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Parents keep child's sex secret - What do you think? - Page 6

post #101 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post


In the article, I think the mom says they aren't running home for every diaper change - ie, they aren't really hiding anything.  They just aren't discussing it. 

I was referring to the poster who prefers that her male child be perceived as female so that he gets more candy and isn't told he can't cry. 

post #102 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post



I was referring to the poster who prefers that her male child be perceived as female so that he gets more candy and isn't told he can't cry. 


 

Ah, I see. 

post #103 of 224

 

 

Quote:
I was referring to the poster who prefers that her male child be perceived as female so that he gets more candy and isn't told he can't cry. 

 

 

we do not prefer him to get candy

 

the "crying thing"- yea it is a big deal to us- we don't want him told not to because of his gender

 

kind of like how things use to be

 

remember girls were told to grow-up to be nurses so they could marry the doctor

 

girls do one thing boy another

post #104 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post





I agree that there can be negative and positive treatment of boys (and girls!) based on gender.  That is life.  I don't think hiding one's race is the appropriate response to racism and I don't think hiding a child's sex is the appropriate response to sexism.  I think it can have serious long term implications for that child's self esteem.  But, I am bowing out of this conversation.  To each their own. 

 


I agree with this. If gender is just a societal construct, I don't see the point in choosing a different sex any more than I would choose a different race or hair color or whatever to avoid stereotypes. If sex is biology, you are what you are, and whatever gender traits are attributed to that sex are just societal pressures that no one need conform to... Just like no one needs to conform to racial stereotypes or the 'blondes have more fun" thing.
post #105 of 224


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post


Saying that "boy" and "girl" correlate to genitalia is an outright denial of the legitimacy of trans people everywhere. If I were to identify as a man tomorrow, I would ask you to respect that and use the pronouns that I prefer, just as many people in my community do when they come out as trans or genderqueer. I know it's not what you're intending to do , but your statement is based on your ability to Ignore the reality of the trans community, and the fact that this attitude is so prevalent is ultimately responsible for a lot of hurt and damage.

 

 



I am acquainted with a queer couple....one of the couple is my coworker. They are both female, but one of them is started the process of transitioning to male. So...what's the point of going through all that? Hormones, counseling/therapy, eventually surgery....? Why don't such people just say they are boys and be done with it, if genitalia has nothing to do with it?

post #106 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post


 



I am acquainted with a queer couple....one of the couple is my coworker. They are both female, but one of them is started the process of transitioning to male. So...what's the point of going through all that? Hormones, counseling/therapy, eventually surgery....? Why don't such people just say they are boys and be done with it, if genitalia has nothing to do with it?



well... why don't you ask your coworker and see what he says?  that's a very provocative comment, and doubtless you are aware that you are displaying both ignorance and a confrontational attitude.  it makes me wonder why you are so concerned.

post #107 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post


well... why don't you ask your coworker and see what he says?  that's a very provocative comment, and doubtless you are aware that you are displaying both ignorance and a confrontational attitude.  it makes me wonder why you are so concerned.


I think you are looking for ways to be offended. A chip on the shoulder doesn't help anyone understand anything. Since you don't have an answer to my question, it seems unnecessary for you to respond except to be snarky.

 

ETA: Yup, I'm ignorant of the whys and wherefores. That's why I ask questions. Thanks for being so nice about it, though. thumb.gif

 

post #108 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 

 

as I did post - try having a two year old and a stranger thinks he is a she and IT is crying over something stupid and you are in public and the comment is made "that's OK honey"

 

now try having the SAME two year old and a stranger thinks he is a HE and an he is crying over something stupid and you are in public and the comment is made "hey, buddy, BOY'S DO NOT cry!"

 

 

you still don't get the impact?

 

same child, same situation TOTALLY different reply, girls also get offered candy a lot more often

 

and this goes on and on and on and we are only at age 3 - society has "views" and they bestow them only the youngest and keep reinforcing them until the conform to what is expected

 

 

so if my son keeps hearing negative remarks because he is a BOY and doesn't get them if he is perceived as GIRL you think this has no impact later on in life?

