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Swedish parents decide not to reveal 2-year-old's gender-Thoughts?? - Page 9

post #161 of 199
I think this is pretty cool. I don't see it as damaging. It's not like they're keeping it from the child - just letting them decide when to disclose said information.

I remember when I was in 4th grade, I got my hair cut at a barber's. And the cut was like one would "typically" get for a boy. We had a substitute teacher one day, and I was wearing jeans/tennis shoes/t-shirt. We were lining up to go to lunch, and she had me go to the boys line. I remember thinking that was pretty neat - that she couldn't tell my gender at all, and I could intermingle.
post #162 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
I think this is pretty cool. I don't see it as damaging. It's not like they're keeping it from the child - just letting them decide when to disclose said information.

I remember when I was in 4th grade, I got my hair cut at a barber's. And the cut was like one would "typically" get for a boy. We had a substitute teacher one day, and I was wearing jeans/tennis shoes/t-shirt. We were lining up to go to lunch, and she had me go to the boys line. I remember thinking that was pretty neat - that she couldn't tell my gender at all, and I could intermingle.
See the story you told exhibits the post I made above. That there is a "boy" line and "girl" line.
post #163 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerDuck View Post
Yeah, I wonder this, too. I don't know when it starts but I know at 3 or so my son (who I have mentioned before has long hair) would meet other kids and would sometimes be asked "Are you a boy or a girl?"
What I'd have a problem with is if they're forcing the child to keep it a secret as well...that's just messed. How do you keep that up without making the kid feel weird about it?

My DD at 2 1/2 can identify girls & boys and addresses strangers as such. I mean sure she's learned it from us (the differences) but I really don't think I've harmed her in any way. There are lots of gender specific things I've left out and she finds her way to them anyway (princesses, jewellery etc).
post #164 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
She certainly knows she's a girl, she doesn't seem to find that to be the most important thing to discuss. Pop certainly knows what his/her gender is, it's just not advertised to appease the desires of strangers.
Neither does mine think it's the most important thing to discuss, but she is aware of it. Mostly she says "Hi girl/boy, want to play with me?"

And how do we know that Pop certainly knows?
post #165 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
See the story you told exhibits the post I made above. That there is a "boy" line and "girl" line.
True. I like how you explained it, btw.

I actually think it would be pretty cool if we could all just keep our genders to ourselves until puberty (where, mostly, the visible changes occur). I know when I was in school, I thought it was pretty constricting to divide everything into boys/girls. If I spoke with a boy or was close friends with a boy, classmates assumed I "liked" him. I was in 4th grade - I liked everyone! That one day when they mistook me for a boy - it was like feeling freedom. I deliberately tried to dress like a boy each time we had a substitute from that day on!
post #166 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
True. I like how you explained it, btw.

I actually think it would be pretty cool if we could all just keep our genders to ourselves until puberty (where, mostly, the visible changes occur). I know when I was in school, I thought it was pretty constricting to divide everything into boys/girls. If I spoke with a boy or was close friends with a boy, classmates assumed I "liked" him. I was in 4th grade - I liked everyone! That one day when they mistook me for a boy - it was like feeling freedom. I deliberately tried to dress like a boy each time we had a substitute from that day on!
Babymomma did the same sort of thing for the longest time. Though she didn't limit it to substsitute teachers. In her high school grad picture she looks like a boy. Admittedly it got pretty much impossible for her to hide the evidence of her womanhood and she's been trying to find other ways to do it.

And for no other reason then the same freedom to mingle.
post #167 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
I remember an essay like that from some feminist theory class I took. "Baby X" or something like that. When I read it, I remember being totally inspired and thinking it was a great idea.
A while back the real baby X made himself public and said most of the reports were extreemly inaccurate. He never felt right being raised as a girl, and chose to return to being a male when he found out what happened (His penis had been irrepairably damaged during a circumcision.) A couple of years back he commited suicide. It is a very sad story.
post #168 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky View Post
My initial thought was that the child might have been born with a form of hermaphroditism (sp?) and perhaps they are trying to let the child determine her/his own sex.
My initial thought was similar- Don't they know that it is now the standard recommendation to raise hermaphroditic children in one or another gender and let them change it later if you turned out to be mistaken, because hermaphroditic people raised in the no-telling / no-gender way found it too traumatic?

