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September 18, 2008

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You are training your child in the way he should go.
Allowing them to make bad choices is your fault.
Children have foolishness in their heart and you do not help them.

If my child wants to play with something stupid do I let him.

You are helping your child but you are sacrificing him due to your own feminist : political agenda.

I was forced to do ballett as a child - 30 years ago - as a statement by mother that only little girls were asked to do it. I was used as political pawn for her views and sacrificed to feminism. Is that what you want to do with your young men - very sad they may grow up and resent it ! And become mysoginists ! Just as bad as feminists !

N

My son is 17 months old. This past weekend I found him following me into the kitchen with a doorknob pillow (is that what they're called? its like a decorative thing that hangs on the doorknob from a ribbon) hanging from the crook in his elbow like a handbag while wearing my shoes, saying "bye bye" and puckering, awaiting a kiss. I'd share a picture with you, but he was naked when he did this.

My husband thinks I need to be committed because I think the whole damn scene was so flippin' adorable.

My first time around parenting was in the early 80's, that is, not so long after the 70's. Clothes and toys in unisex designs and colors were easier to find due to the big womens lib movement. I knew the pink & lavender vs. blue and red division was worse than it used to be, but I was still shocked when I began shopping for my little boy last year.

We bought my oldest girl a toy kitchen set back in 1985, it was white, with green, yellow and fake wood trim. (somewhat like my mom's 1972 station wagon). Around 1991, we moved to a house too small to keep it indoors. One day I found the girls had flipped the indoor toybox over to use as a 'grill' like the one at the diner we ate at regularly. The toy kitchen went to goodwill soon thereafter. This time around, I'm trying to think outside the toys-r-us box in this way, and make sure there are things around the house that are multi-imaginative. That said, I adore buying boy toys for him, cause it's a new experience for me. buying clothes is boring though, esp. since I'm trying to avoid anything that smacks of marketing. At least until he has opinions of which characters (tm) he wants to wear.

I'd recommend working this imagination angle if you have boys and uptight male role models. Go old fashioned and help the kid imagine something else into a toy kitchen. By some 'real' plastic and wood kitchen utensils, and find a big flat surface the right height. Coffee table, box, toybox. The uptight dudes can't really argue with the kida making it up, can they?

Emeril has what, 3 kids? Anthony Bourdain is no shrinking violet, and Gordon Ramsey would bust anyone's arse who called him gay.

I'm loving it! Heaven help us, you should see my son's blinding smile when he gets to push his big sister's babydoll stroller around. As for the toe polish thing, my mom did that to my two older boys when they were little. They are now 17 & 18 and AMAZINGLY are without emotional scars from it. LOL

My son had a little baby doll named "Flock of Sheep" (I kid you not...) that he took everywhere and loved to play dress up and sew. He's almost 27 now and as secure & normal as anyone in my family has a hope to be, just ask his wife.

My brother wouldn't go anywhere without my doll's pram. My Dad refused to let him take it out with them. Today at 33, my brother has 2 kids and is about to get married to their Mum, so pushing a pram and carrying a handbag didn't do him any harm.

Gender schmender. Our three year old boy likes to imitate his older sibling-who is a girl, well, she dresses up, she pretends to paint her nails, so he does it too.
He has beautiful long eyelashes and is very affectionate, no lisp yet...I know what you mean about public comment, you'd think ppl would just shut up by now?

I was all about the unisex toys until my daughter turned 3 and got all girly on me. Does that mean that just because she used a screwdriver as much as a teapot, she's going to turn out gay? Heck, no. I think girls have an easier time of it than boys on this one, as people seem less squeamish about a tomboyish girl, anyhow. But seriously, what are people so worried about? even if he does turn out to be gay in the end, the gay men I know are great sons, so you could do FAR worse!

My son can often be found as a "princess in training" due to his 4 year old sister. Nothing wrong with that!

Cordy's only just now noticing girly stuff. She's always loved cars and blocks and non-pink stuff.

I kinda wish that I could have had a boy, just to let him play with toys for both genders and watch my father's head explode.

