I heard through The Twitter that there was some stupid mess over a commercial involving a mother painting her young son’s toenails. Apparently, there was some outrage over it. Who the fuck is outraged by such a thing?

Also: I’ve never seen it because I prefer to be smug without proof that the commercial sucks.

A loyal prankster (thank you Charlene) sent the offending ad into me.

It’s this:

boy-wearing-pink-nail-polish-j-crew-ad

Um. How inoffensive is that? It’s fucking CUTE.

I used to paint my son’s toenails because, well, he asked me to, and why not? He was a little boy and if he liked pretty toenails (like Mom’s), who was I to deny him? It was charming, really.

When my eldest was five, I got pregnant with his brother. So, I bought him a doll of his very own to play with. He loved that doll, “Seth,” and somewhere, Seth, a little gnawed upon, perhaps, still lives in my house. It took me ages to find him a doll that wasn’t swaddled in all things pink. Apparently, toy manufacturers aren’t keen on dolls dressed in blue.

Happily, I took no end of grief for Seth. My son will probably grow up to be a father and when he does, he’ll know how to properly care for a baby.

When I was pregnant with Amelia, Seth got a friend, “Amelia.” Another doll for both of the boys to care for. And they did, properly carrying their dolls around, feeding them with play bottles and pushing them around in their respective strollers.

(okay, Alex frequently tried to poke out the doll’s eyes. So?)

Again, I took no end of grief for it. I just rolled my eyes. Like dolls are going to “make” my boys gay or something.

(and if they are gay, well, so? I’d be fine with a gay son OR daughter)

For Christmas one year, I bought my son a doctor kit (by the aforementioned logic, my kid should grow up to be a doctor now, right?) to go with his dolls.

I didn’t notice until I was getting ready to wrap it up for Christmas:

boys-can-play-with-dolls-too

Dear Fisher-Price,

Boys play with dolls, too.

Love,

AB

I got pretty Furious George about it. But it was Christmas, so I just ripped the tag off and wrapped it up. My sons? They loved the shit out of it.

I got a marginal amount of shit when I dressed Alex as a butterfly for Halloween this year. Much less than I’d anticipated, actually. I mean, he was three; he loves butterflies AND beating the shit out of things. If he wanted to go as a ballerina, I’d let him do that, too.

For his fourth birthday, Alex got some furniture for their dollhouse. He’s got a wild imagination and the stories he comes up with while playing with their dollhouse are incredible.

More furniture = full of the win.

Until I looked at the back.

sexism-in-toy-manufacturing

Dear Target:

Being a hostess is bullshit.

Fondly,

AB

I do have a vagina and I’m not a “hostess.” In fact, my imagination sucks ass. You’d be shocked by how shitty my imagination is and what little desire I have to become a “hostess.”

No amount of doll furniture will change THAT.

Being a hostess may be bullshit.

Painted nails, however, are not.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

142 Responses to Mamas (And Daddies), Don’t Let Your Babies Grow To Be Assholes

  • the mrs says:

    I’m pretty sure American toy makers still dress and act exactly like Mad Men. That’s the only explanation for the way toys box kids into dated, boring gender roles. Bleck.

  • Julia says:

    Good for you! I have a son who is surrounded by “girl” things. He plays with dolls and cars and dress up clothes (tutus and other frivolity) and likes to pretend he plays Mario. I think what kids play with has very little to do with who they become and it’s a great thing not to pidgin-hole them into gender roles.

  • Bigmonkey says:

    Love it go Becky

  • Jana A says:

    girl, it’s hard as HELL to find a blue wrapped doll. I looked high and low. Henry’s got a doll. And one particular baby lion thingy that has a bottle he treats like a baby. He’s almost 7. Do I care? Nope. He’s never asked to have his toenails painted, but if he did, i’d totally do it. People are ridiculous. Let kids be kids. Which means explorers and curious little beings.

  • Ms. Snark says:

    While I’ve never ejected another human being from my uterus, WORD.

    I have friends who’ve let their sons dress as Disney princesses. Hell at the MK I saw an entire cadre of what I thought were the fugliest princesses ever, until I realized they were all teenage boys doing it for kicks. It was hilarious. And next time I buy a gift for a friend’s kid, I’ll be to sure to check for any sexist or misogynist bullshit. Thanks.

  • SoberJulie says:

    So bloody true and HILARIOUS!!!
    Listen I have 2 girls, one’s a total princess and the other…not so much. All my eldest wants to wear is “boy stuff”, her toys are the toys targeted to boys.
    I get it.
    Damn them all

  • PBPDesigns says:

    Somehow it’s ok for little girls to play with toy cars but not ok for little boys to play with the doll house? Talk about double standards!
    My brother and sisters and I got HOURS of fun out of playing with his matchbox cars in the sandbox. Making little towns and ramps in the sand.
    We had an oval oriental rug, we all wore out or knees on that thing chasing the cars around and around. My brother played with out dolls with us, too. It was called sharing. No, my mom didn’t actually buy him his own dolls, but that didn’t stop him from playing with ours.
    PS. if his ‘masculinity’ is in question, you can forget it. My brother is married and has 3 kids and is the best dad in the world!

  • When I was a little girl I lived in dungarees, screamed blue murder when put in a dress – played football and rugby with the boys and all my toys were tonka trucks, lego and action figures.
    My brother played with dolls, had a wendy house and was an asthmatic little weakling. Despite what one might expect from this blatant role reversal he grew up to be a big strong heterosexual man with facial hair and muscles with a job in engineering. I’m a marketing executive with waist-length blonde hair, big eyelashes and a predilection for cooking. Gender-bias makes me roll my eyes. OPEN YOUR MINDS PEOPLE!

  • Rusti says:

    My brother-in-law was appalled when my sister bought their son a doll when he was 3 or 4… my nephew loved that doll, he named him “Turtle” and took him everywhere. He’ll be 8 in a couple weeks and I think Turtle might still be around, but he’s no longer attached at the hip to him. ;) (he also likes having his nails painted sometimes… and wearing fairy dresses and playing with wands – much more fun than other “boy toys” don’t you think?)

  • Coleco Kid says:

    Aunt Becky,

    I never really comment on the blog posts but this one I completely agree with. I’ve said this a million times, “The world would be a much better place if we never give up the wonder of our childhood.” The fact that adults are judging children and the respective parents for allowing the kid to be a kid saddens me. My parents knew if I was going to grow in to a respectable man, they had to let me explore all options not just the “ones” for the boys. I can’t tell you how many times Hawk from G. I. Joe kicked Ken’s ass and took my cousin’s Barbie Malibu Dream House and Barbie. It was how we bonded. They had Barbie and I had GI Joes but the lines blurred.

  • Andie
    Twitter: lilmscreant
    says:

    I used to paint my nephew’s nails when he was little (drove my brother in law NUTS!).

    I have girls, and they’re pretty girly, so I can’t directly relate to the flak involved in giving boys so-called ‘girls toys’ but if I did have boys, they’d be allowed to play with dolls or whatever.

