i have two boys and, like, yes they are very rough and tumble kids. they climb trees and play swords and have more nerf guns than is fucking healthy. they love disc golf and camping and fishing and dragons and shit marvel movies and xbox and, god help me, fedoras and wearing socks w/ their slides. but they also love sewing and cooking and drawing and the color pink and they know how to iron clothes and scrub a fucking toilet. they prance around the house in my high heels because they think its badass that i can go backwards down the stairs in them. one of them has long hair and gets teased for it. they know about bodily consent. they know about the patriarchy and how toxic that is. they know what intersectional feminism is. they know what emotions are and are learning how to handle them in healthy ways. they’re currently watching moana for the seven-fucking-thousandth day in a row and belting the shit out of the songs, not just maui’s, because it’s a good fucking movie. we go on bike rides and walks and play these awful geek role playing games that i hate but we do, because they love them. they know about institutional racism and the school to prison pipeline, police brutality, redlining, etc. and all the layers of privilege they were born into. we only read family books that had a girl protagonist for a year. this coming year, we aren’t reading any books about white kids. they love plays. we talk about internal biases and acknowledge that we are all racist, and learning ways to overcome that and educate ourselves.
anyway fuck gender norms and ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘my kid is too delicate to handle these heavy topics’ bullshit. you can let boys express themselves in traditionally masculine ways, if that’s what they want, and still raise them to be thoughtful, conscientious human beings. it isn’t that fucking difficult.