Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pink and Blue

     Hello folks. This blog post is not exactly about adoption, but rather more about our journey to becoming parents and some of the stuff I have noticed.
     We do not know if we will adopt a girl or a boy. If I am totally honest, I want a girl. I want to be able to help raise a strong, independent woman that does not feel she has to conform to what society says. As a woman myself, this of course is dear to my heart. Shopping for gender neutral clothes for babies has really opened my eyes on how much society makes boys conform to a "manly"ideal.
First off, most of the baby clothes are pink and purple for girls, blue and brown for boys. Flowers and butterflies for girls, trucks and sports for boys. I find myself of course gravitating towards the few items in yellow, green and orange. But I do find myself also getting blue, as if it is a girl, who cares if she is wearing blue? This is where things get really confining for boys. It is ok for girls to dress like a tom boy, but put a boy in a pink onsie??? I can only imagine the reaction from people!
This of course reminds me of that Madonna song,
What it Feels Like For a Girl:
"Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
'Cause it's OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading
But secretly you'd love to know what it's like
Wouldn't you
What it feels like for a girl"

     Somehow it is degrading for boys to be seen as feminine, in the way they dress, or act. It is seen as weak to show emotion, or to "throw like a girl." I hope things may be getting better, as homosexuality is becoming more of a non-issue. But I do know many guys that would still be insulted if they were thought of as gay, or girly!

     All of this starts off at birth, when you buy pink or blue clothes for your newborn. Really, the scale of this is so daunting to one that wants things to be different. For one that does not want their child to be defined by the color they are wearing, or the fact that there may be a flower on their shirt. (why are flowers girly anyways??? Who made up these rules?)

     I think I have always known that this is how it is, but in preparing for our child to come home, it is so "in your face" that I cannot help but express my sadness that we put girls and boys in these roles right off the bat.

Anyways, thanks for reading my rant.


  1. Oh, don't even get me started on gender roles! I really think it is harder to navigate what society expects of boys than girls these days, there is just a broader range of what is "acceptable" for girls, imho. If you are interested in reading more on the topic, I really liked "The Trouble with Boys" by Peg Tyre. I had strong preferences for (well, actively sought an international program that would allow me to choose) a girl when we adopted. I had vague ideas that she would be "easier," what with all the studies coming out about boys and poor school performance, and higher propensities for ADHD, autism, etc. And I wanted a mini-me, someone I might have more things in common with. But honestly, my relationship with my daughter is a whole lot more complicated than the one I have with my son. It is so cliche, but I think personality of your child goes so much farther than gender in terms of having a good relationship. Glad to see you are thinking about this stuff now; I find it fascinating.

  2. Sarah, I too have those vague ideas that girls are easier, at least as kids, maybe not so much as teenagers! I don't so much want a mini me, I just want to help guide a girl into being a strong and independent woman. Although, since I was/am tom boyish I do wonder how I would relate to a girly-girl. I do find all of this so interesting too. There is a blog called Princess Free Zone, that I like to read. Also a great book called Cinderella ate My Daughter, which was really interesting.
    Thanks for your perspective!