Shouldn’t we be concerned about the bigger issue of bullying?? Some commentators are acting as if it’s an inevitable part of life to bully or be bullied…
This is yet another instance that relates to my issues with anti-discrimination campaigns in general and their lack of response to the overarching issue at hand: respect.
Children, and people in general, learn social cues from their parents or other authority figures in their life (spiritual advisers friends, relatives, etc.), and it’s there where they learn to bully and discriminate against those who are different from them. It’s from these people that they learn that pink is for girls, blue is for boys, and the princess always ends up with the prince.
Why can’t we address the cause of the issue instead of focusing on the symptoms? It increasingly confounds me that we, as a society, cannot or will not see that this fundamental problem is degrading the very core of our humanity.
It’s the holiday season, you guys. Isn’t the whole point of the holidays to spread good cheer and give to those in need?? Why are we stuck on these petty differences??
Posted: 12/11/2012 11:01 am EST | Updated: 12/11/2012 6:37 pm EST
“A viral photograph of a young boy who opted to wear pink shoes on his first day of preschool has sparked intense debate in the blogosphere.
The boy in the photograph is identified only as 5-year-old Sam. A Facebook user identifying herself only as Sam’s sister posted the photo to the “Have a Gay Day” page, and wrote:
“Yesterday my mom posted a picture on Facebook of my 5-year-old brother Sam wearing a pair of shoes he picked out for his first day of preschool. She explained to him in the store that they were really made for girls. Sam then told her that he didn’t care and that ‘ninjas can wear pink shoes too.’
However, my mom received about 20 comments on the photo from various family members saying how ‘wrong’ it is and how ‘things like this will affect him socially’ and, put most eloquently by my great aunt, ‘that sh*t will turn him gay.'”
View the photograph below, then scroll down to keep reading:
The user goes on to explain that Sam liked the shoes because they were “made out of zebras,” as zebras are his favorite animal: “What does it say about society when a group of adults could stand to take a lesson in humanity from a class of preschoolers?”
The photograph has since drawn over 120,000 likes and has been shared over 19,000 times.
Meanwhile, the photograph was the subject of a heated blog posted on The Stir. In the piece, blogger Mary Fischer disagreed with Sam’s mother, saying she wouldn’t let her own son wear pink shoes to school because it would “subject him to being bullied or treated unfairly all because most people associate pink with girls and blue with boys.”
“Yes, I get the whole ‘we should let kids be free to express themselves’ thing, and I’ll be the first to say ‘more power’ to this mom for taking a chance and letting Sam go off to preschool in his pink zebra print flats.
Somehow I’m guessing if my son were to put on that same pair of shoes — he wouldn’t even make it through the five-minute bus ride to school in the morning before someone laughed at him, asked him why in the heck he was wearing pink shoes, spewed all sorts of mean jokes his way, or told him he was dressed like a girl.”
She then adds, “Bullying is bad enough as it is without handing tormentors their material on a silver platter.”