So as you all know I have birthed a bundle boy joy who is growing everyday. No one in my immediate family has raised a boy before so everything is new and exciting, aka crazy. This idea has surfaced from friends and family to raise my son as a tough guy. What is a tough guy?
Malgorzata Wolska defines stereotypes in this article as:
People organize their knowledge about the world around them by sorting and simplifying received information. Therefore, they create cognitive schemes, which are certain representations of the reality displaying its most typical and fundamental elements and properties. These schemes are responsible for defining the essence of our worldview and have a significant influence on social cognition – understanding, anticipation, situation and emotion control.
Last Halloween I put Action Jackson in a Captain America costume. I picked it because it had these little foam muscles which made my peanut look buff. I don’t know why I thought that was so cute. I just did. After watching the Tough Guy Guise I realized that I was feeding into a male stereotype that’s been plaguing our nation for decades now.
Who says that his muscles define a man? Why is image so important? I’m putting the same social pressure on my son as Hollywood and television put on women with their bodies. I’ll be honest the only toys I bought Jackson are boy toys until I noticed he started liking horses.
Well, if you have been in a toy aisle lately you will notice that boy horse toys are few and far between. So I took the dive and bought him a walking girl horse toy. He loved it. I’m pretty sure it’s one if his favorite toys. I saw nothing wrong with buying him a girl toy. He plays with then at home all the time with my niece’s mermaids.
If girl toddlers want to spend their time playing with dollies – and they do – and if small boys want to spend their time constructing things out of Lego where exactly is the social benefit in frustrating their natural urges?
On the other spectrum of this argument I’m not going to put my son in a dress and heels. I also don’t want him to feel like I’m so against this tough guy guise that he has to be ultra girly. I’m all for making my son into a nice gentlemen who treats women with respect and kindness, but since when has that made a man girly.
Why is society making our children neutral? Why is that so important?
Boys were made to be boys and girls were made to be girls. Once our children grow of age to decide that’s not the way the want to live then so let it be. Don’t drill it into our children’s head that they are not allowed to do the things or enjoy the toys society deemed uneutral.
Boys don’t have to be ultra tough either. I saw the video of the world’s strongest boy and it made me a little said that he gets to miss out on the normal everyday activities that little boys should be able to do. The image of men has changed so drastically in the past years from movies to magazines men are put on a different level with the way they are suppose to look, act, feel or show their emotional. We are all different in our own ways and we should be able to choice our own paths in life and not have people pick our destiny for us.
I know I want Jackson to be free to choice what he looks like, acts and feels.