paint his nails if you don't allow nail polish.  For instance, I (female) was not allowed to paint my nails until middle school so if my brother had been allowed at an elementary schooler just because he was a boy, it would have seemed quite unfair.  I also wasn't allowed to pierce my ears until I was 18.  My brother wasn't allowed to pierce his not because it wasn't masculine but because it wasn't allowed.  We both ended up with piercings before 18 but they weren't done with parental consent.  Little sis on the other hand had a totally different set of rules and painted her nails from toddlerhood and got her ears pierced at 13.  I think it was partially because she was the baby of the family and my parents loosened their strictness a lot and partially because she was *really* in to fashion from the time she could express an interest.

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Now I can see not allowing a boy to paint his nails if you don't allow nail polish.


For me it's mostly the VOCs in most commercial nail polishes.  I don't want DD to ingest that into her tiny lungs.  But then, that's tangential to this thread.  Those pundits on Fox News weren't complaining because the child was young or being exposed to VOCs.... eyesroll.gif

 

Did anyone catch Jon Stewart's take on it the other night?  love.gif

There's a clip of it here.  It's the first bit on the show.


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I have one word for the hoopla that's being made about a boy and painting his toenails pink. Ridiculous.

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#21 of 38 Old 04-17-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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Hey, i had 2 sons and put them in pink onesies and they BOTH GREW VAGINAS!  I mean that's what we're worried about here right?  That boys will do something that's "for girls" and then somehow become girls or lose their precious, fragile masculinity.  nut.gif

 

I think there is nothing wrong with a parent painting their kids nails (any sex, any colour).  I do think though that when this makes the big news sites there is something wrong with the MEDIA.

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#22 of 38 Old 04-18-2011, 11:32 AM
 
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There are two issues here and they don't really go together. One is a preschooler who just wants to have fun and wants his toes a bright color because it's fun, and he is too young to care that it's supposed to be for one gender.

The other issue that has been getting a lot of press lately are the little rainbow boys. Boys like my son who have passed the age of just fun because it's fun, and who actively prefer girly toys and things. My boy is 8 and wants his fingernails pink all the time. On occasion I let him. His favorite colors are pink and purple and he loves makeup. He knows it's girly but still likes it. He's my third son, and all of them at 3 or 4 would have wanted polish on their toenails for fun. But around 5, they would have refused the pink balloon even if it was the last one available. My youngest son at 8 only wants the pink balloon.

We who are trying to parent little rainbow guys have a harder time because we know that after the age of 5 or 6, we may be looking at a boy who will be gay, but we want to keep all sexuality out of it as our kids are innocent and deserve a free and innocent childhood. But we have to prep them and explain to them that when their friends see them in girly things, they might laugh, they might ask questions, they might even ask if you are a girl.

And of course we get crap from other adults, as if forbidding our kids from playing thusly will keep them straight. Yeah, right.

The only great thing is that sometimes adult gay men will get tears in their eyes when they see what I support in my son, and openly praise me and wish their mothers had been as accepting.

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My 3 year old son loves "sparkle toes." My only concern would be if 1) the parent was using regular quite-toxic nail polish and 2) applying it often. I am personally not a fan of dark nail colors on children so I limit it to clear, pinky beige and the most loved sparkle spink and when old enough to not pick at it/consume.

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Quote:
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We who are trying to parent little rainbow guys have a harder time because we know that after the age of 5 or 6, we may be looking at a boy who will be gay, but we want to keep all sexuality out of it as our kids are innocent and deserve a free and innocent childhood. But we have to prep them and explain to them that when their friends see them in girly things, they might laugh, they might ask questions, they might even ask if you are a girl.
 

Hate to burst your bubble, but your son who likes pink and purple and everything girly, is no more likely to be gay that any boy who spends his time  playing "boy" games, and wearing "boy" clothes, and turning his nose up at "girl".


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#25 of 38 Old 04-18-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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Hate to burst your bubble, but your son who likes pink and purple and everything girly, is no more likely to be gay that any boy who spends his time  playing "boy" games, and wearing "boy" clothes, and turning his nose up at "girl".


