Pressure to Conform
Today I had a heartbreaking conversation with my 5 year old daughter. It went something like this.
Daughter: When my friends come over, I often hide all my super hero toys.
Me: Why’s that honey?
D: I don’t want them to think I’m weird, Daddy.
M: What do you mean, why would they think you are weird?
D: Because super hero toys are for boys, I am meant to play with girl toys.
I have rarely felt as sad as I did at that moment. I also felt frustrated and angry that we still live in a world where children are made to feel this way. A world where even the toys they play with are susceptible to scrutiny over gender appropriateness. If something as simple as that is in question, how can we have hope that other gender stereotypes can ever be broken down
Will she next tell me that she no longer wants to be a Ballet dancing Ninja Spy (true story) because girls are meant to be beauticians? Christ, what happens if she decides that she likes girls not boys? If she feels she has to hide her love of super hero toys for fear of being labeled as different, how the hell will she feel about those more important aspects of her life?
I find it incredible that this kind of thing still exists. It is 2017, not 1917. I have hope that it is a minority, but if you are teaching your children that people are strange if they don’t conform to your standards of normal I have just one message for you. Fuck Off.
Black, white, straight, gay, DC, Marvel, Barbie, Action Man, male, female, Tattoos, Piercings — whatever it may be — we are all human beings and all deserve to be happy. If you can’t see that, you have no place being near others in society. You certainly have no place spreading your stupidity to children so that they can spread it to others.
Oh, my response to my daughters revelation was this:
Never, ever feel you have to hide who you are because you are afraid people with think you are weird. Always be you, never change to fit other people’s ideas of what normal is.
Let people be who they are, not who you think they should be.