    I think you summed it up perfectly, and I’ll just paraphrase:

    Painting your little boys toenails pink, or dressing him like a butterfly or letting him play with dolls will not turn someone gay. And who cares if they do turn out to be? It’s still your kid and you love them for whoever they are!!

  • Kelly says:

    There are sooooo many reasons why toymakers should be beat…

    When Mea was 3 and wanted a doll house, and I tried to make the family look like ours? Impossible. I ended up buying an extra family on ebay, and mixing them up.

  • vicky says:

    We’ve already dressed our baby boy up in pearl necklaces and dresses for our blog. How’s it gonna hurt him?

    Looked at the ad,didn’t seem to be a problem with the nail polish rather that it’s pink. I have huge problems with neon pink whether it’s on a girl or boy.

    Kids have it too rough. My 5 yr old daughter got picked on for having a Doctor Who lunch box and gets books out of the library with a nice big sticker on them saying ‘Books for boys’ – apparently she should stick to princesses and fairies.

    • Meg says:

      Not really happy with that whole sticker of ‘books for boys’ thing, but I’ll just keep buying my sci-fi books and ignore the main stream. Your daughter is in good company…very good company (http://www.epbot.com/2010/11/geek-girls-activate.html)

      That’s the first part of the story…the second part is the comments from readers of that blog encouraging the little girl to be true to herself, well they got bound together in a book for any little geek girl to know she’s not alone. :)

      • Ashley says:

        This reminds me of the other day while I was in Target. In the toy section of the store, they actually had an aisle labeled TOYS FOR BOYS. I wanted to rip the sign down! I have both a daughter and a son and they BOTH love pushing dolls around in the stroller, building Duplo towers and knocking them down, making “dinner” (usually fried cookies) in their toy kitchen and banging away on their toolbench. In this house, even though some toys were given to each child, the toys are shared – 100%. And to basically say my daughter can’t have a Tonka truck because it’s in the boys’ section, or my son can’t beat the crap out of his sister with a sparkly wand from the girls’ section, is flat out sexist and discriminatory. It sickens me how commercialism starts separating everyone so early. Fuck em.

  • Allison says:

    My little boys best friend and playmate is his doll Josh. He loves that doll more than anything else he owns. He’ll be a great daddy, whether he has another daddy raising his babies with him or a mommy. I could care less. Well that’s not true, I’ve always said that the upside is if he’s gay it’s more likely he’ll remember to have my chin plucked when I’m in the old folks home.

  • Major Amy says:

    And I quote my daughter, “Mom can I sell my Barbies at the garage sale so I can buy more dinosaurs and when can we paint my room pink? Will you please turn it to the history channel so I can watch the show about the soar system?” She just prefers Lego’s (good luck finding them in pink)dinosaurs, fake bugs and animals and science, oh the horror. I guess that means she’ll be a shitty hostess, damn.

    • kittyn says:

      I was actually only able to find the pink girly lego sets around Xmas when we were trying to find a starter set for my little dude. Kinda pissed me off. /random

  • Penbleth says:

    You know, I hate to generalise but I think this might be more of an American thing. Yes there are some people in Britain who don’t think boys should play with dolls but it is pretty old hat. There are girl dolls and boy dolls and just general toys for representative play. Yes, you get to be gender neutral but have to put up with a stupid name.

    Sad that people have to start stereotyping kids right from the beginning. Perhaps one day it won’t happen.

  • statia says:

    Fuck to the yeah. I agree with this whole thing. I get that boys generally follow what their chromosomes entail, but my son loves nail polish, dolls AND trucks. It’s like we’re still living in 1956.

  • Fickwilliumm says:

    I grew up with 2 brothers and no little girls around. I was the only girl in the family, all boy cousins too. Barbie and Ken and their dream house didn’t have shit on the fun G.I. Joe was having outside with my brothers, so I was out there with them, damn the corvette. When I had my first daughter, I actually threw a fit in the ultrasound room because I did not want a girl. I knew nothing of girls. I hated pink. I hated all things froofy. I had to learn. Now I love all things pink and froofy although I am not a sissified type of girl now. And though I have embraced pink and little girls and doll houses, my girls are outside climbing trees and catching frogs and playing in the mud. Muffin’s favorite toy ever is her big orange dinosaur. Nonna doesn’t want to take dance, she’s having too much time in t-ball. I was the one with the problem with pink versus blue. My girls are just kids and that’s all that really matters is that we let them just be kids. Let them try what they want to try, or they’ll never know. Let them play with whatever their little hearts desire, they’ll grow out of toys all too soon. Let them remain innocent and have whatever color toes they want or toys they’d like to play with. They’ll have plenty of time later in their lives to figure out the rest of this shit we parents take too serious.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Well said!

    • shelly says:

      HAHAHAHA reminds me of my child hood, my brother and I were all that was in our family and we lived on a farm with no neighbors so i had my older brother and his friends when I was smaller, turned into a complete tom boy. Found my girlie side later on, but its still laced with quite alot of boyness.
      A job thats pretty much all men coworkers.
      When my daughter joined cheerleading I almost had a heart attack then went at it full speed and ended up…. me.. the grundge girl in high school that work combat boots and holy jeans, was COACHING cheerleading the next year when they lost their coach.

      I got alot of wide eyes and looks from the old high school crowd lol and my parents and brother.

  • Misfit Mommy says:

    Jack’s toenails were hot pink for most of the summer last year, and Peyton LOVES to dress him up in her outgrown dresses. He’s not gonna TURN gay because of it!

    Besides, the perk of having a gay son: usually WAY closer with their moms. #winning!

  • karen says:

    My little man is dressed up by his sisters all the time … it bothered me not because he would flounce around in a dress (quite adorable, actually) but because I worried about it being more-or-less foisted upon him. Then I realised that it is all play, it is all good, and my kid will learn to speak for himself if he doesn’t like what is going on. (Actually, at 4, he can totally flatten his sisters, 8 and 6, with one hand tied behind his back so I figure he must be having a good time.)

    Inasmuch as I don’t love marketing and ads and crap, the ad in question was quite sweet and fun.

  • This is immensely awesome. I painted my boy’s nails and I don’t care who knows it. Not because I wanted to, but because HE wanted to. And I STILL love him just the same now that he shoots me on a regular basis with his nerf gun.

    http://www.6degreeslove.com

  • Lakegypsy says:

    My mom and my sisters and me used to paint my brothers nails and put bright pink lipstick on him. He was the baby, with 3 older sisters that liked to play with makeup, it was a given that at some point we’d use the poor little bastard to be our Barbie doll. What?! It’s what he got for being the baby. He grew up to be perfectly normal. Well aside from the tick. j/k

  • Andy says:

    Have I told you lately that you ROCK! Liam regularly engages in arguments with the nice folks at McDonald’s (please over look the fact that we are regularly at McDonald’s) when they ask if we want a boy toy or a girl toy. He enters into a long diatribe about how boys can play with any toys they want and so can girls.

    I really wish society would just stick it!!

