Today I bought my son 5 “girl” onesies and, yes, it was on purpose. You see, I’m a feminist and part of being a feminist involves fighting the patriarchy. I am talking about the patriarchy that says that boys must be tough; that boys who wear pink or dresses or makeup are not “man enough.” Our patriarchal society even says that boys who do stereotypical female things will become gay.
Well, I call bullshit. People are born gay – or trans – or gender non-conforming. Pigeonholing a child into clothing and roles seen as most appropriate for their gender does nothing to prevent or cause this. But I’ll tell you what it does do: it perpetuates sexism, stereotypes, and machoism.
Feminism isn’t just for females. People on both sides of the issue can forget that. Feminism is about equality; it is about raising our children to be fair-minded, open, and compassionate individuals who are happy with who they are. Because of these simple principles, feminism benefits all.
We have all seen the ads, tv shows, and other media that like to poke fun at the stereotype that men are incapable of handling simple things like cooking, cleaning, or caring for children. Well, that’s incorrect and just plain wrong. Men are absolutely able to handle these things; it is the patriarchy that says otherwise. Feminism, on the other hand, believes that men are totally capable of being competent homemakers, fathers, and cooks. True feminists believe in the potential of all men.
That is why I am dressing my son in all colors. That is why I will put my son in both dance and sports. That is why I will allow my son to grow out his hair, have a baby doll, and wear nail polish if he so chooses. And it is all because I know that my boy is capable of just about anything in this life. I refuse to stunt his potential, creativity, and sense of self-worth.
Now, am I saying that I will be dressing Finnigan in a dress? Nope, not unless he asks. But we aren’t going to worry about what anyone else has to say in regards to how he dresses or acts. It is high time people got over this patriarchal crap and we might as well be the ones to help them.
How are you fighting gender norms in your home? Have you received much for criticism?