Friday, November 16, 2012

Pronoun Gender Benders

I cannot be the only one…who noticed that my son gravitated towards “boy” toys as soon as he was able to move around on his own.  I spend my time leaping over fire trucks, dodging light sabers, and keeping my son from using his plastic saw on our furniture.  We have a lack of Barbies and My Little Pony’s in our house and it is not because I refuse “girl” toys entry into my home, it is simply because my son is not interested in those toys. Although I accept my son’s gender specific toy choices with ease there are those who believe the types of toys a child is given to play with determines their gender role for life. I don’t agree with that assumption, my son’s choice of playthings happened without prompting from my husband or myself; my son’s choices are inherent and organic.

I recently read a New York Times article in which a preschool in Sweden has nixed the use of the pronouns of “he” and “she” from the school and is replacing them with “friend” or “friends” to promote equality between the sexes. Although I think this is an interesting idea, I couldn’t help feeling how unnecessary it seemed, and as though the preschool is promoting a genderless environment, which is not the way of the world. Personally I love to watch my son do classic “boy” things, the way he thinks burps are the funniest things ever, the excitement in his eyes when a police car drives by with its siren blaring, and his patience at perfecting his swing of a baseball bat.  On the other side of the gender-coin, I also love watching the girls at my son’s preschool round up all the Barbies while wearing their pink dresses and sparkly shoes.  The contrast between little boys and girls make them what they are now, who they may become in the future, and part of what makes growing up interesting.

I cannot be the only one that has seen a little boy, who has no toy guns at home, eat his grilled cheese sandwich into the shape of a gun and shoot at the TV.  As well as I am sure your little precious daughter never watched you dress up in a ball gown while wearing a tiara, but she still loves to dress up like a princess.  Children are born knowing what they like and what they don’t, I cannot be the only one who thinks that the types of toys we give to our children is definitely not responsible for determining their sense of gender…right?

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