You may have heard of the Fox News doctor/consultant who is taking issue with the current J. Crew catalog photo featuring the president of the company painting her son's toenails pink. THE HORROR!
If not, go read this.
I talked to Good Morning America about this.
There are so many things that outrage me about this, the first of which is the fact that this Dr. Ablow is a DOCTOR! And he is passing all sorts of judgments onto this mother and her son based on a single photo. That seems very presumptuous. And not all that doctor-y, but I did not go to medical school. I am, however, a mother, and I have a son that does things that I'm sure the kind doctor would disapprove of, like wear a Daphne costume for Halloween.
I feel that if the picture had been of a male executive playing football with his daughter, Dr. Ablow and others would not have seen an issue with it. Seems a tad misogynistic. And hypocritical. Is it really acceptable for girls to want to aspire to be more masculine but still taboo for boys to do anything previously deemed feminine?
It scares me that a medically licensed psychiatrist says, "This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity -— homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such “psychological sterilization” is not known."
Uh, we are looking at the same picture, right? A mom and her son laughing together? Having fun? Is the problem the nail polish itself or that it is pink? What if it had been black or clear?
Later he says, "Increasingly, this includes the truth that it is unwise to dress little girls like miniature adults (in halter tops and shorts emblazoned with PINK across the bottoms) and that it is unwise to encourage little boys to playact like little girls." Allowing a child to dress beyond their years is very different than letting them play act. At least from my perspective. But remember, I'm not a doctor.
At Boo's previous school, they had messy day. It had all sorts of activities from painting with spaghetti noodles to tie-dying t-shirts. What else did they do? Paint toenails. Boys and girls.
He also makes some huge and vague leap to this: "The fall-out is already being seen. Increasingly, girls show none of the reticence they once did to engage in early sexual relationships with boys. That may be a good thing from the standpoint of gender equality, but it could be a bad thing since there is no longer the same typically “feminine” brake on such behavior."
WHAT? Is this one of those "boys will be boys" arguments where it is the female's responsibility to know where the lines are and to ensure they are not crossed?
The original article has the doctor stating he hopes this mother is setting aside money for his future therapy. If he needs it, I hope he looks for a doctor that doesn't make snap judgments.
And later in life, I want my daughter to change tires and my sons to change diapers.
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