Bought DD a $5 pair of silver pumps from kmart.
Next kmart trip, DS wants to wear them to the shops, DD says ok. But he's a size smaller so he's kind of tripping up all the time. I figure, for $5, he can have his own pair, I feel bad that she got new shoes and he didn't.
At the shoe aisles I ask him to have a look around in case there's some different pair of shoes he wants - nope, only that one. They are VERY shiny, I can't blame him, they're lovely.
Walking down the kmart aisle to pay for his shoes (still wearing DD's), DH meets us and says "DS take of those shoes, they're for girls!"
I was furious. I have NEVER told my children that something is for girls or for boys, and when DD comes home with the whole "pink is for girls" thing I tell her every colour is for everyone. I thought DH was on the same page with this - apparently not.
His angle is that he doesn't have an issue with it, but that there are social conventions, and that the kids need to learn them, otherwise they will get teased.
I see his point - I teach my kids certain social conventions (currently working on getting DD not not show her 'gina' to all and sundry) - but I don't accept that my kids need to follow any social conventions that are based on gender. Or race, say, if that were to come up.
Of course I still subtly push them one way or the other (not that I'm proud of it). DS wears shirts and pants, DD has the option of dresses and skirts on top of the options he has. DS fortunately doesn't have much interest in clothing, so has not queried this. He occasionally dons a pettiskirt when he feels like dancing - he likes the swish.
DH thinks I'm using my children - against their best interests - to make a feminist statement.
I'm of the view that my job as a parent is to tell them that I am ok with whatever they choose - if they decide not to wear certain things due to social pressure than so be it - but my job is to teach them that -I- will accept them regardless.
But DH wants to know how come we teach them other social rules so that they get along in society, but I don't want to teach them these ones. My reason is that I don't think gender rules are valid. But that's really MY view - it's a pretty small distinction for my kids when you come to think of it, to say "most rules you have to abide by - gender ones I'm ok with you ignoring if you like".
Does that mean I'm actually following my own agenda, and that it's not really for their own welfare and sense of acceptance, like I believe it is?
Help me out here. I kind of want some different ways of thinking about this, to help me convince DH. But I also want to know whether I really am doing something bad to my children for some feminist belief I have. I think I'm not - I think I'm teaching them what rules are important and what rules aren't. But I still worry
This post has been edited by CallMeProtart: 17/02/2013, 10:13 AM