I work at a school. I have many colorful children every year in my classroom. One particular boy struck my attention the other day. He was so excited because he found a Barbie book in the library. I was very shocked. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just very rare coming from boys. He told me he loved Barbie, Skipper, Stacie, and Kelly. He had the Barbie Christmas doll and playsets. He told me his mom bought them for him. His dad, on the other hand, got really angry. He refuses to buy his son Barbie and instead buys him his favorite toys when he was growing up, like Superman and Batman. But the boy doesn’t play with them. He brings his Barbies to school. He is teased by the other boys who don’t play with them. But the other girls think he’s cool. When I met his father, while he was trying to pick up his son, he was annoyed when he saw his son playing in the corner with his Barbie doll. He told me he was afraid his son was going to turn out gay.
I felt really bad because I teased a boy in 5th grade because he was reading my Barbie book…
There’s always that expectation that boys should play “rough and tough” games. Games that make you dirty or tough. Boys are expected to be like heroes from comic books, or shoot and fight well like in video games. The Ken doll is hardly the role model to many fathers. Toads, Snails, and Puppy dog tails are what boys are made of, right?
For many fathers like him, questions arise: Will playing with “girl toys” make my son questionably feminine and will he become a homosexual? Or will he become a transgender and change himself into a female in the future? Is this a sign? Should I purchase dolls for my son?
Lets Say You Don’t Buy the Toy…
I am a female that always grew up being labeled the “tomboy”. My mother used to tell me she was afraid I’d become a “butch” or “lesbian” because I used to wear baggy pants and long t-shirts and I spoke like a boy too. To add, I used to hang out with boys, play basketball, and watch “boy” cartoons. I hated skirts and dresses and getting my nails done. Even today, I hate to waste time with girly fashion. If I do wear clothes, it normally has an edgy leaning. My mom wasn’t happy. She used to yell at me and fuss at me a lot. She refused to buy me Pokemon cards when all my other male friends had them. So I just played with theirs.
From my study of other boys and girls who are amused by transgender entertainment, I have found that the more you deprive a child from what makes them happy, the more they begin to feel strange, depressed, and begin to act upon the fears of the parent that tried to prevent the act in the first place. Not to say that there is anything wrong with choosing a homosexual lifestyle if the child does choose so, but is playing with a toy that is meant for the opposite sex really to blame?
From my experience, many boys and girls who are deprived of their amusements are more than likely to go to extremes to achieve what they were denied. The results could range from stealing the item that makes them happy to even changing their genders when they get older. It could lead to secretive behavior. If fathers refuse to treat the situation as a normal “male” thing, the child is likely to find it strange and likely to feel they are feminine and that they should’ve been born a girl. They will not feel that this is normal.
Many people have said playing with dolls have had more positive effects on a man than a negative one. Many say boys who play with dolls are more than likely to make better husbands to women. They become more understanding and more interested in their wives. They are also likely to have more in common with her. If they are interested in baby dolls, many of the boys turn out to be terrific fathers and supportive in babysitting for newborns instead of looking confused and leaving the wife to tend to the baby.
And have you ever thought of it this way? Maybe if they are attracted to Barbie or Bratz, instead of assuming they will turn out homosexual, it might make them the total opposite: promiscuous with women. Possibly, it’s a sign that they are strongly attracted to women, even at an early age. I mean a little boy removing all of Barbie’s clothes just to see some huger than huge breasts? It could be his next sex toy for all we know…And having her slide into that mini dress so he can stare at her? I mean if you think about it that way, it’s anything but homosexual. I mean, this is why sometimes male designers are the best. They get to make clothes for women; exactly what they want to see them in. They are experts at knowing what’s attractive on women because they might be attracted to them. And they get to stare at hot models for hours. I mean, those men are pretty fortunate if you think about it. It’s like being a male gynecologists. Okay, it makes many wives (and husbands) feel uncomfortable. But hey, if it were life or death, would it matter what gender or who can do the job? My male gyne is awesome! The female one talked too much.
Another reason not to get bent out of shape over toys that seem to be for the opposite sex is because trends change all the time. Way back in 1600, jump rope and the color pink was a boy thing. Now it’s a girl thing. Keeping up with all the gender roles is not only time-consuming, but pointless. It’s as pointless as keeping up with the Jones’ or the trends…you buy an I-phone, a new version comes out…
The real question is: why do fathers fear dolls so much? And where did the idea that doll are for girls come from?
Well, if you know your history, dolls were designed to brainwash little girls into becoming adult women. It was not just a fun pastime, but training so that girls could become good housewives and good mothers. They wanted the children to imitate their mother’s behavior by treating the doll the same way their mothers treated them. During the Victorian era, many expensive dolls were expected to be well cared for as if it were a baby. Also, since most dolls were handmade, it taught girls how to sew, a skill that was considered “proper” for them to learn.
Well, we’re in the 21st Century. Girls have no need to sew. Most dolls are just meant for imagination and to display the latest fashion. Some dolls even educate children, like the expensive American Girl dolls. Bild Lilli, the original Barbie, was a sex toy for men, first marketed in a liquor store…So the roles of dolls have changed over time. The roles that girls are expected to play have changed over time. I mean, many dolls today act as positive female role-models, but it can for males as well if we allow it to.
However, because of the doll’s origin, many fathers fear that “dolls” are a sign that many boys want to become like their mothers, and they are in fear of their son changing into a girl or being homosexual because of the stigma that comes with it. The world is cruel, and although we live in modern times where many diverse people and things are accepted, we haven’t yet merged into a world that truly lacks discrimination. While to fathers this may be a sign of caring, because they don’t want their son hurt, it can also be a sign of selfishness because the father expects his son to be what he wants him to be.
I conclude this article by saying, LET BOYS PLAY TOO! Boys deserve to have equal rights to do and enjoy the same things women do. Just like it was a struggle for women to be looked at as strong enough to be wrestlers, and carpenters, and construction workers, it will also be a fight for men to be looked at as good with children, fashion, and cooking.