Things to Do - Boys and Barbies

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T can spend hours playing police, firefighter, and builder. He loves guns (a hobby which I indulge because he asks for so much less than my other two kids, not that this is a good excuse). And swords. And trains. And (gasp) his sisters' Barbies.

The girls hate when he plays dolls with them. In the past year, T has accidentally broken off four Barbie heads (Barbie can become pretty violent when attacking "bad guys"). He also never cares what Barbie wears (the horror) and often puts her in perilous situations. But still, ALL T WANTS is to be in the (often locked) girls' room, included. And, if you ask me, this seems like a perfectly reasonable request.

One of the things that disturbs me lately is I keep hearing and seeing all these parents brag about their tomboys, as in "oh, my daughter just hates dolls" (imaginary applause) or "she would never ever care about princesses." Of course, there is NOTHING WRONG with the fact that some girls like soccer balls while others prefer ball gowns. This never really ends, even as adults some women love clothes, hair, and makeup more than other women. But I think it's time someone showed the opposite situation - so I'm posting pictures of T and Barbie. Because there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS (I can feel my father-in-law cringing from a hundred miles away).

And, yes, chances are that 5 years from now T will hate me for this post (if not sooner), though hopefully by then it will be lost in the internet void. But, oh well, 5 years from now he's bound to hate me for something. So for now, I'll stand by and watch, proudly, as Barbie attacks another dinosaur because at least my son realizes that girls can be tough, strong, and powerful. Even in heels.

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  1. Braden LOVES Barbies too. We don't have any, but whenever he goes to a friend's house and they have them he freaks. I am thinking of getting him one, and am almost ashamed that I haven't already, because of some social stigma I have unwillingly internalized. In any event, he can't wait to come and play with the toys at your house in a few weeks! :)

  2. Damn straight! My brother had two plastic cartons of legos in his bedroom, and I had two plastic cartons of Barbies and all their assorted accessories in mine. We went back and forth between the rooms seamlessly (usually while listening to the Grease soundtrack - feel free to judge for that). Many, many elaborate adventures were had in both rooms.

    30-odd years later, he owns a successful business and respects all kinds of women and men, and I'm an attorney and respect all kinds of women and men. Not that I think the Barbies or Legos necessarily fostered that respect - it's, as you put it, more about removing the stigma from any sort of imaginative play based on gender identities. My mom didn't vilify the traditional feminine or masculine, but she also did not expect either of us to necessarily embody all the characteristics associated with either. My husband doesn't understand why I've promised to buy our son Legos and Barbies, and I will send him your post as a good argument in favor of it!

  3. Even with her feet permanently bent at a high-heel angle. Poor Barbie! Love this post.

  4. I love all of your comments, especially the lego story! I feel that needs to be a book (or at least an article) - "Legos and Barbies" - I love it!!



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