Things that make you go, hmmm.

Ok, I’m going to get serious here for a moment, and (potentially) controversial. Every night, we watch the previous night’s episode of The Daily Show. Last night’s episode opened with a story about a J. Crew ad that was “sparking controversy.” You can read more about it here.

Basically, the ad featured a mom smiling with her 5 year old son. Innocent enough. It gets ugly when you see that the boy’s toe nails are painted neon pink, and there’s a bottle of nail polish on the table. That’s where people freak out. One psychologist claimed that this type of behavior shows how “our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity.” Seriously? Because I don’t see it that way at all. In fact, I see it the opposite. Perhaps we are finally getting to a point where we can comfortably abandon gender stereotypes. And that can only be good in my opinion.

Why shouldn’t little boys be allowed to do things that are “traditionally” considered to be feminine? It’s quite the double standard if you ask me. And it’s just sad. We’re so homophobic as a society that any hint of femininity in a man automatically creates speculation that said man might be….gasp!….gay! That’s so frustrating to me, and I’m not even a man! I’m just imagining the opposite of this situation. We’re all about telling our little girls that they can do anything that boys can do. They can play sports, they can be doctors, they can wear pants and baseball caps, they can get their hands dirty, etc. We tell them that they don’t have to be stay-at-home moms, but can have careers. We tell them that they don’t have to like baking, and shopping, and babies. Why don’t we have the same attitude about little boys? What are we so afraid of? Letting a little boy play with a baby doll or bake cookies or even wear nail polish isn’t going to make him less of a boy. And it’s certainly not going to make him gay if that’s the fear. So what’s the problem I wonder? And why the double standard?

This sort of thing just bugs me. If we ever have a son who wants to play house with his big sister or get his toe nails painted while I’m painting hers, so be it. Just like I never want to tell my daughter that she can’t do something because she’s a girl and “girls don’t do that”, I also don’t want to say anything along those lines to my (possible future) son. Maybe that makes me a crazy, liberal hippy, but it’s just how I feel.