Nicole Madigan asks why gender stereotypes see boys who like pretty things ridiculed, while girls who cross the fence into sports and cars territory are praised.
Like most four-year-old boys, my son loves airplanes, cars, space and monsters.
He also loves – as he so eloquently puts it – lovely things. Lovely things such as butterflies, fairies, flowers and anything that sparkles. He loves unicorns and mermaids as much as he loves helicopters and Stealth Bombers.
As a result my boys’ playroom is a mixed bag of toys of every colour and type, from trucks and cars to babies and prams, blocks and legos, to animals and My Little Ponies. My husband jokes that I encourage my son’s so-called feminine interests. I don’t though. But I don’t discourage them either. The same applies to his typical boyish interests. When he displays this side of himself in public – or perhaps the fact that I allow it – reaction is mixed. But there is always a reaction of some sort.