November 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm , by Louise Sloan
I just read the most amazing blog post, written by a midwestern mom, a cop’s wife, whose 5-year-old-boy wanted to dress up for Halloween as Daphne, from Scooby Doo, just like his best friend, who’s a girl. That’s him in the picture. Now, if you can’t wear something silly and fun on Halloween, when you’re five, when can you? But as Cop’s Wife discovered, you can’t, not ever, no sir, not if you’re a boy. She and her son ran into schoolyard bullies, bent on enforcing sex-stereotypical costume choices. Only it wasn’t her son’s classmates who were the bullies, not yet–it was the other moms, whose faces twisted in disgust at seeing a preschooler wear the “wrong” Halloween costume. And we wonder why we have such bad bullying problems in our middle schools and high schools, where any kid who’s different–too fat, too skinny, too smart, too slow, too effeminate, not the dominant race, too poor, not dressed in the right labels–gets harassed and pounded? Where do those mean kids get their ideas from? Hello, mirror!
My little boy, age 4, loves to dress up, too, especially in his tutu-like black tulle skirt. Like Cop’s Wife’s kid, he happens to have some close friends who are girls, and they’re into the princess thing, and really, what is not fun about a tutu? He’s also obsessed with our good friend Nelson, aka “Cherry L,” who lives in the neighborhood and happens to be an amazing reggae/dancehall/hiphop singer. My boy currently refuses to wear anything but jeans, because that’s what Nelson wears. But sometimes he likes to mix it up: Here’s my main man in dinosaur pjs and the tulle skirt, doing his rendition of one of Nelson’s rap songs, “You Check It.” Pretty hardcore/masculine, don’t you think, swaying tulle aside?
For Halloween, though, no tutus–he wanted to be a cop. I was relieved, frankly. And I got to crossdress, as an escaped convict, complete with beard. Since I’m a girl, no one cared. But what if my son had really, really wanted to be a princess? What should I have done? Read Cop’s Wife’s blog and then post your comments/thoughts below.