I recently made a post on a Transformers site about what would be a good first toy for a fan's son or nephew. Some people questioned why the child should be a boy, stating that they can just as easily give a Transformer to a girl. I've met a few female TF fans before, but it's clear that the community is heavily populated by the male demographic. I began to wonder how many fans give Transformers to their daughters, and more importantly, whether or not it's the right thing to do.
It's not uncommon for parents to want their children to share the same interests. My own father tried to get me to play golf and spam my mix tapes with his own outdated selection. I don't blame him, but one thing I have doubts about is children going against gender-specific hobbies. If raising a girl on Transformers is okay, is it just as acceptable to raise a boy on Barbie dolls?
Last Spring, I read a news article
about a schoolboy who was bullied for carrying a My Little Pony lunchbag. The series has its fair share of bronies, but if you're a boy wearing your love of ponies on your back at school, you're just asking for trouble. Going against the status quo can be a hazardous experience at a young age, and there's a danger children will grow up isolated because of their interests. I wonder how far parents should go to monitor their child's activities. Should parents restrict their hobbies to the appropriate gender, or should children be allowed to explore beyond social norms at the risk of embarrassment and bullying? Have you ever been conditioned by your own parents on what interests you should pursue?