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Old 01-06-2002, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, my son is 3 and my dh is worried because he likes pink. I said that kids don't know the difference (boy/girl colours) and just like what they like! He sometimes says he wants to grow up to be a girl, or pretends to be a girl, isn't this just role playing??
He is a very sensitive child (similar to those in the Wuss post below), and at 3, I wouldn't think it is something to worry about?
What are your experiences so i can silence my dh! (ok, and admittably have 100% peace about it myself)
Sharonxx
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Old 01-06-2002, 09:03 AM
 
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Sharon,

Pink is nice! And so are girls. Why not want to pretend to be one sometimes?

I haven't read the "WUSS" thread, so I can't reference anything there. I just know from some papers I have written in Psych classes, and one in a communications class, that to force your son to NOT wear pink, to tell him he will NEVER be a girl, is much more harmful than supporting him. Teaching him such rigid boundaries between societies male/female roles will not allow him to find himself, and possibly feel shame for his wants and needs.

Hope this helps a bit.

Randee

proverbs 29:7 the righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

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Old 01-06-2002, 09:15 AM
 
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Stories to help your husband:

My brother loved dolls as a kid. He is now a perfectly "manly" adult who does perfectly "manly" things, though sensitive as the day he was born.

Most little boys have played around with societal thoughts about gender. I have a three year old nephew who, when my sister was talking to her son's dad about possibly getting married, turned to his dad and said, "Why would you want to marry a giiiiiiirrl?!" My mom asked him, "If he didn't marry a girl, who would he marry?" and he told her, "A boy of course!" Little boys often play dress-up with "girl" clothes. And children are so free from our expectations that they often see colors for their beauty rather than for their gender lines. What could be wrong with that?
----------------------------------------
Now, as for the issue at hand:

What would be the worst case scenario here? I mean, what exactly worries people about gender play and non-sterotypical gender patterns?

Are people afraid their children will turn out (gasp!) gay?!? Well, first, what would be wrong with that? Other than the discrimination I face, I live a perfectly happy and healthy life as a biaffectional myself. Second, gender roles have nothing to do with being gay. My SO was not particularly a tomboy as a kid, and she turned out gay. And most cross-dressers and members of the trans community are indeed hetero.

Are people afraid that their boys will be "soft" and not survive the harsh realities of the world? Well, if it were up to me, I would much rather have a "soft" son who was sensitive and commited to the world around him, a boy who could possibly someday be a very sensitive, caring, and romantic boyfriend and/or husband, and a boy who could recognize beauty than a son who was hardened to the world around him.

You get the picture. I just don't know why people make such a fuss over these things. I think it is because they over-simplify the "gender identity" issue. Ever take a class on gender? Life is so complex!

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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Old 01-06-2002, 07:30 PM
 
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Well said, Sierra!
No exciting stories to share here, but my older son loved pink when he was three, too. He also liked dressing up in one of my old long broomstick skirts and wearing barrettes (only while at home.) He even used to 'give birth' to dolls, stuffed animals - you name it! Dh cringed, but I just went with the flow. Now he is six and while he still sometimes pretends to be a female character during imaginative play, he rarely dresses up. He has recently been labeling toys as 'for girls' or 'for boys', stereotyping that we would never promote (makes me cringe.) I say let them be free to love pink while they can!
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Old 01-06-2002, 10:25 PM
 
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My now 13 year old very boy boy nephew LOVED purple when he was 4. Where he lives is very color conservative (in more ways than one, if you know what I mean) and purple just wasn't worn by boys.

I was soooo proud of him when he drew himself up to his full 4 year old height and said "purple is the color of KINGS!"

You probably couldn't say the same thing for pink, but is it indeed a lovely color - the color of dawn, of the inside of seashells and roses, too.

I think parents are afraid that their child will be traumatized by other's intolerance of their personal likes and dislikes, but to be able to freely express youself is the best gift a parent can give to a child.
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Old 01-06-2002, 10:47 PM
 
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My son's favorite color was purple to at least fifth grade!
I think little boys of 3 or 4 are very much identifying with their Mother's whom they usually spend more time with and adore. Why wouldn't they want to be like their Mom's???
Enjoy it while you can. Social custome will soon invade and he will become a "manly" man.:

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Old 01-07-2002, 02:22 AM
 
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Pink is light red. not a secondary color at all.

The idea that it is a "girly" color is a function of a society who's male population is uncertain of their own sexuality.

To be sure, girls like pink, but the idea that "if a boy likes pink, he'll grow up to be a wuss" is both un-inteligent and uncivilised, not to mention un-friendly, insensitive and immature.

Kids need to experiment with these ideas, mostly to make their own identity secure within themselves, and most likely to rule it out as "them".

Kids not able to experiment freely, without interuption, without sneery comments or disaproval do not get the chance to be secure in their sexuality later in life, and may carry a "guilt" or "doubt" into their adulthood, which in turn may re-surface as REAL experimentation when in their teens or older.

