Gender Shmender

My friend Vanessa and I had this very long, drawn-out discussion of the influence of dolls on young girls, and of marketing of sexualized toys to girls, etc. the other night over margaritas. Yes, I do most of my sorting out of world problems while under the influence of alcohol. To make a long story short, we are both very concerned about the media and other outside influences on our daughters, and about how we can minimize these influences in their lives.

The funny thing? I didn’t need to be worrying about my daughter at all. She doesn’t give a shit yet which bib I put on her at the dinner table. Rollie, though? The morning after margaritas with Vanessa, I asked him to put a bib on before breakfast, and walk over to the table to find him wearing Tiller’s Disney Princesses bib. He then proceeded to put his Bass Pro Shops hat on Tiller and appropriated her white Easter hat, the one with the big white bow, for the ride to school.

Ain’t nobody gonna put my kids in a gender pigeonhole. Nobody.

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3 Responses to “Gender Shmender”

  1. Dorothy Gould says:

    I love it, go Rollie!

    About how you can lessen the media and other influences….I find just not buying into it has worked well. I tivo shows for Sophie to watch, so she hasn’t really seen any commercials. I think we are doing ok, she is 5 1/2 and could care less about Barbies. Plus she thinks the Bratz dolls are “bratty”. This could all change next year with the onset of Kindergarten, but I hope not!

  2. Nat says:

    Dorothy –If Sophie doesn’t like Barbie yet then you may be safe. The Barbie/Princess switch went on for Carmella the day after she turned 2 (and it is still as bright as ever.) Clifford was out and Barbie was in. It had nothing to do with commercials as she only watched PBS at that time. I am still perplexed as to how it happened. I think maybe it is a recessive genetic trait as I never played with Barbie. Just count yourself lucky not to be overwhelmed by the Barbie accessories as it is maddening–the tiny shoes, purses and hats.

    Anne, sorry to hijack. You are lucky that your kids are so flexible with the gender. My kids are pigeoned holed. It is very black and white, girl/boy here. I couldn’t even get Beau to wear a pair of Carmella’s white socks last year(couldn’t find any for him) because they had a barely visible scalloped edge. You wouldn’t have seen the socks as they would have been hidden in the cowboy boots. So he went sockless and took his blister like a man.

  3. Dogwood Girl says:

    Dorothy – we do the same thing. Tivo a couple shows. I find that he hears some stuff at school, but so far, really is immune to the whole marketing thing. I think the challenge really will be when they get older and the influence of their peers sets in.

    Nat – My kids definitely do naturally go towards the “gender-specific” toys. A lot of what I write on here is [gasp] somewhat for effect. Tiller loves dolls. I bought her a Cabbage Patch kid, which she doesn’t really play with. Todd’s mom, on the other hand, never had girls. She has gone CRAZY with the dolls. Todd and I wonder if she buys them and then holds on to them for a couple weeks so she can play with them first. anyway, Tiller loves anything she can hug and cuddle (which is weird, because Rollie didn’t do any of that). So, she seems to have this innate desire to nurture, which is good, I guess, but also weird, because I don’t think i really have that. I tend to be a hard ass with the kids.
    Rollie also chooses the gender stuff – trucks trains, trucks train. Did I mention cars? If we get any more matchbox cars up in here, I am going to have to build an addition.

    That’s another thing that kind of bothers me – A lot of the car stuff for boys has Nascar stuff on it. rollie doesn’t really get that, though.

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