Dads Dressing in Drag 'For the Children' Is Not Good Parenting
I hate 2019. Everywhere I look lately, some bearded, tattooed, or man-bunned millennial dad is dressing up in a princess dress to dance around with his son or daughter while someone videos it. Then that video shows up in my Facebook feed, where every single person on earth feels the need to respond with, "Oh, how adorable!" or "What a good father!" while I just want to pull out my hair and scream WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH EVERYONE AND WHERE IS THE WHISKEY?
I have three major problems with this:
1. Dressing in drag with your son is not a kindness to him.
If your son wants to wear princess dresses, he has one of two issues. The first is very simple and about 99.9 percent of cross-dressing toddlers fall into this category. He wants a cool costume. That's it. There's no hidden message, but girls have way cooler things to dress up in than boys, unless you go out looking for them online or make them yourself. My son wanted to wear a princess dress once because he has two sisters and they have a closet full of them and let's face it, they're sparkly and fabulous. What kid doesn't want to be a part of dress-up?
That was the moment I could have been one of those moms who overreacts and puts her 3-year-old son in a dress and starts calling him "Maizy" and forces the neighbors to say "she." But I didn't do that. Instead, I pulled out my sewing machine, my gramma's mink stole, and some jewels and I DIY'd that kid a royal robe and a bejeweled crown. Top that with a sword and he was slaying dragons all day long. I also went out and found him a bunch of costumes like fireman, policeman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, stormtrooper and more. He never asked me for another princess dress. He just wanted to play dress-up. Given the choice to wear some cool manly costume with guns and handcuffs, he chooses those every time. Duh.
The second possibility (and much rarer case) is that your son has gender dysphoria. It's not a fun fantasy. It's a debilitating illness. It's a great thing when a dad wants to be there for his child during a serious challenge. But diving right into cross-dressing is inadvisable. If your son has problems relating to being a boy, maybe he needs some time with his dad — who is a man — to show him what's great about being male. It's true that a father should not berate his son who is going through gender dysphoria. But "when this occurs in the pre-pubertal child, GD resolves in the vast majority of patients by late adolescence," says the American College of Pediatrics. Dads running around in dresses isn't going to help the dysphoria go away. If you start your son out thinking it's just peachy to wear dresses and hey look, there's your dad in one, I think it may work against the "grow out of it" resolution. And don't good parents want their kids' inner turmoil to self-resolve? No one wants their child to live a lifetime feeling they are in the wrong body. That's a crippling disability that is not resolved by self-mutilation and many end up resolving that feeling through suicide. No parent should want to encourage an illness that kills up to 40 percent of the sufferers. Instead, they should be seeking a cure that involves therapy to accept the body the children were born in.
Dancing around in a dress may look compassionate, but it is the exact opposite. It is cruel. Not only does it give your son the wrong idea about male behavior, but it will set him up for a lifetime of inability to connect normally with other males. Instead of catering to the dysphoria, teach him to do team sports that encourage male bonding, play with him, teach him a skill, build something with him, paint something with him, catch a fish with him, encourage his talents, and guide him to healthy activities for a young boy. There is nothing healthy about a boy pretending to be a girl with his dad. This is not normal.
2. Dressing in drag for your daughter is absurd
In what universe is every little girl's fantasy to be a princess one day and have a handsome man wearing a ball gown with chest hair sticking out of the bodice come take her to a dance? Are you people high? Are all these videos taken in Colorado? I'm a girl. I remember loving princess stories. In absolutely all of my dreams about being a princess, there was a tall, dark, tuxedoed prince playing a starring role. He had broad shoulders and a great smile and he asked me to dance when I thought I would sit there forever. In no girlish dream did I ever want my daddy to dress up like a girl and take me to Disney World. GREAT BALLS OF FIRE, PEOPLE! DON'T MAKE ME BRING OUT THE CAPS LOCK.
Do you know what little girls want? They want to be treated like the love of their dad's life. My dad did that for me and I will never forget it. He bought me a real fur coat (suck it, PETA). It was white rabbit. And my mother put me in a dress with sparkly shoes and then my dad arrived in a limousine all dressed up in a suit. He looked so handsome. He took me on a surprise date, just the two of us, and I didn't know where we were going until we pulled up under a blazing marquee on State Street. It was The Nutcracker ballet at the Chicago Theater. What a night! I think I was nine. I felt like a princess that night. I can well imagine my horror if my dad had been wearing a sparkly dress next to me.
Another time, I was sixteen, and my dad gave me a diamond ring for my birthday in the shape of a bow. He told me that I could wear it until a good man gave me a better one to replace it. It is those kinds of grand gestures from father to daughter that girls are looking for. He's never stopped, either. Just last year he sent me another ring because he thought of me when he saw it. I love that man and he loves me. And he never had to put on a dress to show me that. He always spent his time and treasure on me and showed me what a good man was and why I needed that in my life for my children.
These dads are probably trying to do the right thing, but they're failing. It feels more like they're playing it up for the cameras. Your daughter doesn't want you in a dress, sir. She wants to be on your arm, like Cinderella with Prince Charming. Was the costume shop all out of Flynn Ryder costumes? No King Arthur or Lancelot or Dread Pirate Roberts? Who the hell wants "Sir Ma'am" taking them to the ball? Seriously, no one. And the only reason these little girls are smiling and okay with it is because they're being brainwashed to think this is normal. That brings me to my last objection.
3. This is more of the same war on masculinity GARBAGE that we are choking on.
If you can't see that there is concerted effort to de-ball every man on this planet, then you are blinder than a bat whose sonar is on the fritz. Gillette doesn't want men to be men, masculinity is "toxic" (except when there's a fire and suddenly strength is cool), and every woke woman wants a soy-drinking pajama boy. This is more of the same feminization of men by women who hate them. I guarantee you the person behind the camera in every one of these stunts is a woman who thinks it's somehow empowering for her son to see his father in a dress. They make me want to vomit, these women who hate masculinity and want to turn boys into girls. MASCULINITY BUILT THE WORLD YOU'RE LIVING IN! Every building you enter, every elevator you get on, every toilet you flush, every street you drive on, every skyscraper you admire —they all exist because of men.
Do not "But women..." me. There are probably two women for every 100 men who do these jobs. If all the men disappeared tomorrow, we would be completely up Schitt's Creek. There would be no working HVAC, no cable, no Wi-Fi, no construction, no snow removal, no electricians to fix the grid, no one who knows how to run a power plant, and one fire-person for every ten districts. Women would die, cold and hungry, within a year, probably less. So please, spare us your moralizing about how bad men are. Men are rough, tough, and necessary to our survival and happiness. Stop trying to turn them into mirror images of women. It's nauseating.
Children need masculine fathers. Period.