Benson is very secure in his masculinity, despite bouncing the day away in a pink chair, falling asleep snuggled in a plush, pink fleece blankie, or playing with his sister.
It could also be that Benny is only 6 months old and doesn’t know how to find his nose, so why would he care what color his toys are? The fact of the matter is, pastel pink, baby dolls, or the name “Sue” will not make your son gay — being born gay makes your son gay.
As any parent can attest, I’m often shocked at the guts of other people while I try to raise my children. Without any type of solicitation, advice is lobbed out as if Dr. Spock himself were whispering sweet nothings into the ears of these parents so they can pass on the wisdom.
“No, don’t let him eat those fries, give him apples.”
“Scarlett is almost 3; she really should be potty trained.”
“Putting oatmeal in his bottle will only make Benson obese when he gets older.”
Most of these little gems are being uttered as, unbeknownst to mommy, Junior beats his brother over the head with a sippy cup.
As a general rule, if your kid has a gash, bruise, facial injuries of any kind, or runs around as if high on Twinkies, I’m going to disregard your parenting credentials because you’re doing about as good as I am.
The moment I placed a blond doll in my son’s spastic arms, eyebrows shot up, questioning my decision to blur the so-called gender boundaries. My peanut gallery of June Cleavers began squawking concerns, spouting ridiculous fears of homosexuality, Benson becoming feminine, or confused — apparently, they haven’t seen the kid look at a mirror, because he couldn’t be more baffled.
Parents, often fathers, refuse to allow their small sons a chance to play with something as simple as a doll because they believe “girl toys” will make their boy act girlie. It’s as if a doll is gateway drug into more risky behavior, like playing house.
After searching through scientific journal after scientific journal, I couldn’t find a single reputable study to support this fear. In fact, I found piles of evidence supporting the importance of boys getting a chance to play with dolls. Doctors say it fosters love, teaching boys how to nurture, a characteristic that may not come naturally to some males.
When I was growing up, my mother had this goal, however unrealistic, to steer her children away from gender roles. My sisters and I received monster trucks and micro machines to smash through our sandbox; my brother had a Cabbage Patch doll lovingly named Delmar.
These toys were played with by said owners, but soon trucks ended up with Rob and Delmar became best friends with my doll, Cora
When Delmar appeared in my brother’s arms, my military father did not come screaming into the room, ripping the doll from Rob’s arms, replacing it with a cap gun. No, he played, showing Rob how to hold a baby.
A few times, even with the lessons, Delmar’s stuffed body suffered some major trauma at the hands of my 5-year-old brother. Now, when Rob cradles my baby, I’m grateful he had the practice.
An unsettling stigma rests on the shoulders of a boy who enjoys the company of a doll, a double standard that doesn’t exist for a little girl who pushes away Barbie for her Hot Wheels.
A doll isn’t like Ebola; it won’t attach itself to a little boy, making him into something he wasn’t born to be. Dr. Robert Green said it best: A doll doesn’t make a child gay; it just may be an indicator of his already determined sexual orientation.
Until Benson gets old enough to protest or embrace his pink digs, he really doesn’t have a choice — pink is what happens when you have a big sister and a mommy who isn’t willing to fork over bucks just so you can barf and poop in a manly blue chair.
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