Friday, August 14, 2009

Your son's going to be gay if you dress him like that.

First, let me apologize for the straight-out-of-camera-ness of this picture, but I'm NAK at the moment, and photo-editing is just a touch beyond me right now.

Babylegs. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're gaining popularity, especially amongst the cloth diapering crowd.

I personally LOVE them. I love the way that they keep his little legs warm and still allow me to change his diaper. I love how adorable they are. I love the way that I can put his diaper on him with his babylegs and he's good to go in this hot summer weather. I also love that they guard against that awful carpet burn that little ones tend to get on their knees when they start crawling. Sure, Snapdragon's not crawling just yet, but he will be some day, and I love that we're ready to go when he's ready to go.

Now, this is one of my absolute favorite outfits to dress him in. I like the way the piping on the onesie nearly matches the blue on his babylegs. So, when we're getting dressed up to go somewhere, this is what I like to put him in. I even have a sweater and bib to finish the outfit, but on the day in question, he wasn't wearing any of that. Just this.

What day is that, you ask? The day I took him to my brother-in-law's house to pal it up with his family and my husband's sister who was also there with her little, er, big baby who is two days older than Snapdragon.

Well, after about two hours of happily playing, my brother-in-law's wife came home (I refrain from calling her my sister-in-law, else you think she's married to my brother) and she's playing with the babies. Holding them and cooing over them. Yay, we're having a grand time for all of 2 minutes, when she looks at me and says, "Your son's going to be gay if you dress him like that."

Excuse me?

"Your son's going to be gay if you dress him like that."

That's right. My adorable little boy's adorable little babylegs are going to make him gay. Aren't you glad to know that after all the years of research into the biological reasons a person might be homosexual that its aparently as simple as the way you were dressed as a baby.

Dress that kid like a sissy, he'll grow up to be one.

It is overwhelmingly sad to me that this sort of ignorance about homosexuality still exists. More upsetting is that these sorts of comments are tossed about in front of children (for instance, the six children who were present at the time of said comment) thus perpetuating this type of ignorant biggotry.

Dressing your child in adorable clothes will have no effect on whether they grow up to like men, women, or a little bit of either! But forcing rigid stereotypes upon them *will* influence how comfortable they are in their own skin, and how well they interact with anyone who might deviate from the social "norm" which they have been taught.

Boys can play with dolls and still grow up to get married and have children. Girls can play with trucks. Boys can wear pink and girls can wear jeans. If I want to let my son have a floral blanket, that's okay, because flowers are lovely, whether you're male or female. They're aesthetically pleasing. Just because it's pleasant, boys don't have to dislike it. The fact that these biggoted ideas still dominate the social consciousness reflects poorly on us as a people.

So yeah, the babylegs look a little preppy. But who cares? The next day he was in skulls and guitars punk clothes. Does that mean he's going to grow up to be a punk? I don't think so.

So please, next time you go to make a comment about how girly a boy's outfit, haircut, choice of toys may be, please remember, there's nothing wrong with anderogyny. It leads to acceptance of both one's self and others. Spread the love. Not the hate.

Next time, I know what to say in response. "Your son's going to be gay if you dress him like that."

"Happy? I hope so."

The fine print.
I was not compensated in any way for writing about BabyLegs, particularily not compensated to make a case as to why they may or may not look/be/induce-one-to-become gay. That's really not how I roll. I did win these BabyLegs, and without the Born2Impress giveaway, I'd not own a pair. In my dealings with the company to arrange shipping, I made a comment which they did ask if they could quote, and I said yes. Yes, spouse called me a sell-out at that point, but if saying "sure, you can quote me, and by the way, thanks," is being a sell-out, so be it. If you look at pictures of Snapdragon's cuteness and think, "I need a pair!" Well, good for you, but that's not my point either. If BabyLegs would like to compensate me by sending me another pair to review all formal-like, that's their business, and they're free to email me, but I'm not going begging.

12 reflections:

Candice said...

My son wears his big sister's costumes all the time, faeries princesses, plays with barbies and etc. I take pics for blackmail later if he ever decides to date someone I don't like (lol hope it doesn't come to that).
Recently he has decided that his favorite color is pink! He sees me knitting something pink and goes, I love pink, pink pink pink, in his little chant. Grabs his sisters shoes all the time and even her pink shorts. I'm not worried one bit. :) It's just a color or a costume and they are little. It doesn't mean a thing.
He has a soft side and that's a good thing but he is all boy at times too.
I don't see how babylegs have anything to do with being gay.. even if you put hot pink on him!
I hope to try some of those out this fall under dresses :)

Slee said...

