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Friday, October 17, 2008

Gender bending?

The other day I was putting my bra on when Boris spotted me, pointed to the bra and asked:
"Mummy, why are you wearing that?"
(Erm, because it's a done thing? To pretend I have boobs? No, I really had to come up with a better answer.)
"To keep me warm."
(Stop laughing. I had to say something.)
"So, will you buy one for me, too?"
(And now what?)
"I can't, because only girls wear these."
Which is not technically true. Some boys do, too. But he is four years old. How much does he need to know about gender roles and stereotypes and all that? He's already asked me to put some lipstick on his lips, too, and yesterday he wanted to know why he doesn't have shoes with high heels, like I do. Once he even painted his nails with a highlighter after seeing me put some nailpolish on mine.
Each time I had to say that boys don't do that, it's a girl-only thing and each time he would look at me a bit confused, and not quite happy with my answer. Luckily, he hasn't yet asked why it is that certain things are just for girls or just for boys, or I'd be in trouble fishing for a credible answer. Because, what do you say?


Caly1979 said...

maybe he should already be told about gender bending. that is the world he will be growing up into, unlike us, and hence our more old-fashioned point of view will lead him to be confused later on. for our grandparent's generation, sex before marriage or living together out of wedlock was still a big deal. for ours, it's a choice readily available to anyone who wishes to pursue it. for his generation, gays, lesbians, cross-dressers, trans-sexuals will (hopefully) be just another section of society, no more weird than, say, people with nose rings, and definitely less worthy of nonplussed amazement than, say, republicans.

this being said, i don't have children, and i have no idea how i'd go about telling mine... so, good luck:)


Jelica said...

i'm fine with the explanation bit, but i draw the line at buying him a bra :)