my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

August 4, 2012

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me

everybody always told me that raising boys and girls would be different. but really, i never believed them. because they were also the people that really followed the gender lines hard and straight. i, on the other hand, was always fine if my boys wanted to have a tea party or if my girl wanted to play with monster trucks. if it's something that's safe and age appropriate, who is to say that it has to be only for boys or only for girls?

i hate how toys sections are divided up, with shelves in the "girl" section actually pink, filled with barbies and baby dolls and dress up clothes. i hate to say it, but my little fishie girl likes to play with all her brothers' old toys, "boy" toys, and i'm fine with it. she runs around the yard with them, using nerf guns to shoot monsters and aliens. they've helped set up their matchbox tracks and she likes to jump the cars with the best of them. and her dino roar is even better then bumble's. and on the other side of things, bumble has played with her baby dolls with her, showed her how to feed them with the plastic bottles and rock them to sleep.

i know i've said it before, but if playing makes a child happy, and it is safe and age appropriate, i don't care if it's something that comes in a pink or blue box. and it seems that a lot of people don't have a problem if it's girls playing with boy toys, somehow that's empowerment, but a boy playing with girl toys is strange and wrong.

double standards suck, and i hate that it's still part of the world my kids have to grow up in. i try to explain that just because somebody else says that it's wrong, it's not necessarily bad, and they shouldn't feel bad for their choices. i consider respect to be the most important quality to teach my kids, respect for themselves, respect for others, and especially respect for those that are different from them. i've already had a conversation with my boys about how sometimes people are different, they do different things and believe in different things, and respect doesn't mean changing our beliefs, but letting them believe what they want as long as they respect my boys also. and bumble, at least, has shown me that he gets it.

and i know there are those that don't agree with how i'm raising my kids. even people i know personally have told me that i'm making my boys "soft" by letting them play with the toys they want and the games they want. which makes me sad for my boys, because it's not fair to them. it's a fact that fish will have the freedom growing up to wear pants and play in the dirt like a boy, and most will think she's a tom-boy and leave it at that. but if my boys try to wear a skirt i know i would never hear the end of it.

i know i've gone off on a rant here. and it's not the first time i talked about gender roles and double standards on this blog. for fishie's first halloween, i dressed her as a dragon, because i have a thing for group costumes, and her brother's decided to be knights. you can read that post here. later, i was told i was it was wrong to dress her as a dragon, i should have dressed her as a princess because she is a girl. it makes me so sad to think that people think it's ok to say things like that to people. what right do they have to force their values on other people?

i know that not everybody agrees with me, and i don't expect them to. and if anyone has a problem with the things i say here, they need to understand that everything i write is my thoughts on my life, and it's my personal opinion. and they totally have the freedom to not read. i just really wish they would respect my right to raise my children in the way that i see fit.

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