Tuesday, 24 March 2015

About gender

We all know the disturbing sight of the Walmart toy isle, one side is fulled with action figures and cars and ninja turtles and the other is bright pink and purple with dolls and my little ponies. The separation is obvious, sad and very outdated. I find here in Canada the conversation about this is much more in the background than in Sweden. The awareness of breaking down stereotypical gender roles is huge there and it's inspiring. 

It seems that children are boxed in and categorized before they're even born, boys t-shirts have angry birds and powerful action figures and girls clothes have frilly arms and soft colours and messages about being "daddy's cupcake" or "mommy's princess". I never used to pay a lot of attention to it until I took Minea out in public wearing any other colour than pink or purple and every singe person assumed she was a boy. What we wear determines how people see us, and how people see us determines how we feel. I don't believe men are born unable to do laundry and women are born multitaskers, we are taught and conditioned for different things. When you take away the roles society creates for us about being a boy or a girl or a man or a woman, it opens up the range to be you, to give your children 100 choices instead of 2. 

My hope is to raise Minea in a household that is open minded, creative and encouraging of however she wants to express herself. Whether she's into cars or princesses (to narrow it down) but I will definitely expose her equally to both. I hope to be intentional about what she's exposed to on TV and to show her that being a boy doesn't mean you have to be tough and loud and being a girl doesn't mean you have to be cute and never get your hands dirty. I never want her to feel bound by restrictions if some of her interests don't fall into the stereotypical "Boy" or "Girl" columns. I want her to feel that she can be either one or anything in between. There is a lot of room for all of us to be exactly who we want to be.