I have just read yet another article about letting kids be who they are and not stereotyping them into being what we think they should be. It went something like ‘Why should boys always have blue and girls have pink?’ Every time I read one of those articles it makes my teeth grate.
I don’t get why kids wearing blue or pink, loving Barbie or cars is an issue. Lets your kids like what they want to. Isn’t that what we should be focusing on?
Making people feel bad for loving to dress their son in blue is exactly the same as people who force their kids to play with only boys toys when they also like to play with dolls. Let them find themselves and let's not get so hung up about what's appropriate or acceptable.
Firstly - the argument that boys shouldn't wear blue and girls shouldn't wear pink doesn’t stand when you have kids who know what they want. I know some girls who go crazy if they can’t always wear pink, and the tutu’s and the sparkly shoes. And believe me their Mum was trying to get them into other clothes (mostly wash and wear styles!) Alternately, If I made Lucas wear a tutu he would scream at me, stomp his feet and be most annoyed. I know because I tried when he was about 3 yrs old. Not because it’s a ‘girl thing’ but because he’s just not interested in dress ups and frills.
Secondly – why can’t boys wear blue? Heaven forbid we buy a blue blanket for a friend who has had a baby boy, or buy a fairy tutu for a little niece. What a social travesty! Seriously? What does it matter what colour they are wearing. Surely it’s more important that they are loved and fed and are happy.
Where is the harm in dressing your little boy in blue? I dressed Lucas in blue….and orange and red and green. Sometimes all at the same time! And it didn’t change his personality or harm him psychologically in any way.
Why are people so hung up on this? I am sick and tired of this sort of talk about being gender free. Why does everyone have to be so politically correct that we can’t say that boys WILL be boys?
Boys are noisy and love mess and dirt and wrestling with each other…and fart jokes and saying poo all the time! ALL THE TIME! The reason these stereotypes exist is because in the majority of cases they are true. This doesn’t mean they have to be true for all the boys out there, and it doesn’t mean that girls can’t have these traits too. We love hearing about girls who love trucks. My son was never one to be overly boisterous, but in other ways he’s such a little boy.
Blue and pink, Boys will be boys, she’s such a little girl. These are a way for mums to bond over shared experiences. The phrase ‘such a little boy’ conjures up an idea of how boys are, from the stereotype that we all have. It’s a 2 dimensional image we use to share an idea, not a social statement that they need to live up to.
If I ask you to imagine a building - You would probably imagine something with four walls, a roof, some windows and a door. The colour, the height, the materials…they are not specific. Yours may be red with shutters, mine may be 5 stories and blue, but we have a common idea of the structure of a building. Some buildings don’t have windows, some are round, but most are square and have windows so the stereotypical building will be square and with windows.
Did you imagine a building anything like these gorgeous houses illustrated by Cassie?
The same can be said for the stereotypical boy. Mine loves cars, yours may not. They may not fit into the sterotype at all, but the sterotye is vague for a reason.. It is an amalgamation of the majority. Most boys are loud (mine isn't) Most boys like to play with bugs (mine didn’t)
The thing is – I don’t get upset if my boy doesn’t fit into the stereotype all the time. Actually I’m not sure I worried about the sterotype at all until I read all these articles about how we shouldn’t have one! My son absolutely does not know that there is a sterotype. He is who he is, without any thought of what the rest of the world thinks. for a long time he didn't know that there is a ‘rest of the world’ out there.
My boy is my boy….he’s like a lot of other boys around. When I speak to someone I might say ‘he’s such a boy’ and I will mean it. That doesn’t define him or stunt his potential for being who he is, because being a boy is not all that he is. He is also patient and kind and sweet and crazy and unique and special. With all of that individuality he is also a little boy, who is ‘part of the little boys club’ . A club I wont be allowed into because I just don’t get the fart jokes!
I'm ok with that.