 

are you married, do you have a adult male in you life?----if so please ask what comments he has heard all his life and if he happens to have a sister I can bet he will recall how she was treated as opposed to him- I certainly know this was the case with my DH


I actually thinks this cuts both way. I have seen boys running wild, throwing things, rough-housing with each other and seen the parents shrug it off as "boys will boys." When their girls behave in the same way, the girls are immediately told that they are being too wild, that the behavior is not appropriate, etc. There is a lot of pressure on boys to be "tough," but there is also a lot of pressure on girls to act "like little ladies" and be "nice." I do think it's easier for girls to buck gender norms than it is for boys (being a "tomboy" is socially acceptable; being a "sissy" is not). On the other hand, I think that princess culture can be extremely damaging to girls--the message is that you have to look pretty (which often translates as looking adult--make-up, heels, etc.) in order to find your prince. Finding the prince is the pinnacle of your existence as a girl; marriage to a man is your greatest achievement and the point at which your story ends. Also, I think there is much more sensitivity to problematic gendered messages than there is to problematic heteronormative messages. 

 

So I don't think that either boys or girls, in general, have it easier or harder. Cultural norms vary tremendously even within the US (and within families) and individual children vary in where they fall on the gender spectrum and how they feel about those messages. 

 

 

 

 

 

post #109 of 224
IMO,
I'd rather my kid to learn what society says to a "girl" or a "boy" and know that adults are not always right and often make super inapprorpiate assumptions.

"Oh, Boys dont cry."
"Please dont teach my son that. He is upset, and he can cry if he wants to. Its not your decision."

I just feel like there is no way I can limit their exposure to everything i disagree with, I just need to teach them how to deal with our screwed up society rather than placing limitations around it. Its my job to parent, not to limit. I agree with the idea that people cant hide race as well. I think it goes back to my "raising a proud girl" view. In today's society women still suffer from a great amount of oppression and rather than hide that my DD is sexed female, Id rather flaunt it and show how strong and smart she is. Sometimes DD wears boy clothes and sometimes she wears girl clothes. Ive never corrected anyone who has assumed she was a boy (no hair smile.gif ) and I dont intend to. Its also been my experience that I can cover the girl in pink from head to toe and people will still say, "oh what a little fella!" because I think people around here want babies to be boys.
post #110 of 224


 

 

Quote:
Actually that's not true. Domestic violence against men is very common, it's just that there are no advocacy groups to collect data on it. For instance, if a woman shows up at the emergency room with signs of being abused , usually(hopefully) she is refered to a domestic violence shelter. These organizations keep statistics on female abuse victims. There are very few organizations who advocate for male abuse victims, and therefore no one is collecting data. Of course women are probably less capable of inflicting severe injuries on men, and less likely to actually kill them. I think they are also less likely to stalk their exes. The abuse women suffer is probably much more severe and potentially deadly. But make no mistake about it, there are men, many more than one would think, who suffer in abusive relationships. This is in way meant to minimize DV against women, I just think it's important that our sons know that no woman has the right to hit them, throw things at them, or emotionally abuse them.

 

And this is probably one of the (GOOD) reasons there are more advocacy groups for women.  It's also highly socially unacceptable for women to abuse their husbands (or boyfriends) as its far more likely that a man will custody of children of the relationship if he alleges abuse, but if a woman alleges abuse (and can prove it!) she is usually forced to send her children on visitation, and is told that she must be lying - b/c we live in a patriarchal society that holds men up and lets them do everything they want.

 

Also, the bolded contradicts the (don't remember if it was you who said it) earlier statement that cited men being 90% of murder victims as a reason that men are abused more often.  Men are usually killed by OTHER MEN - not their abusive women partners.  And, men who ARE killed by women partners are usually the abusers themselves.  Of women who suffered from battered woman syndrome and killed their husband, and then went to jail for it, the ones who have been pardoned for that crime and released have a ZERO percent recidivism rate - 0%.  No other formerly incarcerated demographic has that low of a recidivism rate.

 

Men are abused FAR less often than women.  Women are abused FAR MORE often than is known.  I know so many women who have been abused/are being abused that its not even funny.  It doesn't happen to men on the same level, b/c it is socially acceptable for men to abuse women. 

