Gender Bending | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

April 27, 2011

Gender Bending

I'm not sure which news you trust the most. But to be perfectly honest, most news channels and shows have disappointed me. There is one, though, that I find to be direct, honest and worth listening to.

Not to mention HILARIOUS.

That's right. I like getting my news from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Although it may be on Comedy Central, it not only tells the news that other networks try to brush under the rug, but it is brutally honest about how serious (or, NOT serious) the happenings in our world are. In all of it's humor and sarcasm, it digs deep to the truth.

I was catching up on recent episodes of the Daily Show, and watched a clip of Jon Stewart sharing a story that had been covered by every news channel out there. The content of the news had Jon Stewart scratching his head. As a mother, it had me somewhat outraged.

Last month, J. Crew sent out an ad depicting a mother and her young son enjoying time together. In the advertisement, the mother and her son are laughing, and it is implied that the mother had painted her sons toenails pink.

This has caused quite a stir.

Newscasters across the board hyped up this photo, claiming things as serious as, "[the ad is] blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children."


I don't even know where to start.

First, let us observe the incriminating photo in question:

I'm not sure about you, but all I see is a mother and son enjoying time together. In a society that already struggles with spending quality time with their children (whether it be out of necessity or genuine disinterest), I'm amazed that we would attack a mother who finds unique and creative ways to be with her son. Heck, SHE IS SPENDING TIME WITH HER SON. Kudos, Lady! You are accomplishing what half of American parents cannot! She is choosing to laugh and play over cleaning, working, or socializing. Many adults in today's world have trouble prioritizing their children. Yet, here is a parent putting her child first.

Is that so wrong?

I find it disgusting that the media finds something grotesque about this picture. Namely, that this mother is somehow "homosexualizing" her son, with an overall celebration of transgendered children.

First, does pink nail polish on a boy really pave the way for his sexual identity? Does my daughter pretending to hammer nails into the wall mean she will inevitably identify with men and choose to love women when she grows up? Further, if she does, will I love her any less?

This is stereotyping at its finest. There has been long debate over whether boys should play with dolls, yet it is encouraged for little girls, since it helps them practice for being mothers. What, are fathers not supposed to be involved with the hands-on parenting process? Would it be so bad for boys to get some practice in? And coming from a single-parent household (that was made up of 1 mother and 3 girls), I had to learn how to be somewhat handy, as there was no "man" around to do the work for us. So I did yard work, I fixed minor things (YES, with TOOLS). Would it be so bad for our girls to be capable?

This is where prejudice is born. This is why we have hate in our world. It is born out of our reactions to a black woman sitting in the wrong seat on a city bus or a high school male going out for the girls field hockey team.

Or something as simple as pink nails on a little boy.

Nothing is so innocent as a child. And I believe ALL children should be celebrated, whether they be straight, gay, black, white, rich, poor or triangle. How awful for our media, a truly influencing outlet, to marginalize ANY child.

In the end, our children will become what they are meant to become. We have a chance to nurture and teach our children the best way we can for a short period of their lives. Nurture, not abuse or manipulate. Nurture who they are meant to become, not who we want to make them become.

Will you not love your kids, regardless of what they do or who they become?


I'd love for you to weigh in on any aspect of this news piece. I'm anxious to read your comments, so leave one below!

And if you want Jon Stewart's take on the whole thing, here is the clip:

1 comment :

  1. Are you kidding me? People are up in arms over this ad? I saw this a few weeks ago and it never occurred to me that it was "wrong."

    I could go into a big rant over how we have much, MUCH bigger issues in this world that people should be way more concerned about but I'll just stop here. :)


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