Photographer combats gender stereotypes with the idea that ‘boys can, too’
It started when my son was only a few months old. I had taken him downtown with me, for my weekly therapy session with the social worker I was seeing for postpartum depression counseling. There was a chill in the air, and I worried that his little cotton pants would ride up and expose his legs while I wore him, so I decided to put on his sister’s old baby leg warmers. They were mostly white, but had small pink and purple hearts scattered across them, Who would care, though? He was a baby, after all. I stopped by a friend’s house before my appointment, and she immediately commented on it, laughingly telling me she would buy him boys’ leg warmers herself, if I wasn’t going to ante up. I couldn’t believe it.
Gender bias is something we are used to talking about. I have fought every gift my two girls have received that has been pink, when it could’ve been purchased in neutral colors. I have watched proudly as my daughter answered the question “Are you a princess?” with “No, I’m a superhero.” It hadn’t occurred to me that there were boys out there facing a similar stigma, until I heard about Canadian photographer Kirsten McGoey’s project, #aboycantoo.