 

I'm not saying that I'm going to raise my son to be a doormat and get beat up - I would never do that.  However, he will be expected to show respect to ALL other people, and if he ever starts acting the way his father did towards me, he's going to get an earful.

post #111 of 224

 

 

Quote:
So...what's the point of going through all that? Hormones, counseling/therapy, eventually surgery....?

 

I'll take a stab here (no expert) but from what I do know---to feel good about themselves

 

kind of like "normal" people-

they take hormones to keep younger and that is view as OK by society

the go to counseling/therapy to deal with their issue-it's not all about talking about gender, trans-etc people have "family baggage" just like other's do-also it is required my many Drs. prior to surgery------to know the person really wants this

surgery so they can look in the mirror and see who they want to see--just like having your nose done------for you, to see yourself as you want 

 

 

why do "normal" women with no gender issues want a tummy tuck after their baby? breast enlargement vagina rejuvenation, etc

post #112 of 224


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post


 



I am acquainted with a queer couple....one of the couple is my coworker. They are both female, but one of them is started the process of transitioning to male. So...what's the point of going through all that? Hormones, counseling/therapy, eventually surgery....? Why don't such people just say they are boys and be done with it, if genitalia has nothing to do with it?

 

 

If you're actually interested in the answer to that question, here's the following quote from a female-to-male (FTM) trans writer from Seattle in an article about Trans 101:

 

Quote:
None of what I say here is to minimize the necessity of surgery. Many trans people do experience body dysphoria. Many of us do seek hormones, surgery, and other body modifications. But the point is that, while such modifications may be necessary for our peace of mind, they are not necessary to make us “real men” or “real women” or “real” whatevers. We’re plenty real right now, thank you.
 

 

Body modifications are done to feel "right". Whatever that means to the individual, but they do not define someone's gender in themselves.

 

And some information on not being transphobic or homophobic or cissexist, etc :::

 

Quote:

If you want to be a good ally, you need to start taking cissexism and transphobia seriously right now. That means getting our g*dd*mn pronouns right and not expecting a cookie for it. That means learning our names. That means not asking invasive questions or telling us how well we “pass.” (Passing generally means “looking cis.” Not all of us want to look like you, thank you very much.) That means deleting the words “tranny” and “shemale” from your vocabulary. That means understanding the immense privilege you have in your legally recognized, socially approved, medically assigned gender.

 

That means realizing that this is just the beginning. and that you have a lot to learn. That means realizing that it would be intrusive and importunate to ask the nearest trans person to explain it all to you, as if they didn’t have better things to do. That means hitting the internet and doing all that you can to educate yourself. And once you’ve done all that, maybe you can call yourself an ally, that is, if you’re still genuinely willing to join us in the hard work of making the world a less sh***y place to be trans.

post #113 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post


IMO,
I'd rather my kid to learn what society says to a "girl" or a "boy" and know that adults are not always right and often make super inapprorpiate assumptions.

"Oh, Boys dont cry."
"Please dont teach my son that. He is upset, and he can cry if he wants to. Its not your decision."

I just feel like there is no way I can limit their exposure to everything i disagree with, I just need to teach them how to deal with our screwed up society rather than placing limitations around it. Its my job to parent, not to limit. I agree with the idea that people cant hide race as well. I think it goes back to my "raising a proud girl" view. In today's society women still suffer from a great amount of oppression and rather than hide that my DD is sexed female, Id rather flaunt it and show how strong and smart she is. Sometimes DD wears boy clothes and sometimes she wears girl clothes. Ive never corrected anyone who has assumed she was a boy (no hair smile.gif ) and I dont intend to. Its also been my experience that I can cover the girl in pink from head to toe and people will still say, "oh what a little fella!" because I think people around here want babies to be boys.


Someone once tried to tell me that all babies "just look more like males". This blew me away. I was wondering what this person thought "males" look like... babies don't have the archetypal "man" stuff like hairy bodies, bigger feet, etc... And they're curvy, which is generally thought of as a "female" thing. It's just that male is the standard "human", so we see a lot through the lens of maleness, and we see women through the lens of other-ness.

