Yesterday this article made it way around my Twittersphere: My Daughter is not Transgender. She’s a Tomboy. Unsurprisingly for my stream it was met with a decent amount of disdain. The following tweet pretty much sums up my reaction to it –
There are many, many voices out there writing on this that are better than mine and easy to find.
What I keep coming back to are the questions: where has all this insistence of a super confined gender identity come from? Why are all the toys and clothes become so hyper gender rigid?
Back in the late 70’s and 80’s it seemed that gender didn’t matter that much. It didn’t matter if you were a Tom Boy or a Tabby Girl. Guys and girls were often in very similar clothes and toys didn’t seem so overtly gendered. (Maybe I have rose tinted glasses). It seemed fairly natural.
In the 90’s and 00’s it seemed to me to get more forced. Clothes and toys started to get more gendered and there was the start of the reaction against that.
Now it has got very extreme. Everything is gendered and is so wrong. Once upon a time Lego wasn’t gendered. Now it is. Girls must be princesses and boys a superhero. There is no give. And yet there is slowly forming a greater awareness of transgender and gender fluidity.
We need to grow with that awareness and work against the hypergendering of clothes and toys. We need to accept our children for who they are and let them tell us.