Recent conversations in LJ, as well as a conversation with eseme on this sweater and thoughts on my baby boy cousin and my upcoming baby-mystery-gender cousin have me thinking about children and gender.
My dad likes to joke about the wooden truck he gave me as a little girl. Nothing wrong with it, and I had plenty of dolls too. I'm always a little mystified about how I can be as girly as I am, in all the foofy negative sterotypes, and yet equally masculine in just-as-unhelpful ways (I could go on about this one for hours. Maybe later).
Where I'm going today is baby gifts. It's certainly not my job to impose any idea I have on gender roles on someone else's child, and I have none of my own on which to impose or not anything. So no masculine pink for baby boys or lacy blue for baby girls, as much as it might tickle me to knit such a think.
But trucks and dolls? The male friend we had in elementary school who played with My Little Ponies in 5th grade turned out to be Miss Gay Rochester, but where's the causal factors? I don't really think that playing with dolls turned him gay, any more than playing with trucks (and on a construction site) turned me butchy. I'm still not going to give Baby Cousin any little baby-doll toys, but really, at that point, what's acceptable and what's not? I'll note that, while I love his mother, my cousin, I don't think I know her very well. If this was, say, one of my good friends' children, I'd just ask.
And I'm rambling! Every time I think about gender roles, the subversion thereof, and toy trucks for baby girls (so much more acceptable than baby-dolls for baby boys, but that's yet another rant), I run into a loop: Gender roles exist for a reason. But in modern society, subverting them is possible, should be permitted, and may be helpful.
I'm not sure I have a coherent point yet. Just a bit of musing.