Yes, I said my son. He's a boy. He likes trucks, bike riding, digging in the dirt, and pink fairies.
When he first requested to be Abby, I was not surprised. He adores her and her fluffy purple pigtails so much that his birthday cake was - kind of - an homage to her fairy pinkness. Who was I to deny his desire?
Of course, then I started to over-think it.
What if everyone refers to him as a girl? What if peoples' reactions were negative? How many times will I hear, "How does his dad feel about this?"
I do live in a pretty liberal-minded community, but that does not mean everyone is cool with a little boy dressed as a girl. So, I sought opinions.
Reactions were mostly positive -- a few were worried about his dad's reaction. I wasn't. His dad's reaction was always, "Go for it."
So, we did and the piecing together of an Abby Cadabby costume began. As I was cutting strip after strip of tulle, I began to feel pride in my son's choice.
You see, lately I've been reading a few articles on the lack of strong female characters in motion pictures and the lack of womanly representation in Congress. It got me thinking about the backwardness of having little girls idolize male role models while not being comfortable with little boys doing the same towards females. Why is it acceptable for little girls to dress up in stereotypically male roles like soldiers, baseball players, or superheros (granted these are usually highly feminized versions - gah) but not for boys to dress-up in stereotypically female roles?
It is my belief that these stereotypes are wrong no matter which way they are directed. How will society ever fully accept females as equals if we continue to allow our sons to only idolize males? Why shouldn't my son want to grow up to be just like Hillary Clinton, Mia Hamm, or Martha Stewart (excepting the illegal trading and all)? Women are worth idolizing and it shouldn't just be our girls who are doing it.
After all, Halloween is about pretending, make-believe, and trying out a persona. If my son idolizes a strong, opinionated, and intelligent character, who cares if she's also wearing a dress and a set of fairy wings?
Now, here's hoping I haven't made a terrible mistake that will scar him for the rest of his life. I haven't, right?!?