Mum took to Facebook to share her disgust after a man threatened her over her sons choice of outfit.

Jen Anderson Shattuck, a mum from the US, wrote on Facebook explaining a very frightful situation she recently experienced when out with her three year old son.

“My three-and-a-half-year-old son likes to play trucks. He likes to do jigsaw puzzles. He likes to eat plums. And he likes to wear sparkly tutus. 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.

My son has worn tutus to church. He has worn tutus to the grocery store. He has worn tutus on the train and in the sandbox. It has been, in our part of the world, a non-issue. We have been asked some well-intentioned questions; we’ve answered them; it has been fine. It WAS fine, until yesterday.

Yesterday, on our walk to the park, my son and I were accosted by someone who demanded to know why my son was wearing a skirt. We didn’t know him, but he appeared to have been watching us for some time.

“I’m just curious,” the man said. “Why do you keep doing this to your son?”

He wasn’t curious. He didn’t want answers. He wanted to make sure we both knew that what my son was doing—what I was ALLOWING him to do—was wrong.

“She shouldn’t keep doing this to you,” he said. He spoke directly to my son. “You’re a boy. She’s a bad mommy. It’s child abuse.”

He took pictures of us, although I asked him not to; he threatened me. “Now everyone will know,” he said. “You’ll see.”

I called the police. They came, they took their report, they complimented the skirt. Still, my son does not feel safe today. He wants to know: “Is the man coming back? The bad man? Is he going to shout more unkind things about my skirt? Is he going to take more pictures?”

I can’t say for sure. But I can say this: I will not be intimidated. I will not be made to feel vulnerable or afraid. I will not let angry strangers tell my son what he can or cannot wear.

The world may not love my son for who he is, but I do. I was put on this earth to make sure he knows it.

I will shout my love from street corners.

I will defend, shouting, his right to walk down the street in peace, wearing whatever items of clothing he wants to wear.

I will show him, in whatever way I can, that I value the person he is, trust in his vision for himself, and support his choices—no matter what anybody else says, no matter who tries to stop him or how often.

Our family has a motto. The motto is this:

We are loving.

We are kind.

We are determined and persistent.

We are beautiful and brave.

We know who we are. Angry strangers will not change who we are. The world will not change who we are—we will change the world.”

Her post has been shared over 8K times.

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  • Oh! So terrible! I can imagine how scared mother and boy were!!
    That was a very nasty man!!


  • Good on you mum for not letting yourself intimidated by this man. How awful can people be ! Hope your son is ok !!


  • There are way to many rules in regards to what boy and girls can/should be wearing. We are going through an Elsa dress faze with my three yr old son. He loves the dress because it has special freezing powers. He hasnt wanted to wear it outside the house yet, but when he does I hope he can feel powerful with his freezing magic.
    Wearing a dress isn’t going to make them gay or want to be a transgender person. THey are children. Let them play


  • That is terrible. Who is that man to judge. Good on you mum for standing up for your son


  • This is quite awful and ridiculous and must have been frightening to be accosted by this person. It is no one’s business and let a child be a child.


  • I love this little fella’s tutu. I hope it continues to make him feel beautiful and brave. What a great mum you are!


  • All mums know that a 3 year old is well able to say ‘NO’ if they don’t want to do something, so I very doubt this child is ‘forced’ to wear tutu’s by hand s mother as the man suggests. I just hope this child continues to be Beautiful and brave’ and doesn’t change his ways out of fear of unwanted comments from strangers. This is the demise of our individuality.


  • To the man who decided it was OK to attack this mother over her sons clothing – you Sir are an idiot – what right do you have to even comment on what he was wearing, let alone attack a mother and make her feel unsafe.

    I hope one day you have children or grandchildren that do the same thing and then see how you feel when they are verbally attacked – bet you wont feel good then! and you will probably defend them for their choice!.

    How about everyone remembers that old saying that seems to be non-existent nowadays –

    If you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all!

    (yes I know I should take a little bit of my own advice !)


  • Seriously. My 3 year old used to Dress up in my things. Now is 26 and not scarred.


  • I just wish people would mind their own business. How you rear your child is your affair and others should just butt out. Do hope your boy is starting to get over his fear of this man and his life can go on in a happy way.


  • How long has that guy been observing your son? How did he know your child is a boy…unless he heard to call him by his name? I would definitely wonder about his motives for doing that. Pity you couldn’t have snatched the camera so you have evidence he took the photos. As far as I know you should have the right to say whether or not your photo is taken –especially by a stranger. I’m glad you reported it to the Police. I would advise you to ask your relatives and friends to keep watch to see if your son’s photo is posted at all.


  • my 2 year old son likes head bands, he was wearing one over Christmas and I was told to put antlers on it so it didn’t look so bad. My response? I am not going to pick a fight with a (not even) 2 year old over a head band, I will however choose to fight him over a fork in a power point!


  • People should mind their own business, but unfortunately this is not always the case.


  • That is unfortunately how the world works. Just because you make it ok at home, doesn’t mean the world will see it as OK. You’re a wonderful parent and are dealing with this brilliantly. I hope your son soon stops being afraid


  • Kids dress themselves in all sorts of ludicrous ways. A tutu for a boy is actually not even weird. And if it was? I recently said to my son (about something else): “You’re weird. But that’s okay as long as it’s YOUR weird.”

    But I do think this guy should be arrested for taking photos when clearly asked not to. Hope he’s stupid enough to post one somewhere and get caught.


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