Sunday, September 18, 2011

Boys will be boys (whatever that means)

In the United States, there is a school of thought that believes little boys should play with trucks and little girls with dolls. There is a stigma against children that behave outside their stereotypical norm. In Botswana, however, that is just not the case.

In Botswana, you will see grown men walking around holding hands with their male friends, girls shave their heads, pink is a universal beanie color, and little boys want their fingernails painted (see photo to the right, that's Elijah and he wants his nails repainted almost every day). There are no pre-conceived notions about things like this. It frees people to be however they want to be without the assumption there is something behind it.

It is true, however, that Botswana is not as progressive when it comes to sexual orientation as it is to freedom of expression but it's on the right track. I am watching things change and befriending the people that will see it through. It's a privilege to be around children that are growing up with this kind of openness (and gives me hope that they will become adults that are as free-thinking and accepting).

So, until I am told otherwise, I will continue to paint Elijah's nails and the nails of his posse of male and female friends because look at the smile on that face!

No comments:

Post a Comment