boys are pretty, too

September 7, 2012 | 24 Comments

Funny close up of two boys and a girl with makeup

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt was unsparkly. Instead I leave you with this archive from July 15, 2009 (Emma was six years old).

Emma: Mom, did you know that some boys like to play with Barbies?

Me: Yeah, it’s great, isn’t it?

Emma: Mom, they’re boys; I don’t think it’s normal.

Me: Says who? You have a dump truck. What’s the big deal? Boys should be allowed to do anything girls do and the same for girls.

Emma: Boys shouldn’t wear skirts.

Me: Why not? If they want to they should.

Emma: Then some people might think they’re GIRLS.

Me: Who cares? And maybe they want people to think they’re girls. How would you like it if someone told you there were things you couldn’t do because you are a girl? Like play on the dirt pile out back because only boys play on the dirt pile? Or play soccer, because only boys play soccer?

Emma: I don’t even play soccer.

Me: You were on a soccer team last year… AND YOU START SOCCER CAMP ON MONDAY.

Us: …

Emma: Can you cancel soccer camp?

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? I’m not raising a sexist, redneck. At least, I’m trying not to.

A man once served us in Sephora. He had painted nails and wore makeup. Emma boldly informed him boys don’t wear makeup or paint their nails. I HALF DIED. We were holding hands, otherwise I would have pretended she was someone else’s kid. Sephora man and I challenged her. He responded since he was wearing makeup, obviously boys CAN wear it. I asked her to give us a reason boys shouldn’t wear makeup or paint their nails.

Nothing.

Damn you, Disney.


In hindsight, I love that she thinks out loud. It gives me a chance to suss out life with her.

Other loveable posts:

Tags: ,

Join the conversation

  • Nicole

    She’s already rebelling against your tolerant, feminist ways. Shit. ;) Maybe when someone tells her she can’t do something because she’s a girl, it’ll sink in.

    Also you should show her the dad who wore a skirt because his son wanted to and he wanted his son to know it wasn’t “weird”.

    • Nicole

      I have caffeine-free brain today (so I’m slow), didn’t realize this was an archive… this isn’t STILL an issue is it?

    • Shannon

      Ooh! I love the idea of showing her that video (or is it just an article?). Thanks, Nicole!

  • N

    It’s just her age. Some adults never outgrow this binary thinking because they’re just not smart enough, or they are fearful. Kids are naturally going to be binary thinkers because 1) our society makes it easy, and 2) they’re kids. We teach them binaries all the time as starting points of understanding: Are you happy or sad? Is it day or night? is it light or dark?

    We start there and then add in new categories, right?

    Don’t sweat it. She’ll come around. You’re a good teacher. :-)

    • http://hellofisher.com Steve

      I don’t think either of us are concerned about her…

    • Shannon

      I’m not worried. I think it’s just surprising when something you’re working hard to oppose or embrace takes on its own life in your kid. I think until that point I had just assumed she hadn’t classified things into gir/boy categories. Surprise!

  • http://bellejarblog.wordpress.com Annabelle

    Oh man, this is tough. One of the few things that freaks me out about raising a boy is that there are so many things a boy “shouldn’t” do. I feel like this quote sums it up perfectly:

    “These days, flouting gender conventions extends even to baby naming: first names that were once unambiguously masculine are now given to girls. The shift, however, almost never goes the other way. That’s because girls gain status by moving into “boy” space, while boys are tainted by the slightest whiff of femininity. “There’s a lot more privilege to being a man in our society,” says Diane Ehrensaft, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who supports allowing children to be what she calls gender creative. “When a boy wants to act like a girl, it subconsciously shakes our foundation, because why would someone want to be the lesser gender?” Boys are up to seven times as likely as girls to be referred to gender clinics for psychological evaluations. Sometimes the boys’ violation is as mild as wanting a Barbie for Christmas. By comparison, most girls referred to gender clinics are far more extreme in their atypicality: they want boy names, boy pronouns and, sometimes, boy bodies.”

    It’s from this super great article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/magazine/whats-so-bad-about-a-boy-who-wants-to-wear-a-dress.html

    • Shannon

      “That’s because girls gain status by moving into “boy” space, while boys are tainted by the slightest whiff of femininity.” Is that the truest thing ever!

      I’m going to check out the article. Thanks for the link!

  • Pingback: www.cpns2016.com()

  • Pingback: daytrading lernen()

  • Pingback: Invitro Pharamacology Services()

  • Pingback: kari satilir()

  • Pingback: Corporate Events Vendors in Hyderabad()

  • Pingback: iraqi geometry()

  • Pingback: Aws coehumancoehuman Diyala()

  • Pingback: iraqiii law()

  • Pingback: pendaftaran cpns 2019 wilayah makassar()

  • Pingback: iq Ceohuman()

  • Pingback: GVK BIO germany()

  • Pingback: loker 2018()

  • Pingback: pharmacokinetic()

  • Pingback: GVK biosciences news updates()

  • Pingback: Kuruganti Events Planning Company()

  • Pingback: womensuits()