  • Katya says:

    I love you, AB… I love the way you embrace and love and encourage and support all your kids exactly the way they are. And you celebrate who they are every step of the way. You are totally the kind of mom I want to be to my Beanlet.
    I totally agree! Embrace your kids for who they ARE– NOT who you think they should be. Who the fuck are we to say who or how anyone should be? Especially our kids! Love ‘em as you find ‘em. And shoulds are bullshit anyway.

  • Jason says:

    If you think about it who care what kids play with. They are toys. Toys are toys, period. If I have a son & if he wants Barbies I’ll buy him Barbies.

    When you see parents outrage over a boy wanting to be a butterfly for Halloween or wants to play with dolls with a dollhouse or etc. They are obviously not educated in Social/psycho-logical aspects of humanity.

    Toys and nail polish doesn’t make a child homosexual. Shit! I’m a grown man and I still get amused when I play Barbies with my friends children.

    I believe a college education is a must! Wait… the human race is doomed! lol

    VSOP Cognac & Hello Kitty Cigars

    - Jason
    cyrus_jay@twitter

    • Ashley says:

      Have you heard of Nerdy Apple Bottom? Her son wanted to dress up as Daphne for Halloween last year and they were harshly judged by several moms at his preschool. Poor kid. He just likes Scooby Doo and has a crush on Daphne. Gay or not, who the hell knows and who the hell cares – those women should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Mars says:

    My little girl (7), likes legos, nerf guns, zombie movies and gets upset when I make her wear a dress. When we potty trained her, she got plastic bugs as a reward. So what? I get a lot if crap from my family about it and I just refuse to listen to it. I tell them if they say something to her about it that we will have a problem. She is one of the happiest, most well-adjusted kids I have ever seen. That’s all I care about.

  • Marjorie says:

    My very boyish 4 yr old son LOVES his doctor kit, tea set, and littlest pet shop animals (all of which HE specifically requested) and he often asks me to put make-up on him when he sees me doing my own. A little powder on his sweet nose certainly isn’t going to “turn him gay” and like you said, so what if he is. In middle school, my friend and I used to dress up her brothers (one older than us and one younger) in dresses and makeup and they’re bother perfectly normal adults today. Also, if it matters to anyone, they are straight, though I highly doubt that a little cross-dressing as a child would affect that outcome at all. You are who/what you are. Personally, I think the J Crew ad is adorable. This whole “outrage” is absurd.

  • Marie says:

    I commented this on another friends FB status, but I believe it bears repeating. Nurturing is not a gender specific trait. It is a HUMAN trait. As well as mimicing the nurturing and love they see from their parents, mother and father. They mimic your walking, talking, eating etc, why not the care of an infant (if that is what is occuring in your family)? They express and acknowledge their love through role-play.

    ON the topic of toe nails, I have told my son no before (not a gender issue, the real reason is that he COULD NOT sit still as long as it would take to dry!!!) but it’s not fair that girls get to paint themselves and boys don’t!! if he REEEEAALLY wanted it, i’d do it, then glue him to the couch. Again, it has little to do with gender. Just fun.

  • Oh my holy uh…Whoever.

    I love this post like my gay friend loved monster trucks when he was a kid. Like my best friend’s daughter wants a science kit for Christmas, not a fucking DOLL HOUSE, and like I LOVE a b*tch who tells it like it is.

    Hostessing IS bullshit.

    Particularly when it’s shoved down our daughters’ throats from childhood as though it’s the only possible option. (And I use “our” in the figurative sense, as I’m *way* too much of a selfish c*nt to have children.) (Also my bits are broken.) (Story for another time.)

    I am now your devoted follower, and am bizarrely in the mood for a fist pump and bra burning session.

    Maybe that’s just me.

    - B x

  • Steve says:

    My son got a doll (cabbage patch I think) from grandma when he was a todler and he had zero interest in it but his twin sister loves legos and Star Wars stuff. Maybe they should leave off the labels altogether on toys.

    The exact opposite is true when it comes to parenting magazines. I saw one at school the other day “Parent & Child” with the headline “Why your baby likes you more than dad” on the cover and Parents magazine has 1 page devoted to fathers. Why do only moms get to be parents in magazines?

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I *hate* those magazines. For similar reasons. Altho, I have a vagina, which means I’m prolly the Target Audience.

      You should make a magazine for dads. Seriously.

  • Gender roles are bullshit.

  • Ann says:

    I painted Dude’s fingers AND toenails, he played with dolls and even dared to dress up our cats in his old baby clothes.

    If his obsession with stomping around in my most fetishy footwear could be considered as crossdressing, well – he did that too.

    At 26 he is comfortable in his own heterosexuality – and perfectly accepting of other people’s orientations as well.

    As a parent, its my JOY to be supportive of whatever freak flag he chooses to fly, as long as he isn’t endangering himself or others.

    And hey – the scars he acquired trying to shove a cat into a “onesie” faded eventually!

    • Chris in PHX says:

      Ann, you hit it right on head when you said,

      “As a parent, its my JOY to be supportive of whatever freak flag he chooses to fly, as long as he isn’t endangering himself or others.”

      Your son is a lucky man to get to call you Mom.

  • QCMAMA says:

    I read the article and the comments and it was beyond stupid. When my son was younger between 1 and 3 I would say he would throw an absolute all out temper tantrum, kicking screaming rolling around the floor, if we didn’t stop so he could look at the heels! the pinker the frillier the more he wanted them on his feet. Toys had nothing on the boys love of shoes. He was known to give me fashion advice at 4 and 5 or tell friends who said something about his tuxedo jacket with sleeves poking out with his jeans and tennies, “umm. Ilearned this on What Not to Wear” He also had a baby doll when I was pregnant with his sister, his baby Clayton. He drug her around everywhere pushed her in the stroller and the swing. She is still around somewhere. He also has been known to dress up in his sisters princess dresses or let his sister make him her model when she wants to put on a fashion show. Makeup, heels, hose you name it. He is 10 now and still does it. Hell with gender biases. Who cares! They’re kids. Let them be kids, let them explore and find who they are. And if they grow up to be *gasp* gay….I can promise you it wasn’t because you painted their toenails or let them play with dolls, or cars, or whatever.
    *steps off soapbox*

  • onecookieshort says:

    Love your post. It is so true that people get outraged when you don’t conform to gender stereotypes. It really irritates me that it is still okay for people stereotype what little boys should wear and what they should play with. I assure you, my oldest son will grow up to be a far better cook than me. My youngest son adores Dora, and even has his own Dora doll. I don’t see the harm in it. Nothing is going to make either of my children gay. Either they are or they aren’t. Either way I’m fine with it, as long as they’re happy.

  • Audrey says:

    When I got pregnant last January I got my son a doll. It’s a anatomically correct male potty training baby. Not that i ever clued my son in to the fact that if you put water in the bottle and fed it to the baby he would pee. Because..ew..mold. I’m not sure what I get looks for more…the fact that he has a doll or the fact that said doll has a package identical to my uncircumcised son. He also likes his toenails painted when I paint mine. His disapproving grandparents can suck it.

