A mum has been forced to defend her son’s love of wearing sparkly tutus [Photo: Facebook/Jen Anderson Shattuck]
If you give little boys free reign to pick their clothes for the day, some would automatically make a beeline for a superhero costumes. But others, well they might just fancy donning a pink tutu. And why the hell not?
But one mum has been forced to leap to her son’s defence after a stranger accosted her three year old in a park and demanded to know why he was wearing a tutu, before going on to accuse his mother of child abuse.
Jen Anderson Shattuck, 35, from Plymouth, Massachusetts took to Facebook to pen an open letter to the man claiming that she would defend her son, whose nickname is Roo, and his right to wear whatever he liked.
“My three-and-a-half-year old son lies to play trucks. He likes to do jigsaw puzzles. He likes to eat plums. And he likes to wear sparkly tutus,” Jen wrote in the post.
“If asked, he will say the tutus make him feel beautiful and brave. If asked, he will say there are no rules about what boys can wear or what girls can wear.”
Jen went on to say that Roo has worn a tutu at various different places and there has never been a problem, until last week when she was walking with her son in the park and was accosted by a man who demanded to know why Roo was wearing a skirt.
He told them it was wrong for boys to wear skirts and then spoke directly to Roo, telling him: “You’re a boy. She’s a bad mommy. It’s child abuse.”
Jen claims the man went on to take pictures of her son, even though she asked him not to and said he was going to share them, so “everyone will know.”
She called the police who came and took a report. But although the police officers kindly complimented her son on his tutu, Jen says little Roo is now self-conscious about wearing it and is nervous about the man coming back.
Though Jen says she can’t say for sure whether they will see the man again she’s determined not to let him and his opinions intimidate her. “I will not be intimidated,” she wrote. “I will not let angry strangers tell my son what he can or cannot wear. I will defend, shouting, his right to walk down the street in peace, wearing whatever items of clothing he wants to wear.”
The post is quickly going viral [Photo: Facebook/Jen Anderson Shattuck]
And Jen’s passionate post has certainly struck a chord with other parents as since posting earlier this week the post has received over 65K likes and been shared almost 50K times. It has even sparked it’s own hashtag #TuTusForRoo with men sharing pictures of themselves donning tutus in solidarity.
“My son wore princess dresses all the time. I am so angry for your and your poor boy,” one woman wrote.
Another shared a picture of her son and daughter dancing in their tutus.
Taking to Facebook to share her gratitude for people’s support, Jen called on people to continue to share her story in the hope that attitudes about gender stereotypes will continue to be challenged.
“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your kindness (and for the many photos you have sent of your dress, skirt, and tutu-loving offspring, who are adorable.)” she wrote.
She went on to say that she didn’t want to change the minds of people who disagreed with her parenting choices, but that her only goal was supporting her son.
“Roo may not always want to dress this way, but we hope that he’ll remember that, when he did, he was loved. We hope he’ll know that no matter what other people thought or said in response, there was always peace and safety in our home.”
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