Lessons · MumLife · Waffling

It’s only a t-shirt……

So something that I’ve seen a lot of lately, especially on the dreaded Facebook parenting sites, is the gender neutral debate. One post was about how stores such as Morrisons, Primark, etc, should stop selling t shirts and jumpers that have slogans such as ‘Boys will be boys’ ‘Daddy’s little princess’ ‘Gorgeous Girl’, these are just a few examples. Now this particular issue has really got my back up. I’ve decided to this as a list so that, as I’m rage typing, my points don’t get jumbled into one another. I want to appear coherent and calm even if I don’t neccasarily feel it after all.

1. ‘ T shirts like this are reaffirming old fashioned stereotypes’

This actually makes me fume. If your daughter chooses to wear a t shirt that has ‘daddy’s little princess’ on it or your son has a t-shirt saying ‘i’m a superhero’ on this is by no means telling my daughter that she belongs in a tower waiting to be rescued or that my son is more of a superhero than she is. My daughter is a princess. In my eyes every little girl is a princess. However, that doesn’t mean that her only role on this earth is to sit and wait to be rescued while her brother saves the world. Saving the world takes so much more than sticking a tshirt on. There’s been many a time when my little girl has climbed the tower herself alongside her brother, in their games, to save the world. All while wearing her princess tshirt, tiara and tutu. Her brother in no way thinks that his sister is incapable of doing anything that he can do just because of what she is wearing. I mean, I hope that I’ve taught him, even at the age of 5, that girls can do anything boys can do. If you or  your child judge a person’s capabilities on the clothing they wear then thats on you not me for what I dress my children in.

2. It’s allowing boys to be dominant over girls

Again teaching our children that we are all equal regardless of gender is on more than the clothes we wear and what is written on them. If your boy thinks that because he is wearing blue and she is wearing pink that he is better than them than you need to have a word with your kid. Same with this boys/girls clothing. My daughter and son both choose their clothes. There have been times when my daughter has worn items that are predominantly found in the ‘boys’ section. That’s fine she chooses her own clothes, she has her own style as does my son. I would in no way stop them from wearing something just because it is not typical of their gender. They can wear what they like as long as it fits, is weather appropriate and is comfortable. If your child or you judge another child because they don’t have the typical ‘gender’ clothing on then that again is on you not the clothes.

3. I wouldn’t dream of dressing my child in that

If you don’t want your child to wear something then it’s really simple. Do not put them in it. Then move on with your life. Don’t judge me for what I dress my children in. They are happy, healthy, well fed, polite, safe children. Thats what matters. Dress your kid how you want. Leave me and mine alone. focus on your own. Thanks

4. It goes against Feminist values

Feminism, to me, is about equality between the sexes. Unfortunately due to the way that society is this majority means us gals fighting to be on the same page as men. This in no way singles men out. We simply want to matter and our say to be just as important as men. We would like our choices to go unjudged in the way that men’s choices are. I teach my daughter AND my son about equality all the time. I don’t teach them it by sitting them down and giving them a lesson but I lead by example. For example, my daughter knows she can be a superhero like her brother by me playing games with them where we are all superheros, they both watch me and their father do the housework, their dad feeds them, bathes them, picks them up from school just like mummy does, mummy does work just like daddy does, we take them BOTH to the park to play football, we take them BOTH to pottery cafes so they can decorate their artwork together. We do not define activities and chores in our house by gender. I teach them both about respect and responsibility. By doing this I also teach them both that it is their right in this world to express themselves through their image however they want, to make sure they feel confident in what they choose to wear. And I do this through expressing myself in what I wear whether this be a dress or a tracksuit.

5. It sets us back in society by a 100 years

One word: how? How on earth could me puttiing my little girl in a t shirt that has a glittery unicorn and the word ‘princess’ written on it put us back in society? We have douchebag MALEs making decisions for us when it comes to our bodies, our roles in the house, when we have a child, how we have said child, making it harder to go back to work after having that child, judging us for going to work after having a child, if we have a night out etc. Every part of our lives is under scrutiny simply because we have a vagina! We are judged enough for what we wear by men, we are judged by one another for what we wear, so can we not judge our children for what they wear please? This may sound repetitive but my daghter chooses what she wears, and she knows it is choice, she has a right to that choice and she will not be judged for that choice. If anything is setting my little girl and others like her back then it is others judging her choice of clothing. She has a right to wear what she wants. You are being unfeminist and setting us back by judging her on that right and trying to take that right away from her.

So what I am trying to say is well, leave my kids alone. Let the children play and be happy irregardless of what they ar e wearing. There are plenty of teachable moments in this life whereby we can teach children about equality. Picking on what they are wearing isn’t one of them.

It would be interesting to see if others feel the same way as me on this or indeed what your opinion is. No hate though and no personal attacks. That will not make this issue any better now will it? Please comment below and feel free to share this post if you think someone else will like it.

** All views on this blog post are my own **

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