  • mama_pez says:

    How has no one mentioned the book, “William’s Doll?” That story says it all. My son’s sexual orientation is not determined by the fact that he loves pink, has a generic Barbie doll, named Teresa, or that he loves dinosaurs and monster trucks. Letting him explore his world now, any way he pleases, will make finding his true interests easier. Not to mention, his confidence in who he is. No one should be ashamed of what they like, or how they feel, provided no one else is harmed by it. So. There.

  • Kori says:

    Hm, my SEVENTEEN year old son is currently walking round with his toenails painted, AND he has his ears pierced. He is not gay, nor is my 11 year old who used to use mine and his sister’s clothes for dress-up. Whoi gives a flying FUCK in this day and age other than, well, conservative asshats? Grrr.

  • Lauren Elyse says:

    All this gender crap with toys is totally bullshit.

    I wanted a mountain bike when I was 10. I had to get a “boys” bike. They didn’t make mountain bikes for girls in those days. And all the “girl” bikes were stupid and pink and had streamers and baskets. I wanted to get muddy and have gears and tear shit up. So I got a boys bike. And I loved it. And did anyone know the fucking difference? Not when I was covered in mud and leaving the boys in my dust!

    Moral of the story – you rock. Your boys rock. And toy makers suck and need a boot up their ass.

  • shelly says:

    When my 15 year old daughter and her cousin (who was born a week before her) were little id do my nails and her nails and he would cry b/c he wanted his nails done too, so I got a “manly” blue and did his, my brother had KITTENS lol he was so mad. (i still did it whenever my nephew asked) and he had a little mermaid doll, he called her his girlfriend and she went everywhere with him.

    My youngest my son, I used to get all sorts of grief because he played with my old cabbage patch dolls. And for christmas one year I got him a kitchen play set. The boy LOVED to play kitchen, and once when I took him to walmart to pick out a surprise toy, he picked out one of those clean sets (With the mop, and broom and stuff) HECK YEA he had a toy vaccum cleaner (that really worked) You know im all about him getting CLEANING toys, anything that helps me clean!!!

    All of the gender stuff is just BULL. just because he liked to play with a kitchen set or to clean, well that will just make him a REALLY good husband for someone, weather its a woman or a man lol I dont think him having a cabbage patch doll he called his daughter is going to make him suddenly decide he wants to marry a man.
    yesh

  • So, let me get this straight. If a girl wants to play football, it’s ok.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2008/10/04/2008-10-04_queens_high_schooler_tackles_her_footbal.html

    If a girl wants to play on the boys basketball team, that’s ok too.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_17878252?nclick_check=1

    Girls are allowed to wear mens clothing, going so far as to call it Menswear.
    http://www.stylelist.com/2010/09/07/how-to-wear-the-menswear-trend-for-fall/

    But if a mom decides to paint her son’s toenails pink, (and is it the color that’s the problem? B/c in my book? Real men wear pink, or is it the nail polish that’s the issue?) then he’s going to be gay.

    Yeah, makes perfect sense. Got it.

  • shelly says:

    Although i did draw the line at my daughter dressing him up in his dresses and putting her play makeup on him. he didnt realize what she was doing, and was just happy the great older sister was paying him attention.

    Although Im pretty sure it didnt do him any lasting harm lol, and hey made his sister like him alot more, knowing she could talk him into litterally ANYTHING hahaa

  • Summer says:

    I bought a baby product the other day that was labeled, “Moms press here!” so you could test it out before buying it. That pissed me off. What if a dad is the one buying the product and taking care of the baby?? Asses.

  • My son is 8. When he asks me to paint his nails, I paint his nails.

    He only wants them painted black, grey, blue or green. Or as he puts it “BOY COLORS”.

    Fortunately this spring boy colors are hot for girls to paint on their nails too & I can find those colors easily for him.

    I don’t think he is potentially gay so much as potentially goth and sometimes I am hard pressed to decide which I would prefer.

  • tash says:

    True story: When Bella was 2.5, I painted her toenails in order to get her to sit on the toilet for an extended period of time. Ahem.

    So we’re walking around the block, and one of my neighbors points out her lovely toenails. I live in liberal mecca so I got all defensive (“Crap, they’ll think I’m a Housewifebot painting my daughter’s nails; next I’ll go and enter her in a beauty pageant”) and explained they were a reward for sitting on the loo. “Oh, I painted my sons nails for the same reason!” exclaimed neighbor. “I did too!” confessed other neighbor with jock son.

    One of these boys is now a stellar 3rd grade ice hockey player (I think he also asked to be a princess at halloween when he was two and his mother obliged), and the other is the all-around jock, son of jocks. I don’t think there’s remotely a problem. I’m so glad you don’t think there is either. And to get Ale to sit on the loo, I plan to whip out the box of pretty paints and see what suits his fancy.

    • Ashley says:

      This is awesome. Seriously. I catch flak for painting my daughter’s toenails…even though the first time I painted them, it was because she saw ME painting MINE, and asked for some on her toes. Now it’s something we do together. I think it’s great that you live somewhere that painting toenails isn’t a fucking crime against humanity.

  • Pam says:

    Does this mean I’m in trouble for letting our four daughters play with footballs, basketballs, skateboards, soccer balls, water guns, and, horror of horrors- the Fischer Price tool set? Is it terrible that our girls can change their own flat tires? That they can change the oil in their cars? That they can do anything a boy can do, only better?

    Sometimes people just have nothing better to do than complain I guess. Or be jerks. Or dumb asses. I think I’m going with dumb asses. LOL

  • Love, love, LOVE this post!

    When my son was 3 or 4 I bought him a Barbie for Christmas. In fact, I bought him two. He liked to play with his sister’s, and I didn’t think it was a big deal. I also bought him and Easy Bake Oven for his birthday one year and was pissed that I could only find it in pink. I bought it anyway. He’s not gay. I also bought him a Little People farm set. He’s not a farmer either.

    The whole deal with the kid painting his toenails is just ridiculous. Some people need to get a life.

  • Christina says:

    I saw the article and thought nothing of it. Then I heard through the internet grapevine abuot the controversy and got very confused. I happened to catch the Daily Show’s response to the picture recently, and I may have started a teeny TV crush on Jon Stewart over the remarks.
    In essence, he made the comment that parents often take their children, of either gender, to the state fair or carnival and allow thier children to get their face painted. So why is there not more fear over little Susie wanting to become a feline and little Bobby wanting to become a Tiger? After all, who doesn’t think a cat painted on to a child’s face isn’t cute? Parents think this is photo worthy, because face paint washes of, and their child isn’t asking to become the next Mike Tyson with permanent animal tatoos on their face, because face paint washes off. Oh wait, so does nail polish!
    Ignorance annoys me, but perpetuating ignorance by parenting children with inane logic makes my skin crawl.

    • Katya says:

      I have a HUGE TV crush on Jon Stewart! And not just because he’s impressively amazing and articulate and smart. But all of that too. Plus, he’s so often right! Bonus!

  • Maria says:

    It took me FOR-EVER to find my son a non-pink doll too! I finally found a waterbabies doll that was dressed in green. Had to order a stroller online because everything int he store was pink too.

