Defining Gender With Coats

Its one thing to blog about gender related issues here on the blog at SheHeroes, but it’s always something else to deal with them firsthand. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was dealing with an incident regarding my son not wanting to be teased for carrying a pink umbrella. But now it seems I’m dealing with something similar, only this time with my daughter.

My daughter has an extra warm puffy coat that fits perfect, but it’s not rain proof. And recently, in a stroke of genius I found my son’s hardly worn perfectly sized for her Spiderman winter coat, which IS rain proof. I didn’t think she’d mind much. She’s not exactly a Spiderman fan, but she’s not very particular about these kinds of things and I figured a warm cozy jacket to keep her dry was all she was interested in. But I was wrong.

She was afraid the other kids (boys AND girls) would make fun of her for wearing Spiderman. SPIDERMAN. I hadn’t realized the issues with gender marketing and the oversaturation of the Disney Princess market had hits so close to home that my daughter was afraid to wear a Spiderman jacket. I didn’t force her to wear it that day, but I held onto the jacket. And today as the rain poured down outside, I decided to try again.

This time she put it on. It fit perfect. But again she said that she was afraid someone might say something about her wearing a "boy jacket."

I asked her if she was comfortable and warm. She said yes. I asked her if she liked it. She said yes. So I told her that it doesn’t matter what other people say, and anyone who has a problem with Spiderman is just silly. This time, she agreed. So she grabbed her princess umbrella and zipped the Spiderman jacket. She didn’t have a word to say about it. And I’m glad.

Navigating the waters of gender marketing and the long lasting effects it has on our sons and daughters can be treacherous territory. But this is how we change things. One little girl and one little Spiderman jacket at a time.

How do you deal with these kind of issues when they come up in your home?

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