Friday, April 22, 2011

Painting Toes Pink

The Daily Show tipped me off to a story that’s been bubbling up across the media this week. Clothing store J Crew recently featured an ad that showed a mother and son where the son’s toenails were painted pink. Apparently the idea of a nail polish on a boy was cause for concern, but it was the color of the toes in question that seemed to send people into a tizzy.

Psychologists and other “experts” came out of the woodwork and spoke with places like Fox News (natch) about a world that is “abandoning the trappings of gender identity.” A spokeswoman for some traditional values organization fears that the ad “features blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.”

As the father of a boy who on occasion likes to paint his toes and fingers pink, I’d like to say one thing to these people:

FUCK YOU!

Just because your narrow ideas of gender identity are old fashioned doesn’t mean you have the right to suggest that my kid is anything but a perfectly happy, well-adjusted little boy. How dare you take a young mind that is open and without prejudice and try to teach him that a color is off limits because somebody along the line decided that it was “for girls” or that he can’t express himself by putting that color on his nails. Fuck you for implying that my son will have identity issues and fuck you for insinuating that I’m a bad parent because of it.

I thought we were beyond this. I grew up in the age of Free to Be You and Me and was taught that boys and girls shouldn’t be defined solely by their gender. It was okay for William to have a doll if that’s what he wanted just like it was okay for me to play kitchen with my sister. And because of the time I spent play cooking, I became a tornado in the kitchen who makes a mean red sauce. There’s nothing girly about marinara.

A color is a color, not a gender. Pink is red and white mixed together, not a lifestyle. A little nail polish isn’t going to change the way somebody is wired. Yes boys and girls are different, but it’s not because of colors or princesses or sports.

I’d like to invite these small minded so called specialists to spend some quality time with my son who does many “boy” things, like run around like a maniac and pretend to shoot guns and play superheroes and video games…all while wearing bright pink nail polish.

You simple minded, scared, homophobic assholes can raise your kids however you want. But you shut your damn mouths when you talk about mine.

23 comments:

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent.
Thank you.

Kelly said...

Amen. :) I couldn't have said it better myself!

Dustin Christian said...

A-fucking-men

Conner said...

Yes Yes Yes! Thank you for making my morning.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Margaret...No, thank you!

Kelly...I wish it didn't have to be said at all.

Dustin...Thanks!

Connor...Made your morning? Wow. Thanks.

OneZenMom said...

I <3 you so hard right now. Seriously. This. Is. Awesome.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Zen...Thanks my friend. And thanks for sharing it.

mom2nji said...

Perfect post. My son doesn't like nail polish but he ADORES the little mermaid. I love that these assholes are so closed minded that they think this would cause gender issues. Never mind back in the day when MEN wore powdered wigs and make-up. You are spot on, this this their fear and homophobia screaming through.

Christy McGuire said...

Well fucking said. You go Daddy!

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Mom...That is an excellent point. Powdered wigs are so very manly.

Christy...At first I was like, why is everybody cursing? Then I remembered that I started it.

Autodidact said...

you know, I've looked and looked, and try as I might I have been unable to find genitalia on any color, so this idea that pink is feminine puzzles me.
In all seriousness, though, as little as a hundred years ago our current, arbitrary color/gender assignments were reversed - pink was considered the more masculine due to the "agressive" nature of its red base, and girls were dressed in blue which was considered more peaceful.
Funny how often those wanting to go back to the good old days get their history so wrong.
LOVED this. I grew up on FTBYAM, too, it's good to encounter a dad that remembers it fondly, too, and values that mindset in raising children.
Bravo!

Anna said...

Exactly! My son's father and I fight about me painting his toenails all the time. He is all boy. There is no way a little nail polish is going to genetically change him. I wrote a post about this on my blog as well...about his dad's girlfriend refusing to paint his nails.

WonderWife (TM) said...

I love your eloquent bad ass self and I love our nail polish lovin' little boy.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Auto...I didn't know about the color reversal thing, I'm fascinated by it. Honestly, I fall into color stereotypes too--my son has a blue painted room and my daughter has a pink one. So it's really hard to stay totally neutral.

Anna...The idea that color shapes or toe painting will make a kid transgendered is just plain faulty and it angers me that "professionals" are out there spouting incorrect information which people will lap up and use to spread more ignorance and prejudice.

WW™...Big fat smooches at you, babydoll!

Stacy R said...

You have put into words exactly how I feel. I have two boys, both of which have been raised with dolls as well as cars, one of which had his nails painted, the other that likes to dress up in his sister's princess dresses. Neither of which I am worried about, in the least, having gender issues. These morons do not realize they are the ones causing the identity crisis when they put these types of restrictions on their boys. I want my boys (and daughter) to grow into whatever they want without having some asshat telling them they are wrong because it is for the opposite gender. It's ridiculous.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Stacy...Abso-freakin-loutely!

SciFi Dad said...

applauding

Muskrat said...

Why this anger? Wait. 'Cause it's justified.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

SciFi...I humbly thank you.

Muskrat...This time, it's personal!

Russ said...

So these people would also have issues with my son's favorite My Little Pony being Rainbow Dash?

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Russ...They would have a field day with that one!

Vancetastic said...

Let me submit the dissenting voice and say that I think pink is a stupid color, for either boys or girls.

But who am I to say who should wear it and who shouldn't, and in what context? To each his/her/its own.

Go Bean, it's your birthday, go Bean, it's your birthday ...

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Vance...I had no idea you felt that way about pink.