I agree completely, having 2 boys that love to play princess! My boys go to a girl dominated daycare and they love playing with Barbie, Dora, purses ect... I think its healthy for them to play with both gender toys. Gayness, IMHO is something you are born with, a purse or Barbie isnt going to "turn boys gay"

This post made me smile. Just yesterday, I painted my 3 year old son's nails (fingers & toes) a lovely shade of redish/pink... So he could be like his big sister!

Without finishing the post I was reading I subscribed to your feed immediately after I read this:

...a pretty cool way to carry all your tools, trucks, and other shit...

That's all I needed

There's nothing wrong with that at an early age. Oddly, my wife got my son a doll when he was 3-ish and he cried. He thought it was girly. We never put any ideas like that in his head. Perhaps I should talk with the in-laws...

My son loves playing with his cousins' pink doll stroller. My reason for not buying one? It would be a lethal weapon in our house.
I have not worried for a second that the fact he will ask me to paint his toenails is because he is gay.
He's a kid.
But, when I was buying him clothes for school I noticed that some of the cool boys' shirts actually have glitter on them - just in a masculine way. (think giant sparkly green incredible hulk)

I have 3 daughters and a son-he's the youngest at 3.5 years old.

He went with my husband the other day to buy a classic muscle car. He took some of my eyeshadow with him, unbeknownst to my husband. When they arrived, Mason told his dad, 'Just a minute, I have to put my eyeshadow on.' It was classic.

It's healthy for kids not to have such social pressure at a young age. Some parents really need to lighten up!

My friend had a baby boy (who's gotta be 13 or 14 now), and at a party being held in a park one day, it got a little chilly. My friend borrowed a blanket from another parent, to keep her baby boy warm. The blanket? Pink.

Another party goer said, "Don't use a pink blanket on him! You'll make him GAY!"

My friend, without batting an eyelash, replied, "Don't worry, we're raising him gay."

HA!

I can't tell you how much I loved this post!! My little boy (also named Drew) loved dress up and carrying a purse, etc. His big sister is ALL GIRL and therefore a huge influence. Plus - glitter, shiny sequins, clip-clopping of plastic high-heeled shoes, nail polish ....how can any child pass these up? My boy is now ALL BOY but will still play baby dolls with his sister (and his toenails are currently painted orange)! I love it.

I have twin boys. One loves all things sterotypically boy (planes, trains, and automobiles) while one doesn't. He loves pink. He loves to color and figure out how stuff works. They both have baby dolls but neither are all that interested though my pink loving boy loves real babies.

I've been trying to find pink shirts for him, especially bright fuchsia pink. If anyone knows where I can get some that don't have Princess all over them let me know :)

So, this is kinda like the glittery pink glamour kitty from BABW that Boy Child has attached himself to?

Right there with ya.

I had four cousins (girls)and we used to dress up our only male cousin in girl clothes (but he loved it) and this was In Italy where the macho culture is still predominant - People talked back then and I see they still do today -- but he told us that he really enjoyed playing with girls' stuff and he is a very very nice man today!
BTW cute picture!

My son gets harangued about his long hair. It's down to his shoulders and looks really nice. But "you need a haircut" is a something he hears almost every day. From people who don't even know him.

And they sound so genuinely concerned! Like their rescuing him from something terrible. It's as if, as soon as my son's hair passes his ears, his penis will shrivel up and fall off.

@BPD -- I think he'd need a pink glittery backpack for that to happen.

heh.

We have started these discussions in our house, as we will soon have a little boy of our own with an older sister!

I am much more relaxed about the pink/girl toy thing with boys than the hubby is, naturally, I suppose.

It's difficult when questions get asked about why certain toys, clothing etc. stereotypically "belongs" to one gender.

I would love to raise my children up without society's gender stereotyping, but it is darned near impossible, I think!

I'd love some tips.

Oh he's doomed. He's a future SAHD/mommy-blogger, and it's all your fault. Hang your head in shame.

