I have never understood what was so harmful about "girly" things. Colors like pink and purple and any pastels. Flowers and butterflies. Painted nails and ponytails. Skirts. Makeup. Face masks.

Society has decided that anything tied to beauty, anything tied to women, is not acceptable for men.

God forbid a boy put on a face mask.

Society decided that exuding feminine energy is weak.

Boys can't wear skirts! It's not like all clothing used to be the same.

Society made it a rule that men be stoic, emotionless, masculine, and unmovable.

Do foundation and sharp, winged eyeliner really determine what someone is capable of? How strong is someone who cannot empathize?

Society showcased femininity, an example of how not to behave.

Do sharpened, red nails still scream submission?

I saw a post the other day that made me hurt for the young boys out in the world. A little boy wanted a little, blue butterfly painted on his face, but his parents told him no, he needed to have something better fit for a boy. The person who posted about this encounter was the one painting kids' faces. They tried to convince the parents to let the boy have a butterfly — it was what the boy wanted, and it was just face paint — but the parents demanded he have a skull painted on his cheek instead.

With all the darkness and pain and suffering in the world, nothing could be more innocent and heartwarming than seeing a little boy running around with a tiny, blue butterfly on his face.

Pardon my French, but what in the actual f*ck is wrong with all of you?

Why is a butterfly girly? It's a bug.

What is wrong with a boy being feminine?

Why can girls be tomboys but the minute a boy so much as looks at his sister's pretty pink nails, something is wrong with him?

God forbid he "turns out" gay.

Here's the thing:

When we tell our boys they cannot be like girls, we are telling them they are above women. We are teaching them being a woman is bad. We encourage them to establish dominance, to embrace toxic masculinity, to replace compassion with violence.

We are setting them up to fail.

America, we are setting our children up to fail.

It is time to do better. It is time to be better.

Let boys express themselves the same way you let your girls. Let children be children, and stop letting "gender" obscure every angle of your vision. We bring children into this world to love them, to encourage them, to help them become their truest selves.

Do not give your child life just to turn around and take it away.

Wake up, and let the boy have the butterfly face paint.