Gender Questions...at 4?!?!

     I'm pretty sure that most of you have seen my boys' Halloween costumes. Logan chose to be a pirate. We found most of the parts of his costume in our closets; the shirt was from Easter, the sash was mine, the boots were two sizes too big were his sisters and the vest was an old Renaissance costume of mine that Nana cut down. Porter chose to be a witch. Nana made his "robe" and I bought his hat. He carried a little broom and he was a happy kid. It never occurred to me that anyone would have a problem with a 4 year-old boy being a witch. I mean it's not as if I was letting him dress like Daphne from Scooby Doo.


Nana and Porter. Nana was my photo assistant for this shoot.
     My first inkling that this costume might be an issue was when I caught my dad instructing Porter to tell people he was a "warlock"; because a warlock is a boy witch. Yeah.... Porter thought that was a bunch of crap too. "No Papa. I's a witch," he told him matter-of-factly. The next clue occurred at school when one of the mommies asked if he had a scary mask to wear. "No, but I has a BROOM!" The final straw came while we were trick-or-treating when one of the houses we stopped at informed Porter that witches are girls and that he should have been Spider-Man instead. (I ever so politely informed him that if Porter's daddy didn't have a problem with Porter's costume choice then neither should he.) I was very happy when one of the daddies in the group of trick-or-treaters we were with told Porter he was the coolest witch he'd ever seen.
     It really begs the question why is it even an issue? He's four years-old! Why is anyone concerned with what my son is wearing for Halloween? One night a year children are allowed to be whatever they want to be without fear of being told it's impossible. Why are we so concerned about what the costume says about his gender role? And why is wrong for my son to be a witch but it's perfectly acceptable for us to dress our daughters like whores? I saw one little girl, she was probably 6 or 7 years-old, who was wearing purple hot pants, a tube top, tights with spiderwebs printed on them and a blond Rapunzel-type wig. I'm not sure what she was supposed to be but my first thought was Dead-Hooker Barbie. But apparently that is perfectly acceptable because the Dad-On-A-Mission who told my son to be Spider-Man didn't say a word to Little-Miss-Hot-Pants.
     What really makes me sad about the whole thing is that I never once thought that it would be an issue. I thought that we, as a society, had grown past such stereotypes. So what, that a little boy wants to be a witch? Who does it hurt?
      So we got home from trick-or-treating and as we are sorting the candy and sharing with Myriam, who didn't get to go because she was sick, I ask everyone if they had a good Halloween. Both boys answer the affirmative, they have candy in their mitts and sugar coursing through their veins and of course Porter points out, "I loved my costume! I was a great witch. And I's got to have a BROOM!" And when he's right, he's right. Accessories really do make the man.

Peace out!
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