I myself am wondering about Swedish. Do they have gender in their pronouns? It would be hard to go without the third-person singular, and NO, "it" is not an appropriate personal pronoun for a human being, in my opinion. It ends up classing the person with inanimate objects and insects and birds and so on.
post #169 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
You see here's the thing... All the physical differences in the world doesn't change the facts that 1) People treat boys different from girls and 2) One's physical gender is seperate from ones psychological gender.

There are people all around the world who are being thrust into a "gender" based on what they physically have. "He has a penis so he's a guy" "She has vulva so she's a girl". They are treated like their physical gender, assigned behaviours and likes and dislikes based on their gender. These people have difficulties because of it. Because society cannot accept the fact that boy's don't need to identify with the male gender and girls don't need to identify with the female gender.

Pop is, for the time being, not going to have the issue of people assuming Pop is going to identify with male or females. Pop will identify with the gender they are most comfortable identifying with. Without pressure from the outside. I know one person who would have given anything to beable to grow up with that freedom because her physical self tells her to identify with one gender and her emotional and psychological self tells her to identify with the other gender.
That is true and in theory I would love for this to be the way it is going to work out, but in reality, Pop is going to spend a LOT of time listening to mom and dad explain this or have people use different-gendered pronouns based on false assumptions, and also have a hard time if s/he can't explain his/her gender at the playground.

It WOULD be nice if it were the norm to treat children equally or not to reveal their genders until puberty but, that not being the case, I think it's unfair to the child to have it be an experiment of sorts, unless you're on some kind of commune or whatnot, in which case, cool.
post #170 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
A while back the real baby X made himself public and said most of the reports were extreemly inaccurate. He never felt right being raised as a girl, and chose to return to being a male when he found out what happened (His penis had been irrepairably damaged during a circumcision.) A couple of years back he commited suicide. It is a very sad story.
Fuamami was talking about something completely different - although I know the "story" of which you speak.

I believe Fuamami was refferring to a short Fiction story called "X: A Fabulous Child's Story" by Lois Gould. It was written in 1972. Here is a link if anyone would like to read it - http://etransgender.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1850

I wonder if the parent's of Pop didn't read this story themselves?
post #171 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan3 View Post
Neither does mine think it's the most important thing to discuss, but she is aware of it. Mostly she says "Hi girl/boy, want to play with me?"

And how do we know that Pop certainly knows?
Because in the articles the parents said that it'll stop being a secret when Pop decides to tell people. Pop can't tell people if Pop doesn't know. Ergo, Pop knows.
post #172 of 199
Wow. Some people obviously did not even read the article because they keep saying Pop is forced to keep a secret, when thats not true.

POP IS NOT FORCED TO KEEP THEIR GENDER A SECRET!
"As for Pop, they say they will only reveal the child's sex when Pop thinks it's time. "

POP KNOW THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOY AND GIRL:
"Although Pop knows that there are physical differences between a boy and a girl..."
post #173 of 199
when they say reveal the sex - they don't mean to Pop, who already know, they mean to the rest of the world - who its not their business anyway if Pop doesn't want them to know.
post #174 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommysarah5 View Post

POP IS NOT FORCED TO KEEP THEIR GENDER A SECRET!
"As for Pop, they say they will only reveal the child's sex when Pop thinks it's time. "

POP KNOW THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOY AND GIRL:
"Although Pop knows that there are physical differences between a boy and a girl..."
Glad you pointed these things out. It does indeed seem like those who are outraged are outraged because the parents are keeping the child's sex from the child... when that's not the case at all.