Wow, I never expected to be met with meanness on this forum. That is sad.

People who have little elementary aged children who like gender opposite things have no idea if their children will grow up to be gay, but certainly there is research evidence that they might. And these parents are given an inkling of it. If you have a gender "norm" elementary age kid, of course they still might grow up to be gay, but the parent of course has no inkling.

I don't think I said anything to deserve your mean response.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulhouse View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Hate to burst your bubble, but your son who likes pink and purple and everything girly, is no more likely to be gay that any boy who spends his time  playing "boy" games, and wearing "boy" clothes, and turning his nose up at "girl".


Wow, I never expected to be met with meanness on this forum. That is sad.

People who have little elementary aged children who like gender opposite things have no idea if their children will grow up to be gay, but certainly there is research evidence that they might. And these parents are given an inkling of it. If you have a gender "norm" elementary age kid, of course they still might grow up to be gay, but the parent of course has no inkling.

I don't think I said anything to deserve your mean response.

I don't think that Musician Dad was being mean, merely pointing out that gender roles are not always tied to gender preference. Assuming that they are merely adds fuel to the fire that allowing things like pink nail polish might "turn" someone gay. Many boys who know that they are gay will actually strive for ultra masculine behavior to try and blend in. I think that is what MD is trying to say.

Kudos from me on parenting your little boy. It has to be hard knowing all the angst the world has in store for his identity choices.
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Did any of you see this? Mod's, not sure if this okay, if not feel free to remove...http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-13-2011/toemageddon-2011---this-little-piggy-went-to-hell

 

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Hate to burst your bubble, but your son who likes pink and purple and everything girly, is no more likely to be gay that any boy who spends his time  playing "boy" games, and wearing "boy" clothes, and turning his nose up at "girl".


Musician Dad, it sound s to me as if Fullhouse is really coming from a maternal instincts point of view with her son. Though I think the important aspect of what she conveyed is that she is nurturing him outside the expectations of mainstream society. I know from experience that with family, friends and (sigh) complete strangers in a parents face over alternative choices it can be exhausting for any parent. 

 


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#29 of 38 Old 04-18-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulhouse View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Hate to burst your bubble, but your son who likes pink and purple and everything girly, is no more likely to be gay that any boy who spends his time  playing "boy" games, and wearing "boy" clothes, and turning his nose up at "girl".




Wow, I never expected to be met with meanness on this forum. That is sad.

People who have little elementary aged children who like gender opposite things have no idea if their children will grow up to be gay, but certainly there is research evidence that they might. And these parents are given an inkling of it. If you have a gender "norm" elementary age kid, of course they still might grow up to be gay, but the parent of course has no inkling.

I don't think I said anything to deserve your mean response.


I'm not trying to be mean, just trying to point out that what someone likes has little bearing on their sexuality. I liked cooking and I liked pink... I also liked hunting bugs, playing in the mud, and wrestling.  In fact most of my preferred activities growing up were considered "all boy" things. I happen to be gay. A good friend of mine was the exact opposite. Everything was about pink, and purple, and dolls and playing house...

 

Liking "girls stuff" doesn't make a boy gay, it doesn't indicate a boy is gay, it doesn't factor into sexuality at all. The only people I have heard say otherwise are the ones claiming your child straying outside of predetermined gender lines are exhibiting "pre-homosexuality" (what ever the hell that is) and should be corrected. These seem to be the only people who have access to the "research" that says preferences determine sexuality too.

 

That you let your son enjoy what he likes is great, really, but it doesn't negate the problem of associating sexuality with the social construct of gendered activities. It's one of the important things to remember when parenting a child who goes against gender assigned likes and dislikes, so that child doesn't grow up thinking that his preferences for entertainment and his preferences for love are somehow connected.

 


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#30 of 38 Old 04-18-2011, 03:14 PM
 
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Most parents don't think their child could be gay, or lesbian, or bisexual, or trans, or queer... It's something people think happens to "someone else".


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