Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sometimes its just a Backpack

I recently was emailed some news about a boy being teased over wearing a Little Ponies (here on out we will be using LP for Little Ponies) backpack. The sender obviously thought that I would agree with the idea that boys should not be allowed to wear a LP backpack. Really? Of all the things in the world to worry about or discuss, a LP backpack on a child is the number one priority. Not Ukraine. Not Syria. Not abortion. A backpack. I have several objections to this idea that a boy can not wear any backpack he wants:

Look upon this horror of immorality.
Shudder in its utter hatred for maleness.  
1. I was not aware that inanimate objects were capable of holding a sex or gender. Sex is a biological form which either male or female is ascribed. Gender is the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex according to Merriam Webster. Who decides these traits? Why, that would be society at large. So, the backpack is not actually male or female; it is neutral. Could society decide what gender should prefer that backpack? Of course, and that is what is occurring.

 2. Double standards are abounding for male children currently. Girls are routinely being encouraged to break into typical male dominated areas. Boys, however, are not being invited into more female dominated areas; in fact, this controversy proves that. Should a girl not be allowed to have a batman backpack? She is not operating inside of the gender stereotype. If this statement was ever to be uttered, you better believe a lawsuit would be happening. But that boy wearing a LP backpack, that is pure ridiculousness. I mean who does he think he is a girl. GAH! I hope we all see the absurdity in those statements.

Finally, some good ole fashion violence!
 I love "objectifying" as a man's hobby! Ye-haw ladies!
3. LP is way more morally acceptable than most other characters I see on these "male" backpacks. Batman is a sociopath that barely has a grip on morality. SpongeBob is a rude critter that refuses to use basic manners or common sense; he is also extremely destructive to property. Oh, my personal faves are the WWE backpacks because scantily clad women who are regularly objectified by these men (who probably don't wear LP backpacks like these guys) are really meeting my understanding of Theology of the Body.

4. Why are we as parents not embracing our children's likes or dislikes? Are we afraid of them getting teased? Are we afraid of being ridiculed ourselves? Are we seriously thinking that a LP backpack will turn our sons into homosexuals?

 My chickadees are individuals; they do not fit into any mold that society has. They fit into the mold that God created for them. One of my biggest responsibilities from God is to allow the children given to me to have the courage to be who GOD created them to be. Personal expression as long as morally and spiritually in line with the guidelines provided to us from God is important. In fact, it is necessary for the growth of our children into the saints they were created to be.


  1. The husband has already vowed to bring up at Frankie's wedding the fact that all he wants to do is "watch a poh-knee."

    We're not sweating it.

    1. That's adorable. I have to say Little Ponies is way better now than I remembered from the shows in my childhood.

      When we got married, my mother in law loved being up Jeff's obsession with Rainbow Carebear. Needless to say, Jeff turned out alright.

  2. We aren't sweating it too much either, but my sister has a nephew that is being encouraged to choose more feminine options. He's 7 or 8 and his grandmother was in the toy section to let him pick out a toy. She was in the "boy section" when a huge meltdown ensued. He began making claims about lawsuits because he doesn't have to choose a boy toy. It seemed very regurgitated. He's supposedly having some bullying problems at school because of his feminine choices. Anyway she feels it's very parent led rather than his individualism. I think that some things are separate male and female and we should be guiding our kids in that direction. Is it a back pack? No. I don't really know what my point is I ever?...I am not that familiar with the back pack story. The kid's age could play a factor, and I think the parents should have known that there probably would have been ridicule from his peers. Again, you make some awesome points!

    1. I would say that's probably the parents' way of coping with his bullying issues. Maybe it's the anthropologists in me but I think of all toys as gender neutral. In our house, they are just toys. Bella gets to be a princess, a pirate, batman, mermaid, whatever. Same with Leo. I've never undestood the toy segregation.

      I also think all children have to face some bullying at some point. As adults, as Catholics, as parents we face ridicule. I will say that bullying today seems to be really violent but I would attribute that to a lack of parental guidance in moral teaching. I see little to no conflict resolution taught by parents but I do see this huge tendency for parents to jump in and not letting the children work it out. So no one learns how to behave or how to resolve the squabbles.

    2. OH yes....This This all day long! When did parents STOP teaching children to behave.. I know that there will always be a little childhood teasing and that helps people learn to toughen up a little! We have become a little overly sensitized to everything!!! Its time to reteach tolerance and not let children rule the household and classroom!!

  3. most of the time I wouldn't care, but I won't hesitate that THIS is what bothers me...

    1. Yay, I finally can see the comment.

      I have seen the documentary, and I think "bronies" are fine. I suggest watching the documentary. The most common phrase is "it's innocent and a quality show that solves everyday problems". The adults and teens who follow this are searching for emotional intimacy and authenticity. I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, it encourages me that the next generation will no longer stand for the poorly written shock jock overly cynical, overly sexualized, and overly dark media that is the norm currently.

      Why would Comic Con be okay vs. a Bronie Con? Both sets of fans are using these shows not as a sexual fetish but as a reprieve from their current world which is a normal coping mechanism. My opinion of these boys is not that they are less masculine but that they are at least trying to be who they are regardless of what others might think. It's a lesson in which more people should embrace.

      This phenomena of Bronies is not about gender role reversal but about society and acceptance. Even in the Church we are called to lovingly accept the person and that's what these people need! I would say the current climate of society is fragmentation. We are very segrated all trying to defend our positions but lacking the compassion to understand the people behind the position. So, I think it is shortsighted to say gender roles play a large part in this phenomena.

    2. I also think that we as a society need to understand that sex is determined by the genitalia not the clothes or how a person feels about their gender which is why I disagree with transgender arguments of bathrooms. If there is a penis, that person is male and should use a male restroom because bathroom usage is based off of a biological sex not the gender.

  4. Excellent post Ashley. Your perspective was not one I had considered.