Dolls Are For Girls, Arguments Are For The Immature, and The Bible Is For The Non-Religious

I was at a thrift store the other day, buying way too much stuff, and since I kept noticing and going back to pay for more and more, the woman at the register and I got to talking.

We talked about ties, and then the casinos, and then union jobs. Then she mentioned she voted for Trump. I said I didn’t, but I said it with a smile and followed with “but I do hope he does a great job and I support him because I want my country to succeed”.

Then we talked about baby names and she liked Holden and the other two I have picked out and others that are uncommon (she didn’t like “Thor” or “Michael”). Then she mentioned she’s against vaccines and asked if I get my son vaccinated and I said yes, with a smile, and just played it off like I never looked that much into them but made sure to stress that my son shows no signs of any disorder or syndrome or ailment.

Then I bought a chair and she said “This would be a perfect time-out chair and I replied “That’s what I’m going to use it for!”.

Then we talked about kids some more and I don’t remember why but she commented “You never know, by the time he’s 6 he might tell you he’s a girl with the way the world is today” and I said “Down, girl” to myself and “Heh, yeah” to her. I tried to sway the conversation by stating that my son is naturally drawn to both (stereotypically labeled) “girl” and “boy” toys. And she got my hopes up when she remarked that her grandson sometimes plays with dolls and “You shouldn’t tell them it’s wrong” and I cried out “YES!” but before I could add that it teaches them that their natural likes are bad, she continued “You just have to guide them” and at this point I knew it was going downhill so I tried to say that I didn’t mind when my son carried a purse because he was just copying me and hell, he held his own things for once. And she was nice and didn’t argue but I don’t think she was really paying attention because she went on with how she “guides” her grandson by telling him which toys are for boys and which are for girls (which is somehow different from telling him which toys are right and wrong) because “It’s god’s will, it’s natural, god is nature, and you can’t go against the word of god”. I just smiled and pretended to notice a movie for sale and excused myself while she helped another customer (who also voted for Trump and was on the fence about vaccines, I learned).

This story has two points:

1. I managed to control myself, mainly my mouth and attitude, even though I feel VERY strongly against her beliefs and am an advocate for the other side. This is the first time I recall that happening in my life.

Short version: I’m maturing.

2. People need to stop justifying their ignorant beliefs with “it’s what my religion says” when it’s NOT WHAT THEIR RELIGION SAYS. SHOW ME WHERE IN THE DAMN BIBLE IT SAYS BOYS HAVE TO PLAY WITH TRUCKS AND GIRLS HAVE TO PLAY WITH DOLLS. Spoiler, it doesn’t. It says children should obey and honor their parents. It says girls should be trained to be good wives and mothers. It says women should submit to their husbands (which can be interpreted in many different ways) and be silent in church and aren’t allowed to teach. It does not say what children can play with or that certain toys or childhood activities are for specific genders. It does not say that pink is a color solely for girls but it’s okay for girls and boys to like blue. It doesn’t say shit about your child being damaged for life if they don’t follow the fucked up rules 21st century society made up for them (to profit from them, mainly, but that’s another post).

Let your children be children. Let them explore. Let them find their own attractions. Don’t steal their souls because you’re too intolerant to let them be “different”. If we didn’t pigeonhole (“guide”) them into these trite, imaginary labels, they wouldn’t even be different, because plenty of boys and girls would be playing with whatever toy they naturally found appealing.

Short Version: Let kids be kids, read the bible before you preach God’s word.

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Your Child’s First Bully

[Throwback Thursday — Originally published March 2014]

My son is almost three years old. He has been classified as “all boy” by many of my family members and friends when they see him bouncing off the walls, playing in dirt, crashing cars, and shooting fake guns. Other people have literally said the words “he might be gay” because, at the same time, his dressers are pink, he has several baby dolls he nurtures and cuddles as if they were real, he likes Barbies and Dora, and has a pink shopping cart he brings every time we go grocery shopping.

Breaking Free of Traditional Gender Roles

Photo Credit: Paul Windle / Found On: nytimes.com

Honestly, his sexual orientation doesn’t matter to me, not because he’s so young, but because it never will. I will always love him regardless. And, I am more than happy to buy him the pinkest, “girliest” toy on the shelves if he asks for it, because I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. 

Things, material things, are not masculine or feminine. We have defined them as so, but they’re not.

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No Son, That Boy is for Girls

Do you ever wonder just how much marketing affects you? What about toy marketing? What about gendered marketing?

Is your ‘for her‘ pen really better than the regular pens you’ve used for years? Are your daughters pink Legos more suitable for her than her brother’s super-hero Legos?

*  *  *  *  *

The other day I stopped at McDonald’s. Jack and I were really craving some Crispy Chicken Honey Mustard Snack Wraps and Holden got all excited about french fries, plus I owed him a present for going pee-pee on the potty (or outside in the grass) 10 times (!!), and I figured I’d cheat a little lot by using the Happy Meal toy as his prize. (He gets just as excited, so calm down.)

So I go through the drive-through like a good lazy American, turn the truck off every time I have to speak to anyone because it’s so loud, place my order and am pleasantly surprised when they understand everything I say. I order the Happy Meal last. And then the dreaded question comes:

“Would you like a boy or girl toy?”

toyscollage

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