Today, I had the absolute joy of stumbling upon a mom and a story about her 4 year old son, Chester. Chester lives a completely gender neutral lifestyle. Meaning, his parents allow him to wear jeans and tee shirts as well as dresses. He plays with what he wants, dolls or dinosaurs. As soon as I started reading this story, my heart felt so warm in this cold weather. His mom went on to talk about how his friends never say mean things to him (boys and girls) about his dresses, but you can probably guess the ones that always have negative things to say. That’s right, the parents. It’s sad to me that kids are born with the potential to love and accept, but some of them are eventually taught to hate and become intolerant because of their parents.
Gender roles are something that bother me now as a parent, especially since there is a 50% chance that our little womb monster is a boy (fingers crossed!). They bother me because no one says anything about the fact that our daughter, Harmony, loves trucks and heavy metal. No one has ever said a bad thing about her dirty converse and rockabilly shirts. However, I know if we have a boy and he takes on a love for dolls and glitter people will have negative things to say. He would face hateful parents and their words like “gay” and my absolute most hated word in the world…”faggot.” Typing that word actually makes my gag reflex react. It’s terrible that boys can’t love Cinderella and sports at the same time.
I’ve heard a million times that boys are easier to raise than girls, and now that I think about it boys have it pretty freakin’ tough.
I want to raise my children in a gender neutral environment. I want them to practice self expression. Whether it’s football, music, ballet, tap…I just want them to be happy. That should be the goal of any parent, right? When I found out I was pregnant with Harmony I told myself I would love my children, all of them, unconditionally no matter what. If this little bug is a boy and he wants to play with dolls and have a damn tea party, I will be his most enthusiastic guest. If he chooses dirt and football, I will always be there to clean him up.
In all honesty, what would I be teaching a son if I denied him dolls and dresses because they’re “for girls?” I would be teaching him that there is something wrong with girls. I would be teaching him that boys and girls are not equal in every single way. Worst of all, I would be denying him of something that could spark inspiration. I don’t deny Harmony the right to jeans and converse, and society would frown upon me if I did. So why does society still frown upon the boys that love glitter?
I do feel that society is becoming more accepting. There were definitely more encouraging words on this mom’s blog post than negative ones. However, I did see that so many people still have a long road ahead of them to get all of that negativity and judgement out of their hearts and systems.
It gave me a little hope that I am truly doing the right thing in regards to my parenting style. It may not be a popular style, but it’s one that I am going to fight for more people to look into. I have accepted that it may be too late for this country to see true acceptance in my generation…but it’s not too late for our kids. It’s not too late to teach our kids to love and accept each other. They mimic us. They idolize us, and many of us are still teaching hate. We are still teaching each our kids that boys and girls are not equal, and that bugs me so much. It actually hurts me. It hurts me that in many ways we still view boys and girls as unequal, and we give them separate activities.
I will not accept it though. I will never accept it. I will only accept what makes my children happy.
My possible son will be equal with my daughter. I’m not going to deny him one damn thing simply because of some stupid gender role.
I don’t care if he’s covered in dirt and glitter as long as he’s cleaned up for dinner.