;}

My son was all about carrying a little doll around when he was about two. He called it his baby, he said he was the daddy. People flipped right the f**k out that I let him carry a doll. You know what? He's seen lots of men carrying their babies around, why shouldn't he follow suit? There's nothing more wonderfully manly than a man taking care of his baby as far as I'm concerned. And if he needs to wear toenail polish while he does it, so be it.

Ditto to all the folks pointing out that in this instance, girls and their parents have it easier than boys and their parents. I try to take heart from the fact that not so long ago, it was considered gasp-worthy when I liked GI Joe, so hopefully we're getting closer to a toenail-painted utopia for all. Sadly, I think that there's an essentialism with maleness that's a lot harder for people to let go of than the prejudices against tomboys.

My inner sociologist says that this is just another manifestation of sexism - women aren't as important, so it's not as threatening to think of crowds of tomboys growing up to be Brandy Chastain and Mia Hamm. Having a bunch of guys who all want to be figure skaters and Broadway stars, though - that scares people.

Personally, I believe people are born gay or not. And letting a very small boy play with girl things will certainly not make him gay. I can't believe people actually had the nerve to say anything to you. Were they strangers?

Dude! I painted my son's big toes red.

We went to a birthday part with a bouncy house (he had been wearing sandles, so when they came off, his red toes were a-blazing) and a little girl came up and asked me, "Is that kid a boy or a girl?" Seriously!

Once I was painting my toenails and Dawson insisted I paint his, too. Doug flipped out and made me take it off. Dawson screamed the entire time. I thought, is my husband really willing to listen to a temper tantrum instead of letting his son wear a little polish in the house? It's not like I was parading him down the street for all to see. And even if I did, so what?

Our son saw me painting my toe nails one day when he was about 2 years old and he put his foot up and I painted his toe nails red like mine. My hubby hit the roof! I quickly took it off but he was TWO for crying out loud. He likes girls, well, not his sisters but that's normal too!! LOL :)

Thank you! My 2 year old daughter loves cars along with all her little pink froofroo babies. It's okay. I think it is part of the whole old school gender role crap. I don't buy into it! If pushing a stroller makes him happy then so be it!

I always like to retort with, "Ummm, THAT'S not what makes you gay..."

My son had a pretty little stroller and no older sister. One day a new mom and her little boy came over and made some comment about "if her husband ever saw their son with...."

Well, what do you know, he son wouldn't stop playing with the stroller the WHOLE time they were over.

He even threw a huge hairy hiss when he had to leave it behind that his mom went right to Wal-Mart after wards and bought him one of his own...

Kids are going to love what they're going to love. Why not just let them and be happy they aren't torturing animals or playing with matches.

When my 13 year old son was 3, he loved to play with his older sister's dress up clothes. His fav was the wedding dress, complete with white heels and a veil. I have HILARIOUS pics of him dressed up. They are great. And, I always painted his nails when I did his sister's. It was a simple thing, and it made him feel included. BTW, he thinks the pics are hilarious too.

The coolest boys in Brooklyn are the ones in pink polos by the way. It's so European.

Or way, they're all gay in Europe. Forget it.

Thank fucking god someone finally said what I've been thinking! I live in the great south and these people think if a boy gets 10 feet from anything pink he's doomed for life.

Ha ha ha... great post.

Amen. As if you could turn someone gay.

My son is 19 and has twin sisters who invaded his world (according to Grandma) when he was barely two. He loved-loved-loved to wear their tights and the dress up box was his favorite. Oh how I hated when he was introduced to the blue box of toys at preschool when he really wanted to play with the pink box of toys.

His sisters are seniors in high school now, play sports and refuse to wear dresses or even a hint of mascara. .

Such ridiculous stereotypes just make this already tough parenting gig even harder!

First off, great post title. Second, I totally agree with you, and I'm walking proof of your last theory. Ladies, find yourself a man in touch with his feminine side, and you won't have to choose between having a family and a career!

Anyway, though I feel sleazy doing so, I just have to link to the (tongue in cheek) list I made awhile back on this very subject:
"10 reasons my 3-year-old son may be homosexual" http://literaldan.blogspot.com/2007/01/10-reasons-my-3-year-old-son-may-be.html

Enjoy!

