Friday, January 17, 2014

On un-doing narrow gender assumptions that hurt our kids, one action at a time.

So I'm still doing that take-down of Mike Pence's State of the State address. I'm going through that regurgitated abortion of a speech one line at a time, and it wasn't a short speech, so... sorry it's a bit belated, but this weekend I'm planning to get it done.

Also, this Sunday is my birthday! YAY! I'm down to only one year left to be in my 20's!

I also had some daddy/abandonment issues triggered yesterday by some bad news a friend got, so I might work through that by writing some things as well.

But right now we're going to talk about a repeated event that STILL pisses me off, from my brief stint working at a Children's Place location in a mall.

 The ridiculous levels of gender segregation and stereotyping that happen in that damnable store are bad enough. But there were these adorable pink Western style boots on the girls' side, right? I mean, I'd totally wear them if they came me-sized, and I haven't worn cowgirl boots since I was 15.

And the little boys who came into that shop LOVED those boots. They just wanted to try them on and/or carry them around. So many little boys, all between the ages of 2 and 4. Here they were in a store trying so hard to beat the norms into them, and they just don't know differently. Who knows at that age whether a boy's going to grow up to be macho as a horde of lumberjacks, or if he's going to be a drag queen some day? It's precious. It's not a teaching opportunity, it's not really anything. Just let the kid try on the boots and be happy for a minute.

Those kids' parents acted like they'd tried to pick up a rattlesnake. Every single one of them. "No, you don't want those. Look, here's a shirt with a firetruck on it."

Screw you. First of all, little girls like firetrucks and dinosaurs and trains too! Especially dinosaurs, who the hell doesn't like dinosaurs? Secondly, your two year old isn't going to catch the gay from a pair of cute shoes. Just let him be happy for a couple of minutes.

I thought of this again because a couple of days ago, Allen sent me a photo of some shoes he'd bought for his two year old son. They're hot-pink. They're glittery. I'd SO wear them if they came in a women's size 8.

He didn't just let his boy try on the pink shoes, he actually bought them when they fit and the kid was clearly in love with them. He let his kid be happy.  He didn't question his child's judgment in a time when it's frankly pretty important *not* to teach them to mistrust themselves.

You see yet why I'm so in love with this guy?

Similar shoes, but not *the* shoes. The actual photo Allen sent me is private, y'all. You'll notice that when the little boy put these shoes on, nobody was harmed and the Apocalypse did not come.

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