During a play date with my daughter and her friend Marcus, my friend and I sat and watched our kids as they played. My daughter rolled around the floor with her truck and my friend’s son rolled after her with his truck. She pretended to cook in her kitchen; he assisted her with his pretend food. But when he had picked up my daughters baby doll his mom took it from him and told him boys don’t play with dolls instantly he began to cry. A similar situation was when i was visiting family. My daughter, and her little boy cousin were playing nicely with puzzles cars and more. The minute my little cousin proceeded to push my daughters stroller his dad took the stroller from him and told him little boys don’t play with strollers.
Both my cousins and friends reactions to their sons toy choice made me (NICOLOSI)curious as to why are people constantly trying to label childs play within male or female appropriate categories. I couldn’t understand why my little girl who shoved around the trucks and honked and beeped was left to play but her friend and cousin where scolded when they had played with toys that were apparently labeled as “feminine”. My logic? It’s quite simple society is obsessed with labels and categorizing what’s masculine and what’s feminine. For the boys to play with dolls and push strollers, it must mean he himself is feminine. This constant obsession can lead to lack of self expression because at an early age children are taught preconceived notions about their ideal role in society. However in my opinion, a child playing with dolls or trucks doesn’t make one more or less masculine or feminine it just means they are engaging in activates that they find pleasure in. In that same aspect instead of this normative idea that boys who plays with dolls are feminine one should think this boy could grow up to be a nurturer. It’s less likely for people to label boys who play with dolls as potential fathers but more so like potential sissies.
The article “When Boys wont be boys” also spoke of this gender consciousness, and were victims of this labeling obsession that I had mentioned earlier. The authors (NICOLOSI) even translated that a female who plays with dolls could be seen as a mother/ daughter relationship but as the young boy played with dolls it was seen as an identity problem and in essence this child would grow to be isolated from males. The boy who plays with female toys later will not grow to be a man or “father” as the author says this boy identifies with being a female. But the problem with this view is that it only targets “boys” because stereotypes of what a male role is in society dominates the minds of people (NICOLOSI, p. paragraph 3).
The (NICOLOSI) believes that pediatricians who insist that children will grow out of it when faced with children who take to opposite gender toys are being irrational. He believes that little boys should be taught to be a man. What I wonder is why can people look at it from another perceptive. a little boy that is constantly being roughhoused, is rarely consoled and is taught that boys don’t cry could instead of taught how to be a man but taught how to be aggressive taught not to be a nurturer but emotionless. Since when did a little boy playing with toys have to be translated into a gender role or as this author constantly says a gendered problem. I noticed that this author had a hard time providing examples of a female who undergos this “ gender identity “ problem because society is more accepting of the girl that plays with trucks then the boy that plays with dolls.