What is it with Dora anyway? Maybe her hair is cut too short and the boys think she IS a boy. My son wants everything he owns to be Dora and he wants to be her for Halloween.

@foodmomiac -- and I bet you let him watch Hanna Montana too. HEATHENS! (lol).

@helen -- haha.

@David -- I'd much rather be Gay than Asian. Oh wait. I am Asian. WHOOPS.

This cracks me up. People are such idiots - seriously, kids don't need to be assigned labels. Give me a break. My cousin loved Barbies when he was little - his big sister played with him, so he did too. His favorite was named Chocolate and she went EVERYWHERE with him - even to church.

She was usually naked, too - so they got a lot of stares. :)

This is extremely hilarious to me. I have a girl (older) and a boy (obviously younger) and he adores her and wants to mimic everything she does. She gets her nails painted hot pink, then by god, he has to as well! He carries a purple velour purse with pink flowers embroidered on it. Gets his hair done and wears princess dresses. My brother gives me endless shit about it, about me "turning him gay". I tell him to fuck off. If he does end up being gay, so what? The things I allow him to do isn't going to make him that way.

Quite frankly the thing that offends me more than the idiots deciding that certain things will turn little boys gay is that people still consider being gay so bad as to be avoided at all costs.

I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to turn my kids Japanese because we eat so much sushi. It's been a big concern of mine.

Word.

But it is kind of fun to watch my FIL squirm as Oliver plays with a toy lipstick.

I have a daughter and two sons. One boy loves all things with wheels, the other likes to play kitchen (what's wrong with that? who doesn't love a husband who can cook!), and plays with his sister's dolls, wears my high heels. As adults, a man who cooks, takes care of his baby, etc., is a good thing so why is it a bad thing if they play with a kitchen set as a 4 year old? It is insane that anyone would think such things determine whether a person is gay or not. And, yes, he has painted his fingernails with his sister before...

I think this is so funny. I have a boy and another boy (we think) on the way. My son has three dolls, and even though they could be any gender they are girls to him. His two imaginary friends are girls. He loves the play kitchen at preschool and the play groups we go to. He loves to play with my dress up purse. I have no worries about him being gay, in fact I am worried that he will be the biggest flirt in the world.

I am also weirded out a little by all the pink that Fisher Price assumes girls need to play with some of their toys. Why on earth does the doctors kit or plane need to be pink? Do they think that girls will only want to be a doctor if they have a pink sparkly stethoscope?

I'm constantly amazed at how concerned people are about the gender of my 4 month old daughter. I'm always answering questions like "It's a girl right?" As far as I can tell, if I put a headband on her, they can tell she's a girl, except for the blue headband. But if she wears her blue pirate shoes, even if everything else is pink, then they think she's a boy. I want to constantly shout "It doesn't matter! She's a baby!" But that seems like an extreme reaction.

I can't believe it when people have gender issues like that. Hell, I knit my son a tea set for his 4th birthday this year. He wanders around the house with a towel wrapped around his waist (skirt) telling me he's a princess or a lady (Mommy, in her jeans, is neither).

We're doing our best to raise our boys to be as gender-neutral as *they* want to be. I'll be damned proud if either of my boys discover they're Gay, since most Gay people I know are damned nice people. Adversity breeds character.

GOOD FOR YOU!!!!

By your title, I thought you were going to write about Canada!! ;)

Isn't it funny that girls can play with anything and boys are limited to trucks and balls? (No pun intended) I say equal toys for all.

My son regularly dons his big sister's dresses, and he told me he wants to be Dora for Halloween. He also wore his sister's pink raincoat to school yesterday. He might actually be a drag queen. Who the hell knows? What I do know is that to him, everything his sister does is AWESOME, so he loves dressing like her and wearing her things.

I'm with you, it pisses me off how many gender biased toys there are out there. Walk down any toy aisle and see how many fucking pink vacuums and ironing sets there are geared towards girls so they can grow up to obey their men. My kids (I have a boy and a girl) will both get Tonka trucks AND vacuum cleaners, I won't discriminate based on gender. I think you hit a sore subject.

