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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, He Will Play With Dolls Until Society Tells Him Boys Don’t Do That

Dear Daughters,

Yesterday, at your cousin’s 2nd birthday party, we watched her older (3 and a half year old) brother play with one of her new birthday gifts – a Rapunzel doll, with beautiful golden hair. Your boy cousin played with that doll from the time she emerged from her packaging until bedtime. One time, the doll got out of his sight and he made sure to ask, “Where is the doll?” until she was safe and sound again with him.

Your boy cousin brushing Rapunzel's hair

Your boy cousin brushing Rapunzel’s hair

Of course I absolutely loved seeing him being able to enjoy a toy he was clearly interested in playing with. I enjoyed being reminded of the innocence of children. I loved the fact that he was able to choose a toy based solely on his preferences and not on his gender or societal expectations of him. I enjoyed that not one person told him boys do not play with dolls.

For now, your boy cousin is able to be himself. He will play with that Rapunzel doll until either 1. He loses interest on his own (as it should be) or 2. Society tells him that boys don’t play with dolls.

Sadly, it is my experience that society will get to him first. And society’s message will not just stop him from playing with the Rapunzel doll. It will shape the person he becomes and the choices he makes. He will constantly be reminded that there is what he would like to do and what society wants him to do. He will struggle everyday of his life to be the person he wants to be and the one society expects him to be.

Your boy cousin loved playing with Rapunzel

Your boy cousin loved playing with Rapunzel

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