Watching Liam and Caleb trying to pummel a snowbank into submission with their feet has started me thinking (again, still) about how we do—or do not—teach our kids about gender roles. Swivelheader wrote a lovely post wondering what her twins—a girl and a boy—would think about a sparkly princess dress that had been given to the little girl, which leads to the question: what do little boys think about the fact that there are so few sparkles in their lives?
And why, exactly, do we resist giving little boys sparkles and rhinestone tiaras? Are we afraid that they will be seduced by spangles into a life of cross-dressing and Tammie Faye eyelashes? I mean, is anyone really “all boy” or “all girl”? Don’t we all exist at different points along the continuum of gender and sexuality (whether or not we admit it, right Larry Craig?)
When Liam was 3 or 4, he fell in love with princesses. He played a lot with the daughter of a friend of mine, whose indulgent grandpa had gifted her all things princess: tiaras, handbags, sparkly shoes, and piles of poufy dresses. Her closet looked like a mini-Disney store. Liam begged for his own poufy princess outfit but we refused, mostly because the full Disney princess is a pricey operation. I did pony up for “glass” Cinderella slippers, however, and Liam happily crammed his feet into them and clomped up and down our hall. When he reported that the shoes pinched, I said hey gotta suffer for beauty, kid. Just ask RuPaul.
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