Not too long ago, there was a big uproar about an advertisement where a mom was painting her son's toe nails. So many people felt that this was an issue important enough to publicly complain about it and even demand that the ad be removed. What is the world coming to, when you can;t just not look at the ad if you don't like it?! Why is it such a big deal to people if a little boy wants to wear nail polish? I thought the hoopla surrounding the advertisement was nuts.
The other day, Liam saw my blue painted toes and asked if I would paint his for him. I said, "Sure." To which his daddy admittedly disagreed. He made a comment like, "Boy's don't wear nail polish, that's for girls!" This was infuriating to me. Maybe it's because of all of the family/child/gender studies classes that I took in college, but I could see that my husband was imposing a horrible stereotype on my son right in front of me, and I was having none of it.
When Liam went to bed, we talked about it. Soon Joe agreed that it really isn't an issue if he wants his nails painted, but he said that he still just had this inner voice telling him it was not ok. It was then that I realized how ingrained these gender stereotypes are. He was firmly against it earlier in the night without really knowing why. It was just the "feeling" that he had when it was brought up.
I think that it is so strange that when girls like "boy things" (trucks, climbing trees, playing sports) it's not "proper", but it's ok. She's just a Tom Boy, but when a boy likes "girl things" there is something wrong that needs to be fixed. Liam's favorite toy from his first birthday on, was a pink shopping cart that he picked out with his birthday money from his Great Grandma D. Even then, Joe was unsure of this being an acceptable purchase.