Today, I let my 3-year-old son wear a dress in public and I have no problem with that.
I decided to take both kids to Cool de Sac to play since my husband was away on a business trip. It was just me and the kids sitting around at home, so I figured why not let them play somewhere where we can also have dinner. This particular place has a dress up area where boys can dress up as firemen, policemen, and knights and girls can dress up as various princesses. He was playing with another little girl that was wearing a Princess Tiana dress and I think he wanted to relate to her so he had me help him put on a Cinderella dress and took off to play. Again, he is 3. Why am I going to start inhibiting his imagination this early just so he can fit into societal gender norms when all he wants to do is play with a friend that happens to be a girl and happens to be dressed like a princess? Why should I tell him, “no you can’t wear a dress because boys don’t wear dresses” when all he wanted to do was be like his playmate and was trying to fit in?
In the end, I think someone told him something because he came back looking a little upset and asked me to take off the dress. This broke my heart a little because I know where his intentions lie and I don’t want him ever to feel like he can’t do something just because of his gender, which is the same wish I have for my daughter. I don’t want either of them to grow up thinking that one sex is better than the other or that they are restricted in any way because of their gender. I will let my son wear dresses to play just like I will let my daughter play football or baseball and climb trees because in the end, they are both more than their sex and if that is what brings them joy, why should I, or anyone else for that matter, stop them?