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Swedish parents decide not to reveal 2-year-old's gender-Thoughts?? - Page 5

post #81 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
Yes, but the point (and the long-term solution) isn't that we "avoid" nasty comments, but fight them. That is why this is not fair to put a child in the center of this.
I get the feeling they are trying to avoid putting the child at the center of all that by not putting said child in a situation where they are required to either conform or stand up for themself.

The child is two, if their first thought was to make an example they would have announced to the papers much earlier then intend to keep the gender a secret.
post #82 of 199
I missed the part of the article where they said they are doing this as a political statement. can someone point that out to me so I know what we are talking about here
post #83 of 199
I love it. This is not about minimizing gender or denying biological sex. It's about maximizing gender - and hence, the expansion of opportunities - for their child.

And I don't remember who said this, but for the record, we are NOT in fact born with a gender. We are born with a biological SEX and usually ASSIGNED a gender based on attributes that have developed in such a way as to become socially linked with one sex OR another.

What's wrong with gender characteristics? Nothing, when they can and are applied equally regardless of sex. When they are arbitrarily assigned to us n the basis of a physical difference, then they limit our potential. It seems to me, THAT is what these parents are hoping to avoid.
post #84 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
What forms? They live in Sweden. Pop is only 2 years old.
Swedes are exempt from filling out forms? If it hasn't come up before, as Pop grows it may be required sometime in the future. Just a technicality.
post #85 of 199
Thread Starter 
I found this article interesting and wanted to get others' take on it. I only have two boys-ODS is fairly typically masculine in a lot of ways-he LOVES anything with wheels on it. He is also loud and loves to play in the dirt. However, he has a beautiful face-people used to comment on it when he was a baby. Now that he's almost two people would feel it was insulting to call my son beautiful but I would still be complimented. I don't think that all children gravitate towards same-sex playmates-I've always been more comfortable around men than women and I am a "girly" type of girl. Unfortunately, an action such as not revealing a child's gender will be seen as very radical and the child will probably be treated differently because of it, even in Sweden, which is known for being a very progressive country.
post #86 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post
I would worry that Pop would think his/ her gender was a bad thing, something to be afraid/ ashamed of of and hide.
I have met quite a few kids who did feel this way about being boys and/or girls because of the social constraints placed on them.
post #87 of 199
On the topic of "singular they"

singular they is used in Shakespeare
singular they is used in the Bible
singular they is used in speech on a regular basis, and can easliy be 'hey and 'hem and *more* neutral to number as well

I use singular they for anyone we don't know. If i see a kid with long hair, a shirt that says "i'm a pretty little girl" and a long flowing skirt swinging at the park I say "look at that kid they look like they are having fun"

Only once I have met someone and know their pronoun preference do i use one. But that is probably because i am part of a queer community where I almost have more friends who *are* trans than aren't
post #88 of 199
on being asked if you are a boy or a girl or a man or a woman

this happens ALL THE TIME to folks who don't fit into gender stereotypical experiences. it has happened to me since my first short haircut at age 9 and contiues to happen to me even as breastfeeding mama

this happens to transgendered people ALL THE TIME. it is harrassment, it is dangerous, it leads to violence, it is horrendous, it leads to murders.

That is why I hate when people ask it about children, it sets up a precedent that it is okay to ask, you are required to tell, and others have the right to know.
post #89 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
On the topic of "singular they"

singular they is used in Shakespeare
singular they is used in the Bible
singular they is used in speech on a regular basis, and can easliy be 'hey and 'hem and *more* neutral to number as well
The Bible wasn't originally written in English. In Hebrew, there are no gender-neutral pronouns, not even plurals. All objects, even things like books and plates, have a grammatical gender.

If you're thinking of "a singular They in the Bible" then you're thinking of a specific translation. That, or you're thinking of specific verses that were originally written in the "plural masculine" format, as well as being debatable whether it was truly meant to be "singular".

I beleive you about the Shakespear although I'm not familiar with any specific examples.

