Would You Send Your Preschool Age Son to School Wearing Pink Shoes If He Liked Them? [POLL]
Hot on the "heels" of the story about the 3 year old boy requesting an EZ Bake Oven for Christmas, comes this.
If your preschool age son came up to you saying he wanted to wear striped pink shoes to school because he thought they looked like zebras, his favorite animal…what would you do?
A viral photograph of a young boy who opted to wear pink shoes on his first day of preschool has sparked intense debate in the blogosphere.
The boy in the photograph is identified only as 5-year-old Sam. A Facebook user identifying herself only as Sam's sister posted the photo to the "Have a Gay Day" page, and wrote:
"Yesterday my mom posted a picture on Facebook of my 5-year-old brother Sam wearing a pair of shoes he picked out for his first day of preschool. She explained to him in the store that they were really made for girls. Sam then told her that he didn’t care and that 'ninjas can wear pink shoes too.'
However, my mom received about 20 comments on the photo from various family members saying how 'wrong' it is and how 'things like this will affect him socially' and, put most eloquently by my great aunt, 'that sh*t will turn him gay.'"
The user goes on to explain that Sam liked the shoes because they were "made out of zebras," as zebras are his favorite animal: "What does it say about society when a group of adults could stand to take a lesson in humanity from a class of preschoolers?"
The photograph has since drawn over 120,000 likes and has been shared over 19,000 times.
Meanwhile, the photograph was the subject of a heated blog posted on The Stir. In the piece, blogger Mary Fischer disagreed with Sam's mother, saying she wouldn't let her own son wear pink shoes to school because it would "subject him to being bullied or treated unfairly all because most people associate pink with girls and blue with boys."
"Yes, I get the whole 'we should let kids be free to express themselves' thing, and I'll be the first to say 'more power' to this mom for taking a chance and letting Sam go off to preschool in his pink zebra print flats.
Somehow I'm guessing if my son were to put on that same pair of shoes -- he wouldn't even make it through the five-minute bus ride to school in the morning before someone laughed at him, asked him why in the heck he was wearing pink shoes, spewed all sorts of mean jokes his way, or told him he was dressed like a girl."
She then adds, "Bullying is bad enough as it is without handing tormentors their material on a silver platter."
So while I don’t think preschoolers really know gender differences outside of who has what parts…I’d like to believe it doesn’t make a difference to send him to school wearing pink shoes.
But I'll go with my gut. In my world, it does.
EZ Bake Oven…no problem.
Pink shoes…not so much.