I recently read in the news how Target's new gender-neutral sections is causing an uproar. Kids across our country are doomed because they won't know what toys to choose. Adults won't know what toys to buy. Boys will get bras. Girls will get jockstraps. The world as we know it is coming to an unlabeled end.
Like most people I know, I find the whole thing to be kind of funny.
When I was two or three my older sister wanted a little sister but instead had me--a dude. So she dressed me up and named me Debbie. Or Gail. I don’t remember. But I sipped tea and played house and pretty much did as she asked. Maybe that’s why I’m so sensitive and understanding. A perfect man, really. Later I returned the favor by dressing up my little sister in karate outfits adorned with hulking plastic bowie knives or as the mission dictated, a sub-machine gun.
|Gender neutral kitchen set|
These days, My two-and-a-half-year-old boy likes to “cook”. He helps out in the kitchen with the dishes or rinsing off the grapes. Over the summer our neighbor brought over her kitchen set, something that would have been in what was formerly the “Girls” section. It has a stove, and oven, a sink and a refrigerator. Here’s a picture of it--->
It even has plastic fruits and veggies with velcro insides so they can be sliced with a plastic knife. But then, take a look at what I found on the counter.
My son likes both the kitchen and the chainsaw. (He uses it to slice the avocados). Am I shocked? No. Actually I think he's a genius for that chainsaw avocado thing. Besides, I’m told that I used to raid my sisters My Little Pony village with my GI Joes, so I guess this gender bending of the toys runs in the family.
Like when my wife was painting her toenails and my son decided that he wanted to paint his toenails as well. So she did, and now we have a chainsaw-toting, veggie slicing, glittery-toenail toddler running around the house.
And all is well.
If there’s a point to this it's that it doesn’t matter. Kids should be able to play and play freely. There are enough rules in the world already. Relax and let them have fun.