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.
I completely agree with this post! The pressure to fulfill gender norms as a child has become such a huge problem, especially in the United States. I hope that in the future parents can understand that the pressures they put on their children can effect them for their entire lives. I remember when I was a child I begged my mom for a short haircut in the 4th grade. Of course, because my Mom let me do anything that involved my gender, she let me. But as soon as I got my hair cut the people around me, excluding my family, ridiculed me. Thankfully my mom who knew that this was going to happen comforted me. Because of this, however, I will never, ever get a short hair cut.
I totally agree with you Laura! Boys have it much harder when it comes to rigid gender roles. Girls can dress in whatever they please to experiment, but boys are questioned if they blur the lines slightly. I think it’s interesting that it’s frowned upon for boys to wear pink because I grew up thinking it was normal. My grandfather’s favorite color has always been pink so we’ve always bought presents and dressed in pink.
I completely agree with your thoughts on allowing children to wear whatever they want and let them play with whatever they want. Although parents have an influence over what their children see appropriate for their gender, parents need to be open to let children decide for themselves as well. My parents allowed my sisters and I to play with whatever we wanted and dressed however we wanted, so in the end result we ended up being ourselves instead of what we thought we needed to be.
I think that the boy has the right idea Laura. The fact that parents and kids are having two separate mindsets can cause confusion for self expression. I do agree that boys have a more rigid gender socialization than girls. If I do have kids I will keep this post in mind for later years in life.