not just for girls

Not Just For Girls. Boys Can’t Dance.

gender

In the times where people are fighting for gender equality – equal rights as adults to allow women and girls the same rights as men, in the work place and how we dress. It is a slow movement, but the little things like, equal choice of clothing for little girls are beginning to change. 13 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt buying a cardigan with cars on – aimed at little girls, yet there is one currently hung in the wardrobe, or dinosaur clothes designed for girls. It is brilliant.

While we’re looking deeply into what clothing line these big companies have, making a stand, there is another little corner that seems society turns a blind eye to; that gender stereotypical jobs and hobbies are still very much obvious.

Football for boys, ballet for girls; this has stuck; and is something that is currently on my mind. Let me tell you…

Background

In 2012 my eldest daughter took the steps to join a local majorette troupe; she didn’t enjoy gymnastics or country dancing, so I wasn’t sure if she would even enjoy this activity either. But she did and this year we’re nearing her 6th year and still loves every part of it. She also occasionally participates in football and hockey with her school; all activities very much supported. As long as she is enjoying it, nobody seems to bat an eyelid at her activities – quite right too.

 

Not Just For Girls

My son, he’s an absolute Gentleman, he’s very kind and is thoughtful towards others. He is also a majorette. One very hot summer’s day in 2013 whilst watching his older sister display, he asked if he was able to join in; I enquired and he was welcomed with open arms. I genuinely believed he wouldn’t stay for long I, myself assumed he would stop when he realised (at the time), there were no other boys, and just how much hard work goes into training. He surprised us all; he is now currently going into his 5th year.

 

The kicker – The Not-So Gender Equality

I have been questioned many times over the past five years from different people about my son doing majorettes. That is deemed too girly for him.

Where I have never been questioned about my daughter doing it, or that she also plays football (and is a fan of football too, might I add – both my son AND my husband aren’t bothered by football!!).

I am not really sure why people, in today’s society – where people are fighting (and rightly so) over women’s rights, that this hobby is deemed “too girly.” Yes it obviously is predominantly a female activity, but that shouldn’t stop any person male or female having a go. The stereotypes are still there, and are a long way behind what it should be. As I said nobody seems to be bothered by my daughter playing and liking football, yet it is EVERYBODY’S business whether my son twirls a baton.

 

Fighting the Corner

Where is the fight for the boys who want to dance? We’re still no closer to having the freedom for more Billy Elliotts.

The fight for those boys who do want to put on ballet pumps and pirouette.

For the boys, like my son as well as many other sons, who want to pick up a baton and NOT want to injure someone but to show off a skill, or a set of poms to show off his team building skills?

These boys need this corner too. There have been times where my son has been alienated by friends and classmates because of his hobby. It’s unfair.

To me, it is the adults – the parents who need to help change this stigma where boys can’t comfortably enjoy something that is not the usual football or scouts.

Sadly I have seen it with my own eyes where people point at the boys at carnivals and displays (although in my son’s case it is friends who point more…), at the end of the day they are children; children who are out to entertain doing the thing that they love, the boys should never feel like they’re inadequate. There are some amazing male twirlers in the world – you’ve just got to open your eyes and see the amazing things these guys do, ignoring the rudeness.

I would rather my son pick up a baton and twirl or a set of poms and rock out to Bon Jovi; than be the mean judgemental humans out there, who think it is acceptable to ridicule someone because of their gender.

It is time to stop.

So, unless your hobby is porn or of a sexual nature, then gender should NOT have an effect on a person’s hobbies, jobs or activities.

Leave our boy twirlers, boy dancers alone.

 

Disclaimer:

I am incredibly proud of my son, of all my children. We never push them to do their hobbies, in fact sometimes it would be nice to have a Friday off (joke 😉 ), we weren’t expecting him to enjoy it so much, to still be doing it nearly 5 years on. I do ask him every now and again if he still wants to continue, and every time his answer is yes. I would never force him or any of them (I have three twirlers) to continue if they didn’t want to.

It really is a great activity, something different. He gets on with every single person on his team.

(Check out the behind the scenes post coming soon).

13 thoughts on “Not Just For Girls. Boys Can’t Dance.

  1. Izzy Robertson

    Beautifully put and I couldn’t agree with you more. All kids should be able to try out any hobbies irrespective of gender. Good for you for voicing this, good for all 3 of your twirlers for going out there and doing something positive and kudos to your son for blazing the trail for other boys.

    Reply
  2. Emma

    Ugh. So many things to say here.l but I’ll start by saying I couldn’t agree more. It’s so much more acceptable for girls to do “boys activities” than the other way around.

    Living abroad in a country where gender stereotypes are even more obvious (assistants at nursery say things like “boys don’t cry”) I have been appalled at the things my son hasn’t been ALLOWED to do like have his nails painted at Kidzmondo (like Kidzania).

    I think we fight the stereotypes in our own minds enough. We need to bite our own tongues to train our own minds against this stereotyping. But we all need to do it together.

    (Rant over)

    Reply
  3. Renee

    Before I became a Mum or boys, I always thought I’d have a girl. My little girl would become the ballerina, I always wanted to be. When I found out I was pregnant with Georgie, my second boy, my family said: “there goes the ballerina”. Not at all I replied, both my boys will make great principle ballerinas, haha. Sod the stereotype and sod people’s views x

    Reply
  4. Kirsty

    What a fantastic thought-provoking blog! I agree it’s so sad that so many hobbies and activities are still stereotyped by gender in mainstream culture today. As the mother of a girl and a boy, it rings true that yes boys often seem to have a harder time of it if they choose hobbies/ fashion that are generally ‘associated’ with girls. Gender equality needs to be about equality- empowering both men and women and breaking down these arbitrary cultural assumptions. Thanks for posting!

    Reply
  5. Sophie - wifemotherlife

    YES!! I have a girl/boy combo and my boy loves lego but also loves Rainbow Dash from MLP, do you think I can find him a gender neutral tshirt anywhere that doesn’t have pink sparkles and frills all over it? Nope! And he wanted to learn tap but shyed away from it because at 5 to be the only boy in the class made hime feel weird. Equality cuts both ways absolutely. Great post xx

    Reply

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