Because that is not the case, I don't understand why this is an issue with people. All the parents are doing is bypassing the social construct of gender until their child is ready to declare it, rather than declaring it for their child and forcing him/her into a social construct. I think this is a great idea.

It kills me when people (namely my side of the family) designate activities, entertainment, etc. for males or females. E.g. last night my son wanted to watch the movie The Nutcracker, and my dad frowned and said, "That's a girl movie." DS was examining the underside of a chair, and my grandmother said, "Trying to figure out how it works? Just like a boy."

These are the social constructs of gender that I wish I could avoid for my son.
post #175 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Because in the articles the parents said that it'll stop being a secret when Pop decides to tell people. Pop can't tell people if Pop doesn't know. Ergo, Pop knows.
I'm not saying I think for sure the child doesn't know... but saying "the child will decide when it is time" doesn't neccassarily mean the child has any clue right now. This could be a roundabout way of skirting the fact that the child DOESN'T know.

Just like I can say to someone in all honesty, "My girls will decide what birth control to use when the time is right" - doesn't mean that I have actually sat down with them and discusses the pros and cons of the diaphram vs. the pill vs. the IUD. They don't have any clue right now what birth control even is. (They're 15 months)

eta - admittedly it's kind of a weird concept to think whether he/she knows or doesn't know since at that age what CAN you know besides boys have penises and girls have vaginas. My experience has really been that at that age boys and girls play with boys or girls, they're treated pretty equally, they like similar things...

I was a psych major in college and we had to do research projects in child development, my group looks at play differences between girls and boys - we theorized girls would prefer quiet/thinking toys and boys would prefer louder/action toys. Then we worked with 20 kids or something and we found NO DIFFERENCES but for some reason felt we weren't allowed to say our theory wasn't true (I think we had a really weird prof for that class) and so we kind of had to manipulate the date to prove our point... but really, we found nothing.

I feel like at 5 my son is developing a preference to play with boys over girls but he will still play with both and I don't see much difference in his play when he's playing - it's more to do with who he is playing with than what sex they are. I don't know if that all makes sense...

I think what I am getting at is, this kid is assumed to have a lot more knowledge and decision making power than is really possible at that age.

As he/she grows, anything that is seen in him/her that someone wants to say "Now this is the result of having no gender imposed early on!" will have to be teased apart from "Now this is the result of being part of some off psychological experiment early on!"
post #176 of 199
but the child DOES know right now. :

My children have no preference to play with other children of the same gender (my oldest is 4) They just love to play, doesn't matter with who. The child being discussed here isn't part a psychological "experiment" its the product of parents who love their child (same as those who do reveal the gender of their children) and is doing what they think is best for the child.

The reality is, the child can reveal the gender if they want to, and won't be able to do so any later then any other child would be able to express that. The only difference is, the parent isn't going to do it FOR the child. Once you do it FOR the child you can't take it back. Not revealing it for the child doesn't prevent it from ever being revealed by the child.

I don't think its too much decision power for a child to decide to say "I'm a boy" or "I'm a girl" when they decide they want someone to know if they are a boy or girl. It's not different to me then letting them choose their clothes, friends, or toys. We are not talking about the child deciding which house to buy or what town to live in or where to file their taxes.

My son walks around and some days he says he is a girl and some days he says he is boy. The other day I asked him who was the best (thinking he would say daddy since daddy was just playing with him" and he said "Girls are the best!" I don't know where he gets this from, but it's definitely not "too much decision power" for a child to decide if they want to say "hey im a girl" or "hey im a boy" or "hi, my name is ______ and my favorite thing to do is color"

and no matter what choices a parent makes people an say things like this

"see, thats what happens when you don't raise children with a firm hand."
"see, thats what happens when you raise your children with violence"
"see, thats what happens when you vaccinate a child"
"see, thats what happens when you don't vaccinate a child"
"that right there is what happens when gay people raise children"
"that right these is what happens when parents don't teach tolerance to others sexual preferences"

the comment "the child is the result of some psychological experiment" can be said about ANY child. We are all doing what we think is best for our children, Pop's parents included. it's not an experiment, its called PARENTING and doing what you believe is best for your child. No matter what you do, you cannot avoid the critical eye of society. Everyone wants to look for where the parents went wrong.

