Gender Bender

What can I say? Little Fella likes the color pink. Despite all my efforts to form him in the traditional male mold and inspire his conformity to social expectations, he wants to wear his sister’s clothes and use the pink plates. The ballerina pajamas are particular favorites. They are size 18 months, but they have a little bit of a vee neck with buttons so it is possible to get it over his giant three-year-old head. He’s such a skinny little thing that the pants fit him better in the waist than most of his own clothes, but he’s average height, so he walks around in those things like they have three-quarter-length sleeves and capri pants. It’s a great look, especially with his eyelashes, which are luxurious.


As usual, laundry has gotten ahead of me, and so we’ve been doing the mad scramble for kids’ clothes all week. It was a pretty nice day out today, so I put Little Filly in a dress and I was going to put him in shorts. She hasn’t been in a dress for a while now, so it was pretty fun for her to have all that fabric to swish around. Hems started hopping and girls started jumping, and next thing you knew she was dancing. Well, Fella wasn’t going to sit by and watch that happen. He wanted dancing clothes, too. The closest pink clothes were the ballerina jammies from the laundry pile, so I hooked him up in the pants and he went dancing, too. They hopped, and twirled, and rolled, and posed, and swiveled for a good five minutes before I asked Fella what kind of dancing they were doing.

It was the pink excavator dance. Very interpretive. Mostly solo dancing happening on the same stage, but separately. It morphed into the pink dumptruck dance, but then it was time for lunch. The ballerina jammie pants had to go back into the laundry because they stank vaguely of yogurt, but they’d done good work for the day.

Susan Komen would be proud.


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  • johny  On January 20, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    what the hell are you doing putting your little boy in pink woman! i mean what the hell, dont you know that your scarring him for life, gender roles are gender roles for a reason lady, being a feminist is one thing but dressing your little boy up to look like a girl is another, i really like you karen, i mean anti fdr, babylon 5 fan, i couldnt believe how much we had in common, but i mean what the fuck girl, dont do the feminist social experiment on your own boy, remember he IS a boy, or do you want him to be a flaming queer? and one hint at why your boy might be wanting to wear pink clothing karen, maybe because your letting your feminist views get in the way of your parenting, think that maybe your showing favoritism to your girl there and your little boy can pick up on it? so hows he to get attention from mommy, well by out girling the girl, and im sure you absolutely love and support him girling up for you which only continues his bad habits. good grief woman your smart i know you are dont let all the femdo mumbdo jumbo confuse you, men are great, and so are women, would you dress your girl up like a cowboy and have her shoot guns and ride a fake horsey, hell no? then dont dress your boy up like a damn ballerina! have a nice day

  • Karen  On January 21, 2009 at 9:33 am

    You might be on to something. A cowboy has five times the strength of a ballerina, if Google Fights is to be trusted. And I trust it. Of course, that’s good reason to put the girl in cowboy clothes. There’s just no way out of this one.

  • Barbara Weed  On January 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Stick with your instincts and let your son play, he’s only three years old so let him dress up. Why limit either of them to gender roles. Cowboy clothes for your daughter are one option. Another is just to stop dressing your daughter in pink.

  • Karen  On January 25, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    (We’re joking.)

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