If you’ve been reading our Raising My Rainbow series, you know there’s at least one mother out there who’s going to disagree to high hell with Dr. Phi’s advice for parents like Robby, whose five-year-old son likes playing with girl toys and wearing girl clothes. DON’T LET HIM, advises Dr. Phil. Like a fucktwat.
Robby’s 5-year-old son loves to play with Barbies and prefers wearing girl’s clothes. She asks Dr. Phil how to deal with this behavior, which she doesn’t think is normal.
“There are developmental stages in kids and it is not unusual, particularly for young boys, to experiment and get stuck on certain stimulus items,” says Dr. Phil. Particularly because the little boy has two older sisters, he says, it’s not unusual.
“This is not a precursor to your son being gay,” explains Dr. Phil. He’ll know that in time, but this is not an indication of his sexual orientation.
Dr. Phil tells Robby that she has a job to do: “Direct your son in an unconfusing way. Don’t buy him Barbie dolls or girl’s clothes. You don’t want to do things that seem to support the confusion at this stage of the game … Take the girl things away, and buy him boy toys.”
Most importantly, he tells Robby, “Support him in what he’s doing, but not in the girl things.”
That’s right, parents. Don’t worry that your gender confused son is going to turn into a big gay. But do what you can to try and prevent it by forcing him to abandon the toys and dress he is naturally drawn to, and force him to do something more butch.
Remember when CNN had clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere on its program to address Sarah’s five-year-old son who chose a Daphne Scooby Doo costume for Halloween, and Gardere called it “the worst nightmare of both the heterosexual and the gay couples to have to fathom that their child may be gay”? (And then apologized for it?) That’s the same fearmongering Dr. Phil is feeding in to.
And Dr. Phil should now be the one apologizing for it.
Kids experimenting with gender roles is completely normal. And in particular, it is around age four and five when children begin understanding — at least on a surface level — what makes them a boy or a girl. Which means this developmental period is even more important for parents to cherish and foster, not restrict and forcibly shape. Dr. Phil’s advice isn’t constructive. It’s damaging. It tells parents they should actively work to keep their sons from being too girly (whatever that means), and vice versa. As if 1) that’s something parents have control over; and 2) there’s a reason to do it.
Related: Sarah, blogging at Nerdy Apple Bottom, posts a new item about the response from her son’s church following all the attention she received from her Halloween article. She was accused of “promoting gayness.” Ahem.