    Manufacturers must want our boys to grow up to be macho assholes who won’t help witht he cooking, cleaning or childrearing. Jeez.

    • Maria says:

      Oh and the only issue we’ve had thus far is my son likes to play with my makeup and managed to apply some Too Faced Lip Injection to his cheek. His poor cheek was red for the rest of the day, LOL.

  • Michy says:

    I think that commercial is going to make me go to that store and spend a little of my hard-earned money there. Because I LOVE the picture of the mom and her son together and happy, and the toenails are cute too. My boy has had his toenails and fingernails painted before, and has worn makeup as well. Now that he’s 18? Seems he likes the girls, and is comfortable wearing a pink shirt. He likes to cook and works on cars. He plays musical instruments and watches musicals with me. He has girlfriends and friends that are girls. None of the “girly” things he did when he was younger have affected his sexuality in any way that I can see, except maybe to make him more comfortable with it as it is.

  • Joker_SATX says:

    Wanna impress me? Have your daughter kick the shit out of all the other boys on the block in a game of army men!

  • Hunter says:

    Yeah am gettig the gist here.
    When we will appreciate that gender is a SPECTRUM and we are all different little colors of the rainbow, each as beautiful and radiant as the next color.
    Oh, and all that kafooe about gay and whatever – just another color…

  • I hear you on this! When my daughter was a baby, someone bought her the Amercian Doll Bitty Baby. She could have cared less. She wanted to play with Thomas the Train. But her little brother comes along and LOVES Baby! Loves her!

    People who have a problem with that can suck it.

  • Charlene says:

    It was a J Crew ad. Here’s a link to the story with a photohttp://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110413/ts_yblog_thelookout/hot-pink-toenailed-boy-in-j-crew-ad-sparks-controversy

    It was okay with my girls to play in the dirt with Tonka trucks but not okay for a boys toenails to be painted? Bullshit.

  • John says:

    Well said on all points, Aunt Becky. I have no idea why the manufacturers demand to place gender labels on everything (though I’m thinking about marketing boys boxes and girls boxes because we know there’s a long period of time that the kids won’t play with anything else).

    I kept my left pinky finger painted (usually orange or green) for years after a boy was beat up for having his fingernails painted in the ext town over. I don’t know if anybody saw, cared, or noticed, though

  • Pamela Gold says:

    I have three sons and have never let them think something or other was only for girls or only for boys. I’m with you. It’s shit.

  • SarahBee says:

    I love it! You just said everything I was thinking and more.
    My daughter loves trucks and painting her fingernails and building and tutus and math and science. My son loves his babydoll that he has taken over as his own “beebee” and uses one of my long scarves as a wrap to wear his baby around the house and kiss its head as he tries to mash his sippy cup into the CD player. Who the eff cares!? I think they are in training to be wonderful parents, if that’s what they want to be. They are having fun and learning in everything they do.

  • Katie says:

    Dude, when I was, like, two my mom decided to get me a newborn baby doll out of a catalog. When the doll came, she unwrapped it to discover it was an anatomically correct baby boy. But I sensed her opening the box, found her with it, and refused to let her send it home.

    When you poured water in his mouth, it came out of his little baby boy peepee. Best. Doll. Ever.

    Also, there is no reason boys shouldn’t be able to play with dolls if they want to. Nowadays, it is (and should be) more of a partnership when couples have babies, which means it’s a good thing to cultivate the nurturing gene in boys and girls. Besides, if I could steal my brother’s action figures, legos, and matchbox cars, then there is no reason little boys shouldn’t be able to have dolls.

  • Pingback: Warning: Rant Ahead! | Dead Cow Girl: Dominatrix Mommy Blogger

  • Jen says:

    I, too, bought my oldest son a doll when I was preggers with my little one. He is now 12 and so far still likes girls (not that it would matter if he liked boys, but you get my drift). I also bought a play kitchen for them both and since I homeschool am teaching them both how to cook, clean AND do their own laundry! *gasp* When my little guy was REAL little he LURVED playing with my old Barbies I had kept in the event I had a girl. I didn’t and didn’t see a thing wrong with him playing with them. Barbie likes mud puddles too, yo! The idea that painting nails, playing with dolls or wearing mommy’s shoes makes one gay would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad and bass-ackwards!

  • Jessica says:

    I have a two year old and he loves to have his nails painted, play tea, and wear whatever dress or skirt I am sewing up for his cousin. Sadly, his daddy does not agree with me on how it’s NORMAL and he should be allowed to do whatever he wants at his age. The reason we have bullies and children suffering from abuse by their peers is because they are learning it from their parents. We need to stop before they will be able to accept all.

  • Barbara says:

    AMEN AUNT BECKY! A FUCKING MEN!

  • Sarah says:

    Aunt Becky? I fucking love you.

    I love you for this post, and I loved you when your younger boy was a butterfly for Halloween. (Uh, the cutest butterfly I’ve seen in LIFE.)

    I read this article a few days ago, and decided that, once I win the lottery, I’m going to buy every Conservative asshole I know who has a problem with things like this their own personal stick-up-their-ass remover.

    It reminds me of when I worked at a daycare, and this little boy (he was 2!) was in the “dress up” area, clomping around in high heels. He was super cute, and I imagine he was just doing what his mom did at home. His dad came in and flipped. his. shit. Started yelling at us (the caretakers) about why were we trying to do THAT to his son.

    Allow him to play? Not judge a 2-YEAR-OLD? Encourage imagination? Those were the only things we were DOING TO HIM.

    God, that was almost 9 years ago, and it STILL makes me feel stabby. People these days need to shut their whore mouths.

  • Amelia says:

    I wrote her an email thanking her for that ad. That’s the kind of parents I want to hang out with. And I want my kid to have playdates with theirs.

  • Smaaaaaash says:

    I believe the proper phrase here is “Fuck’em”, AB. Who are they to say what makes your son happy? And like you said, he does like to beat the shit out of things. No one wants to mess with that.

  • Sarah S
    Twitter: RunningonWords
    says:

    I never understood the uproar over that ad. It’s adorable and the kid obviously was enjoying it. I’m glad your children are able to pursue their interests no matter what gender stereotype it breaks. The world would be a better place if more people thought like you.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Turns out, we ALL think like this. I wonder who these knuckle-draggers are and if they’ll come and troll me now. (is it weird that I want them to?)

      • Sarah S
        Twitter: RunningonWords
        says:

        Only if it is weird that I think trolls are a sign of a successful blog. I would enjoy seeing the pranksters shred your gender stereotype trolls.

  • Mary B says:

    I have a gay 21 year old son and he never had pink toenails and he doesn’t want them now, either. Unfortunately, he is not interested in decorating, fashion, or Broadway show tunes either. Just love your child and find something you can do together. We watch horror movies and listen to Britney. Keeps the lines of communication open.

  • Val Payne says:

    All bullshit. Maybe Dr. Keith Ablow’s problem is simple, mommy didn’t like him enough to play and paint his toes. So now NOBODY with a penis is allowed to have his toes painted.

    PS. Plan toys has some very nice dollhouse furniture that doesn’t seem to be marketed to either gender.

