Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Raising gender neutral kids is a hot topic right now, and there is still a lot of controversy when it comes to retail. Some parents want to see stores get rid of separate boys’ and girls’ sections altogether, while other parents don’t understand what all the fuss is about. What I don’t understand is the push for “neutral” colors. This bothers me. Sure, I like a bit of yellow and green, but why are these neutral colors? By defining what colors are neutral in the claims of gender neutrality, we are still supporting that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. Why can’t we just say a color is a color, and that any gender can wear any color?

It’s just a color.

Right now, what Hallie wears is my choice still. I purchase most of her clothes, even though she has input as to what she wears in the morning. I put my daughter in a red Power Ranger costume, and yes, many people did assume she was a boy. And she looked awesome. I could have bought a pink one, but guess what? The red and blue Power Ranger costumes had built- in muscles. The pink did not. So rude, especially in a time where Wonder Woman is absolutely jacked. Where are those costume muscles for girls?! Anyhoo.

They are just clothes.

I purchase clothes from both the boys’ and girls’ section, because there are cute clothes on both sides. I see no reason to limit Hallie to her assigned biological sex, and I want her to know from an early age that she can wear a pink princess dress and still be a kick-ass red Power Ranger. Hallie can be daddy’s sports star and mommy’s little angel. Just as her sex does not define her, neither do clothes. As Hallie gets older, I will encourage her to look at both sections and allow her to choose what clothes she wants me to buy, regardless of color, material, or design. Now, Hallie either looks super put together or a like it’s been weeks since we have done laundry.

Gender neutral is not exclusive.

Gender neutral should be an inclusive term, and that includes monster trucks and pretty princesses. Why can’t our kids have it all? I do recognize that it’s easier for Hallie to be in boys’ clothes without judgment, and that if I ever have a little boy who chooses to wear a pink dress, it might be a problem for some. This is why gender neutrality needs to include pink. If I ever have the chance to choose clothes for a little boy, I won’t pick dresses for him but I will choose pink. Same with Hallie, where I don’t put her in a suit and tie, but I do choose blue. I don’t want to force my children into a role, where society is still so strictly gender stereotyped, but I do want them to know that the choice is theirs regardless of what label they have been given. And even as young as Hallie is, she definitely makes a choice as she rolls around in camouflage pajamas, white dress shoes, and a red headband. Trust me, I did not make those fashion choices.

I get that we all have our opinions, but at the end of the day, we don’t get to decide who are children are. It is our job as parents to provide a supportive environment for any choice, especially in a world where gender is quickly becoming more flexible. For all I know, Hallie will come home from school one day and claim to be non-binary, which means she can’t be categorized as boy or girl, male or female. You can argue with that logic, claiming it isn’t medically correct or whatever, but it’s not going to get you anywhere. Hallie will be whomever she decides to be, and I am going to support her every step of the way. It starts here, with letting her know that is no such thing as boys’ and girls’ things. There is just Hallie, and whomever she wants to be today.