I wanted to get my nephew a My Little Pony coloring book since I like MLP and I wanted to share that with him (and we share pink as one of our favorite colors). My brother, however, said that my sister-in-law would have a fit—with the implication that he would as well. I ended up getting my nephew a Batman one, but I don’t like Batman. It made me feel angry and sad that my supposedly liberal-leaning brother is so entrenched in stereotypical gender roles and that my nephew won’t really get to choose what he likes.

February 1st, 2013 | Comments (3)

3 Responses to “”

  1. Donny D.:

    I’ve noticed this too. The oh so liberal, non-homophobic and accepting Gen Xers and Yers often seem hardcore about pushing the gender roles on their own kids when they are very young. It seems like parents nowadays are even more intense about this than they were in generations past, as though “the threat” is closer. There are visible gay and bi and even trans* people around now, and of course it’s great that they are what they are — but we’ll be damned if we’ll let OUR kids grow up “confused” by not pounding the “correct” sex roles into them when they are very young. Always the “gender-appropriate” toys, clothes and colors. I keep hearing about this again and again, and even about liberal parents.

    It’s pretty effing depressing. It’s as though heterosexism is more resilient than we’d ever known, and that it’s adapting insidiously so it can not just survive but thrive into the future.

  2. JM:

    I feel you on this. My nephew loves nail polish, but his dad and other family members get so bent out of shape over it. He’ll be really proud of his painted nails and run up to show someone and their reaction is laughter, eye rolling, or outright disdain. It makes me so sad for him. I just don’t get it at all. Do these people think Jesus handed down nail polish from on high, with the specific instruction that it be used only by women and girls??

  3. Lex W:

    This is disheartening. To quell the parents’ fears, just because a child likes a certain something doesn’t automatically mean he or she will grow up to be homosexual, and the bigger point is, if the child does, who cares?

    My little sister is 5 and is what some people would call a tomboy–she loves sports, excels at basketball especially, and loves playing with dolls as much as she likes spider-man and playing cops and robbers. My mom hates it and tries as much as she can to dissuade my sister from choosing “boyish” toys or activities. I see my sister’s love for all of these things as strength, and if it were up to me, I’d let her do whatever she wants because it can’t hurt her to have so many different kind of interests.

    My best friend’s sister and her brother-in-law are like this too.Their son is 2 years old and sometimes he picks up his mom’s purse and walks around with it, or tries on his sister’s shoes. His dad will say, “No, no no! Don’t let him do that!”. It’s just silly. His two year old is in the stage where he models others’ behaviors, which is all he is doing. It’s silly to worry about something so trivial. Focus on your kids’ strengths and what they do well. Nurturing their personalities and making sure they feel your love is what is important in the long run.

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