Adventures in Co-Parenting: Gender-coded Clothing

25/04/2012 § 2 Comments

Quin and I have numerous DVDs of Cartoon Cartoons. We decided that we wanted the kiddo to experience a Cartoon Cartoon Friday, so we ordered a pizza, popped in some DVDs, drank soda, and watched. As per typical cartoon humor, one of the boys in the cartoon ended up in a dress. The kiddo laughed and laughed. I took a moment just to ask him why he feels that it’s so funny, and he responded that dresses, skirts, shorts, and pants are for girls, but boys only wear shorts and pants. I pointed out that not so long ago, girls wouldn’t have been allowed to wear pants. He replied “That’s dumb, why shouldn’t girls be allowed to wear pants?” 

About a week after that, the kiddo and I were walking back home from the store. I was wearing a skirt. We were talking about why shadows look the way they do, and he asked why my shadow jumps around so much. I told him that it was because my skirt flutters around in the wind. He got angry that he wasn’t “allowed” to wear skirts and have them flutter around in the wind. My response? “That’s dumb, why shouldn’t boys be allowed to wear skirts?” 

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§ 2 Responses to Adventures in Co-Parenting: Gender-coded Clothing

  • katybrandes says:

    While buying a little purse for my niece, my five-year old son carried it around the store, while I worried that some idiot would comment about him doing so. It’s sad that I immediately feared he would suffer criticism from strangers based on messed up social constructs. It’s our job to counteract those notions, though, eh? I like your posts I’ve read … tell it!

  • Thanks! I grade for a course on the construction of gender, and sometimes the responses the students give to questions makes me really nervous. They’re pretty cruel a lot of the time, stuff like “transgendered people like to trick straight men into being gay.” I just kind of want the kiddo to get the idea that people make weird rules that don’t make a lot of sense. I’m glad we’re not alone in the fight

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