Every so often, a mom will post a photo of her daughter’s birthday party on Facebook, in which 10 girls are dressed like Disney princesses and one girl is dressed like Batman. Or a dad will write on his blog about how his son prefers Barbies to Marvel action figures. Next thing you know, some conservative schmuck has picked up the “story” and started wailing about the homosexual agenda.
Most recently, Fox News worked itself into hysterics over a J. Crew ad that features a mom painting her son’s toenails. The caption: “Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”
A Fox News columnist claiming to be some kind of doctor responded to the ad like this:
Yeah, well, it may be fun and games now, Jenna, but at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid—and maybe a little for others who’ll be affected by your “innocent” pleasure. This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity — homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such “psychological sterilization” [my word choice] is not known.
That second sentence is a gem: “I made up a phrase and that phrase is called ‘psychological sterilization.’ I even put it in quotation marks to emphasize the fact that it’s not a thing. Let me also point out that there is no research to support my claim that this non-thing is is dangerous in any way. Have my nonsense words terrified you back into Eisenhower-era gender roles or what?”
I don’t know why conservatives always fly off the handle about stuff like this. One trip to a toy story proves that the gender binary is still firmly in place. Heck, at ToysRUs.com you can even sort your search results by “boy” toys and “girl” toys (helpfully color-coded pink or blue). Also, actual science AND Lady Gaga are here to tell you that dolls and Halloween costumes don’t make a person queer.
But since some people refuse to listen to reason (or club-ready anthems), I have constructed some helpful illustrations.
Look, it doesn’t matter what kind of toys you buy them; it doesn’t matter what color you paint their toenails. Gay kids are gonna be gay. Baby, we were born this way.