You’ve got to be carefully taught

I didn’t mention in the last post that when we went on our weekend getaway, we were able to meet up with other blog friends. They don’t blog anymore, but perhaps some of you will recognize the cherubic round face and silky blonde hair of their son, O, in these pictures. He’s 6 months younger than Curly and the two made very good playmates…

Chasing each other through a store

Sweetly holding hands

Seeing the boys holding hands was adorable, and they did so for a good few minutes. I don’t know when boys learn it’s no longer “cool” to do that, but it does sadden me to know that one day, society will teach Curly and his friends that it’s not socially acceptable to be affectionate with each other, regardless of what we tell him.

This morning, Nutella was wearing a headband and he asked “What’s that?” She told him, and without prompting he said, “For girls?” Already he is learning that it’s girls who wear accessories in their hair, not boys. And although we tell him boys can wear them, too (and Nutella did get one for him to wear), it’s going to be more than obvious to him soon what is ‘expected’ of his sex.

*Coincidentally, the boys were both wearing blue that day! ๐Ÿ˜›

12 responses to “You’ve got to be carefully taught

  1. Curly looks so grown up! I love his sweatshirt, too. It does break my heart how both boys and girls are socialized, but you are giving him a great foundation for understanding…and, later analyzing this gendered world. In the meantime, you are obviously enjoying the sweetness.

  2. Erik and one of his male friends at school are still very affectionate with each other, hugging each other frequently. I’m happy he’s still cool with that but I know it won’t last much longer. We’ve already been through the “that’s a girl’s toy” and “pink is a girl’s colour” phase. And one day Ian told me that a boy has a penis and a girl has a dress! Where is he getting that? He has two moms who NEVER wear dresses! Ugh.

  3. Aw, they are so cute! (And I miss O’s mom in the blogosphere.)

  4. The hand holding is so sweet. I get sad sometimes already thinking about the gender boxes Goldie will be put in. But I agree that you two are giving/going to give Curly a great foundation for understanding some of these complicated issues.

  5. I frequently think about these issues of gender socialization. I know S. and I will vow to do everything we can to combat them but I also know that our tiny household and its norms versus the rest of the world and which side will speak louder to the turtles.

  6. Gosh, look at how cute they are! I just love it when Lucas hugs his little friends and blows them kisses…. I guess it may fade as he gets older, but I hope it doesn’t.

    Speaking of hugs, I hope that maybe Curly and Lucas can have a play date one of these days– surely ending in a goodbye hug! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Nutella, when you were about 4 1/2 your best friend was a boy. He decided he didn’t want to play with you anymore, he wanted to play with boys. You really missed him. Maybe curly will have a better view of who it is OK to play with and gender will mean less to him.

  8. Isn’t it a shame how children are not able to just be who they are, to like what they like, to wear what they want to wear?

    On that note, one of my dear, dear friends made this video… you might enjoy it. (I should actually post it on my blog too.)

  9. They are so darling! It is too bad that gender defines so much. Hopefully curly will outlast the pressure.

  10. super cute. it is so hard to try to teach gender neutrality when the world is bombarding kids with other ideas. when hook was in daycare we used to pick him up and he would have tons of barrettes in his hair because he loved them. when i mentioned it the other day he said “those are for girls” – granted he is 7 now and i doubt the little hellions he goes to school with would be so open but it made me a little sad.

  11. I love the picture of them playing chase in the store. I’m glad you all had a chance to spend some time together!

    One of the things about having b/g twins is that they get to play with the other’s toys/accessories. My son LOVES his sister’s hair clips and we let him wear them and anything else he wants. We never say “this or that thing is for girls/boys” but I know eventually someone else will. One of our favorite books is the Bearinstein(?) Bears, He Bear She Bear because it teaches that you can do anything or be anyone whether you are he or she. It’s a great read if you don’t already have it!

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