Friday, May 27, 2011

Just Jeffrey

There's been a lot of talk about gender roles lately- a lot of it regarding a Canadian couple that's keeping the sex of their baby a secret. While I can understand that concept of why you would choose to do that, I think it's unnecessary. There's no reason to completely disregard the biological form your child was born in order to defy stereotypes and societal classifications.

I have a son. He was born that way- a boy. There is no denying that. Whether that couple would like to agree or not, there IS a difference between boys and girls. I've changed his diapers quite enough times to realize that. When you really think about it, though, does he know that he's a boy? No, not really. He may be beginning to understand that there are differences, but I'm sure it's as simple as "that person is like daddy/mama." Nothing else to it in his innocent eyes. We're not forcing him to be a boy. We're not forcing him to be a girl. We're not forcing him to deny himself in order to not be either. We're merely allowing him to be himself.

I won't lie and say that we buy him dresses and frilly items because we don't. If, when he's older, he asks to wear something like that? Sure, we'll let him. We definitely don't care. At 18 months, he's super happy throwing on some Mardi Gras beads as a necklace (which he has absolutely worn out in public) and throwing some of his stacker rings around his wrist like bracelets. He prefers my shoes to Jony's (specifically my high heels; he wears them more than I do). He absolutely adores playing kitchen and house with his 4 year old cousin, Aly, and will also join her in a fabulous game of dolls or Littlest Pet Shop. He likes to cuddle his stuffed animals and give them kisses.

On the other hand, he loves building with his block and then knocking them down. He's obsessed with cars and everything else that moves, especially if it's "big!" He's rough and tough. His favorite place to be is outside, and he cannot get enough of balls. He's super excited about life when he's digging in the dirt, and he has no issues getting dirty (for the most part).

You can easily put his likes into categories of 'boy' or 'girl,' but it's much easier to just say that's Jeffrey. Those activities are what he enjoys, and I enjoy seeing him love life. For the rest of his life, we'll do just that. As long as he's himself and he's happy, then we'll be happy for him. Whether he's wearing an apron and helping me vaccuum and do dishes or running around roaring and causing havoc with his favorite toy dinosaur, he'll always just be Jeffrey to me.
Combining masculine and feminine in the form of cuteness: soccer shirt and high heels!

This post is a part of Feminist Friday over at Transatlantic Blonde. Check it out!


Melaina25 said...

You have the exact same approach as we do. We don't force boys toys or girls toys on him. We let him be who he is whether that's singing and dancing or climbing and wrestling. He is who he is!

I do think there is a double standard and girls doing "masculine" activities is much more accepted than boys doing "feminine" things. To be it's an extension of the general bias against all things feminine and sexism in general.

Thanks for taking part :)

mtendere said...

How was I not following your blog already? It's interesting how it can be a different question when talking about raising a girl or a boy. While I have had plenty of people roll their eyes at me when I say that every girl needs a truck, there seems to be more negativity about a boy playing "house" or cuddling a doll. And while I've bought my girl plenty of clothing in the boys section, I doubt I'd go the other direction. But then again, I don't want most of what's in the girls section for my girl either!