My four-year-old son loves explosions and Star Wars (I won't go into gender issues with Star Wars, at least not today). He also loves the new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and is a newly-minted fan of the United States women's water polo team. I'll admit that much of this is due to my own enthusiasm for both ponies and water polo, but it goes beyond that. He thinks Rainbow Dash is awesome. He thinks Pinky Pie is funny. And he doesn't care if they're girls or boys--he hangs out with me most the day, and he doesn't think there's huge differences between us. Right now, if the story's good, he doesn't care what gender the main character is. I hope it will stay that way.
I'm an optimist, and I choose to believe that careful parental exposure to great shows/stories/sports epicness can trump societal notions about what boys should and shouldn't like. Of course, with all the school and friends and teachers and scary stuff ahead, I could be wrong. What do you think about the whole issue? I'd love to know!