Dad Addresses Toxic Masculinity In Viral Thread After Son Is Ridiculed For Painted Nails

toxic masculinity

Blue is for boys and pink is for girls, we’re told. Boys play with cars and trucks. Leave the Barbies and baby dolls to girls, we’re told. Very early on, we’re taught these gender norms and what is generally acceptable for both sexes and it influences us as we get older and affects how we, too, judge those around us.

Aaron Gouveia, father of three from Massachusetts, has seen the affect that these gender norms have had on his sons, and most recently with middle son, Sam. He shared the unfortunate experience in a thread that has since gone viral on Twitter.


He starts by introducing us to Sam, his “boy’s boy” that also loves “girl things”.

He talks about how Sam loves purses and having his nails painted because it “looks beautiful”…

He tells us about Sam proudly sporting his polished nails to school. He’s in kindergarten.

Then, the unfortunate response from his classmates…

In talking to his son, he was heartbroken to hear his son say…

He continued calling out parents and their role in toxic masculinity…

“I know these kids are only in kindergarten but this toxic masculinity bullsh*t is LEARNED. Learned most of the time from parents. So parents, I hope you’re proud. I hope this is what you wanted. I hope you’re satisfied.”

-Aaron Gouveia, Daddy Files (Twitter)

Gouveia shared with BuzzFeed News that he felt it was important to speak out about this because he’s seen “how dangerous these boxes we put boys into really are.” He referenced a time when his oldest son loved the movie Frozen but wanted nothing to do with it after a parent at the bus stop referenced it as “girl movie”.

Parents shared their own kids’ similar experiences on the thread:

Others gave praises to Gouveia and his parenting and left encouraging messages for Sam:

Gouveia also shared that he showed Sam all the outpouring of love and support from Twitter. “When I read those supportive tweets to him this morning and showed him pictures of men and boys with nail polish in support of him, it gave him the confidence to go to school with his nails painted this morning for the second day in a row,” he said.

It’s pretty amazing to see everyone coming together on this thread in #SamSolidarity.

h/t BuzzFeed