Christmas is just around the corner but this week, I've been knee deep in the Festival of Lights (more commonly referred to as Hanukkah).
Two days ago on my award winning* Twitter account, I posted this:
Although I was kidding, I realize that this may have painted a picture of me that isn’t completely accurate—that I’m concerned with my son’s gender identity and want to make sure he plays with “boy” toys.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. I really don’t care what toys he plays with. He’s got enough toy cars to open a dealership, but if he wants to play with the Ken doll we have lovingly dubbed “naked” Steve (because of the Bean’s continued and steadfast refusal to keep it’s clothes on) I’m seriously fine with it. I would be hypocritical not to. Growing up, I spent just as many hours playing kitchen or Barbies with my little sister as she did playing ball or knock-hockey with me.
On the other hand, there are some who feel strongly that toys should be divided amongst gender lines. I have a friend who can’t stomach the thought of his boys playing with anything “girly”. He gets seriously bent out of shape at the implication that his sons are anything less than brimming with testosterone. And he has no sense of humor about this. I dunno, maybe he's watched too many episodes of Mad Men.
Keeping up traditional gender lines feels like such an antiquated parenting notion, but surprisingly, it still exists today. Why is there such pressure for boys to like "boy" things. There doesn't seem to be as much pressure for a girl to like "girl" things.
What about you? Do you think toys define gender or the other way around? Do you care if your son or daughter plays with toys of the “opposite” gender?
*Okay, maybe not “award winning” but my mom thinks it’s funny.
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