Christmas shopping for the boy in the “girl” section

Finally, a blog post not about my writing progress or my inability to write!

As most kids do this time of year, my son is making a never ending list of Christmas present requests.  He wants the usual trucks, race cars, anything angry birds, etc.

But he also wants lots of things that are sold in the “pink” side of the store.  We are firm believers that toys are toys and they are not gender specific, but try explaining that to the rest of the world.

Many times when my boy says he wants something pink or that he prefers the stuffed lavender unicorn over the more boy-friendly brown horse, I’ve seen adults smirk.  Sometimes they even mock him.  I know they don’t mean anything by it, but I jump to his defense anyway.  No one is going to make him feel bad for liking what he likes and being who he wants to be in front of me.

But what about when I am not around?  Who will protect him then?  Sometimes I even find myself trying to subtly steer him towards more socially acceptable toys.  It never works, because he knows what he wants.  And I feel guilty about it.  By trying to protect him from the people who might make fun of him, am I becoming one of them?  Am I subtly supporting these ignorant opinions and perpetuating the cycle?

My friend once said that I shouldn’t worry about such things, and that she plans to let her daughter play with whatever toys she wants, even if they are “boy” toys and I felt forced to point out the double standard.  She has a daughter.  (At least there is one double standard that works in favor of our gender.)

Girls can play with trucks and roll around in the mud without anyone thinking twice.  If anything, the girl is seen as an adorable tomboy.   But what of my son walking around in my stiletto boots?  Sadly, that is far less acceptable by society.  (FYI, along with the knee-high stiletto boots, he is wearing underwear, a shirt and an American flag hat, calling himself the sheriff.  Now that’s funny.)

He is barely 5, but I can already see peer pressure starting to take its toll.  He used to love pink, but recently told me that pink is a girl color.  Who told him that?  It wasn’t us.  But there it is.

So we buy him the jewelry making kits and the purple unicorn pillow pet, because these things make him happy.  But I worry about the day when he will come home in tears, because someone told him his favorite toy was a girl’s toy and that angers me.  Hopefully that day will never come.


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