I am the mother of a baby boy who I love to dress in baby blue whenever I can, simply because I love the colour on him but does this mean I'm opposed to other colours, some which may be considered 'girls' colours? Not at all, in fact as I type this he's wearing a light yellow and white stripey top. I've bought him clothes which I consider to be gender neutral - little vintage shortalls, a fluffy bunny jacket, babygrows with rainbows, even baby tights, all of which have gained comments such as "aren't they for girls?", honestly who said a baby boy couldn't enjoy rainbows and why shouldn't a baby boy be able to wear a pair of tights? Robin Hood wore tights! To me it's all ridiculous. I would understand if I was dressing my boy in a big frilly pink tutu but even if I did this, so what?! Tyler Lee has been mistaken for a baby girl on more than one occasion, though this may be due to his long curly looks too but does this bother me? No. Is it going to have a negative effect on him? No, he doesn't even understand what these people are saying. Are my clothing choices for him really going to effect him, can someone actually prove to me that dressing him in something with a rainbow on it is going to make him less of a boy? He won't even remember wearing these clothes, he's only eleven months old.
Recently while shopping for Tyler Lee's birthday gifts I wanted to buy him a play kitchen as he has such an interest in looking at what his father do in the kitchen and he's taken quite a liking to the vacuum cleaner and washing machine but his father was not willing to get him one or "not yet" in his words. He couldn't explain to me why? I asked if he thought play kitchens were for girls, he said yes. I think this is also ridiculous! Why can't a boy enjoy playing with a kitchen? What will it do to him, make him want to become a chef, bake cakes? Some of the worlds best chefs are men for God's sake! What makes me laugh even more is that my fiance is the one who always wants to do the cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing, tasks which would normally be considered 'woman's work' so does he not want his son to grow up to be the man he is? I believe that these types of 'parent imitating' toys such as household objects and dolls exclude boys. It's as if the marketers of these types of toys believes that a little boy should shun these types of things in favour of something manlier, that a mans place is not in the home or in childcare. This to me is absolute codswallop, the world is changing and I think people's superficial views also need to move with the times.
I will not force my son or any future children I may have to go through life being conformed to certain things just because of their gender. My baby boy loves to watch me do my hair and makeup, should I not allow him because these things are for girls? I do not want him going through life thinking that he has to like something just because he's a boy, I'd rather he did something he enjoyed purely because he had an interest in it and not have to bow down to gender restrictions which have been placed upon him by society. I know so many people who would be horrified if their little boy picked up a doll and began to play with it, seriously what are they worried he'll become, a father? My baby boy only likes two television programmes, one being called Milly Molly which in my opinion is aimed at little girls but that doesn't mean I won't let him watch it. We as parents should encourage our children to play with as many gender neutral toys as possible and not only encourage it but join in with the play. I have seen gender stereotyping even go as far as to limit how a child should act, people believe that boys should be athletic, rowdy, boisterous and that girls should be prim, proper, sweet little things, for most children I know this is definitely not the case, nor should it be. If my son wants to be the quiet, shy, book reading type then he shall be, I won't be making him play sports if he doesn't want to.
I have no idea who ever came up with gender stereotypes or why they began in the first place but the whole thing is idiotic to me, especially when it comes to children. For me childhood should be about exploration, discovering different things, finding your interests, imaginative play and fantasy, I don't see why my son's gender should restrict any of these things for him.I want him to embrace his interests and be who he wants to be in life, his gender should not get in the way of that. Society is far too quick to judge people for what they are rather than who they are, we should not fill our children's heads with these silly gender stereotype notions, we should let them be who they want and more importantly enjoy being children. It's the only age of innocence they'll ever really have in their lives, why should adults be allowed to ruin this with small mindedness?
Do you agree with my opinion? Is there something you wouldn't let you child do based purely on their gender?