  • Katie says:

    Thank you. I have an idiot relative who freaked out when her little boy wore high heels and played with the barbies at my house. FYI I have twin boys and yeah I bought them barbies and high heels why, because the fricking wanted them thats why. Are they gonna be gay because of it, um probs no. If they are gay they were born that way and I love the crap out of them no matter what. I wish people would get over their stupid close minded selves and just let kids be kids. Also you better not say anything about my babies or I will put the smack down on ya!
    xoxo,
    katie

  • Libby says:

    I have a 4 year old daughter who loves fairies AND squishing bugs. And I now have an almost 2 year old boy who thinks the sun rises and sets with balls, trucks, and Thomas. But when Sister comes after Brother with one of her tutus and a tiara, that boy is all OVER it. He lets her make him fancy and revels in the attention.

    She recently had surgery, and I let some friends give her things I normally roll my eyes at [4 tubes of glitter chapstick in a Disney carryall, anyone? Blech.] but the best part has been watching him carefully apply his lipstick while watching his sister.

    I will paint the shit out of his nails, as soon as I can get him to sit still long enough.

  • Melissa says:

    I agree on ALL points. You are awesome for blogging about it. And I want the trolls to come too so we can tear their asses up!

  • Especially if you paint little skulls and crossbones on his nails. Yeah – rockin.

  • Amen sister!

  • that IS bullshit!!

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    Preach on Aunt Becky, preach on!

  • Shevaun says:

    I love this post.Gendered toys are bullshit when attached to stereotypes! This video totally addresses this issue: http://youtu.be/rZn_lJoN6PI

    Oh, and saying that painting a boy’s toenails will make him gay? Also bullshit. People suck.

  • Lippy says:

    When my son was two we wanted to buy him a play kitchen, which were all located in the “girls” section. We were so pissed, as my husband said “won’t boys need to learn to cook too?” Aren’t life skills important for all the kids? My son had a doll when his sister was born, he would nurse it and could assemble all the parts of my breast pump. My daughter loves pink and girly things, and she is in ballet, but the next class she has asked for is karate. She wears frilly dresses and dress up heels and plays in the dirt and beats the heck out of her brother every chance she gets.

  • Satan says:

    preach it, girl!
    my brother always dominated my kitchen play set, and i took his matchbox cars. he’s straight, and i’m queer…. and so the fuck what? we weren’t changed by what we were playing with; we chose what to play with, because of who we are.

  • Teala says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with these things. People should pull their heads out of their asses. It’s no biggie. Let kids play with whatever they want and dress however they want. Society will *try* to fix that if it sees a problem with it.

  • Michelle says:

    I’m a mechanic. Yup. As in cars. I had Barbies, and toy cars, and dump trucks. My mom and grandpa MADE me a kitchen playset, and painted it too. Because I wanted one, but not pink! I also wanted model cars to paint, and assemble that SAME christmas. I played in the mud, and had rodents as pets. Oh the humanity!
    My parents let me, be me.
    Now they have a daughter who can fix anything on a car, wears pink (like it now, not when I was a kid), is a girly girl outside of work, and likes men.
    It’s not fair to stereotype children. Gender roles are BULLSHIT. I’m damn good proof of that.

  • Jenn says:

    Dear Industry

    The best Chef’s are men – why are all the kitchen sets for girls?
    The best Fashion Designers are men – why are all the dress up clothes for girls?
    The best Make-Up Artists to the Starts are generally men – back off the toenail advert!!!

    Regards,
    Mommy to a Girl

  • That’s awesome. I got tons of shit for buying my son a doll as well. I had to look every-stinking-where to find him a blue stroller for it!! He loved the crap out of those things too. We let him take them to a family picnic in the park. So full of the win.

  • Being a hostess IS bullshit. Doesn’t matter if you’re sporting a vagina or a schlontz.

  • Vinobaby says:

    Hell, I’m surprised they didn’t bitch about how the little boy in the ad had long hair as well. My Kiddo has the same long hair and I’ve caught so much flack over it. My MIL even had the nerve to call him a girl and change his name to a girls name for the first two years he had the long hair. He would be in tears. Evil woman. I should paint his toenails for Easter and give him a doll just to send her over the edge.

    People need to get a grip.

  • Teki says:

    How funny this comes up! Last night I was painting my 15 yo daughters nails. My 19 mo son came up and want his painted too. Of course he was given 10 beautiful nails of neon blue! He was enthralled! He kept saying how pretty they were!

  • CC says:

    And they wonder why their little boy grew up to be a total jackwad to his gf/wife!!! They didn’t let him play with dolls, play tea party with his mom, or wear her high heels. It is all normal idiots! This teaches them to be nurturing and compassionate towards their partner.

    I recently had a kid over to play with my daughter and the first thing he did was put on my daughters platform sandals. My concern was not the fact that he had them on…but I wasn’t sure how his parents felt about it. Didn’t know if they were the parents that complained about Beckett’s “pink” quality time with mom Jenna.

    Let him be his own happy person!

  • angi says:

    I agree. The ad is cute. Boys CAN play with dolls, girls CAN play with trucks. My son got a doll, when I was expecting his sister. His dad hated that but he was thrilled. When I HAD to find a new strapless bra for a wedding, I had no choice but to take him in to the mall with me. While I was trying on bras, so was he. His father was mortified when he shared the story of our day later. WHATEVER. He’s now a perfectly normal 12 year old boy. But I’d still paint his toe nails if he asked. I believe that he’s his own kid and he should be proud of who he is, no matter what color his toes are. (But, he’d better stay away from my bras. Twelve year old boys smell, so he’ll have to get his own, if that’s what makes him happy.

  • Lisa says:

    Hey – I thoroughly agree with you that add is very cute – nothing wrong with it. Also, my boys had dolls to help them with “transition” when I had new babies. They are definitely all boy and my girl is all girl, but it wouldn’t make any difference. My love for them is fierce and always will be.
    BTW and off topic – if you haven’t seen this you need to – BAHAHAHAHA!
    http://aceonlineschools.com/30-awesomely-bad-school-portraits/
    Just glad none of my pics are there. :)

  • Cristi Comes says:

    LOVE, had to share with a friend bc we were just talking about this on Tuesday. You took the words right out of our mouth. People need to get a life if they think pink nailpolish and a mom having fun quality time with her son is a problem.

  • I did a blog post about this last week too.. Such bullshit. I also bought my son dolls because he wanted them. I don’t see how painting a childs nails pink makes him suddenly at risk to think, “Hmmm. If pink nails are this much fun, then anal sex with another man must really be something not to miss.”

    People are fucken morons.

  • katrina says:

    Wow! i must’ve missed this on the Discovery channel. We can now “turn” little boys into homosexuals, just by using nail polish and barbies!!!

