I used to be liberal. Like, pro-abortion with an extra helping of feminism, and a side of man hater, all covered in liberal sauce, liberal. Things have changed since then, obviously, click one of those links over there-----> and you'll see that. I've gone from rarely acknowledging God, to trying to live for Him. From pro-choice to pro-human. From anti-housewife, and stay at home mom to desperately wanting to be one. From anti-marriage to joyfully married. From supporting gay marriage, to loving, but not supporting.
I have changed a lot, in a lot of ways. I thought I had completely changed and was totally conservative and on the opposite end of the spectrum, until I was having dinner with two friends this past weekend and we were discussing gender stereotyping in children. They are both conservative like me, but had completely different opinions than I do on the subject. I, am of the opinion that toys are toys, and kids are kids. I didn't think this was that "liberal" of an opinion to have, but apparently it is. As I started reflecting on this more scenarios popped into my head in which I have/do take the more "liberal" stance on. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I hadn't completely gotten rid of my old liberal self. But is that really all that bad anyway? Let's look at my liberalness, and see.
First up, gender stereotyping. This is just crazy to me. I have heard so many people go on and on about "gender confusion" as a result of "cross gender play" are you kidding me? Let me clear that one up for you right now, if you have a penis, you are a boy. If you have a vagina, you are a girl. If you play with dolls you are either a boy or a girl. If you play with trucks you are either a boy or a girl. Boom. Fixed that problem. This is so hypocritical to me. When they're children we shame little boys that like to play house and take care of babies, but when they're all grown up we shame men that want nothing to do with their children. Do you even know what dramatic play is? It's when children act out things in their lives, it's a way of learning and expression. I have worked with kids long enough that just by the way they do dramatic play I can tell you if you take them to church/read the Bible, what kind of TV/movies you allow them to watch, any controversies or arguments recently had in your home, how involved or un-involved you are, and what your general home life is like.
Yup, it's true. Ask any childcare worker. If you're observant enough you can deduce a lot from the way kids play. Kids don't come with filters and they use dramatic play as a way to express what they are feeling or experiencing. I have kids that act out Bible stories nearly every Monday. Why Monday? Because they had Sunday School the previous day, and the story they act out? Always the one they had in class. Same goes with anything else they play. 9 times out of 10 if a little boy likes playing with baby dolls, and is caring and loving, and attentive, he has an involved father at home. The little boys whose fathers live at home but aren't involved? When they play daddy they sit on the couch, and "watch TV", go to "a friend's house", or go "in the garage" to work. Boys without dads at home often opt to be the "baby" the "puppy" or even the "mommy".
They play what they know and see. I have no issues whatsoever with boys playing with dolls, it's a way to practice to be a daddy so to speak. When I voiced this I have often been met with "well, okay, but as long as it's not a 'girly' doll." Okay, so, when he's a dad, if his little girl is dressed all frilly like and has a pink diaper bag, he shouldn't take care of her? Nope. Not buying it. It's a toy. Do you want to know who the only people are that actually care what kids wear or play with? Adults, and kids who have been TAUGHT that trucks are for boys and dolls are for girls.
Boys get the raw end of this deal all around. They can't wear pinks and purples, even if they simply like the color (unless they grow up to be a priest, in which case those are both vestment colors) they can't play with certain toys, or wear fun sounding high heels (in dress up). However, girls can dress "boyishly" get their hair cut short, play with whatever they want, and wear work boots if they choose, and not many will bat an eye. It's unfair, I tell you. Maybe I still have a trace of feminism left in me, but I honestly don't think these things are an issue. I had a little boy that liked to wear my high heels around and I asked him why once, he got all excited and explained to me that it was because he liked the "clickity clack" they made on the floor when he walked. Do man shoes make awesome sounds as they walk? I think not. This child was not "gender confused" he hoped out of the heels and was "fighting zombies" minutes later. Kids are kids they need to be allowed to explore, and learn and grow into whomever they are called to be.
Next up, is my "hippie side" that I have actually been scolded about on more than one occasion. It's my belief that because we are all stewards of God's earth, and that He gave us this gorgeous planet to live on and care for, we should do that. I believe God gave us plants that heal, and modern medicine that can as well. I believe we should first try what God gave us on the earth, and then move on to what He inspired in man. I believe in eating foods as closely to the way He intended as possible. I believe in recycling, and doing all we can to leave this planet in good condition. Many fellow Christians agree with me, but many do not.
My little brother, for example, wonderful kid. Smart, driven, responsible, faith in God, talented musician and actor, has a good head on his shoulders. He's anti-abortion, pro-gun, and loves his country. Seriously he's my favorite bother (and only brother-that's irrelevant)) However, kid's got something against me and my fellow hippies. Unfortunately I don't get to see him, my little sister, dad or step-mom as often as I'd like, so any time with them is cherished. The last time we visited was almost a year ago, I noticed he made several comments about "hippies" I'm not sure if he realized that his older sister is one or not, but it was all in jest. I thought about addressing the issue with him, but I actually kept my mouth shut! ((SHOCKER)) Anyway, I see this a lot in my fellow Christians and conservatives. It always makes me scratch my head and be like "um, so God gave us this gorgeous place to live, and you're chill with destroying it?" Um, okay. I know this isn't always the case, and I know that not all that care about these things do so because of a love of Christ.
Still, even if you don't participate in being a hippie, I would at least think you could see why lots do. I guess if my allowing boys to plays dress up and girls to play construction, recycling, eating organic (when possible) desire to nurse, and cloth diaper, homemade cleaners, re-usable ziplocks, lack of paper products, clothesline full of clothes, choice to rarely buy new (clothes, furniture, etc.) and medicine cabinet full of herbs makes me a liberal. Then it does. I'm not telling anyone how to live, or what to do. I'm just telling you this is my opinion. And admitting that though I pick on the liberals all of the time, I still have a bit of that liberal spirit in my bones.
You heard it here first, folks, I am a tree-huggin', gender stereotype busting, granola eating, Jesus loving, pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun liberal-conservative...and I don't really think it should matter.