No Son of Mine Is Wearing a Dress to School

Rant 57

dressesBoys will be boys. Except when they act like girls, that is.

I'm not talking about seeing an icky spider and shrieking in terror like a 6-year-old girl. I'm talking about dressing the part. The recent NY Times article "What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?" takes a hard look at a seriously tough topic for parents and boys living in today's hetero/homo/metro sexual society.

The article discusses a number of examples of boys as young as 3 or 4 years old wanting to dress up like girls. Dresses, makeup, high heels, etc. Now, from the dawn of Prada time, little boys have wanted to dress up like their moms. Or at the very least, try on their shoes. Come on, it's like a walking roller coaster, how could they not want to?

Today's problem for parents, though, revolves around boys going way past just trying on mom's pumps. It's boys not wanting to be labeled as boys or girls, but just being themselves. They wear dresses and braid their hair with girls, but they also go play video games and superheroes with boys.

I have two sons. To the best of my knowledge, they have no desire to dress up like girls. They scream in horror when they see Dora on TV, and constantly tease me that I want to go play with Barbie dolls. But what if they wanted to start wearing dresses? What if they wanted to shatter the very idea of compartmentalizing genders? What if they just want to be "human" and dress and act like a girl, a boy, a kid?

I guess what I'm asking myself is: Would I let my boys wear dresses and makeup? I'm honestly not entirely sure what I would do in this situation. If they were playing around for dress-up, absolutely. But if they were talking about a whole lifestyle change and wanted to dress and act like a girl at school, then I honestly don't know.

I'd definitely be unhappy about it, but I'm also unhappy that I'm even thinking that way. I want my kids to live happy and healthy lives no matter what. If dressing like a girl, doing their nails, wearing necklaces, and playing with My Little Pony dolls make them happy, then I'd want them happy. But society overwhelmingly would look down upon that.

Life would be incredibly tough for my boys and they'd be the eternal subject of ridicule. Therein lies the dilemma. The only way to change society's overall view is to be accepting and embrace how brave my kids would be for daring to be different. But by doing so, they'd go through a ton of pain. No parent wants that for their kids.

At their age, I still think my kids are too young to really know what they want, so for now, I'd have to say no to wearing dresses to school. When they're older and a bit more mature, it's up to them. I don't even want to think about some of those parents who are getting their kids puberty-blocking hormones in anticipation of their kids doing a full-on gender switch.

Would you let your son regularly wear dresses?


Image via Leslie Duss/Flickr

behavior, boys, elementary school

57 Comments

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Becca854 Becca854

my son is 3 he only has girl cousins and friends, none of my family or friends have boys but me.  He loves to play dress up and always wants to be the princess. When I put my make up on he begs me to let him too. at this point I dont see an issue with it. I feel like once he gets into school and plays with boys he will be fine. I think its just play, let them play 

nonmember avatar amber

Sorry, but no my son won't be wearing dresses. Not even in the house. He was born a boy, therefore in my home..while he is living with me...he will be just that A BOY. People letting their children confuse themselves with that stuff...sets them off for a confusing life and then they don't know what they wanna be. Teach them to be what they are from the start. I love my son with all my heart, and sometimes teaching them the right thing can be tough. Just like when you ground them and they get mad at u. U don't want them to be upset but u r doing it for the best interest of your child. But he's only 19 months, so no punishments like that for him yet. Lol.

Samirah Goudy

My child can wear what ever she wants and if I had or have a son he can wear what he wants as well. Children know exactly what they want and who they are and to discourage something that feels so natural and isnt hurting anyone is terrible. If my son wants to wear a dress to school then he can. People will be bullied and teased no matter what they wear or do.

Shelby Sullivan

I think at home is one thing, but no I would not let my son wear a dress to school. Kids are CRUEL.

Mommy... Mommy4Boys1987

I have 2 boys(5 and 4). They have wanted to wear my undergarments(mostly bras) and nail polish. However although they have done that I have gotten them out of that habit due to it was odd and strange. I do allow my boys to dress how they want, but I would not let them wear dresses, skirts, or make-up. They do put my shoes on from time to time because they want to "be like Mommy" due to not having a Dad in their life. But now that they have a Dad in their life they want to be like him instead of me.   

nonmember avatar Rochel

My answer would be a big "NO"!!!! In the bible is states that "boys and girls" and "men and women" should NOT dress the same. If God wanted them to be girls he would of made them girls. Plain and simple! It is our responsibilities as parents to not allow our children into temptation. Remember parents for children of young age YOU are held accountable for their actions in front of God. God Bless and my family and church will be praying for all these families.

Veronica A Hester

Jennifer Paul Gibson I agree with you. I will not force my child to be someone they are not, just to fit in, or make MY life easier. That would be selfish. As long as they know the pros and cons, well, let them be who they are.

Jennifer Lester

So glad my son attends a private school that requires him to wear a uniform. I know that's the cowards' way out, but since he's a six year old little boy right now, I don't care.

Nikki Lyn McDevitt

I have four sons and three daughters, so I might just know a little bit about child rearing. When my first daughter was little, she had only three older brothers to play with. She chose the youngest boy to be "her" playmate. He dressed up, put on pretend make-up, and wore play curlers. He loved it. As he grew older, it was evident he marched to the beat of a different drummer. I loved it. As a teen, he and his girlfriend wore matching pleated skirts to school. They thought it was amusing that people felt the need to stare. One day in college he wanted to take a lunch to school and the only available lunch bag at home was a Barbie. He proudly packed his lunch and went on his merry way. He is now in his fifth year of college, engaged to be married to a wonderful girl. Together they have their life plans moving in the direction they choose. I gave all my children the opportunity to express themselves, and the four that are grown are productive, "normal" adults. Who deemed skirts and dresses as girl clothing anyway? Probably that same person who said girls shouldn't play sports. Oh yeah, it took me until my fourth child (a girl) to get an athlete.

Pamula Jaques

it wouldnt matter to me its my son and i gave birth to i love him uncondtionally i would support him no matter what he did as long as it wasnt serious like drugs or being a thief or a gang member

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