10/23/06

I Know What Boys Like

As of late, Connor has been watching a lot of TV. I have not been feeling well and it's all about survival at this point. And of course, because of the program he is watching, he is being bombarded with commercials for the 'must have it' toys of the season. Every commercial that comes on, we are bound to hear, "Mommy! I want that! I'll put it on my wist(list)." "Ok, Connor. Yes, put it on your list."
I've noticed lately that he is now moving on to girls toys. And I found myself saying, "But Connor, that's a girl toy." He said, 'Yeah, I know. But I want it. I want the girl toy."
This has got me thinking for the past week or so....
I never minded Connor taking a pair of my shoes and walking around in them or having a 'doll'. And I remember him doing it at a wedding, when he was 3. He was walking around in women's dress shoes. No biggie. Until a comment was made about him wearing women's shoes and what that could mean about his sexuality. A rather insensitive comment about a three year old. Needless to say, my feathers were ruffled.
I would never say to Gracie - or any other little girl, "You're playing with a baseball(golf club, matchbox car, train set, etc). Heh, heh. We know which team you'll be on." A boy, however, puts on a pair of dress shoes or wants a barbie car or Polly Pocket and there are instant thoughts/opinions of his sexuality.
How is it that I have fallen into the double-standard? Me? I would never pass judgement if a girl - Gracie even - were to play with a G.I. Joe doll or a matchbox car, Thomas the Tank Engine, Star Wars, etc...or for that matter want them. But I have an issue with my son wanting Polly Pocket or a Doll, etc. And at the very uttering of an ill comment about my three year old boy playing around, wearing women's dress shoes, got me beyond mad.
What is it that has changed in me? Why is it that when he was 2, 3 years old - these things were acceptable. And now they are not. Is it me projecting my own insecurities about what people think, off to my kids? Is it that I'm stuck in what are 'appropriate gender roles'?
I've always considered myself a very open-minded person. I have friends of all different backgrounds, religious, political beliefs, even sexual preferences. I never want to pass judgement off on things that really of are no concern to me. I've always felt that I should embrace people. Things like social status, clothing choices, physical appearance, sexuality, religion, politics aren't important to me, as far as whether I can or can't be close to someone. I want my children to understand that as well. It's how people treat you that is important. I want them to be loving to people just based on the fact that they are people.
And yet, here I am. Worried about my son wanting some silly girl's toy.

2 ripples in the pond:

Mrs. Chicky said...

I was just thinking the other day gender specific toys and how I didn't feel right buying my daughter a toy vacuum because I didn't want to pigeon hole her into a gender specific role. My point, we're damned no matter what we do. But I do see your point. When I was young I played with Matchbox cars and Barbie dolls. And no one questioned my sexuality (to my knowledge) when at four I preferred the cars over the dolls. Why do we question boys who want to play with dolls or kitchen sets? Sigh.

jen said...

it's a hard one when it's in reverse of what we are used to fighting against...but good for you for catching yourself..gender responsive boys are just as critical to our future as girls...and it's just as important to power them up to choose anything they want to be in this lifetime. just think of how many moms don't even think about this tab...you are an excellent mom.