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April 11, 2013 - Kristy MacKaben
I'll continue this fun little convo with fellow blogger Jen Zbozny who I think made a lot of valid points in response to my blog about boys being boys. She poised an interesting question at the end of the blog. Is it easier for girls to be who they want to be? Do boys have it harder? I have to agree. Granted, Julie was and still is definitely a girly girl. She always loved pink, princesses and parties. She's not big into sports or getting dirty. But, I think if she would ever show an interest in football or mud or dinosaurs, Scott and I wouldn't bat an eyelash. With Johnny, however, it's trickier. Jen used the example of her brother being more introspective and always learning. I don't think that's necessarily a feminine trait, and that wasn't exactly what I was getting at with my blog. Scott and I would both be ecstatic if Johnny loved reading, writing, art, or theatre. We would, however, have a little bit of angst if he was playing Barbies at 7 or painting his toenails fuchsia as a tween. I know there was a big fuss a few years back about the mom who allowed her son to wear a Daphne costume for Halloween--heels and all. A lot of moms gave her props for giving her son freedom of expression. But, I honestly think that's ridiculous. Why would you subject your little boy to ridicule like that? What is the point in letting a 6-year-old dress like a sexy female cartoon character? In my opinion, that's more about the mom trying to prove a point. Then, there are the moms who think it's hilarious to paint their 8-year old son's toenails pink, and they wonder why kids stare at his feet at the playground. Scott and I encourage our kids to explore and experiment and try different things. We love them so much and feel they have so much potential to do whatever they love the most. But, we also want them to feel strongly about who they are, and part of who they are is their gender. And they should be proud of that.


Article Comments



Apr-19-13 10:57 PM

3. The kid on the playground with the painted toenails has more important problems to worry about than other kids teasing him, not the least of which is WHY is he barefoot on the playground? Has he had his tetanus shot? Also, at 8 years old, he should be able to paint his own nails. 4. I can think of many reasons to discourage children from doing impulsive or creative things. Fire, blood, bleach stains, and spilled glitter that will still be in the carpet two years later are all acceptable reasons. “If you dress that, (talk/act/think like that) other children will mock you” is not an acceptable reason. If you want to discourage something, discourage the mocking. 5. The point of dressing up as someone else is that it’s fun, at any age, for any gender. Some of us even make a living at it.


Apr-19-13 10:57 PM

1.While children have genders, things like colors, toys, activities and interests do not. Even the genders we may associate with clothing is subject to culture and trend. (Case in point, my husband wore a purple plaid skirt at our wedding. The exotic tribesmen of his ancestral island had a word for it – they called it a “kilt.”) Anyone who thinks twice about a little boy wearing pink in 2013 needs to get out more. Or watch more Disney Channel. 2. I would be concerned if any child, girl or boy, was playing with Barbies at any age. I feel Barbie has lost touch with the common people, due in some part to her unrealistic anatomical proportions, her crazy expensive clothes, and the fact that she didn't have any black friends until the late 1960s. Not cool, Barbie. Get off your toes and eat something.


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