Yeah, I was sorta kinda flabberghasted when she said that. And I talked to my spouse about it. He agrees. I'm free to dress Snapdragon in pink, free to call him Snapdragon, even though it's a flower name, and free to let him play with mermaid and Raggedy Ann "action figures." Heck, if he wants to try on sister's costumes, cool beans! My nephews like to play with mommy's makeup and perfume. My 3yr old cousin likes to wear a feather boa. Why? It's soft and colorful and exotic to him. Yeah, those are the same reasons women like them.
Cracks me up, but the notions are so prevalent that we can "screw up" our kids by dressing them one way or another, it makes me nuts.
Now I have to go find Mongoosine's Girl Scout vest.

Jess said...

UGH ppl are ignorant jerkwads >:( I <3 babylegs!

Erin said...

Oh yes, I've heard that about my son with regard to the BabyLegs, about his tricycle with a pink basket (a hand-me-down from my nieces), and the purple carpet in his playroom, and so on. And you know, what kills me above all is that even if any of those things could make him gay, who cares!? He'd still be my son, and I'd still love him just as much, but people say it like gay=death.

Jennifer said...

Seriously? This chick has issues. My retort would have been, "Well, at least he won't be closed-minded and rude, like some folks I know."
Ugh. If it makes you feel any better, my son is very much into the playing dress-up stage, and I have been teaching my son (he's 3) that breastfeeding is the way babies are fed- he's there as my 4-month-old is nursing every 1.5-2 hours, so he kinda gets the idea. Well, this week, he decided to pretend to be ME. So he lifted his shirt and put his stuffed frog up to his "milks" as we call them. He got up on my chair, used the boppy, the whole 9 yards. He even started asking me to get him things, like I do when I'm nursing. Ha! Yes, of course, I took a photo. Do I (or my husband, or any other reasonable people) think he's going to be gay? No, he's pretending, that's what kids do. If he is gay, do you think I'm going to mourn? No, only in so much that I know he'll get a hard time from all the jerks out there. Whatever. Laugh it off and be thankful you don't have to hang out with her much. (and we out here in cyberspace think she's a schmuck, whoever she is!)

Pamela said...

Wow. Hello there, ignorance, who invited you?

If BabyLegs are enough to alter someone's genetic makeup, maybe they should start looking into curing cancer.

My two and a half yo son and four yo son would make her head spin! The 2.5 yo's favorite outfit of late is a wife beater and a light blue twirly skirt (with sequins, of course!) and mardi gras beads from his sister's dress up box. And yes, I take him places dressed that way. Because that's how I roll.

I'm sorry that she was so unkind to you and your wee Snapdragon. That is really crappy.

Anonymous said...

I could hear my husband's SIL saying something stupid like that too.

PurpleBint said...


Toby wears babylegs too, I order them on Ebay as they're not that easy to get hold of in the UK. Most of his are pretty piratey ones, bones and stripes etc. Plus a pair of really cute red and white stripes that go with his 'labyrinth' vests.

His sister wears them too, they tend to just swap babylegs as the colour of their clothes suits.

I haven't had any kind of judgemental reaction yet, but I'm sure it will come.

*gets pokey stick at the ready for them*

Melodie said...

My husband's ex used to dress their son in girls clothes and take him to town. He's certainly not gay. I used to dress up my little brother in floral dresses and tie bows in his hair. He's not gay either - although his best friend is. I look after a little boy who loves the colour pink and all he wanted for his 4th birthday was a pink car, so I got him one. I don't think he'll grow up to be gay either, but I guess it's too early to know for sure. We let girls play in the mud with trucks and pick up bugs and never wonder if they are going to grow up gay. We just call them tomboys. I think it is perfectly fine to make our boys a little girly. If anything I think it teaches them some sensitivity and increases their openess. Of course on babies it does nothing but make them look cute as buttons.

~ April ~ EnchantedDandelions said...

Wow, can't believe she said something like that. Oh wait, I can. Apparently if your SON has hair longer than a crew cut, you get all kinds of comments. I had a woman bend down, got right in Isaiah's face and said to him "You better get your mommy to cut your hair so you don't look like a sissy!". WTF?! My SIL's husband also makes comments every. single. time we see him. It's like, dude you're 45 years old. Do you not have anything better to do than make fun of a toddler?

I love your gay = happy, I hope so comment. <3

Slee said...

I HATE it when people get on little boys for having hair that doesn't look like the prison-issue style of a juvenile delinquent. It is so disappointing every time.
I find that more and more often I find more and more reasons NOT to interact with people like my BIL's wife and your SIL's husband.
They all need to get put on a boat together and be sent to a small island called "the frak outta here."

sarala said...

That was such a rude comment. I'm not sure if I would have used Baby legs if they were around when my sons were little but that would not have been due to some issue of fashionableness.
I'm the mother of a 12 year old son who dances at a studio with hundreds of girls and only a handful of boys. Well, so far I don't think he's gay, I'd love him the same regardless and I'm trying to teach him to have the spine to respond appropriately to those who think that only gay boys dance. To date, he hasn't had much negative feedback (although he doesn't tell people at school that he dances) and being one of the few boys he gets great parts at the shows.
This is a long winded way to say here's to Babylegs! And down with bigots!