Parents: Quit the Gender-Stereotyping!
Today’s Post is courtesy of my good buddy Mitch whose nearly 4-yo son, Ben, is unfortunately learning some not-so-appropriate lessons about gender at school.
I don’t often take to social media to rant. But here’s one for all those parents out there, and those who will one day be parents.
Try to be better, and don’t mess up my kid with your offensive gender stereotypes.
Ben likes the colour pink. He likes to periodically wear his pink Rapunzel t-shirt to school. He likes to pretend he’s a superhero called Batgirl and Wonder Woman. He likes to be Elsa and Anna (and Olaf too – not so much Sven.) He likes blue and spiderman too and his various stuffed animal friends. That’s great!
Of late, a kid at his school has been telling him that boys don’t where pink. Today Ben said he was going to be batgirl. Great! Then he said he wasn’t going to tell anyone. Why? Because Kid X says that boys can’t be batgirl.
After nearly losing my shit, I explained to him that you can be anyone you want to be and you can tell anyone you want who you are. You should never hide what you are or want to be. Superheroes are proud of their powers.
My kid is not even 4.
He shouldn’t be struggling with the bullshit gender stereotypes that other parents reinforce with their kids. He shouldn’t be questioning whether he should hide his superhero identity because of some crap a parent told or didn’t tell their kid. He shouldn’t be wondering if he can wear his pink t-shirt to school.
And he should never feel that he can’t be who he wants to be.
So parents/parents to be, please … please talk to your kids about gender, colours and superheros. Step back and ask yourself if you are reinforcing gender stereotypes. If you aren’t being active on this, then your are part of the problem and reinforcing the norm. And that’s shitty for my kid, for yours and for our world.
Because I know that if we had a few more pinks and a few more batgirls, we’d all be better off.