Parents who are conscious and critical of rigid gender norms face a problem. If they raise their children without regard for traditional gender norms, then their children run the risk of being ostracized for not conforming to these gender norms. Yet if a parent enforces gender norms on their child, then they are closing off potential spaces for self-fulfillment. This kind of problem is most easily recognizable with regards to homosexuality - many parents say they have nothing against homosexuality, but wish their own children would be heterosexual, because of the social difficulties and ostracism faced by homosexuals. As a parent, where must one stand? Must one teach one's children to conform to rigid gender norms that one disapproves of, because it will make life easier for the children? Or should one liberate one's child from these norms, and run the risk of them suffering greatly for their disregard of these norms?

Seems to me your question poses what is known as a false alternative. I see no reason why a parent cannot help to inform a child about gender norms, so the child can understand these norms, while still making clear that such norms are really not necessary, not appropriate, and stifling. Don't we try (well, those of us who are decent folks, anyway!) to do the same with racism and other forms of prejudice?

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