#notbuyingit-part two

I wrote a post last night about how I was upset about the gender stereotyping that occurs at stores like Gymboree and Old Navy for Halloween (and all year long really) and I made a terrible and glaringly awful mistake in that post. I forgot about the boys.

And it is because I totally got called out by this comment from reader Dave (highlighting is mine), that I am writing this now.

...gender stereotyping starts much too young and invades far too much of our society. As bad as it is for the girls who want to be an EMT or Astronaut, and it is really bad, it is even worse in the opposite direction. That’s right, if girls are highly stereotyped as ‘Pretty’, then the degree of stereotyping aimed at boys is far, FAR worse. It is so bad that it is not even recognized as stereotyping – indignation is expressed against the lack of images of girls as pirates or dragons, but no mention is ever made of the lack of boys as butterflies or flowers. The image of girls in traditional ‘boy’ roles may be having trouble breaking into the mainstream, but the image of boys in traditional ‘girl’ roles is almost universally viewed as “queer”, “gay”, or “immoral” to the point where it is never seen and virtually never mentionedI note that it is not mentioned in your own blog. If we want to see gender equality, then both sides of this inequality have to be addressed...

To be perfectly honest, I didn't quite forget about the boys, I was thinking about them the whole time I was writing the post and struggling with my own ingrained stereotypes.

Because here is the thing...

Even though Natural Urban Dad and I  have not purposely focused on anything particularly gender specific for our children, we are the parents of a superhero, dinosaur, Transformers, and Hero Factory loving boy and a puppy dogs, unicorns , Hello Kitty and fairy loving girly girl. Now that is not to say that at any given point in our house there may in fact be a tea party happening with fairies, puppies AND Transformers all enjoying a sip or two kids running around the house roaring  like the scary T-rex's that they are while wearing their baby dolls on their backs, but for all intents and purposes I am a mama to two kids who A) love each other a whole lot and B) who have pretty specific and somewhat traditional likes and dislikes.

And why wouldn't they?

I am quite the girly girl myself. I like to wear skirts and dresses and jewelry and have pretty shoes and painted toenails and all that jazz. I like to have tea parties (or coffee playdates as we mamas like to call them) and go shopping and I happen to have a love of all things fey as well.

{Case in point: My new sparkly 'Goddess' shoes!}

And Natural Urban Dad is a {ridiculously gorgeous} superhero nerd, who loves his comic books, will never wear pink (although a nice lavender is OK) and firmly believes that all of life's important lessons can be learned from the likes of Superman, Spiderman and The Avengers.

{And it is a key factor in his decorating choices as well.}

Somehow, without quite meaning to do so, not only have we have created  two incredibly lovable and beautiful little creatures, but we have also quite literally created them in our own images!

This is not a bad thing at all, it just means that I need to be a bit more honest about my own thoughts and feelings about gender inequality and stereotypes that exist in this world and in the reality that is my kids lives as well. Am I still upset about the ad images and marketing that kids stores use? YES! Absolutely. Costumes are just that, costumes. To be used to inspire imagination and role play and for kids to pretend to be anything they want to be. Be it a flower, a bug, an astronaut or a dragon. But like Dave said, until we address this from both sides of the gender coin this inequality and stereotyping will continue unchecked.

No one illustrated these points better than my dear friend Alex in this incredible post about her son and his wings! Please read it and know although I am still #notbuyingit from Gymboree, Old Navy or any of the 'girl' this and 'boy' that toys and products that companies keep shoving down our throats, I will likely have a Minnie Mouse and a Zombie on my hands come Halloween this year.

Of course, because he is my son, that zombie may in fact be a daddy zombie wearing his baby zombie in a carrier on his back.

Who knows....?

Till tomorrow,

Natasha~

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This is Day 20 of the 31 Days of the Summer Blog Challenge.

Comments and retweets and sharing makes us all feel special.

Go do some of that over at these blogs too! Thank you.

Zita at The Dulock Diaries.

Meaghan at MagzD Life

April at This Mom’s Got Something to Say

Aramelle at One Wheeler’s World

 Jessica at 2plus2X2

and Liam at In the Now