  • JenniferB says:

    It’s one thing to have gender bias, but completely another to be in gender prison. It’s fucking beyond obnoxious. So… let me tell you how I really feel. Ha! Anyway, when my son was 3 he didn’t have any dolls of his own (because he never asked for any) but he did have stuffed animal “babies”. He was way more into animals than people anyway. At that time, I was currently nursing my daughter and he used to sit next to me on the couch “nursing” his baby frog. Cutest. Thing. Ever. I anticipate that my son will grow up to be a loving father, who gives his family his time and love, not just his paycheck. And if he marries another man? That’s okay with me too.

  • I totally agree with you.
    My younger brother has a doll that he’s had since he was little that he loves. He used to play with it all the time! He also used to play house with me, and do all sorts of ‘girly’ things… Just like I used to do ‘boy’ stuff all the time growing up. It’s so stupid sometimes how people get so focused on stereotypes and ridiculous gender ‘rules’.

  • Dana says:

    This is my favorite take on the (non) “controversy” yet. Well done.

  • Zakary says:

    I posted about this last week and I thought of your son’s butterfly costume. I potty train my son by painting his nails when we sat on the toilet, he still asks for nail polish.

  • magpie says:

    Gah. I’m so in your camp.

    Also, if that ad hadn’t said “son” in the caption, no one would have guessed it was a boy.

  • I had heard about this, but hadn’t seen it so thank you!

    This is so crazy! My three year old loves having his toes and finger nails painted and he could care less what color it is. I never even thought about it being odd…probably because it isn’t. It’s just color. It isn’t any different than their play tattos or thier pile of dress up clothes.

    In a related story, did you hear about the little boy that went as Daphne from Scooby Doo (his favorite cartoon) to his preschool Halloween party? It turned into quite the hoo-doo. Other Moms talking shit and the minister calling the kids mom after she blogged about it, eventually she changed schools. What is going on?

    I often feel like it’s cool to let a little girl play with trucks or other “boy” things, but not for a boy to play with “girl” things. Ridiculous.

    Oh, and my three year old has a doll too. No name and is often dragged behind his big wheel, but he loves it just the same.

  • Mrs Hart says:

    My youngest son used to like to sport my clothing, saying only, “Mommy is cool” when his father or someone else objected. Today he is 6’4″ of sweet star basketball player. While he does not have an effeminate bone is his body, I can also say that he has never had a misogynistic thought in his entire life. Girls call him non-stop and he loves his big sister like she hung the moon. When his sister went through a stage of stealing his clothes it was perfectly acceptable. There are orphans in this world, people, human trafficking, and genital mutilation…..we are Rome during the fall.

  • Mrs Hart says:

    former policegirlie (12years in Cali) current nursing student…..

  • Hells to the yeah.

    My son has painted his toenails with his dad every week since he was 2. He has dolls, though he cares less and less about playing with them. And he asked for a pink leotard for his birthday last year AND this year. He’s five. And every year for Halloween he’s put a cowboy hat, sparkly butterfly wings, and Mardi Gras beads together for a look that defies the shitheads who demand “and who are you?” I’m a small person learning myself, fuckwad; don’t label me.

    I stopped buying Melissa and Doug crap when I found the magnetic dress-up doll for boys had career choices (fire fighter, police officer, pirate [the most viable choice methinks]) and the girl versions (plural) were all fashion choices: pants or skirt but both pink. Nauseating. Why doesn’t the girl set have doctor, astronaut, chef, and plumber? Stoopid corporate toy makers.

  • Karia says:

    I’m offended that people were offended by this (call that wine logic). What better way to confuse a little one than to take something completely innocent and turn it into something “wrong”.

    I’ll put it this way, my son never asked for his toe/fingernails to be painted, but he did always want to paint MINE. I learned, the FIRST time, to not take it off right away. I made that mistake once, ONCE. He used my OPI “Lincoln Park After Dark” on my fingernails – yeah, it looked like I performed an autopsy on a squid by the time he was done – and yeah, I took it off as soon as he went to sleep. I’ll never forget the look on his little face when he woke up the next day and saw that I took it off.

    My mistake. Seriously, my big, HUGE, mistake. I felt horrible to put it in his head that I didn’t like what he worked so hard on. And every time since then (he grew out of it after a few months) I kept out the lighter, nude shades and wore it with pride.

    If a boy plays with dolls, that means nothing more than he is expressing an interest in loving and taking care of someone, or may be mirroring the solid mother figure he has, or showing how he might want to be responsible on a certain level.

    I can see one of my brothers reacting in the way you described in your original post. He only has boys, and if any of them tried to play with a doll, I can see him (sadly) berating him for it. I wish I could catch him live in that type of situation, I would love to show a picture my Mom has of him in my Raggedy Ann apron, sweeping up the kitchen floor, and sporting one of my mom’s heels to boot (that’s what actually makes the picture so funny, why just the ONE heel?)

    Parents tend to buck the traits in their children that remind them most of themselves, whether it’s on a conscious level or not. That speaks volumes for these parents who are afraid of their boys playing with dolls or wearing nail polish.

  • Lauren Weber says:

    I don’t have anything to add that someone else didn’t already say, but I LOVE this post. It’s a shame we have to stereotype kids. Just let them be kids! I’m a new reader of yours and I love your content. Keep it real, mamma!

  • Heather says:

    I think it is ridiculous how far this has been blown out of proportion. I am actually marrying a hugely conservative asshole (yes I can call him that… no you can not) and we got into this debate on Monday night. It was so heated that I just walked away and went upstairs to bed and we agreed never to speak of it again.

    • Ashley says:

      My husband is (as you said) a hugely conservative asshole. We also have issues that we don’t agree on (gay rights and abortion are the two most heated topics) and like you and your fiance we simply don’t discuss them. But I’ve made it clear to him that if one or both of our kids ARE gay, I’ll leave him before I tell them their significant others aren’t allowed into our house (because he says “I’ll accept them if they’re gay, but they can’t bring their partners home”…NOT ACCEPTANCE!). Sorry. It’s seriously the one thing about him that sends me into a tirade. One has kids. One is supposed to love those kids no matter what, unconditionally. I’d rather have a gay kid than a child molester.

      Sorry for the rant, I just want you to know that I know how you feel!

  • Praxiteles says:

    Well, who started the ridiculous pink-for-girls/blue-for-boys thing anyway? And is that why Pepto-Bismol is pink and Viagra is blue?

  • Duffy says:

    My little brother loved to have his nails painted especially with OPI’s WYatt Earpal Purple because his name was Wyatt. My dad hit the roof when he noticed after six months of my sister and I painting his nails. And today, my brother is a 13-year-old horn dog. Suck it, Dad.

  • Lisa says:

    My 22month old son has leukemia and he gets chemotherapy weekly, and last week he went to pick out a toy from the toy box, and what did he pick out? a baby doll with a diaper bag, the best part? everything on his new “baby” is pink. And he loves her! The nurse in charge asked if I wanted him to pick out a new toy … my response why? he wants to have a baby doll with a diaper bag, more power to him. I also paint his toenails, when I paint mine, he wants me to paint his. So I do.

    • Ashley says:

      I think this is too sweet. And I want you to know that I will be thinking of your son and hoping he will be better soon. Stay strong, Momma.

