Standing Up to Gender Bullying

January 9, 2012


You’ve probably seen this Tumblr post already, but I thought I’d share it anyway.

In summary: Kristen, a woman who works as a shift manager for Gamestop, recently witnessed a father trying to bully his son, age 10–12, out of buying a purple game controller along with a game with a female protagonist. Luckily, the boy’s elder brother, a high school wrestler,  stepped in and stood up to the man. Kristen also comforted the boy by assuring him that “There’s nothing wrong with what you like. Even if it’s different than what people think you should.”

Kudos to the big brother for not only standing up to his bully of a father but encouraging his younger brother to be himself. And of course Kristen, who is already challenging gender stereotypes simply by working in such a male-dominated environment, deserves praise for being brave enough to give comfort to a kid who needed it despite the fact that the child’s father had shown himself to have anger issues and violent tendencies. I have seen many kids being treated poorly by their parents in my years working retail and waiting tables. It is all too easy to look the other way for fear of pissing off the customer and getting in trouble.

Last but not least of all, a big hug and hearty pat on the back to the victim of the gender bullying himself. Not many 10-year-olds have the courage to say simply, “This is what I want, ok?” while being bullied, especially when the person doing the bullying is an authority figure threatening violence.

Given the recent backandforth over the Riley Maida video, I thought sharing a post where the victim of the gender bullying is male would help illustrate that we who support Riley and her argument are fighting for more than just a toy aisle that has colors besides just pink in it. We’re fighting to stop what those segregated aisle’s often lead to: gender stereotyping and bullying.

This post originally appeared on We Are SkeptiXX