These days Adele revolutionized social networks and the media with the beautiful gesture she had with her son. Throughout the network, some photos were spread in which the British singer was seen on a trip to Disneyland with her husband and her son, the latter dressed as Princess Anna, from the movie ‘Frozen’ . In general, there are many children who like to dress up whenever they can, and it is not the first time that Adele is seen with her child in disguise , on another occasion she was Spiderman, but now she wanted Anna’s and, simply , his mother dressed him like that.
Fortunately, the many reactions to this gesture have not been negative, quite the contrary. Although in society it is not well seen that children do “girlish things” (and vice versa as well, but we would not be so surprised to see a girl disguised as a male superhero), it is when these rules are broken that we realize how harmful they are. On one occasion when Adele spoke about her son, she made it clear that she did not care about his future sexual orientation and that she would support him in everything he did , beyond this topic.
From the time they begin to have contact with the world, young children are constantly exposed to social rules, some better than others. For example, by seeing how adults speak and how we address them, they learn that in a conversation there is a succession of turns. Well, they also learn, in how we address them and how other children or adults behave, we teach them what “is for a boy” and what “is for a girl” : how they should dress, what they should play , how they should interact with others or what colors they should like . They are the rules that we have assumed as normal, and if we do not reflect on them and agree or not that we are with them, we will not consider that our male child can be dressed as a princess if he feels like it.
BOY’S OR GIRL’S TOYS
Every time we see more cases, and they attract our attention enormously, of fathers and mothers who buy their male children toys that they ask for, such as a Barbie. We see them as people who break prejudices and fear of “what they will say” and transmit to their children confidence, support and self-assurance. A child may receive bad comments from other children, but if his parents teach him that what he does or what he likes is not a fault, his self-esteem will not be damaged . They teach them to say: I believe in it, I believe in myself and I am proud.
But implicit social norms don’t make it easy: there’s a toy aisle for boys and another for girls. If you go to the wrong corridor, you are someone strange. This generates anguish for children, and this is aggravated if their parents do not support their tastes, or if they see that they have to hide from how they are and feel.
FEAR IN PARENTS TRANSFORMED INTO SHAME IN CHILDREN
The origin of this gender immobility in toys, clothes, colors, emotions, behavior, etc., has its origin in two great words: patriarchy and homophobia , which go hand in hand in a large percentage of cases. Patriarchy dictates that children are to be strong, dominant, brave, etc. That’s why they are superheroes, they live great adventures, drive great cars, carry guns, or repair objects with their toolbox, like dad. The girls are sweet, they are princesses, they are weak, they take care of others and imitate their mother, pretending to maintain the home. They play with dolls , kitchens, unicorns, irons, mops, etc.
The idea that is transmitted is that if a girl does boyish things, she is a tomboy, or simply wants to imitate other children. If a boy does girlish things, we automatically predict that as an adult he will be gay. The question is: if a boy plays with toys as a girl , paints himself like girls, or dresses like girls, will he be homosexual when he is older? The answer is: does that matter?
If a boy or girl has behaviors of the opposite gender when they are small or small, it is not possible to know if they will be homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual , because the tastes of boys and girls are not the cause or consequence of their sexual orientation. However, if a young child has to hide his emotions, desires and tastes from his own parents because he is afraid that they will laugh at him or reject him , he will have poorer emotional development and less self-esteem and confidence in itself.