Bigotry knows no bounds, not even facepaint
Attitudes about genders have been changing slowly for the last few decades, yet there are still stalwarts out there who believe that boys should only play with trucks and toy guns while girls should only bake cookies and take care of baby dolls. Most people know that these gender roles are arbitrary and forced, but one professional clown just can’t handle these parents who tell their children who they should become based on their gender.
Something for Boys
Twitter user Sanduhruh went on a rant that has since gone viral that retells the tale of the day she lost her faith in humanity. This wasn’t a one-time experience; she’s been witnessing this depraved behavior for a long time, and she felt the need to warn others out there that their actions could be affecting the futures of children.
She began her speech, “Hey everyone I’m a clown and I just got back from facepainting at a picnic and here’s my take on male violence in America: A 4 [year old] boy asked me to paint a blue butterfly on his face. Then his mom told me ‘No, he doesn’t want that.’ She turns to dad, a big guy in a jersey, and says accusingly, ‘Do you want your son to have a butterfly on his face?’ He says ‘No.’ Which, cool, let’s bring your husbands masculinity into it too. Because your 4 [year old] kid needs to know that his father would be ashamed too.”
Although she was heartbroken for this innocent child, she had to satisfy the customer, or his boorish parents, rather. She continued, “I really tried you guys, but this woman was so scared of her son wanting a butterfly she made me paint a skull and crossbones on his cheek, ‘Butterflies are beautiful,’ he said that’s what he wants, shouldn’t I paint what he wants? ‘No give him something for boys.'”
When I finished the skull I said to kiddo. ‘You want a little blue butterfly too?’ He nods. Mom interrupts ‘You didn’t ask me.’
She tried to persuade the mother to think a different way, but it didn’t work. She said, “I say in my kindest f**k you voice. ‘Oh I’m sorry, I thought this was for HIM.’ ‘I’m his MOTHER. You need to ask me.’ She says.”
Sanduruh sees how parents make their children conform to gender roles that we know now are completely fabricated and unnecessary, saying, “I’m sorry that he was shamed for wanting to share in the joy that is the miracle and wonder of nature. I see this all the time. And I really feel for these boys, because the girls don’t get it as bad. Being a tomboy is slightly more normalized. And when girls want skulls or sharks the parents shrug and laugh like ‘haha she’s a kooky kid!’ Because maleness and masculinity isn’t a sin. But when a boy want to enjoy something for its beauty, they are told it’s not for them. Not in this house. Not in this family.”
What You’re Allowed
Sanduruh made a point that many parents agreed with, and some that only realized what they were doing by reading this. She wrote, “We are teaching them that anger & violence are the only things they are allowed to experience. That to value beauty & elegance is shameful. I know that it was just facepaint, but that’s sort of my point. Why in the hell are these parents shaming their boys over FACEPAINT.”
She said about how such little things could add up to widespread disaster, “So the next time you are incredulous about how the government could shut down our national parks, or build the pipeline, or nuke the planet… Think about what this four year old boy asked for, and what he got. Epilogue: the mom complained to my boss.”
She also noticed that the tides are turning on gender roles, but not in a great way. While attitudes towards girls are relaxing some, they may be ramping up against boys. “Like I saw how little respect femininity was given and I was convinced it was because women were less than and everyone knew it. It wasn’t til later I realized that the patriarchal version of ‘power’ comes at the price of oppression. Which is why today made me so crazy. Mom thought kiddo’s butterfly would make him weak. We need to teach our children to strive for other types of power beyond anger and oppression.”
Experiments have shown that adults tend to treat children according to gender biases even when they describe themselves as open-minded. Do you think that there’s a war on gender identities? Let us know what you think is going on and SHARE this story!