Now I ask, if they raise a wonderful child, who feels free to be anyone and do anything regardless of his or her gender, then what do you think will be said?
some people will say its because of the parents and some people will say its despite the parents.

The bottom line is, what body parts you have between your legs is personal information. They aren't sharing that personal information on someone elses behalf. They are letting their child reveal that private information when they are ready.
post #177 of 199
I think that it is more damaging that there is a huge story about this and that they are using their child to promote the idea of ambiguity. If you want to raise your child without gender stereotypes...fine, but why make a huge announcement and spectacle of the whole thing.
post #178 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan3 View Post

And how do we know that Pop certainly knows?
The original swedish article says this:

Men, vill både Jonas och Nora understryka, Pops kön är ingen stor hemlighet. Det är inget som är tabubelagt eller hyschigt. Pop själv är fullt medveten om vad som finns mellan de egna benen och föräldrarna har pratat med Pop om att alla barn har antingen en snopp eller en snippa. Och utöver Pop, Jonas och Nora så vet även en handfull personer bland familj och vänner, som varit barnvakt och bytt blöja, vad Pop har för kön. Men Nora och Jonas säger själva aldrig han eller hon till eller om Pop, utan alltid Pop.

I'll try to translate/parafrase:

Both Nora and Jonas underlines that Pops gender is no big secret. It's not layered with taboo. Pop knows what's between Pops own legs and the parents have talked to Pop about the fact that all children have either a penis or a vagina. And aside from Pop, Nora, and Jonas, a handfull of people among family and friends, who have babysat and changed diapers, know Pops gender. But Nora and Jonas never says he or she to or about Pop, they always say Pop.
post #179 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommysarah5 View Post
and no matter what choices a parent makes people an say things like this

"see, thats what happens when you don't raise children with a firm hand."
"see, thats what happens when you raise your children with violence"
"see, thats what happens when you vaccinate a child"
"see, thats what happens when you don't vaccinate a child"
"that right there is what happens when gay people raise children"
"that right these is what happens when parents don't teach tolerance to others sexual preferences"

the comment "the child is the result of some psychological experiment" can be said about ANY child. We are all doing what we think is best for our children, Pop's parents included. it's not an experiment, its called PARENTING and doing what you believe is best for your child. No matter what you do, you cannot avoid the critical eye of society. Everyone wants to look for where the parents went wrong.

Now I ask, if they raise a wonderful child, who feels free to be anyone and do anything regardless of his or her gender, then what do you think will be said?
some people will say its because of the parents and some people will say its despite the parents.

The bottom line is, what body parts you have between your legs is personal information. They aren't sharing that personal information on someone elses behalf. They are letting their child reveal that private information when they are ready.
Totally agreed.

I disagree that these parents are necessarily using their child. Or, maybe they are, but so what? Or, how is this any different from what MANY of us do here at MDC? Is not vaccinating your child or not circumcising your child using your child to promote a philosophy? Does it matter, if that's the right thing to do?
post #180 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
That is true and in theory I would love for this to be the way it is going to work out, but in reality, Pop is going to spend a LOT of time listening to mom and dad explain this or have people use different-gendered pronouns based on false assumptions, and also have a hard time if s/he can't explain his/her gender at the playground.

It WOULD be nice if it were the norm to treat children equally or not to reveal their genders until puberty but, that not being the case, I think it's unfair to the child to have it be an experiment of sorts, unless you're on some kind of commune or whatnot, in which case, cool.
Pop will say if they are boy or girl when Pop wants people to know. Whether Pop is a boy or a girl is not something Pop's parents can tell by what genitalia they have. Pop is the only one who knows 100%. The parents only have physical form and social contruct to go on.
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