Elsie Murell - Content Writer for Positive Masculinity
Gender, Sexuality, Women’s Studies major at Temple University
It’s gifting season and if you’re anything like me–insanely gorgeous and incredible at procrastination– your friends, family, and loved ones will be opening their gifts from you a little late this year! If the holiday tunes on repeat are making your ears bleed and you’ve got no room left for original ideas, have no fear! Your magically queer holiday elf is here!
If there’s anything to remember when searching for the right gift it’s that gender is a construct often upheld by commercialism. Aren’t we bored of gifts that tell our daughters they belong in the kitchen and our sons that they’ll be sports stars? This is a wake up call! We actually don’t live inside a Tim Allen movie. Though the major holidays have just come to an end, this list may be useful for all your gifting endeavors. Your niece’s sixth birthday is coming up? Got you covered. Boss’s kid’s first communion? Take your pick. Do your part in actively fighting against gender norms, and potentially making some kids really happy. Two birds, one stone. Happy gifting!
Got a tween that could use a break from the screen and some wholesome brain stimulation? Catan is the answer. If you’ve never played, Catan is a game for two or four players in which you compete for resources and to create the best and biggest settlement on the island of Catan. It takes about an hour to play and is all-season accessible. This board game is a good time no matter who you are, and it excludes racial insensitivities!
Monster-crackers are the outcasts of the nut-cracker family, the misfits of Christmas. They offer a new spin on the classic holiday nutcracker, and they are made by a company that specifically “aim[s] to crush gender norms and underrepresentation”. You can find these bad boys at Monstercrackers.com, where they also sell ornaments, books, cards, and clothes.
Who on god’s green earth doesn’t like slime?? The trend must live on! An Elmer’s Slime Starter Pack comes in every color you can think of. It’ll keep your kid occupied for hours, might get them interested in science, and can be particularly useful to children that struggle with sensory and anxiety issues (Lear 1).
4. GENDER-BENDING DOLLS
This holiday season, please stop telling your son he can’t play with dolls. Parents who continue to deny their children happiness, we see you and we are embarrassed of you. Plain muslin dolls are a great way to not only provoke creative genius in your kid, but will also allow them to create the doll of their dreams that looks and identifies however they want them to! Blank muslin dolls are available at a variety of stores including Amazon and Jo-Ann Fabrics.
5. BOOKS THAT FLIP GENDER SCRIPTS
Got a little reader? Books that bust gender scripts make great holiday gifts and they’re produced now more than ever. Reading about feminine characters in positions of power, or masculine ones that love to dance is progressivism that we all need to engage in. Buy books that have nonbinary representation. The more humanity your child is exposed to, the more human they’ll grow up to be! Two great options are “Ada Twist, Scientist” by Andrea Beaty, and “Just Ask!” by Sonia Sotomayor.
6. YOGA JOES
Remember G.I. Joe? Meet his mindful and emotionally intelligent counterpart, Yoga Joe! These little green figurines represent active military members in a variety of different yoga poses. Tough guys need to stretch too! Yoga Joes come in your classic army green, hot pink, and rainbow. Teach zen. We all need it.
Lear, Katie. “Why Is My Kid Obsessed with Slime?” Child Counseling in Davidson, Child Counseling in Davidson, 13 Mar. 2020, https://www.katielear.com/child-therapy-blog/2019/12/15/why-is-my-kid-obsessed-with-slime.