Friday, August 2, 2013
Gender Discrimination and Bigotry
So the other day my best friend and I decided we wanted to take him to the Zoo which is 3 hrs away and also happens to be the city that has the only Build a Bear in about a 300 mile radius. So we went to the Zoo and afterwards surprised him with a trip to the Build a Bear Workshop. He of course ran right to the bin holding the Rainbow Dash ponies and pulled out which one he wanted. To my surprise and happiness not one employee commented negatively on his choice.
So after having such a wonderful experience shopping with my son, I was saddened to read not one but two articles today about mothers out shopping with their sons, both about Bug's age, and having bigoted people shout at them.
The first article was entitled, "If My Son Wanted To Dance I Would Kill Myself". The mother of a six year old boy (2 years older than Bug), had been told by her son that he wanted to dance when he got older rather than play sports. She found nothing wrong with it and supported his choices. Later on while they were at his T Ball game she was relaying the story to another mother when loud angry father of one of the kids shouted "If my son wanted to dance I would kill myself!!!" The mother was shocked and she took her son out of T Ball and plans to sign him up for dance classes.
I found the article so sad. It always shocks me when people have no problems with girls playing sports and doing everything a boy can do, but a boy wants to dance or wear pink and it is the end of the world. As sad as this article was though, the next one is even more so.
This next article was entitled, "What Happened When My Son Wore A Pink Headband To Walmart". In this article, the boy in question was only 2 (about 2 years younger than Bug). He wore a pink headband to Walmart. His mother found nothing wrong with it, because there is nothing wrong with it. Many of the customers thought he was very cute and cooed over the sweet boy. One customer asked if he were a boy or girl. When the mother said "a boy", a large angry man ran over and ripped the headband off the boy's head. He then hit the baby boy across the back of the head and said "You will thank me later little man!" His mother (and I am so proud she did) said "Touch my son again and I will cut your damn hands off". I honestly don't know what I would do if anyone ever did this to Bug. I would probably had even more choice words for him. The man however angrily spit back at her "You son is a f***ing f****". Not one customer stood up for this woman and her son. She had both her sons with her the two yr old who was hit and a 5 month old baby. This man physically and verbally attacked a 2 yr old boy in front of his mother and baby brother for no other sin than wearing a pink headband in public.
All in all I have to say between reading these two articles as well as the personal experiences I had this week, I am deeply sorry for the mother's whose son's were attacked.
As for myself and Bug I can honestly thank the staff of both the Build a Bear Workshop, as well as the staff of the Melting Pot restaurant (both in the Destiny USA mall in Syracuse NY). Your open minds and kindness towards my son warmed my heart. Thank You.