  • Kate says:

    Shit, I follow my three-year-old boy around eagerly asking, “Do you like the pink one? You… you want the pink one, huh?” And no, the little meathead NEVER wants the pink one. He wants blue. BLUE. Or yellow- like construction vehicles. Or anything the color of TOOLS or BLOOD or BOXING.

    I really don’t know where it came from, but I try to embrace it. Oh, and even he likes having his toenails painted. I guess all this means he’ll be the stereotypically manly one in his gay relationships?

  • Josefina says:

    I can’t believe this crap is still an issue. Somehow I missed the debate (I say with tongue in cheek–I “somehow” miss most everything).

    For heaven’s sakes.

  • Roxanne says:

    Loved the post. Hate stupid uproars over stupid crap. When my son was 11 or so he dressed for Halloween as Dora the Explorer — at school!!! It was hilarious.

  • Ashley says:

    I still blame my parents’ willingness to buy into the overcommercialization of sexism on the reason why I grew up believing everyone wore ballgowns and fell in love with jerks who changed when they realized they were in love. These are the reasons why I swear it took me until I was 23 to realize that fairy tales are lies and I could do things WITHOUT A MAN.

    1. Disney
    2. Disney Princess
    3. “Girls don’t play baseball”
    4. “Girls should do ballet”
    5. “Horses are too dirty for girls”
    6. “Girl Scouts aren’t girly enough”
    7. “Why do you read so much? You should be outside learning to braid your friend’s hair”
    8. “You’re going to go to cheerleading camp because I paid for it and I was a cheerleader and that’s just what little girls do, they don’t go to soccer camp, that’s for boys and space camp is for nerds”
    9. “Your younger brother can go to his friends’ house on his bike without my supervision because he’s a boy and it’s safer in this world for a boy to go off alone than it is for a girl. Something could happen to you”
    10. Ears pierced at age SIX WEEKS
    11. First BEAUTY PAGEANT…age THREE MONTHS
    12. Pink shit. Err’where. FOR FIFTEEN YEARS
    13. My mom taught me to shave my legs when I was ten
    14. She also pressured me to start crushing on boys when I was nine: “Don’t you think Rupert McFurstenberger is a cutie? If I was you’re age I’d want him for my boyfriend”

    I know my parents loved me, but I was raised in a highly sexist environment with a mother who was judgmental of others, a father who was in the Navy and gone 7 of 12 months and when he was home – while very smart and enjoyed teaching me things – was also an abusive alcoholic. So when I was 15 and they divorced, I turned to BOYS. And stuck with an emotionally abusive jackass from age 16 until I was almost 20. It took me three years to finally WANT to be single and learn to stop being co-dependent. I’m married now and I have two toddlers, but I am not going to be some quiet crazy person telling my daughter that the only options she has are to sit quietly, smile prettily, and pray that some guy will come with lots of money and keep any worries away forever.

    Sorry for the novel. I just really identified with this. Nobody should ever be exposed to the type of sexism I experienced from my own mother. I have a daughter and if she wants Disney Princess crap and Barbies and pink shit…fine. I’ll do it. But she has to ask for it. In the meantime, I will continue doing what I try to do already – making her responsible and self-reliant, adaptable and resourceful. All the things I never learned from my parents. Thanks to absencies and stereotypes.

    Now where the fuck is my apron? I have to start peeling potatoes before my husband gets home from a hard day at the office.

  • Ashley says:

    Oh and that pink Essie bottle in the J.Crew ad? It’s called Mod Squad. And both my daughter and I are wearing it right now. ;) Picked it up a year or so ago at Target – Best pink EVAR!

  • Denise says:

    My son liked to paint his nails and wear headbands. And there is nothing wrong with that. People are so judgmental it makes me crazy!

  • Ashley says:

    You know, I know I’m posting alot here today…but I just remembered something.

    My brothers-in-law.

    One is 17, one is 25, and THEY BOTH WEAR PINK. And other neon shit. And the younger one has been known to wear nail polish and eyeliner. They both wear girls’ skinny jeans. They also ride BMX, go fishing, are former Boy Scouts, listen to heavy metal, hate showtunes and musicals, are avid hikers and love to camp, and really, really, really, really, REALLY like chicks. A lot.

    I think people are forgetting that boys wearing neon pink has become a significant part of the “hipster” culture. Wayfarers, skinny jeans, pink shit all up in that joint. It’s a trend. It DOES NOT MAKE ANYONE GAY.

    And like everyone else has said: If you are gay, who the fuck cares?

    Sounds like a bunch of homophobes are just worried that now they can’t tell the difference.

    PLG!!! (Praise Lady Gaga) (that was a half joke)

  • Theresa says:

    Ugh, really? People have way too much time on their hands if this is something that bothers them. Thanks for ranting about it!

  • Jen says:

    Right on, sister! We took my kids to the Cabbage Patch Hospital (I think its official name is Babyland General) last year for DD’s birthday, and I let her and her brother both pick out a doll while we were there. My mother was horrified and tried to get my son to pick anything else (somehow stuffed animals are more manly than dolls?), but he wanted a doll like his sister so that’s what he got! People need to let go of ridiculous stereotypes.

  • Sherry says:

    Way back when my son was about three years old he loved (read LOVED) the TV series Wonder Woman. My little sweetie would spin in circles as he changed into the world’s most curvacious lovely superhero and then he’d chase the dog and fight crime and shit like that. We were having dinner at a friend’s house when suddenly my son decided it was time to start spinning into his favorite superhero. My friend’s husband asked what my little tyke was up to. I laughed and explained he was morphing into Wonder Woman. Adult male goes predictably pale and asked me if I wasn’t worried about my son pretending he was a woman and the effects it would have on him later, etc. I smiled gently and said “Every now and again he pretends he’s Scooby Doo and that has never made him shit the carpet or chase cars so I’m kinda OK with him being Wonder Woman”

  • my daughter informed my mother that she likes to dance with the pole in the basement. so by the doll logic…

    well, she won’t make as much money as a doctor, but she’ll make more than I do. ;)

  • Vicky says:

    my husband asked his grandmother for a doll once when at the store and he was 5 or 6. She got it for him.

    Unfortunately My husband’s step father was less than pleased with the purchase and tore the doll up and burnt it in the fireplace screaming “No son I raise will play with dolls!” Then beat the 6 or 7 year old boy for wanting “a girl’s toy”. It was apparently bad enough DH still remembers that day clearly, almost 30 years later.

    That theme continued well into DH’s older years. I even witness DH’s stepfather making comments about DH’s liking to “dress up” – we did medieval recreation, and DH was a sword master and Lord, so dressed in lace and velvets (the guys made jokes that you could wear as much lace as you could back up on the fighting field)

  • Lex says:

    I totally agree with all your points, and I just wanted to share this article. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/When-Did-Girls-Start-Wearing-Pink.html

    Its obviously marketing tactics that are forcing the gender roles down our throats. My son dresses up as Tinkerbell with my daughter daily, and the only reason I banned him from wearing her high heels is because he kept wiping out on the tile in them and I didn’t want him to have a concussion before he turned 3.

    Love your blog! Keep it up!

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