I had a friend come over the other day, and Son # 4 was enjoying the tv time he’d earned after completing his worksheets for the day. His approved Netflix pick? My Little Pony. We were snuggled up enjoying a 20 minute episode when this person clued me into their astonishment that I was actually letting, and completely ok with, my boy watch such a ‘girly’ show. Wasn’t I afraid it would damage him? Or worse, make him effeminate?! Uh, no. Just no.
What hate-filled, judgmental side of the bed did you get up on this morning? Do you have children, boys or girls?!
He is 4. 4! What healthy 4 year old wouldn’t be drawn to the colorful, playful, happy ponies.
He will have the rest of his life struggling to find himself a midst being pressured by the worlds idea of gender stereo types. My only concern right now is to let him be himself. He can watch, and like, whatever he wants. He will grow up secure in the fact the whoever the man he grows up to be is, his Mama will always love him.
Brave is one of his favorite Pixar movies to date. Before that it was cars. When he was in his cars faze, Santa brought him Lightning McQueen & Radiator Springs toys. This Christmas he wanted a Merida doll so badly. Every time we were in the toy Isle, he pointed to one he had to have. I could have tried to appease my stereo-typically obsessed, black & white line acquaintances and say it could be just that Merida sounds very similar to his beautiful Aunt Meredith’s name. I could have tried to come up with some other excuse to explain away his infatuation. But, there isn’t one, and I didn’t feel the need to defend him or my choices. Simply put, Son # 4 idolizes the pretty red-headed princess. While he got plenty of gender ‘appropriate’ toys (if there even is such a thing), he also was elated when he tore open a package to reveal, you guess it, not only the coveted Merida barbie doll, but also her horse Angus, and a plastic replica of her bow, that was covered in glitter.
Is he wrong? No, he’s simply a little boy who likes what he likes. If it’s a healthy, age appropriate like, I will support him 100%, from now until I’m no longer on this Earth. There’s a whole world waiting for him, and it’s filled with countless people who will judge him for every little decision he makes, even if it’s something as simple as preferring pink over blue. What he will always know is that he doesn’t have to care what they think. He is free, at least within his own family, to always be who he is without fear of judgment.
Hell, I am PROUD of him. Out of all the Princesses he could have chosen to Idolize, he chose Merida. He chose a strong, brave young woman who herself, fought against her stereotypical role. If that’s the kind of woman he respects now, I will worry a whole lot less when it’s time for him to date and when he’s found a woman he loves enough to marry. Women can be strong, brave, go against the grain, and that in itself is beautiful. I’m raising four boys to be men who respect women. They want an equal partner, a best friend, not a doormat.
Ok. Rant over.