Today on Facebook, one of my friends shared a link to a pretty amazing article on the Huffington Post. It’s about a big brother who stuck up for his little brother. Why? Because his little brother wanted a game where he could play a girl character and he wanted a remote control with ‘girl’ colors but daddy didn’t like it. Evidently playing girl characters and having a purple remote console controls aren’t “manly” enough for the dad.
I guess I’m not the best person to talk to when it comes to gender roles. Growing up I wanted to be just like my daddy who was in the National Guard. I can remember 1st and 2nd grade when I went to school in my little army fatigues and combat boots. When school shopping, my mother actually had sales people knock on the door to the dressing room asking if everything was OK because it must have sounded like a war zone. She was trying to get me to put on a dress.
I adored He-Man. I think I owned every single one of the original metal Transformers. GI Joe was my hero. I played soccer, softball, and basketball and usually got kicked out for starting fist fights with the other girls. When I got on my middle school’s soccer team, the boys on the other teams were terrified of the other girl and I since we had to play on the boys team. I thrived for the tough and rumble world of being a tom-boy.
All through growing up, neither of my parents batted an eye because I rather play ‘war’ out in the mud than be inside brushing a Barbie Doll’s hair. “Girl things” weren’t forced down my throat and I didn’t have to become ladylike. Looking back I have to wonder, is it just more accepted for girls to like “boy things” than it is for a boy to like a dolly or the color pink?
When I look around around the gaming world, the colors between “girl” and “boy” are pretty blurred. When I was into Everquest, I knew several guys who played female characters for whatever reason. Yea, when it first came out that guys dared play girls (or girls played guy characters so they’re left alone) there was a lot of flack. That was back in the early 2000’s and now? Nobody cares.
On video games, such as Fable3, guys can play the Princess because it possibly changes the way the game goes. I haven’t tested the theory, but I’m sure there’s guys who have done it. I highly doubt this really changes their sexuality or who they are.
I know several guys who play female characters in table top RPGs. Heck, my own husband has had several female characters and I believe he likes the color purple. He’s not afraid to wear pink dress shirts either. Oh wait, he’s just European so it must be OK. Right?
I suppose what I’m getting at is, liking girl characters and the color purple (or wanting “girl colors” whatever those are) doesn’t change who this little kid is. Why do we keep trying to form our kids into some ideal that WE want them to be instead of encouraging their interests and likes? Whatever reason, I have to give kudos to the big brother for standing up to his father because at least the big brother understands that no matter what his little brother likes or dislikes, he’s still going to be family.
Oh, and for those that think that the big brother was wrong for disobeying his father…just because a parent is a parent, it doesn’t make them wrong sometimes. There is no Dungeon Masters Guide when it comes to raising kids, or even growing up and getting with the times.