Why I let my son like pink and play with "girl toys"

Why I let my son like pink and play with "girl toys"

Dear strangers, I'm tired of the stares. I can see you secretly judging me. My son likes pink. He's 1.5; get over it. But, even if he is five and still carrying around 'Pink Monkey,' get over it! If it were my daughter dressed like a boy, holding a football, I bet that'd be okay with you. {Click to tweet}

Why I let my son like pink and play with "girl toys"

I've posted about Corbin's love for all things pink before, especially his little pink monkey security blanket. Take away that doll, and he just doesn't sleep as well. I let him take it with him out in public because it soothes him. Every toddler has a lovey, and he chose a pink one. But that isn't the only pink thing he plays with. There's the tea party set, toy purse, pink mirror, baby doll and most recently at Nanner and Gramp's house, a tiny pink princess toy. He plays with more pink than his sister does, and I'm okay with it. But it seems that not everyone else is. I've been fortunate that no one has really said anything to me, but I know the thoughts are there. I can sense it, even among family members.

So let's get real for a minute. Why is it such a big deal that he might grow up to like pink? Pink is color. Period. I think the bigger issue here is that pink is plastered over everything labeled a "girl toy," and if my son plays with "girl toys" that must mean he'll grow up to be gay, right? I don't think so. But even if we do learn later down the road that he is gay, I won't love him any less. {Click to tweet}

It is inevitable that my son will play with "girl toys" because he has a twin sister who he adores and follows around. That means that he will likely end up with makeup on his face or braids in his hair at some point, and maybe often. Am I supposed to tell them not to play together and possibly miss out on having some great bonding moments over "tea" in  a pink kettle and late night "spa parties" because that's not appropriate for little boys to do? But it is appropriate for daddys to do it. In fact, it may just be the cutest thing in the world to see a little girl painting her dad's fingernails or giving him a face full of clown makeup. It's okay for little boys to do those things with their sisters too. Just as it is ok for little girls to play catch with their dads and play in the dirt with dump trucks.

I grew up in Southeast Texas right on the border of Louisiana. I know that the stigmas are still alive there and in many places about what a man's role is and what a woman's role is. And what is assumed about a boy who grows up playing with "girl toys." If you're afraid that my son might grow up to be gay because he sleeps with a pink monkey, you should probably spend your time worrying about something else. I certainly am not worried about it. In fact, I'm glad that he sleeps with a pink monkey, and I do hope that he doesn't grow out of playing with "girl toys." Here's why:

1. I'm hoping this will teach him that pink is a color, and only a color. It doesn't mean that you are categorized in any certain way, and that he shouldn't judge others for their likes.

2. Hopefully, he will grow up to have an empathy toward others who do things out of the "norm."

3. Most importantly, I'm hoping this exposition to pink and "girl toys" teaches him to respect his sister and all girls and women. To respect their likes, and to respect that we are different and should be treated with kindness. And that traditionally, men and women are seen in certain lights and do things certain ways, but it's okay if a woman wants to be a plumber and a man wants to be a teacher.

One day, Corbin may become a father, and it may be to a daughter. He will certainly be playing with baby dolls and tea party sets then, so why is it such a big deal that he plays with them now? Lynley and I won't always choose "girly" activities, but it just so happens that right now, they both really like dolls and pink! And to anyone whom I haven't yet convinced that Corbin will be fine.... just know that he also really likes building blocks, toy balls and wooden cars. I'm raising a well-rounded child over here, and I'm darn proud of it!

What are your thoughts on boys playing with pink toys? Please share with me in the comments.


In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.