My 6 year-old boy once wore a Snow White costume dress for three days straight, complete with accompanying white Mary Jane heels. He's one of the happiest kids I know.
And the boys and play kitchen controversy....I don't understand this one at all. The world of chefs is dominated by males and really, is there anything sexier than a man who can cook a truly great meal? As mothers, I think it our duty to get these boys (and girls for that matter) into the kitchen, just as a gesture towards their future partners, gay or straight!

My husband carries a purse. He is a contractor, the bag is 15 years old, falling apart and is called a messenger bag on the websites where I've looked to replace it.

He calls it a purse.

He doesn't deliver messages. He puts stuff in it. It is a purse.

@lucretia -- hilarious. Drew sometimes has to wear Q's flower pj pants when I'm backed up on laundry.

What can you do but take lots of pics :)

There is almost NOTHING that irritates me more than the sexualization of young children, and I think this phenomenom is just another example of this.

Very young children are discovering the world around them and have no concept of being "gay" or "straight" or anything else sexual. To stifle, to discourage, to BAN certain parts of the world because they are sex specific is heartbreaking to me.

I have a 2 year old son, and I enthusiastically encourage him to discover and explore anything he likes. I WOULD NEVER snatch anything away from him or tell him "that's just for girls".

I think it is the very definition of sexism to deny young boy children certain things and reserve them only for girls. And I think it happens way too much to our little boys.

5 years ago I bought my son a (non-pink) play kitchen. The horror! I love that being "from California" explains it all for most people.

We have friends with a set of boy/girl twins. And when it comes time for dress up, instead of the fireman and Spiderman costumes, he opts for her Princess dresses. And the little plastic heels. It's frickin' adorable, but our friends get no end of grief from their parents about "turning him gay" by letting him dress up in "girl clothes." The kid was three years old! And like you said, they are sparkly and frilly and much more fun than a stupid Spiderman costume with a mask.

And you should hear the grunts and groans I get when I tell Hubbz and FIL that I want to get a play kitchen for my boys. WTF dudes? He loves to help me in the kitchen. He loves to play with his plastic food. A play kitchen is the next logical step. But, noo... "that's for girls." Oh give me a break.

Homophobia, particularly aimed at young children, just absolutely blows my mind. Like kids don't have enough problems... now they have to worry if they're manly enough?

And vice versa - we could not locate my daughters pink & purple Tinkerbell lunch box earlier this week. She had to use her brothers blue CARS one! Oh the horror!

I have a friend whose daughter wanted to wear Mr. Incredible underwear. I think at this age, things should be unisex.

My dad has carried a purse for years. We just call it his "man bag."

Although, it isn't pink, nor does it sport a picture of Dora.

My first child is still in utero, but earlier on my husband and I were in a shop with baby clothes, all printed with different logos and phrases. Of the entire bunch, my husband promptly pointed to the onesie with FEMINIST printed boldly in pink across it.

"My son will have THAT ONE," he declared.

And that's why I love him.

I remember my son being upset when we went to Target to buy him some "big boy underwear" when potty training. He wanted Dora underwear. They had Dora underwear, of course, but in girl's styles only. he was devastated. I would have let him wear boy briefs with Dora on them if they'd had them, but I just couldn't buy him the girls kind. I didn't want to become a widow, because my husband would have had a stroke and died.

LOL. Totally hits home. The hubby and I went to Toys R Us, and purchased a little blue scooter for my 2 year old. He was so thrilled and fascinated with this toy, he couldn't wait to take it out of the box. We get home, and we realized it was bright pink! we grabbed the wrong box.... We didn't have the heart to tell him we had to return it. Hubby said don't play with it outside just in the house. I take him anyways. When anyone asks I reply "He got it to impress his future girlfriend.Duh."

My 5 yr old catches hell from older brother for even liking Dora at all. But, he doesn't let that stop him. He did buy his own Dora backpack from the thrift store. Hey, it sang songs and was filled with cool stuff like the singing map and a compass. And Big Bro shouldn't be so quick to poke fun, after all, he's the one I found in the bathroom at age 4, face painted up with makeup like a clown and painting his own fingernails.

