A Father Helps His Son Change the Perception of Gender Norms and Prove to His Peers There’s Nothing Wrong With Making Your Own Choices
As parents, we want to see our children happy, even if it is sometimes a big challenge that involves, among other things, going against social opinion. Boys who wear makeup or high heels, girls who practice soccer or boxing: things have changed in recent years, and gender roles are behind us. Or at least for this dad.
He chose to respect his son’s tastes and let him be the way he is, without labels. His stance has won both applause and criticism, and we would love to know your opinion about it too, so here is his story.
Father and son had a great weekend with colorful nail polish.
Doug Weaver, Finley’s dad, told about a curious situation his son had to go through at school on a TikTok post. Finley’s a creative little school-age boy. And after a weekend of family fun, the child went to school again on Monday, wearing his fingernails painted in different colors. This is something that father and son often do when they feel like it.
For Doug, colors are an essential part of his life, as he is an art teacher and artist. So not only does he not consider it a bad or weird thing for his son to want to paint his nails, but he even joins in. He helps his son do it and lets the boy paint his nails as well. Even though it’s fun and natural for them, not everyone tends to take it the same way, especially other children.
“He came home from school saying three boys in his class told him that painting his nails was a girl’s thing.”
Unfortunately, in today’s society, even in the 21st century, male and female roles are still very much alive, and many people still find it hard to get rid of those old-fashioned patterns. That’s why three boys in Finley’s class argued that wearing painted nails was a girl thing, to which the little boy responded naturally that there is nothing exclusive for boys or girls.
That’s what he learned at home, from his parents and his environment, that girls and boys are equal and should have the same rights and freedoms. Best of all, Finley, far from feeling embarrassed, argued his point and got one of the three children to change their minds and acknowledge that he was right and that he was no less a boy, than the rest because he paints his nails.
His parents allowed Finley to choose what he likes, regardless of prevalent gender norms.
When he was in kindergarten, he also painted his nails, but back then, children not only didn’t question it, they liked it. This proves we don’t “come from the factory” with assigned gender roles. We acquire them as we grow up and integrate into society. That is why this father, a man who also paints his nails, wanted to invite other fathers to reflect on the matter.
“Many criticize how I raise my son, but how am I supposed to raise him? Should I tell him that if he wants to do something, he should ask others first, and if others are okay with it, he should do it, but if not, he shouldn’t? We need a world where it is acceptable to be yourself and unacceptable to mess with others, but we don’t have that, so I can only set my son up to be judged for doing the stuff he loves. The important thing is that he knows that I love him for who he is and beyond all else. He doesn’t have to earn my love, and he doesn’t have to be who he isn’t to meet my expectations or anyone else’s.”
What do you think about the gender roles our generation has grown up with? What things do you think should still be exclusively for men or exclusively for women?