Saturday, August 02, 2008


Let me go on the record that I am not trying to start a gender war with my comments. This blog really is a place for me to come and sort out my thoughts on life, faith, motherhood, etc.

I am developing an interesting perspective on gender roles and privileges as I raise sons and a daughter at the same age at the same time. One thing I have noticed is that there are far more things deemed 'off limits' (from a gender appropriateness standpoint) to boys than to girls. K can participate in just about everything the boys do from teeball to baseball cap wearing. Yet, for the boys to wear a bow or a princess nightgown is a completely different story. Even the dress up clothes I have bought specifically for the boys are open season for her: There are, afterall, female police officers, fire fighters and construction workers.

The boys don't ask to wear K's 'girlie things,' so I do not feel like I am depriving them of anything they desire to do. I am quite sure I am more sensitive to this issue than they are as I try to keep things 'equal' around here. I wish there were things I could reserve just for them, to connect the way K and I do when I groom her hair or paint her toenails. Then again, maybe I am just looking at all of this from my female perspective...and the boys don't really care.

I want K to be well-rounded and pursue her dreams. I am thankful to live in a time and place where she can dream big, but until I became a mother of both genders I never fully considered what the impact of greater freedoms for women have on men. The scale seems a little tipped (at this age anyway).

I want K to thrill in being female. I want P & R to take pride in being male. They are fearfully and wonderfully made just as they are, on purpose and for a purpose. I don't want them to resent one another--or feel that there was favoritism. I am hopeful that as they get older and start pursuing more individual interests this will become easier--and more about who they are as people as opposed to their gender. Nevertheless, I am praying for wisdom to navigate these murky waters.

P.S. As a silly sidenote, I had to go listen to this from Annie Get Your Gun after I wrote this post. It seemed appropriate.


R said...

good food for thought! i have 2 girls, but if we have boys at some point, i'll be crossing that same bridge...

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Interesting observation. My oldest two are only two years apart, and since one is a girl and one is a boy, I've experienced this on some levels. Right now, I try not to have too many things off limits for my son. Ergo, he gets his toenails painted if he wishes. He just uses my black or blue polish. "Boy colors," I tell him.

But you're right. It's an interesting twist that, in childhood, it's the boys who are limited.

Diana said...

I found this article really interesting...maybe you will too.