Im sure that some of us have come across the Facebook post about the young boy who wanted to wear pink shoes to pre-kindergarten. Sam is only 5 years old when this was posted and was a confident young boy about what he wanted to wear. His mom tried to explain to him that the pink shoes were meant for girls, yet he did not care because “ninjas wore pink shoes too”. Parents and children have two separate mindsets however. Kids think that these shoes are great, yet parents don’t think that that is acceptable for him to wear solely based on the color.
In the text Wood discusses the idea of parental communication about gender. Boys are more persuaded to not play house and girls may be dissuaded from engaging in physically aggressive sports. Overall, gender socialization is more rigid for boys than it is for girls. It is more accepted for a girl to do more masculine activity rather than for a young boy to do a feminine activity. I think that this post is a message to all of us out there to let, if we decide to have kids, let them be who they are. In this case, Sam wanted to wear the shoes not because they were pink… but because his favorite animal is a zebra.
Recently I came across this video and it stuck a chord with me because of what we have been covering in class. I was willing to sit through the 7 minute video because I believe that there was an incredibly personal story behind it. Milla was born a girl, but from an extremely young age he identified as a male. Growing up Milla liked to dress in boy clothes, underwear, played with boys toys and even liked Batman, Spiderman, Bob the Builder and Ninja Turtles. Milla was diagnosed with gender dysphoria or the fact that Milla’s gender did not line up with the feelings inside. Milla was born a female but his brain identifies as a male. Though I do not know much about this, I could only imagine how hard it must have been for him.
In class we covered what transgender was, and it refers to individuals who feel that their biologically assigned sex does not match their true sexual identity — they are women, despite having male bodies, or men, despite having female bodies. This video was a great example of how this can affect transpeople of all ages. They do not have to be in their teens or late adulthood… Some may know as young as Milla.
I am sure we have all experienced something along the lines much like the people in the PSA with not being in your “correct” gender norms. For example I knew many girls in high school that played softball but many others thought that was not a sport women should play. Another example is being in a situation when you tell a young boy not to be a “wimp”. We have all done it, but we are all more aware of the implications it can have later on.
In class we have been going over the idea of gender boxes in which the society around us puts us in. However, I do not think that people outside of taking a gender class realize this. I did a basic google search about breaking the gender norms and stumbled upon this wonderful PSA. Both men and women have these ideas of what society wants us to be, but it is up to us in order to break them. This video is a great example of the “Act Like a Man” Box others are always challenging each other or putting one another down and testing our own boxes.