 

About the "proud girl" point of view: I definitely agree that women should be proud to be women, particularly in a society so wrought with patriarchy. But I think it's important to make clear to a child that no matter what gender they are assigned, it's okay to choose whatever identity they want as they grow and develop. Otherwise, if they don't measure-up as a strongly-identifying "woman" (perhaps she'll one day be genderqueer or FTM), they know that it's not because of a failure on their part. It would be important to know that no one dear to them would be insulted by their change in identity, and that they would be loved unconditionally. Being FTM doesn't mean not being a feminist and it doesn't mean patriarchy. It is a really huge (and brave) transcendence of gender stereotypes and what it means to be born in a body in our society.

post #114 of 224


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post


 

 

 

If you're actually interested in the answer to that question, here's the following quote from a female-to-male (FTM) trans writer from Seattle in an article about Trans 101:

 

 

Body modifications are done to feel "right". Whatever that means to the individual, but they do not define someone's gender in themselves.

 

And some information on not being transphobic or homophobic or cissexist, etc :::

 


 

this is awesome.  thanks for sharing it. 

 

i have gotten my snark up about this thread and the comments on the billion blogs in which the article is being discussed.  it's hard not to feel personally attacked about all of it since this is what my own family has chosen as well.  i do apologize and i think i just have to make.myself.stay.away. from this thread....  i don't know why this particular issue pushes my buttons so hard.  it's not like i'm not used to seeing other choices/parenting issues knocked about everywhere.  goodness.    maybe the folks criticising the parents in the article will think about how disheartening it is to see something dear trashed like that (extended breastfeeding.. non vaxxing.. unschooling/homeschooling.. etc. ) none of us is exactly mainstream or we wouldn't be here.

post #115 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post


 


 

this is awesome.  thanks for sharing it. 

 

i have gotten my snark up about this thread and the comments on the billion blogs in which the article is being discussed.  it's hard not to feel personally attacked about all of it since this is what my own family has chosen as well.  i do apologize and i think i just have to make.myself.stay.away. from this thread....  i don't know why this particular issue pushes my buttons so hard.  it's not like i'm not used to seeing other choices/parenting issues knocked about everywhere.  goodness.    maybe the folks criticising the parents in the article will think about how disheartening it is to see something dear trashed like that (extended breastfeeding.. non vaxxing.. unschooling/homeschooling.. etc. ) none of us is exactly mainstream or we wouldn't be here.


 

I'd be interested to hear how it's working for you. I am absolutely NOT trashing you by asking you this question, please please understand that. I think sometimes in these forums when the only thing we see is the written words, and not the tone of voice or the warmth in someone's eyes, it's easy to take offense where none was meant. So..you have refused to disclose your baby's sex to the world in general? I can see your baby is not that old, but older than Storm, so I am genuinely wondering how that has worked out? I mean, did people eventually stop asking? How do people who see your baby regularly relate to him/her? (Again, not meaning any offense with the pronouns, I just don't know any other ones!). Have you seen any attitude changes in these people (neighbours, shopkeepers, etc)? Do you feel their own beliefs have been challenged, and if so, do you think they've grown as a result of it? How about the way you and your partner relate to you child? Have you had any latent gender beliefs crop up that you, yourself, have had to deal with? Obviously, your LO is still a little young to ask his/her opinion and gauge his/her feelings on the matter, but I'd love to know how a child is affected by others not knowing their sex. Do they feel liberated? Do they feel they have more gender freedom? Conversely, do they feel targeted? 

 

Also, I have to say, before yesterday I'd never heard of anyone not disclosing the sex of their baby, and now I've heard of two families doing it. I wonder how many more there is? I'm of the belief that attitudes change little by little, over generations. If enough people are challenging gender identity now, the future looks much more tolerant. 

 

 

post #116 of 224

I read it, then read it again. My opinion? Rather than just enjoy their beautiful baby and raise him/her in the open (fantastic) way they're raising their older boys, they seem to be using her/him as a social experiment, something to gain attention and support their own beliefs and issues.

