January 14, 2012

Mama Bear on ballet

This is a rant because I'm pissed off. My beautiful boy is five years old and since starting public school I am slowly but surely watching his spirit being squashed and dimmed by "society." I don't know if there is any way to stop the idiotic ideas of other people's children.

Yesterday as Tank got off the bus I met his seat buddy for the first time- a six year old boy with two earrings. Tank informed me his buddy gets teased by two girls who sit behind them because, you know, only girls wear earrings.

At school yesterday, Tank's teacher asked the class what they wanted to learn the following week.

Girl 1: Dinosaurs

Girl 2: Cars

Tank: Ballet

Who do you think got laughed at by the other boys? Ballet, of course, is for girls.

This pisses me off. Is it any wonder our boys grow up to be withdrawn men afraid of expressing themselves? Why wouldn't some of them get angry or turn to fetishes when almost from conception we are forcing a stereotype down their throat? Why is it cool for girls to be "tomboys" but God forbid a boy like pink?! He's a pussy.

My job is to raise a human being capable of compassion, service, forgiveness and expression. How can I possibly do this when the rest of the world is determined to extinguish his light- starting at five.

My beautiful BOY likes pink, purple, cars, soccer, doll houses, Legos, fairies, swords, dancing, karate, drawing, mermaids, airplanes, and apparently ballet. And the more your kid tells my kid that he has to weed out the "girl" stuff from his list of passions, the more I will remind him that passions are gender neutral.

And, mark my words, I will encourage him to keep his pink colored light shining brightly regardless of what "society" says. Because I AM RIGHT. And if I think your kid is partly responsible for trying to fit my son into a non-communicative, sulking, conformed box, I will go all Mama Bear on your kid's ass. I will eat your kid.

Because ballet is not a girl thing- it's just ballet, son. So dance on.


Katrina said...

I adore you, Erin. This is awesome! (And I can give Tank all the ballet he wants!)

MengleOh67 said...

I agree whole heartedly Erin except for one thing. It isn't the children it's the parents who teach them that #1 these things are right and #2 that it's okay to make fun of other people. These people have the same right as the rest of us to raise their children however they wish and to be honest I wouldn't want that any other way. So in my 25 years of raising children I've found that it's much easier and more rewarding to teach my children to ignore and have compassion for their peers who see the world through those tunnel vision glasses than it is to take on every child and parent (many of whom were family) who felt the need to comment rudely on my boys and their long hair, earring, dance class, baton lessens, etc. It kept them from getting in trouble for fighting (as much) and kept my blood pressure inter wraps.

Beezer said...

From someone in the "ballet community," we NEED more boys. Ballerinas cannot lift themselves!!! Pas de deux is not quite the same when it's two girls. Encourage your boys to dance!

ccspinelli117 said...

I agree with the spirit of MengleOh67! As his mom, your real influence is on Tank... it's better to teach him to be himself, and guide him through the pushback (fight back? ignore? educate?). It's an impossible undertaking to change the mindset of the rest of the world around him. You and I come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but I'm taking the same approach with my kids when they get pushback for displaying the way we raise them!

Life in the Mom Lane said...

Well, yes, I do teach him to ignore and deflect and to do unto others. But sometimes a mom needs to rant and this morning, when he told me, I felt like mama bear on the inside. Growl. :)

Kelsey said...

Our little boy has a big sister and covets everything she has - so among his 3rd birthday gifts last year was a purse of his own. Some of our family members grumbled at this but I don't worry about it at all.

It is too bad that other kids are already claiming things as "for boys" or "for girls". I'm very quick to restate that sort of things when my daughter (age 7) makes those kinds of comments.

Parents in transtion said...

Rock on, you equality warrior woman, you!!! My child has been in a hospital for over a week because of exactly this dynamic. We can talk all day about teaching our kids to ignore, deflect, take the high road,etc. But guess what, until we accept that we also MUST teach all kids that disparaging is NOT ok, because their parents haven't or can't be there every second of every day, then we are only teaching a minority of the people who need to be taught an important lesson. The world needs all kinds of moms -the ones who can remain calm and teach their kids, and the one who will also be willing to be passionate, publicly, for the sake of their kids, and all kids who are marginalized. I'm with you baby!!

Jody Worsham said...

I have had my son in ballet since he was 4. He's now six. I gave him the option of quitting before first grade but he wanted to continue. Continuing to blast a hole in that East Texas Pine Cone Curtain. Just wanted to say hi and hope I get to meet you at EBWW. I'll be at the "bird" table on Thursday. Jody, The Medicare Mom, http://themedicaremom.blogspot.com You might like my piece on "Swan Lake/Shrek or Duck Duck Goose". It was my son's first ballet.

MommaSachs said...

That's so sad for Tank! Thanks for the reminder and the inspiration for my 2 year old little boy!

Anonymous said...

As the mom of a 12 yo MALE dancer, good for you to encourage your son to dance. My son's line to other boys who tease him about dancing: "I've touched girls in places you've only dreamed about".