As for "the singular they" being used in colloquial American English- it definitely IS used. It still "sounds wrong" to me, even though it's well understood, and truly is an example of the way languages change over time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
What I find odd is that no really has seen except mom and dad, does anyone else find it odd considering how hard it is to keep clothing on a 2.5 y/o?(I'm joking, but for me it's nearly impossible to keep my DD clothed).
I've had kids who were more "nudist" than others. Even with the ones who hated clothing, I was usually able to at least keep a diaper on. (None of my kids were still in that phase by the time they were ready for underwear.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by seawind View Post
Wonder what they fill in forms. The psychological gender and the physiological gender are both part of ones identity. Does society force you into a gender mold or is it your acceptance/expression of gender that creates the norm?
I can only guess that they were able to keep that little box blank on official forms. Even newborns need to be listed on things like tax forms (to list a new child as a dependent), health insurance forms (maybe that's not needed in Sweden?) etc.
post #90 of 199
I think that it's rather silly. Jumping up and down shrieking "I'm making a statement!" doesn't make a statement. It makes a lot of noise.

I'd be sad if I grew up to find out that for the first years of my life I was called "it," because, as pc as everyone here is trying to be, I'd bet my last dollar that that's what people are doing just because there's nothing else to say.

It's easy to go on a message board and carefully type out pc worded responses, but in the real world, that kid is a boy or a girl and has to live in a world where (almost, I guess) everyone else is a boy or a girl and their is nothing wrong with those differences. If he grows up and decides to be a mommy or she grows up and becomes Albert James, then whatever floats his boat, but at two it kinda is what it is. No amount of "Look how nonconformist and unconventional we are!" is going to change that.
post #91 of 199
The child is named and referred to as "Pop" not "called it" and if someone is calling a child "it" because they are in ahuff they don't know the gender that speaks worse of that person (who is just refusing to use the name Pop that was provided when asked the gender) then it does about the parents who agreed to an interview about their choice.
post #92 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantaja View Post
but at two it kinda is what it is. No amount of "Look how nonconformist and unconventional we are!" is going to change that.
That's the point, though. At two it IS nothing. But all that gendering DOES change it, and for most of us, irrevocably.

It genuinely surprises me that more people don't see it as irresponsible and dangerous and bad for kids to force them into reductive roles on the basis of their sex... and that so many think the parents are doing it for selfish reasons!

Especially on a board like MDC where most of us think "outside the box" about how we rear our children, I guess I would expect more support for something like this.
post #93 of 199
Why do people assume this is a political statement and not an choice they've honestly made because they feel it's in the best interest of their child? They want to see how Pop will grow up without any gender expectations. Allow Pop to be Pop, whoever that is, without any outside gender stereotypes impacting that. I'm sure Pop will discover gender stereotypes soon enough anyway. I don't see why this is a big deal or a problem.
post #94 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Why do people assume this is a political statement and not an choice they've honestly made because they feel it's in the best interest of their child? They want to see how Pop will grow up without any gender expectations. Allow Pop to be Pop, whoever that is, without any outside gender stereotypes impacting that. I'm sure Pop will discover gender stereotypes soon enough anyway. I don't see why this is a big deal or a problem.
I asked the same thing, and I'm quoting it so it will show up on this page twice so maybe someone will answer us
post #95 of 199
I think that is really neat. Girls and boys are treated differently and it is stifling. I think the child will pick up these things from other children and society though so it does seem a little overboard. I also wonder if they are going to tell their child what the names of their body parts are. I think if they don't then that could lead to the child feeling ashamed of their body. I also wonder if the child will grow up and decide at some point that his/her parents did this because they wanted a child of the opposite sex and therefore they aren't good enough.
post #96 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I think that is really neat. Girls and boys are treated differently and it is stifling. I think the child will pick up these things from other children and society though so it does seem a little overboard. I also wonder if they are going to tell their child what the names of their body parts are. I think if they don't then that could lead to the child feeling ashamed of their body. I also wonder if the child will grow up and decide at some point that his/her parents did this because they wanted a child of the opposite sex and therefore they aren't good enough.
they already do.
post #97 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by laneysprout View Post
That's the point, though. At two it IS nothing. But all that gendering DOES change it, and for most of us, irrevocably.

It genuinely surprises me that more people don't see it as irresponsible and dangerous and bad for kids to force them into reductive roles on the basis of their sex... and that so many think the parents are doing it for selfish reasons!

