As previously mentioned, I have a daughter. She’s the greatest thing I have ever done and the light of our lives. Will we add to our family? We don’t know. Parenting right now is solely focused on our daughter and raising her healthy (which so far hasn’t been easy) and happy.
It took us until we were 27 weeks into pregnancy to find out we were having a little girl. Until then we were told it was 60%-40%. She was shy. We ended up doing a 3D scan and that’s when we found out for sure she was in fact a she.
We had already started getting things for the baby before we found out the sex, so of course there was gender neutral stuff all over the place. Greens, yellows and browns up the wazoo. I had also purposefully started buying things in blues,since I knew that no matter the sex they would be wearing blues and other tradionally ‘boy’ friendly colours. Even after we knew the sex I kept buying blues and greens.
When did we decide that boys and girls have to be raised so differently? Why can’t they be raised the same way with a few modifications to suit situations like potty training and what their privates are. I get that pre equal rights little girls were expected to wear dresses and boys to be covered in dirt, but somehow I don’t think it was as polarized as things seem to be headed now. I can remember the toy section being fairly neutral, expect the doll section which was a land of fluff and pinks, but otherwise the toys were pretty free range sex wise. Now it seems even toys like Lego are boy and girl specific with there being the tradional boldly red, green and blue lego for boys and the more ‘girl’ friendly pastel coloured legos for the ladies out there. It’s as if society has completely forgotten that historically pinks and purples were considered too ‘masculine’ for women to pull off.
My mother is a feminist. Not the light weight kind either, but the full bra burning kind and I love her for it and my dad for supporting her. They went out of their way to make sure that I was exposed to both ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ toys. I ended up loving Barbie and Disney Princess but I also ended up having the largest collection of Hot Wheels and race tracks in the house as well as my own sizable collection of Legos. I was all over the place in the toys and games I liked and my parents encouraged me to explore them and decide for myself which ones I liked and not to only like all things pink. I even ended up going through a very tom boy phase before deciding I liked dresses again.
In high school I did dance class and tried wrestling and played on the rugby team. I was allowed to experiment with all sorts of tradionally gender selective sports, games and toys. My parents never made me stick with one thing, they let me try and fail and choose for myself my likes and dislikes. Now, I’m 25 and I definately prefer some decidedly girly things but I still enjoy things aimed at men more than women. I also find that my parents way of raising me rubbed off in my previous work experiences.
When I was a nanny the youngest child, a boy, loved Disney Princesses. His favourite was Ariel, The Little Mermaid, he wanted to watch this constantly and I let him. I don’t see how it can do any harm. We never watched more then 2-3 hours of TV a day and if watching Ariel fight for her love was how he wanted to spend a large chunk of his TV time then that was OK with me. Admittedly she wasn’t the most proactive princess but she was the first to do something other then wait to be rescued. He also loved to steal his sister’s dress up clothing and run around in it. He never played being a girl, he just liked to hang out in it sometimes. Do you have any idea how hilarious it is to see a 2 1/2 yr old boy run around his room in a transparent pink pengior while smashing two cars together and making wreck noises? Just because he liked his princesses and pink doesn’t mean he also wasn’t obssessed with Cars or Toy Story either. He was well rounded.
Don’t think, ‘Oh, he must be one of those boys who always knew’. He’s now 8 and an absolute boys boy. He now is your typical 8 yr old boy. Playing with cars, guns and sports balls. He mainly has guy friends and they run around causing usual kid mischief. He is the sweetest, nicest little boy I’ve ever met, there isn’t anything mean or malicious about him. He’s treasure.
Where is all this going? Well, I hope to be able to expose my daughter to the same openness that I was. I hope to be able to have a little girl who chooses for herself if she wants pink or blue for her bedroom and if she likes football or ballet on her own. I don’t her buying into advertisings campain to have little girls only interested in pink and princesses and Bratz. If she wants to play with the boys, I want to let her and will fight tooth and nail to give her that chance, but if she wants to sit and have tea parties with her Babrie’s then I’ll be happy too as long as it’s her choice and not what TV or some old fashioned notion has told her what she should do and like. Besides, with her eyes, blue is a great colour on her!