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:
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.