Being a parent there are quite a few times when you feel you need to bite your tongue. It’s not always over something the kids have said either. I’ve written a great deal about unsolicited advice and rude comments I’ve heard about my own parenting or other people’s.
It seems so many people just can’t help themselves. They just have to say something. I hoard these little irritating comments and write about them. But at the time, when I hear them, I rarely say anything. I find confrontation (particularly in front of my children) just too tiresome these days. I just don’t have the energy to snap back at nosy strangers or know-it-all sanctimummies or rude In-My-Day lecturers or ignorant anti-children types.
But – there is one type of comment where I will always make a point of saying something. Especially if that comment is said around my children (or any children in fact). And that’s the comments we hear that limit children based on their gender.
When I hear someone say “boys don’t wear pink” or “boys can’t play with dolls!” it absolutely infuriates me. And I always, always bite back.
Because the arguments people have for colour-coding children and choosing activities for them based on their genitals are stupid. Just absolutely stupid. I can’t put it any other way. I can’t sugarcoat it. It’s ridiculous.
WATCH: Donald Trump's worst statements. Story continues after the video
The things I hear and see are just astonishingly mad. Just bonkers.
You’re concerned my son is playing with a toy kitchen? Are you worried he’s going to cook his own meals or be a chef?
You’re upset my son loves his baby doll and wears it in a carrier or pushes it around in a pram? Are you scared he’ll grow up to be a loving and involved father? Or a kind and caring early childhood teacher?
You’re outraged by him wearing a princess dress? Are you worried he will live in a castle unable to escape because there is a dragon guarding it?
Yesterday he told me he was a clam. Does that worry you? Which molluscans within Class Bivalvia is acceptable for a little boy to play pretend at being? Could you write a list for me? Since gender policing is apparently important to you?
You’re emotional because he’s wearing pink? Or purple? I have a number for someone who you can call to help you deal with the weird obsession you have with toddler clothing. You’re an adult, the fact that you care about what a three year old boy is wearing is creepy. It’s really creepy.
His nail polish is stressing you out? How do you manage to get through life being concerned about what a child has on their nails?
He’s wearing a top with a kitten on it? At what age are people allowed to pick their own clothes? Would you get upset if I picked your clothes for you? You would? Well, that’s why I let my kid where what he wants, and he picked those hideous pink gumboots. They’re his favourite colour and that’s that. There is nothing more to it.
But by all means keep being the weird mouth-breather who comments on Facebook about how boys these days are confused because they’re allowed to pick their clothes in the morning. I mean that’s not unhinged at all.
Oh but apparently parents are influencing their children if their boys like pink and their girls like blue. But they’ll insist until they’re blue in the face that if their boy likes blue then that’s not them, or society or peer pressure. That’s ummm biology? (Someone failed fifth form science – you can do night classes you know?)
Nope, apparently there’s only pressure on children if they go against the grain….
Because that makes sense? I know logic isn’t a strong point with these people but come on!
I’ve never worn pink in my life. My entire wardrobe is black. Maybe I’ll wear grey if I’m feeling particularly adventurous. I don’t wear make-up, and I don’t like princesses.
So it’s not me he’s getting this from. It’s just him. And any child I know whose parents let them choose their own clothes or do their own thing ends up looking the same – slightly bizarre and eclectic but not all-blue or all-pink based on their gender on their birth certificate.
That’s just not how it ends up. They’ll pick from both sides of the clothing section given the chance. There may be variation around sparkles and things like that based on textures and sensory leanings – but it’s always the same…
Until they hear some bully adult tell them boys don’t wear pink or that’s a girl’s top.
Don’t be that adult. Don’t be a bully. Don’t be a creep.
Let kids wear what they want.
A boy in a tutu is not a danger to you. You can get help. Or at the very least you can get one of those mindful colouring in books and shut yourself inside away from parents who are tired of hearing your sexist crap.
You may also like: Sydney school gets rid of gendered uniforms
- CareerRenee Zellweger on the similarities between her life and Judy Garland's
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyToday 9:35am
- CareerMike McRoberts on his former glory days on the rugby field
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyToday 9:00am
- Married at First SightJules Robinson takes aim at some of the new MAFS Australia cast
Now To LoveYesterday 5:40pm
- Career'That pregnant runner' Alysia Montaño signs sponsorship deal with Kiwi company Cadenshae
Now To LoveYesterday 5:00pm
- RoyalsDuchess Catherine and Prince William have shared unseen footage of their royal tour of Pakistan
Now To LoveYesterday 12:20pm
- RoyalsPrince Harry finally addresses rumours of a rift with Prince William
Now To LoveYesterday 11:00am
- DestinationsFive must-do family-friendly walks from around the North Island
Now To LoveYesterday 8:45am
- RelationshipsA sex therapist shares her top tips on how to boost your sex life
Good Health ChoicesYesterday 8:30am
- Body6 reasons why it's the perfect time to spring clean your health
Good Health ChoicesOct 20, 2019
- CareerHow Silver Fern Katrina Rore has found balance after a whirlwind and emotional year
Woman's DayOct 20, 2019
- MindShortland Street's Rebekah Palmer on life after loss and finding happiness in the small things
Good Health ChoicesOct 19, 2019
- MindBest-selling author Gwendoline Smith: the truth about depression
The Australian Women's WeeklyOct 19, 2019