Especially on a board like MDC where most of us think "outside the box" about how we rear our children, I guess I would expect more support for something like this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Why do people assume this is a political statement and not an choice they've honestly made because they feel it's in the best interest of their child? They want to see how Pop will grow up without any gender expectations. Allow Pop to be Pop, whoever that is, without any outside gender stereotypes impacting that. I'm sure Pop will discover gender stereotypes soon enough anyway. I don't see why this is a big deal or a problem.
: I wish all of our children were given the right to be who they are w/o being forced into boxes based on their sex organs. We really have no clue what boys/girls would do naturally with out gender stereotyping, I've yet to meet a person untouched by said stereotypes. We have no idea how much is societal instead of nature. And we have no idea how many children don't actually fit so nicely into those boxes. Children should just be children and not defined by the fact they have a penis or vulva.
I don't think what these parents are doing is so off the wall but I sure as hell think defining who children can be by their sex organ is.
post #98 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommysarah5 View Post
The child is named and referred to as "Pop" not "called it" and if someone is calling a child "it" because they are in ahuff they don't know the gender that speaks worse of that person (who is just refusing to use the name Pop that was provided when asked the gender) then it does about the parents who agreed to an interview about their choice.
And for the people of the world who aren't fortunate enough to know Pop's name?

People do it all the time. Not in reference to that kid, but it happened on this thread when someone wasn't certain of a gender. It happens. No one means that a particular individual is equivalent to a dresser or a can of peas, but without a name you have he, she, and...
post #99 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantaja View Post
And for the people of the world who aren't fortunate enough to know Pop's name?

People do it all the time. Not in reference to that kid, but it happened on this thread when someone wasn't certain of a gender. It happens. No one means that a particular individual is equivalent to a dresser or a can of peas, but without a name you have he, she, and...
give me an example

if you know about Pop from reading the story you would use the name Pop.

if you don't know Pop, and see Pop on the street, and can't tell if Pop is a boy or girl, how is that different then any other child on the street whose gender you can't tell? Are those parents bad because they arent carrying a sign that says "this is a 'boy' or 'girl' child. do people call all those children "it" or is somehow this ONLY going to happen to Pop?

If you go up to the parent to ask, and then they say "This is Pop" then you know its pop.

I can't see a situation where anyone will need to call Pop "it" anymore then they would have to towards any other child they haven't met yet who isn't in obviously a certain gendered clothing.
post #100 of 199
I think this is really cool.

Tracy, I appreciate what you say here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wugmama View Post
I read once that differences in treatment start in the womb when mothers find out their babies' gender. Bellies holding girl babies get more rubs, while bellies holding boy babies get more pats. The messages from society only get more pronounced from there.

Someone in the unschooling forum recently posted a quote from their very young child who said something to the effect, "When I go to school and learn real stuff..." even though the family has always been pro-unschooling. They were shocked that at such a young age the child could have picked up these widespread mainstream views about school. I think a similar case could be made about gender stereotypes. No matter how you try to allow your child to enjoy not being pushed toward gender stereotypes, society will get in the way. These Swedish parents are going the extra mile toward trying to minimize that.

~Tracy
Very true and bears repeating!
Gender IS largely a social construct. I can't even count how many times I have heard parents say, "I did my best to raise her in a gender-neutral way, never dressed her in pink, bought her trucks... but it turns out she's a naturally girly girl who loves her dolls and dresses!"
It's admirable for parents to try and raise their children in a gender-neutral way, resisting stereotypes... but why, when it doesn't "work," do so many parents conclude that it's because gender is innate, instead of taking into account the strong influence of society??

Children receive messages about gender NOT JUST from their parents, but from:
- other relatives
- family friends
- peers
- media (TV, radio, movies, Internet, magazines, books, newspapers, catalogs, inserts in the mail, ads, billboards)
- strangers out in public
- school
- daycare
- toys

It is nearly impossible to shield your children from ALL OF THAT. So many of the messages we receive about gender are messages we receive subconsciously. It is very difficult to raise a child to be a nonconformist in terms of gender, when the entire rest of society is working against you. It's almost useless to try to, for instance, raise a son who is "allowed to do and be whatever feels natural to him," by offering him both pants and dresses, dolls and trucks, because attempting to remain neutral unfortunately means reinforcing the status quo. It's like being in a river with a strong current going in one direction, and trying to tell your child s/he can "swim in whichever direction s/he naturally wants to swim in." S/he is going to automatically ("naturally") move in the direction of the current unless you actively teach her to swim against it.
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