17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Pink Shoes for Boys?
As I was cleaning out my files before the big cross-country move, I came across an article from Parents Mag (May 1999) that my SIL sent me a long time ago. It’s called “Pink Shoes For Boys?”. I looked to see if maybe I could find it somewhere on the web for your perusal, but alas, I could not. So, here are the basics: Dad takes his 4 year old son to the shoe store to buy new shoes. Little boy wants hot-pink jellies. Dad tries to convince boy that he actually wants dark-blue canvas shoes. Little boy still wants hot-pink jellies. Dad wants to say, “No, Those are for girls” but instead has in internal dialogue about gender stereotyping.
Here is one quote from the article:
“We as parents of boys should also acknowledge the fact that no matter how liberated we may consider ourselves, most of us perpetuate the old gender roles in our own homes. We modern parents may praise our sons for playing house or stitching nearly on those little preschool sewing thingamajigs. But let’s face it: Most of us praise our sons a lot more if they bang away with a toy hammer, or slam a baseball out of the infield, or score on a slam dunk.”
I don’t have any sons…yet. But like the author (who bought his son a doll and a kitchen and was considering enrolling him ballet because of his dancing talent), I feel like I would be open to my sons exploring things that might in some small way combat sex stereotyping. But, just like the author, I realize there is a breaking point. Pink shirt. No prob. Pink shoes? I think I would have to say no.
So here is the question that reveals to what extent are we comfortable perpetuating “traditional” gender roles in our homes: What do you do when your son begs you for sparkly pink shoes?