Before I start, let me first say that my goal is not to offend anyone. Now, let me say this as well, I don’t care if I do. We live in a society where people tend to tiptoe around what they really want to say, not because it’s truly disrespectful but because someone, somewhere will take offense to it. I know in this day and age people everywhere are fighting over gender rules. Parents want their sons to be able to wear dresses without any kind of judgement. PERSONALLY, if my son said he wanted a dress, I’d tell him no. Call me a bad mom. Say I’m dimming my child’s light. I could careless. Children want what they see without any thought to it. I don’t think it’ll determine their sexual orientation later on. However, I’m not about to listen to someone whose best decision is having candy for breakfast. Down the road, when my kids aren’t impulsive and irrational, I’ll take things like that seriously.
The point of this post isn’t about letting kids where whatever they want is good or bad. My actual concern is how these kids grow up to view their place in the world as men and women. Whither you’re straight, gay, trans, there is a certain role people expect you to play. Growing up boys were expected to be rough and tough and girls were expected to be delicate and sweet. If a boy cried, even if he was hurt, he was seen as weak. If a girl stood up for herself and gave her opinion, she was seen as rude or a trouble maker. Boys couldn’t have a soft side and girls couldn’t be strong.
If you go to the toys section of any store, you’ll see how the world has already decided who men and women should grow up to be. The girl’s toy section is filled with baby dolls, brooms, and shopping carts. A girl is meant to grow up to be a house wife. Sure there’s doctor toys and some expensive sports cars thrown in the mix but that’s not the main focus. The boy’s section is filled with racecars, army men, guns and any “beat my chest, I’m a man” type of toy you could think of.
I always wondered why parents lost their minds whenever their son touched a doll or yanked a toy car away from their daughters. “That’s for boys.” “That’s for girls.” Some parents would go on to say, “Are you gay? Leave that alone!” Girls tend to get a less aggressive response when they play with boys toys. Either way, I don’t see how a bloody toy could indicate a child’s sexual orientation. Let’s face it. That’s exactly why some parents react the way the do.
Boys are told to leave the baby(doll) alone, they don’t belong in a kitchen, and chores, like washing dishes, is a girl’s job. And when men grow up and leave the child raising and housework to women, it’s somehow a surprise. It’s been drilled into their heads that anything that doesn’t dirty their hands should be left for women. And when a man is a stay-at-home-father he is judged harshly and seen as a disappointment because he isn’t the breadwinner. WHY? It baffles me!
I always think about my little brothers when it comes to this topic. They are two rough and tumble kids. They hate dolls and say it’s too girlie. One day, my sister had bought barbie like dolls for the little girl I was taking care of. She was 5 and my brothers were 6 and 9 at the time. She had no one to play with so she asked them to play with her. They barely hesitated to. They even did character voices. Granted after she got up they started sword fighting with the dolls but for that moment those little boys wanted to make her happy despite their own personal feelings. They are still pretty boyish to this day. And their actions then and many times after that, showed me that they’ll be great fathers. I’m not saying go out and buy your sons dolls but understand that what you put in their head as young kids will affect how they view their role in society.
Now, as for girls, we’re meant to be clean and pretty. We must bite our tongue and go along with whatever we’re told. Climbing trees and playing in dirt is a horrible way for us to spend an afternoon. Things like repairing cars and building aren’t what we should be interested in. In fact, at a certain age we are “trained” to be able to take care of a household. That’s the role women were meant to play. Mommy and wife. We must live in the kitchen and vacation in the laundry room. We must raise perfect children and keep our husbands happy. These stupid generic rules that have been placed on us. God forbid a woman is the boss of several man, some of them might lose their minds because they might have been brought up believing that is not her place.
You see, I could really care less about the “how to dress your child” debate. I have two daughters and my first son is due in a month. I don’t want my son to cruise through life thinking his sisters are his maids. I equally don’t want my daughters to feel intimidated by a male dominated workforce. This “war” on who our kids should be is superficial. I think so, at least when it comes to what I see on social media everyday. Okay, your son or daughter is happy wearing clothes of the opposite sex. WHAT NOW? What do you teach them now? What role will they play once they grow up? It goes far beyond clothing. It’s about having sons that embrace emotions instead of keeping them inside for fear of being labeled a wimp. It’s about raising strong daughters who don’t take crap from anyone and believe anything is achievable. It’s about men who won’t hesitate to wash a freaking dish and women who can fix a car just as good as any guy.
Do you understand what I’m trying to say? These ideas that we are suppose to be robots going down a conveyor belt in the same path as everyone else is stupid! We shouldn’t have cookie cutter lives. We shouldn’t have these dumb set regulations on what a man and woman should do. Obviously, there are some differences but the differences that are used to distinguish us most of the time doesn’t make any sense. All that old fashion crap should go out the window. Men and women should be seen as a team, sure, but they both should be able to survive without the other. Example, a single man should know how to cook and clean and a woman should be able to use a drill and put up her own furniture without someone saying, “That’s why you need a man/woman so they can do that for you.” I don’t get all the gender restrictions when it comes to that stuff.
Leave me some comments about how gender roles were presented to you growing up and how you view them now. If you have kids please share if you have set roles specific to the gender of your kids. And remember this is not a post about clothing choice. I want to read what you think about the way society has segregated what is socially acceptable for men and women to do.
Like always ((HUGS & LOVE))
Dena is an author, content creator, and designer. She has been writing for four years. Outside of writing, she spends her time making memories with her wonderful children. Her ultimate goal is to live for the Lord and make it known through her work and life.