Going on from bluemilk’s post on Masculinity and the fear of losing it and Mena’s comment is allowing our girls to wear nail polish and dress up in pink enabling femininity? Are we giving our daughters the wrong message?
From a personal perspective, I would say no because I allow both my son and daughter the opportunity to dress up if they like. If I’m playing around with nail polish [yes I’ve discovered a liking for polished toe nails, it makes me happy] and my daughter wants her toe nails polished too, then I do it. If my son is interested then I paint his nails as well. Although increasingly he is going with the flow that is the onslaught of masculinity that bluemilk mentions. I don’t think that I am necessarily teaching my daughter a bad thing i.e. women sometimes have polished toenails. Nor do I worry if she is wearing pink. She looks good in it and she likes bright colours. Some days she will choose pink, other days green, blue, brown, red, orange, purple or yellow. Same as her brother although finding bright clothes for boys is a right PITA. I don’t think completely banning pink from our girls wardrobes (very difficult any way) is the solution as then there is just one less colour choice in a limited range of choices and it seems a little silly to say that pink is only for boys who are being bought up by feminist mothers. I’m not actually suggesting that anyone has said this, but taking it well past its logical conclusion… I prefer teaching my children that pink is just another colour, a lovely bright colour that anyone can use and wear.
I think that the urge to decorate ourselves has been around for eons and as such I don’t have an issue with it. However, when it becomes an expectation that society holds that Person A will dress in this way and do this that and the other so that she is acceptable I have an issue with it. For example I don’t have an issue with school uniforms because it means that all students are easily recognisable as belonging to a particular school and a host other reasons that are O/T for this post. I do have an issue with a work place that stipulates that women must wear high heels, pantihose and skirts. I think you can still have a uniform that is practical, smart and comfortable without telling your female workforce that they must injure their feet, legs etc and wear clothing that at times can be quite impractical. I don’t have an issue with skirts, I’m wearing one today, I have an issue with skirts being the only option.
Likewise with dolls. I don’t have an issue with either of my children playing with dolls, or with cars or whatever toy one has that the other then immediately wants. Today it was an orange ball with green stars. My tactic is to say to them both – yes you can [play with dolls, cars, lego, Star Wars], rather than to one – no you can’t. I just hope that it works. Sometimes it is hard.
So, what do you think?