Kids that do this (dress in pink) are emulating the society around them. This is natuaral. If Dads want to be part of the environment, then all they have to do is read to their children every day. That's all.

a

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Old 01-07-2002, 02:42 AM
 
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My 3.5 year old son got a doll when he was two in preparation of our second child who was on the way. For Christmas this year he decided he wanted a Miracle Moves Baby after seeing one in a commercial on Nick Jr. I was hesitant, but I changed my mind when we were in Kmart and he came across a display of them and wouldn't leave them alone. He stuck his hand up the hole in the box and gently rubbed it's face for about five minutes. I nearly had to drag him away. He got it from my dad in early December and it has gone everywhere we go since then. For Christmas he got a double stroller so he can take "Maggie" (the Miracle baby) and "Jonah" (named after his brother) at the same time. We let him take Maggie and the stroller when we went grocery shopping the other day and everyone loved it. He got so many smiles from passerbys (men and women). It was too cute! He had a blast. I know one day soon he will think that dolls are for girls and will want 'boy' toys, but right now I am enjoying watching him nurture his dolls.

He also wants a pair of those shiny, red, mary jane shoes that look like Dorothy's in the Wizard of Oz, but his feet are too wide. Oh, well.
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Old 01-07-2002, 02:57 AM
 
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My 26 month old DS has a pair of those red shoes ... he calls them his "parkly shoes" and although they are a little too small, he loves to wear them - to the store, everywhere. And I suppose I live in an enlightened area where everyone just thought they were adorable. I'm so glad.

Here's a picture!

Well, I *thought* I attached a picture - better go to the "how to" forum
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Old 01-07-2002, 05:44 AM
 
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Would your husband also be worried if you had a daughter who liked to wear cargo pants and football jerseys?

Even if (and that's a humongous if, as the other posts have shown) this means he's a bit "girlish," what the h*** is wrong with that? Is being like a girl less than being like a boy? Isn't your son a little too small for that kind of stereotyping? Isn't this a great opportunity for a very important lesson about gender equality?

I say, let him wear pink, the color of his very own lips on the inside, all he wants. With a little luck, he'll question gender stereotypes a little more when he grows up.
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Old 01-07-2002, 11:02 AM
 
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My 4yr old ds is such a boys boy. Has always been into cars and loud, crazy, running around "boy" games. Yet when ever we go shoe shopping he wants to buy the pink shoes with flowers on them and when I asked him what color we should paint his room his first response was, "PINK!"

I don't buy him the flowered shoes as I explain to him because they're just not practicle to be worn with jeans and sweat pants - which is what he is generally dressed in, but I don't say because they aren't for boys. We decided together to paint his room red instead of pink because it better matched his comforter (which has a car theme of course).

He also has a baby doll which he nurses. Sometimes he talks about getting bigger and becoming a mommy. I have told him, nicely, that when he grows up he's going to be a daddy because he is a boy, but I also tell him that's it's fun to make believe he's a mommy or anything he wants because you can be anyone in your imagination.

I asked my husband if he minded ds playing with dolls and he said no because there is a balance - he playes with cars and he has a doll - no big deal.
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Old 01-07-2002, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for yor reples, i agree with all of you!
Pink is a lovely colour, and he uses it in his artwork which is beautiful! he loves the pink sky at night as the sun goes down, and he loves his baby sister wearing pink!
i will not be bullied by my dh to try to change my son, he should accept him 100% how he is.

you have all been very helpful, thank you.
sharonxx
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Old 01-07-2002, 02:26 PM
 
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i would not be too worried for a couple of reasons.

one reason: who cares if he does end up gay?
second reason: liking pink does NOT mean he will be gay at all !

i wouldn't "dress him in pink", but i don't see why he can't play with girlish stuff.

my son and i play barbie. he is KEN and I am Barbie. But he loves to dress them up and stuff.

my husband played with "Raggedy Ann" when he was a little boy, and i can tell you he is Definately not gay.

nothing wrong with being gay though, but i dont think color will make you gay or straight.

Have you seen those children that were born as a boy and a girl both? and the parents tried to "Make them female", they dressed these kids up as girls..gave them girl names, and everything, but when they became teenagers, they alllll knew they were really a boy in their hearts. It caused many issues

you can't "force" your kid to be one way or the other.
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Old 01-07-2002, 11:46 PM
 
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My ds dressed up last summer (At age 7) in his sisters clothes, and she in his.

I explained to him that his bio-dad might not be supportive of him wearing a skirt, just to let him know that he might get teased when he was over there.

He replied "Oh, then he must not like men from Scotland!"

Cracked me up.

You know, will probably never be an Astronaut, but likes to play one. It's just a matter of trying on different roles.

Perhaps your DH was teased or felt pressured to be manly when he was a child, and that's where the concern comes from.

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Old 01-09-2002, 01:36 AM
 
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I would say to try bringing home the point that boys can like pink (and girls can be aggressive etc) by doing something completely unrelated:

Rent the movie "Billy Elliott", it's a great story about a boy from a blue collar working class family who has different ideas about his future, and about societal expectations. A great film about encouraging diversity that results in a different kind of strength. My only gripe about the movie is that the accents are so strong - but by the end of the movie you'll understand them, I promise! Don't forget the popcorn

Then sit down at the end and have a conversation about societal expectations, reminding him that children possess their own dreams about how their lives will turn out. Pink ain't so bad!
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