Growing up, I played with Barbies and wore dresses and played with makeup, like most girls do. But I also loved wearing overalls, playing in the mud, and playing my Hotwheels computer game. And my favorite color was — and still is — blue. No one ever said anything to me about liking “boy activities” or things. Most people commented on how cute it was that I was a little tomboy.
On the flip side, I subscribe to a blog called “Raising My Rainbow”, another WordPress blog. It is written by a mother with two sons — the oldest is what we would think of as a “typical” boy, the youngest is what his mother refers to as “gender creative.” She does not give the real names of any of her family members on the site, but refers to her youngest son as CJ. CJ absolutely loves pink. And glitter. And tutus. He watched the Oscars with his mother and grandmother and commented on everyone’s dresses, and was amazed when the director of the animated film Brave, Mark Andrews, accepted his Oscar in a kilt.
Although CJ is a wonderful and enthusiastic gender-creative child at home, and his family does not make him conform to any type of label for his gender (he is six years old), his classmates and parents of the children do not always feel the same. CJ has faced times when he wants to dress in “boy clothes” so he doesn’t stand out from the other boys in his class, and he has seemed miserable about it. The parent of one of his closest friends wouldn’t let her daughter attend his birthday party once CJ’s mother informed the other mom about his love of skirts and all things pink.
I would like to know who ever decided that blue was for boys and pink was for girls. That girls played with Barbies and liked skirts and boys couldn’t cry and had to wear pants. And I would really like to know why it is okay for girls to dress and act like boys but not the other way around. My last post was about strength that women needed to break the stereotypes set for them by the media. But sometimes I feel like men have it just as hard and that their stereotypes go way back.
I want to see what all of you think about this issue. Or if anyone knows why blue is the standard color set for boys. I think children like CJ should be supported and fully allowed to express themselves, just like every other “normal” child out there.
I think the writer Domenick Scudera said it best in his article “Kilt It.” He wrote, “Hey, if it makes me happy, why not? I do not have to look like everyone else. I choose to be different, and I do not have to justify my attire to anyone.” Exactly, Domenick. You are exactly right.