New Mama Musings

Friday, March 31, 2006

Free To Be

What is it with some people and gender stereotypes?

Henry and I were at my parents' house today for our weekly visit. My aunt was over, and when one of my sisters tried to call Henry "Henri" and I objected, my aunt said, "I don't blame you. That's too feminine-sounding." (For the record, I hate it when people call him that only because it's not his name.)

Later, out of seemingly nowhere, my aunt said, teasingly, "Henry, you're not wearing pink!" My mom jumped in and said, "Of course not -- he's a little boy!"

I'm proud of myself, though. I spoke up and said, "What's with the stereotypes, people? Henry can wear pink if he wants." I'm sure it's useless to try and change the prejudices of seventy-year old women, but I'd like to nip those kinds of comments in the bud.


Henry, I don't care if you're a flamboyant fashion designer...as long as you're being true to yourself. And you give me free clothes.

4 Comments:

  • I'm with you! I can't stand the comments people make about Jessie being "delicate" or "fragile" because she's a girl. They tell me she must not like horseplay like the boys did - that's not for girls, you know?!

    My 2nd ds asked for a pink tutu for his 4th birthday and then wore a pink dress for the whole year, with tights and ballet slippers. In public. Imagine!

    My boys have had play kitchens and baby dolls. They are learning how to cook and sew. How else will they learn how to be good daddies and helpful husbands? ;-)

    I'm sure Jessie will be climbing trees and playing trucks in the sandbox next summer!

    By Anonymous Amy in NH, at 10:36 PM  

  • I wish I could have seen your son in his ballet outfit. How cute!

    By Blogger New Mama, at 7:30 AM  

  • I agree, gender stereotypes really bug me. When I have children, I hope I can raise them with a minimum of stereotypes around, although I know they're bound to creep in.

    I'm still working on future-Daddy though; he's okay with a little girl playing with "boy's toys", but I haven't yet convinced him that it's okay for little boys to have dolls. Play with their sister's dolls on occasion, maybe, but not have their own dolls. Men. :P

    On a related note, you might be interested in the organization 'See Jane'. It has recognized a lack of female characters in children's programs (especially strong female characters), and works to increase the variety of characters, and reduce stereotypes.

    http://www.seejane.org/

    By Blogger SkylarKD, at 10:24 AM  

  • I applaud "See Jane," but we're planning on not having Henry watch TV at all. This is one of many reasons to keep your kids TV-free! Now we just have to make sure he has lots of books with gender equality. :)

    By Blogger New Mama, at 3:48 PM  

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