Last night, while finishing our dinner, our seven-year-old son casually asked if he could get his ears pierced. And without missing a beat, I replied, “maybe when you’re older.” But then I turned and looked at my almost two-and-a-half-year-old daughter sitting across the table, fingering her own pretty little earrings and I started feeling guilty. If I am the non-gender biased mom that I claim to be, why can’t my son get his ears pierced now? Why the double standard of allowing a two-year-old girl the freedom to make the choice but not her older brother? Personally, I don’t have a huge issue with him getting his ears pierced now if he wants; perhaps it is more the judgement that I know both he and I will face if we allow it. Teachers will undoubtedly assume that we are irresponsible parents for letting him get his ears pierced. Other parents will likely judge the appropriateness of our decision. Some classmates may even tease him for his new bling. But why should worrying about what others might think stop us from providing our children with equal opportunities and not restrict them to the gender roles that society assigns? It is a good question, and one that needs to be considered. For now, our son has waned a bit in his desire to get his ears pierced; once he found out that it hurts “more than a shot” he began to reconsider. But we need to be prepared for the day when he asks again, and when that day comes, I am honestly not sure what we’ll say.