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I bought my nephew a doll

I bought a baby doll for my nephew. Yes you read that right. My nephew (not by blood, he is the child of a good friend) is getting baptized next weekend and his mom had mentioned to me that he likes dolls. Whenever they are in a doctors office or out and about he apparently grabs little dolls off of girls to play with. I asked his mom if she would be okay with me buying him a doll. She said fine. Now even though I am an in your face feminist, I am not going to push my beliefs on a little kid or go directly against what a parent says. So if my friend has said no, I would not have purchased the doll. But my friend is a pretty progressive parent. She bought a toy vacuum for her little boy and he pretends he is vacuuming while she really is. He helps her do the laundry (by pushing the basket of wet clothes to the dryer) and he even sweeps and uses the dust pan. She never tries to "correct" him on these actions and tell him that they are "inappropriate", Good for her. Too many people fall into that trap of being gender police for their kids. That is, the moment their child does something inappropriate to his or her gender (for the sake of this particular post I will not get into children who are born intersex because that is an issue that deserves its own post entirely) the parent right away reprimands them for it. Now let me make it clear that I do not think people who do this are inherently bad people. In fact, I think they are just by products of a system that demands rigid roles for gender. People know that if their children do not conform to their assigned roles, they will be ridiculed. So more than likely most people who are acting as gender police towards their children are just trying to make them assimilate to the popular status quo. But, I do no think that is right. I think children are the key to reversing sexism. If we raise children to not focus on gender, but rather the intrinsic value of a person, when they get older the notion of sexism will seem silly. The wage gap, sexual assault, and all the other issues that feminists are fighting against will be easier to battle if we have a whole generation that views people as people, and not as men and women. Even above that notion, they will learn to respect their differences as men and women which could lead to (and I might be totally grasping for straws at the thought of this Utopia) men who finally realize that they do not have a uterus and they can never give birth to a child so therefore they have no right to tell women what to do with their uterus. But my main concern with this doll gift is how other people will react to it. Will other parents voice their concern to my friend, will other children tease my nephew, or am I just a jaded and always suspecting the worse of people? You tell me people, what are your thoughts on the gift?


Anna Malinovskaya's picture

Dear Lebescoa, Thanks for

Dear Lebescoa,

Thanks for sharing your concern. I like how you treat this delicate issue and honestly, I can't agree more.
"Too many people fall into that trap of being gender police for their kids. That is, the moment their child does something inappropriate to his or her gender ..." Who decides what's "appropriate"? If the present is meant for the child, why not let him make his choice?

Anna Malinovskaya

lebescoa's picture

my thoughts exactly, my hope

my thoughts exactly, my hope is that he isnt stracized by other kids or his parents judged by other parents

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