Saturday, February 20, 2016

So What If Boys Play With Dolls




One article caught my eyes tonight as I was scrolling down my Facebook News Feed. It is an article from Parents Magazine about Adele strolling her son in Disneyland. But what interesting is, her son dressed as Anna from Frozen. The article is HERE

I think Adele is cool. I am impressed, I personally wouldn’t have done it to my son. How would I? I wouldn’t even let him to like pink. Yes, I am that pathetic mother, but it was then, now I have evolved.

When my son was 2 years old he used to like the color pink and this attraction to pink continued until he was about 3 years old. I used to tell him that pink is the color for girls and blue is the color for boys. How ignorant was I? Little did I know that pink actually used to be the color for boys and blue used to be the color for girls. Gender identification by color began in the early 20th century in the Western world.  Before this, pink and blue did not hold any gender specific connotations. Pink was deemed by many guides to be more appropriate for boy and blue for girls, although this wasn’t even remotely as popular as the “pink” for girls, blue is for “boys” association that exist today; many people completely ignored the gender recommendation all together. For reasons unknown, this all started to change around the 1940’s when clothing manufacturers decided on pink for girls and blue for boys. I am sure you are also well aware that during the Roman era men wore skirts, tunic, long dresses and strappy sandals. The Middle Eastern men and the Arabs to this day still wear long dresses.
When my son was a baby, he was attached to his stuffy toy. He slept with it, he carried it wherever he went and this continued until he was about five years old.  When he was 4 years old, I gave birth to a baby girl and soon enough, our house is filled with boy’s toys and girl’s toy. My son loves playing with Thomas The Train, and my daughter loves Barbie and princesses; sometimes she would ask her brother to play along with her and her dolls. I saw them playing together with Barbie, Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, and dolls. My concern grew some more. I was worry that he’d end up liking dolls more than the boy’s toys.I was worried about his sexual identity or sexual orientation. I spoke with my husband about it and he did not have any concern whatsoever. I was disappointed, mostly upset. How could he not worry about it?
His comment was so simple, “He is just a four-year-old kid. He will change. Today he likes playing dolls with his sister, tomorrow he will play Mario Brothers”.

I did some research about boys who likes to play with dolls. What I read comforted me. Several articles mentioned that it is normal for boys to play with dolls. That wouldn’t suggest that he has feminine tendencies. He’s curious about the opposite gender in girl’s dolls. It is an indication that he nurtures, he’s being a good big brother. He’ll make a good father someday, just like his own dad.

Looking back, I felt embarrassed about my attitude. My son is now 9 years old. He’s over playing with dolls or liking the color pink since he was 6 years old. He does not care about colors or dolls anymore. He wears white, black, blue, yellow, pink, red, purple, brown or whatever. He likes Taekwondo, he likes playing Minecraft. Although, once in awhile to please his little sister, he would sit in her room to play Barbie with her, only because she asked him to, only because he wanted to be a good big brother. He knew if he refused, it will make his sister sad. I can always tell he’s bored but he sucked it up. My heart melts everytime I see that. To this day, my daughter understands that her brother does not like to play with dolls anymore, he’d rather play with Minecraft, building something and fighting those Creepers.

I read so many negative comments about what Adele did to her son. Why can’t we just accept the fact that Adele just simply did something that make her son happy because he loves Anna from Frozen. It does not necessary means she’s trying to change or to confuse him with his gender identity. In different occasion, I saw pictures of her son wearing normal boy clothes and even Spiderman costume.

Why is it okay for a girl to play with cars, trucks or dress up as Spiderman, Superman or Batman but we feel uncomfortable when a boy play with dolls.
Double standard, isn't it?. Society continues to see masculinity in girls as a strength and femininity in boys as a weakness. We tell little girls that they can be anything they want to be: doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, astronaut, president. But we shy away from giving little boys the same courtesy of unlimited potential. How often do we tell boys that they would make a wonderful primary caregiver parent, elementary school teacher, hairstylist, fashion designer, dancer, nurse, spouse of the president?

Kids will be kids. They evolve every single day. There is a kid who believe he is Kermit The Frog, does that mean he is going to be a frog?.
I played with my brother's cars, trucks, and all the other boy stuffs. Dolls and princesses never attracted me. I screamed bloody hell when my mother put dress or skirt on me. I lived in T-shirts, shorts and pants. I used to wish I was a boy because boys are strong. But look who I turned out to be, just because I loved boy’s toys and I wore skirts, I did not turn out to be a boy. My sexual orientation does not change, my gender identity remains the same. Now I love wearing dress and I feel the sexiest in it.

3 comments:

  1. Anak saya cowok dan cewek, tidak masalah jika keduanya main boneka bareng atau mobil-mobilan bareng. Kebetulan keduanya masih balita dan saya biarkan saja eksplorasi. Mungkin jika mereka mulai bertanya soal jenis kelamin or topik kyk seks education, baru akan saya jelaskan perbedaan cowok dan cewek, lalu pada umumnya mereka mainan apa, memakai apa dll. Tugas ortu emang berat hehe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Betul sekali Aprillia. Kita ngga usah khawatir kalau anak anak kita lebih tertarik bermain dengan mainan yang mengarah ke gender yang berlawanan. Kita biarkan anak kita bereksplorasi sambil kita terus kita awasi. Asal anak kita tidak bingung dengan identitas mereka.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kalau saya sih, ya...gapapa anak cowo main boneka asal jangan boneka manusia seperti barbie (yang merupakan mini tubuh wanita), paling boneka binatang. Anak cewe walaupun dibebaskan dia lebih condong ke boneka imut2. Kalau punya dua bersaudara cewe cowo ambil jalan tengah ambilnya boneka binatang. Mungkin disana tidak marak ya tetapi disini cara seperti bijak, karena maraknya stimulus, sifatnya lebih kearah preventif dengan banyaknya kasus-kasus yang efeknya ke depan beruntun..:)sayang akan kepanjangan bila semua dituliskan disini

    ReplyDelete