A Mom RSVP’d 'No' To A Little Boy’s Taylor Swift Birthday Party Because It's ‘Against Their Beliefs’

The mom's objection pointed to a bizarre double standard about gender that makes very little sense.

boy's taylor swift birthday party FamVeld, ako photography / Shutterstock.com | Canva Pro

A mom is speaking out about the controversy that erupted around her son's 8th birthday party and the heated conversation that ensued about conflicting views on gender and what it actually means to just let a kid be a kid.

A child's parent RSVP'd 'no' to a little boy's Taylor Swift birthday party because it is 'against their beliefs.'

America has been at quite an inflection point when it comes to gender roles and LGBTQ+ issues, as conservatives seek to legislate their views and religious beliefs into law on issues that often place children on the front line of these particular culture wars.


The situation a mom and TikToker named Jolene recently faced with her little boy's Taylor Swift birthday party seems like a sort of microcosm of all that outsized drama. "My daughter will not be attending your son's Taylor Swift party," one parent's RSVP text message read, "because it is against our beliefs."



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Ultimately, she and her husband decided not to respond to what seemed like an obvious attempt at provocation — and one that used kids as a prop, no less. "Their text message seemed a little confrontational because they could have just said no, thank you," she said.

And since their son has long been into "the pretty things in life," she said she and her husband are used to people objecting to their son's interests. Who needs that on their birthday?

But she felt the other mom's RSVP highlighted a ridiculous double standard when it comes to kids and gender roles.

"Initially, I wanted to respond and ask them to elaborate because I'm not exactly sure what belief system you have, like what religion is out here saying thou shall not listen to Taylor Swift," Jolene said in a video on the subject.

That people would have such firm opinions on an 8-year-old child's interests is itself absurd and a shame, and Jolene felt like it also touched on an important point about how arbitrarily these standards are applied to kids. 


"I've always found it kind of weird that … girls are allowed to look up to girls and girls are allowed to look up to boys, but boys aren't allowed to look up to girls," she said in her video. "Are little girls not allowed to listen to male artists?"

"It's almost like you think that it would be a downgrade for them to look up to women or something," she went on to say. "Luckily for us, there's no shortage of little kids who like Taylor Swift," and her son's birthday went off without a hitch. But plenty of people online had a lot to say about it. 



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Many parents felt she should 'let her son be a boy' by forcing him to pick a different birthday theme.

"And this is what's wrong with society," one angry parent commented on Jolene's video. "You are enabling him to think this is okay. LET YOUR BOY BE A BOY."

Enabling him to think WHAT is okay? Liking Taylor Swift? This is an absurd hill to die on, but not nearly as absurd as thinking that forcing a boy to like boy things is "letting" him be who he truly is. That makes absolutely no sense.



For her part, Jolene was having none of it. She gently pushed back in a follow-up video, saying, "The thing is, it's not let boys be boys. I'm just trying to let my kids be kids."


She explained that she allowed her son to pick and choose what he wanted for his birthday, and he picked Taylor Swift-themed stuff, including a "girly" costume to wear. 

Jolene then explained why parents' angry views about gender and boys liking 'girl things' make absolutely no sense. 

Jolene further explained that her angry commenter was entirely off-base. She hasn't "enabled" or "let" her son do anything — in fact, it's the opposite. She's never even explained to him that "sparkles and colors" are "only for girls." In the absence of this cultural information, her son simply picked what he wanted for his birthday. 

This all speaks to a wider point: conservative views on gender like this angry commenter's do not actually make any sense.

"What's so bizarre to me is people like you are usually the ones that will say that biology is the only thing that can determine your gender," Jolene said. "But then you guys will make such a big deal about what clothes do to affect other people's gender. And so my question is, which one is it? Is it biology or is it self-expression?"




Conservative and religious parents so often couch their angry objections to gender and LGBTQ+ issues in the belief that they are being "forced" on their kids.

But you can't really find a better example of forcing the issue than a conservative parent demanding this mom force her son to choose a different birthday theme in order to adhere to gender standards he isn't even aware of in the first place. Maybe back off and let kids be kids.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.