I let my son take the summer off from piano. He decided to learn piano after reading a few reviews on Instrument Find. It seemed like the perfect instrument for him to learn! A few weeks ago, I asked him if he was ready to begin lessons again. Normally he is very excited about piano lessons so I was caught off guard when he said he didn’t want to play any more. I asked him why. He told me that a few of the boys in his class told him that boys only play sports and not instruments and if that was true he didn’t want to play anymore.
I told him a.) not to believe everything people tell him b.) there are lots of men that play the piano and that what he was told was not true and c.) anything a boy can do so can girls and vice versa. He smiled and said he was ready for lessons to start up again.
Yahhh…mommy saves the day.
Then I started thinking about the subconscious gender assignments that we give to our children. I will be honest and be the first to say I am not fond of my son playing with a kitchen, but when I really think about it what’s really wrong with that. Men cook, men play instruments, men dance. I have to self profess that I am a hypocrite. My husband cooks in a kitchen, but I won’t let my son have one, and he’s asked. What’s the big deal? Am I afraid he will turn out gay? Maybe….I’m just being honest!
In retrospect, over here we are good for saying boys do this and girls do that. Now that I really think about it, we need to stop. Maybe when we were coming up those things stood true, but now we live in a more diverse society and I think its important to teach my son to be more open minded. I mean after all, men are all over the television cooking, baking, designing clothes and interiors, and raising children….some are gay, others are straight. Doing something a “girl” does won’t make my son gay, but continuing to fill his head with such will make him just as ignorant as the little boys that told him males don’t play instruments.
What’s your take? What are you teaching your children when it comes to gender assignments?