I don't have a son, we've been blessed with 2 daughters. But from the flip side perspective, my oldest daughter is quite the tom boy.

It always bothered me that they don't make things like "Cars" "Transformers" "Tonka trucks" etc in little girls clothing. She loved the movie Cars and wanted the underwear - so we settled on little boy briefs. I have to admit though - at first I was worried about people (at her daycare for example) seeing her wearing boy underwear. She loved them though so I eventually got over it and stopped giving a crap.

So many things are black and white (or should I say Blue and Pink?) for boys and girls that when kids WANT to "cross over" it's such a taboo - when it need not be.

Great post!

Our daughter's favorite toys are her work bench and train set. She also digs the mini kitchen. We'll see what our son goes for as he gets older.

Ah yes, I have had this happen because I pushed my 2-yr-old son in the pink butterfly cart at the grocery store instead of letting him go into full screaming meltdown mode in a regular cart.

He also sings songs from Singin' in the Rain and loves the Wizard of Oz. We get the 'girl' Wiz/Oz toys at McD's because the 'boy' ones are shooting batman ones, and I have a problem with shooting toys.

Since I'm a single mom I don't have to hear it at home, but I know it makes his dad nervous and I get dirty looks if I mention it to him. lol But honestly, my child also loves my skateboard and screams he's a superhero like Spiderman so....

I grew up with 3 sisters. My toenails were painted pink on more than one occasion, I played with Barbies, I'm sure I probably dressed up in a dress a couple times too. . . if anything it gave me a better appreciation for women, it definitely didn't turn me gay.

I made my son a tutu. It's black, but still a tutu. He wanted one. So what?

I don't think that my daughter playing with cars will turn her gay, why should wearing a tutu mean my son will turn gay? I don't get that.

Very well put! I think people are too worried about such things, especially at such a young age. It's really ridiculous.

Oh, and my 2nd daughter has told me she will marry a girl so that she (my daughter) can be the daddy and go to work. She's only 3, so while I tell her that Mommies can work outside the house too, she insists that she wants to grow up to be a daddy. Ah well.

Couldn't agree with you more! My 2yr old girl received a baby doll as a gift when she was born that we just recently opened. My 5yr old son could not wait to get it out of the box! And then was upset when daughter didn't want to share.

With everything we throw at our kids nowadays, letting them play with whatever they want gender-wise seems like an easy thing to do. Just let them be kids and enjoy themselves!

Because I'm having a boy after 3 girls, I fully intend to have a cross dresser on my hands. My husband has resigned himself to this fact and just asked if I could by the kid some "noisy" (aka hard-soled) shoes. My nephew was obsessed with him mom's heels because, "DADDY! THEY'RE MORE LOUDER!" And if he does turn out to be gay, I really don't think I'll be blaming the tutu.

We recently had new neighbors move into the house behind us and they have a 2 1/2 year old little boy. My 3 year old daughter took to him instantly and they are the best of buds. Him and her were playing one day and both came out dressed to the nines. My girl as Sleeping Beauty and D as a bride. Shoes, bag, vail, rings - the works. His mother laughed hysterically and took a picture. His father, who I was sure was going to scream and stomp, smiled and said "Well, that's something I never thought I would see." It's good to know that there are not so many uptight parents in the world. Kids being kids, that's what it's all about.

My 3 yo son's favorite colors are pink and purple. When he was in the 2 yo class at daycare, his best friends were girls. Now that he is in the 3 yo class, he has found new friends, who are all boys. He still loves his cars, Spiderman, and all things boy, he just prefers the colors pink and purple. My father hates this and will tell him he needs to find different favorite colors. I don't think it matters what his favorite colors are or what toys he enjoys playing with. What matters most is that he is happy and healthy and grows up to be a kind and wonderful person.

Couldn't agree more. We're all boy here but Mommy gets to inject some equality. I don't think the toy vacuum or the kitchen set will be the thing that'll 'turn them gay.'

