A moon update and further reflections

Yesterday I told you about the moon lamp I’d bought for Elinor and how it was marketed as being good for space mad boys and their dads. This lunchtime I got an email from the company saying they were now aware of this and would retract this message. Result! And so quick. So that’s good.

In the meantime I’d been looking at the Let Toys be Toys campaign who kindly RT’d my blog post. I got a lot of Twitter replies (and a couple of comments) with all sorts of different responses – all of them helpful, and all them as equally valid as my own complaint. So I thought I’d follow up and tell you all about them. One person told me about her mother who makes handcrafted gifts and finds it incredibly hard to source supplies that will allow her to make a good range of things for boys – the rag dolls are all girls, for example.

Another mother told me that her son had a doll taken from him by a girl who told him dolls weren’t for boys. They were both two years old. A colleague in my TUC course told me about how incredibly hard it was to find a toy oven for her son who loved cooking. We should think about what this does to boys too. Let Toys be Toys most read blog post is one that explores this very issue.

boysOn International Men’s Day this year a picture did the rounds on Twitter. It was a list written by a group of nine-year old boys who were asked what they didn’t like about being a boy. Here’s what they said:

  • Not able to be a mother
  • Not suppost (sic) to cry
  • Not allowed to be a cheerleader
  • Suppost to do all the work
  • Suppost to like violence
  • Suppost to play football
  • Boys smell bad
  • Having an automatic bad reputation
  • Grow hair everywhere

Isn’t that the saddest thing you’ve read? A bunch of nine- year olds – nine, ffs – think they’re supposed to be violent. And if you need any evidence of how badly we treat young people in this country, try dealing with nine-year olds who already know they have an automatic bad reputation, just by being there. It’s really awful.

I thought the comment about not being able to be a mother was interesting too. They’ve picked up that we value mums more? Or their dads are at work a lot and they don’t see them?

Anyway, while I’m fighting the good fight for the girls, we should really consider the bum deal this serves to boys too. Who are we serving with this pigeonholing?

*Thanks to everyone who commented or got in contact. 

This entry was posted in Motherhood, Observations and general nonsense, Parenting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A moon update and further reflections

  1. aviets says:

    Wow, this is powerful. And this is why we bought our son a baby doll when he was two. Thanks for bringing up an important issue!

  2. Olivia says:

    You’ve made such valid points here.
    My daughter is coming up to her first christmas and the only toys she ever wants to play with are cars. Loves cars. A relative of mine has went out of her way to locate the pink version of V Techs toot toot garage because ‘she’s a girl’. A similar argument arose when I brought a friends son a toy tool box and a frozen doll for his birthday because that’s what his mum asked for. His grandad was horrified that his grandson wanted a doll.
    I don’t mind if my LO grows up wanting to exclusively play with dolls or wear pink so long as she realises that she can do because those are the things she likes not because that’s what she HAS to like because she’s a girl.
    It’s an odd link to make, and in no way am I saying that she is mother of the year, but Kim Kardashian’s Instagram posts of her daughter are full of people claiming they need to dress her ‘more like a girl’
    Sorry these points are all completely linked to your post but they were just the thoughts I had when I was reading.
    Keep up the good fight!
    Olivia x

  3. Great article. Valuable perspective to share. I wrote a gender story for a local Kindergarten class to help the children understand and accept a boy in the class who drew dresses, brought a doll to school and wore nail polish. The story was called Anansi and the Red Dress (inspired by the Anansi the Spider folktales. The children loved it and I believe it helped generate greater acceptance and understanding. Thanks for writing your article. I will have to share the Anansi story on my blog some time.

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