*Disclaimer: This is a full on momma bear rant. I have discussed the issue with the person I’m talking about in this post though *shockingly* I got absolutely no where. I don’t know that writing this post will serve any purpose other than making me feel a little better. But it’s my blog so I can do that. And I’m posting the disclaimer because it’s your life and you can move on if you’re not interested. (I won’t be offended) For a more positive spin on a similar topic, I will refer you to this post that my friend shared with me.*
I’m feeling kind of crabby today. Maybe it’s because my house is half torn apart while I’m having new flooring put down and nothing is where I need it to be. Maybe it’s because I’m sleeping next to Abram (because my house is half torn apart and I can’t sleep in Violet’s bed because it hurts my back) and he is the suction cup of snugglers and I need room to breathe when I sleep so I’m not sleeping very well. Maybe it’s because I quit smoking about two months ago and managed to gain 10 pounds which I did not need to gain and I’m now in the process of losing those 10 pounds by eating things like roasted chickpeas when I’d rather be eating my kids Easter candy. Or maybe it’s because my son came home really upset at being called a girl. By a grown adult man. (And while I’m kind of offended that the worst thing you can call a six year old boy is a girl, it really is the worst.)
The reason a grown adult man would call a six year old boy a girl? He paints his finger nails. And only girls do that. (Yes, the picture at the top is badly painted toenails, not fingernails, but you get the idea)
And here’s the thing: this isn’t my first go ’round. We’ve talked about it. He’s heard things from his friends and the conversations have been had – different parents have different rules, people have different styles, kids may tease him, but if he likes it and can handle the teasing, they’re his nails.
But when an adult teases my son (even “good-naturedly”) and calls him a girl because he likes nail polish, the conversation changes. It’s no longer a peer to peer interaction. It’s another adult telling him who he’s allowed to be and it’s an authority figure picking on a child. And that is not okay. Ever.
And when I tell that adult to stop and get a lecture on gender…well, I’m just mad.
I get that not every parent is going to raise their children the same way I raise mine (Violet never misses the opportunity to tell me about how some other mom is nicer than me) and I get that societies have societal norms because that’s how societies work. I even understand that one of our (outdated) societal rules is that girls wear nail polish and boys don’t. But if it doesn’t exist already, I’d like to put forward a new rule:
Let’s not make a six year old kid feel like garbage over something as trivial as nail polish.
In fact, let’s go so far as to say:
Making rude and hurtful comments to anyone when they do something differently than you but has absolutely no impact on your life is just wrong.