@scifi dad - chances are he will. We didn't have many trucks or any real "boyish" toys around before Drew came along and he literally gravitated that way in Target and at other kids' houses. And what's great is that my daughter is loving them too.

I think she might even choose that damn drill over a princess dress.


When my daughter was 1, she had a little boy in her playgroup whose father outright refused to let him play with dolls or stuffed animals so he wouldn't turn out "gay"; when he came to our house for playgroup he immediately made a beeline for the baby dolls and wouldn't let them go for the whole hour. Luckily for him he got a baby sister soon after so he had an easy way to get dolls in the house. Let's me a little more worried about our children not growing up to be ignorant or violent or racist or rude or...

@midlife mommy: Girls can do boy stuff and it gets ignored. The boys get noticed and ridiculed.

My very liberal husband balked when his son went through a hairbow/barette phase, and doesn't like the toenails painted. I can tell he's upset at being upset about it- and knows he "should" be more open. When he asked for a babydoll, I let him pick whichever one he wanted, and he couldn't read the label that said "Little Mommy" on the side. He calls her "Baby Vanilla Head" and usually plays the part of her daddy. All's good and well. He'll make a great parent someday.

I'd love to be able to sit here and tell you that I am an enlightened man, that I would have no problem with my son carrying a sparkly pink purse, but I can't.

I'd let it happen, but I'd probably encourage the use of a more gender-neutral coloured bag the next time.

It's not that I think there's anything "wrong" with it, per se, or that it will influence his sexuality in any way. It just, I don't know, for lack of a better word, "bugs" me.

I know he's going to play with dolls and the stroller and the My Little Ponies, and I'm OK with that, but I also want him to play with more traditional "boy" toys too.

My step daughter once asked me if I thought my daughter was going to be a lesbian because she didn't like frilly things and played with boys and never wanted to 'dress girly'. When I answered that I was excited to see who she was going to be, said step daughter was mortified. No, my upbringing was not liberal and everyone was supposed to know who they were - but she is my daughter and I want her to be whoever God made her to be. I am here to teach her and to protect her, not make her into a mini-me (oh, GOD FORBID!)

My son is five. He has no siblings, no real female influences in his life other than me and his step-mother, and neither of us are especially girly. Regardless, since he was 2, he's loved all things showtunes and princessess - He has the entire score to "Chicago" memorized. He wears "dress-ups" (the princess kind you get at the disney store, his grandmother keeps buying them.) Even though he's so young, my gut pretty much tells me what doesn't need to spoken here. I'm not ever gonna have a burly, macho, or probably even straight guy on my hands. This is fine with me. There are a lot worse thing he could grow up to be.

But that's actually kind of besides the point - what I meant to convey is that I've gotten shit for his tendencies, even when they were few, his whole freaking life. Someone I know and love went so far as to say "Yer gunna make 'im a QUEER." (I live in PA, some of us sound like total fucking rednecks.) Screw them. We're talking kids here. If they're not hurting anyone or learning bad lessons, why in God's name shouldn't we let them carry a pink purse or swipe our lipstick occasionally? Us bleeding-heart liberals, man, we're messing our kids up so bad.

My kids (4 yo boy and 2 yo girl) will practically come to blows over the doll stroller. Frankly, I see it as practice for being parents themselves one day, since I regularly make my husband push the stroller, carry the diaper bag, and play tea party.

Perhaps it's not gay-in-training, it's whipped husband-in-training?

I happen to agree with you. I know several boys (who don't have sisters) who proudly walk around with painted toes during the summer. They just like them.

I also know a little boy who had one of those stand up Barbie cakes for his forth birthday. He picked it out of a cake book.

Even my son who has no sisters has dabbled in the "dark side." When he was in daycare she had 2 doll strollers. Of course hers were red and blue. My son and the other boy she watched LOVED them as pushalong toys. They'd race them all over. Of course when I went to the store to get one for home all I could find was pink or purple. And my son never put anything in the stroller, just pushed it around. We had that pink stroller until it broke. My in laws HATED it. That made me love it more.

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