Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tom-boys and Sissys

I was listening to Radio 2 yesterday (yes through choice) and specifically an interview with Beck Laxton and the furore surrounding her bringing up her son in a "gender neutral" environment.  The interview was built up in such a way that I expected to hear a wacko, instead heard an eloquent woman basically saying that she was allowing her son to choose what he could play with or wear because he had access to traditionally "boys" and "girls" clothing and toys.

I have a tutu too!
After listening for about 5 seconds I struggled to see the news value, if she lets  her son dress up in a tutu then what's the big deal?  I have a cracking photo of my son and his friends, all aged about 7,  dressed up my daughter's dressing up clothes.  (Sorry Luke, I promise I won't post it - unless I get paid A LOT of money that is!)   In fact I have known quite a few men to relish dressing up as women for fancy dress and panto - and to my knowledge my son is not amongst them.  Husband, yes (an ugly sister) but son, no.

I have some sympathy when she talks about environments being gender biased, I get irritated that I can't buy much for girls that doesn't refer to a princess of some kind of other, or isn't a lurid pink.  Some days minutes, C will play with her cars...then with her babies and teddies.  

During the interview Beck Laxton asked what the boy equivalent of the respectable sounding "tomboy"?  She said it was probably "sissy" or something with an equally derogatory intention.  She has a point.  Little boys playing with mummy's (or nanny's!) nail varnish only want to because children copy the adults in their lives, cue someone to say "boys don't wear nail varnish".  Didn't something similar happen in a film about a boy who wanted to learn ballet instead of boxing?

I'm no scientist, but as a mum and nan I believe biological gender differences will out sooner or later anyway.  Pah, let kids be kids I say.

Playing with the garage

Her new campervan is the current favourite







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