I had a conversation with my brother in law’s girlfriend about how my brother in law mentioned to her about her son riding a pink bike. The bike wasn’t totally pink. It was black with pink wheels on it. She mentioned that she didn’t see anything wrong with the color pink for a boy and my brother in law was being ridiculous as to say that anything a boy wears or have that is pink is ‘girly’. Now I think she thought that I would agree with her, but I didn’t. I put it to her this way, “I don’t understand what it is like being a boy. Maybe there is some type of code that we (women) don’t understand that suggest that a boy or a man wearing or having anything pink is ‘feminine’. I let my husband raise our sons the way he sees fit. Maybe some men feel this way because they have seen other boys get picked on or beat up for being too feminine and don’t want their sons to be put in that situation to be bullied. It’s like men telling us that we shouldn’t wear makeup, wear cocktail dresses, and high heels because it makes us look like a whore. Where in actuality, it makes us look pretty. As long as my husband doesn’t teach our sons to bully boys who decide to wear pink, I let my husband decide what appropriate attire is because I’m not a boy.”
I notice on many mommy online forums that talk about boys wearing girly colors, clothes, and having girly toys say how ridiculous it is for people to think that certain colors, clothes, and toys should be specified to one gender. Not only that, I notice that there are only women who doesn’t see a problem with boys playing with girly toys or wearing girly things. What do their husbands say? Where are the men in this issue of boys wearing girly things or playing with girly toys? Do men agree the way some women agree about a boy wearing pink and playing with girly toys and dressing in girly attire? I’m curious to know because I haven’t ran into an article written by a man that agrees that boys should wear pink and play with girly toys.
As women, we don’t know the ‘rules or guidelines’ as to what being a boy entails. For women to say that men or women who feel that a boy shouldn’t wear girly colors and playing with girly toys is ridiculous never grew up as a boy. Women haven’t dealt with what boys go through in order to be seen as a man in THIS society as far as being seen as weak or feminine if you wear a certain color or if their voice is too high, or if they are too short or if their handshake isn’t strong or firm enough.
To my initial question: Do you see color? Yes, I do. I want to protect my sons from being bullied if they decide to play with girly toys or wearing girly clothes and I don’t see anything wrong with that. If I knew that my sons would be beaten up and bullied, then it’s my right as a parent to protect them at all cost until they are old enough to defend themselves. You may say, “Well you’re teaching your sons that certain gender play certain roles and you’re teaching your sons to be chauvinistic. You’re teaching your sons not to be themselves.” I would have to disagree. You teach your children about gender roles by showing your child in your household that both genders are capable of doing the same chores. What we are doing is protecting our sons by showing them what is expected in terms of appearance and attitude growing from a boy to a man. It’s like going to work. You are expected to behave a certain way, dress a certain way, and talk a certain way in order to keep your job or according to an employee handbook. If you deviate from those rules, you are subject to losing your job; in a man’s case, their subject to lose their manhood, masculinity, and respect from other men. I thought being a woman was hard in terms of self esteem and body image, men don’t have it any easier.
So before you jump down someone’s throat on an online forum or in person just because a parent decide not to dress little Bobby in that pink tutu that he saw at the store, think of this in a man’s perspective instead. Unless you’re a man, you would never understand what a man goes through as far as achieving their manhood. What women may see as a ridiculous point of view of what a man should be differs from what reality sees that man to be between other men. Unless a man wants to stand up to other men saying, “Yes, I wear pink and play with Barbie dolls. Do you have a problem with that” to other men and it’s acceptable to other men, then for the protection of my sons, I will choose BLUE.