Sounds harsh I know, but that's just the feeling I got from the article.

post #117 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Mac View Post




 

I'd be interested to hear how it's working for you. I am absolutely NOT trashing you by asking you this question, please please understand that. I think sometimes in these forums when the only thing we see is the written words, and not the tone of voice or the warmth in someone's eyes, it's easy to take offense where none was meant. So..you have refused to disclose your baby's sex to the world in general? I can see your baby is not that old, but older than Storm, so I am genuinely wondering how that has worked out? I mean, did people eventually stop asking? How do people who see your baby regularly relate to him/her? (Again, not meaning any offense with the pronouns, I just don't know any other ones!). Have you seen any attitude changes in these people (neighbours, shopkeepers, etc)? Do you feel their own beliefs have been challenged, and if so, do you think they've grown as a result of it? How about the way you and your partner relate to you child? Have you had any latent gender beliefs crop up that you, yourself, have had to deal with? Obviously, your LO is still a little young to ask his/her opinion and gauge his/her feelings on the matter, but I'd love to know how a child is affected by others not knowing their sex. Do they feel liberated? Do they feel they have more gender freedom? Conversely, do they feel targeted? 

 

Also, I have to say, before yesterday I'd never heard of anyone not disclosing the sex of their baby, and now I've heard of two families doing it. I wonder how many more there is? I'm of the belief that attitudes change little by little, over generations. If enough people are challenging gender identity now, the future looks much more tolerant. 

 

 

(this is the_longest_post_ever... please don't feel compelled to muddle through)

we're a little less firm than the article parents.  selectively.  most of the time when i'm feeling tired if people ask i will say this is child'sname.  we chose to name dd after my grandmother, so people then are happy to think 'girl.'  if we don't have that conversation, it's amazing that people totally assume 'boy.'  because i think people have come to see boy as the child in colors other than pink.  it also shocked me when someone asked if we cut 'his hair that way'  because dd is a bald egg. 

the kids dd interacts with don't care.  they don't ask, which is also pretty interesting.  the uproar, so far, about making other kids confused or whatever just doesn't happen, at least at this age. 

people DO make different comments, they use different voices and language and adjectives depending on whether they think dd is boy or girl.  that for us is why, mainly, we want to raise her neutrally.  and i say her and dd etc. because though we do have queer/a wide range of friends, i'm still feeling my way through the language which is difficult.  it totally gets my hackles up when people feel compelled to call dd 'pretty' b/c that's what one is expected to say to a girl child.  awful. 

 

dh:

this is what he wrote to his family and friends (and not necessarily what i believe.  he also refers to her as comrade child'sname if that helps)

Girl. Boy. Little girl. Big boy. Pretty girl. Strong boy. When people constantly refer to my child by gender I get annoyed. Not because I hate women, but because I don't think that pervasive reinforcement of gender through terminology is conducive to creating a well-formed person able to function to the greatest of their potential. I hate what our society deems a "girl" to be. Calling my daughter a girl, or praising her as a "good girl" etc., causes her to associate closely with this term she is hearing applied to herself consistently, a term with societal behavioral implications and expectations that force her into constraints and, potentially, internal conflicts. Thats just great if you like what society has to say about women, but I don't.

       My daughter is a human, a person, an individual. In order to develop to her utmost she needs to be able to understand herself as such. It is not productive for her to be forced into a mold. Her genitalia do not define her, they do not prescribe her path through life, they do not make her brain or nature drastically different from her male counterparts. What does in fact do all those things is the societal pressures and interpretations of the terms she comes to identify with. These terms she constantly hears will begin to take root in her quickly verbalizing mind and for the rest of her life her interactions with our corrupt society will do irreparable damage that has no productive purpose for the individual. I want to avoid that.

        Society, which unfortunately she can't avoid, will tell her to shop and primp and that she is not good at math. Is that good for her? Is it good to raise males who feel they must be tough, stoic, and ultra-competitive? Who benefits from these social molds? The way people develop in our society has nearly nothing to do with human nature and everything to do with marketing, domination, and exploitation. We are all screwed up by this, just as we are all screwed up by the domination of illegitimate authority, the repression pushed by religion, and the inability to control our own productivity. If you disagree, fine. I'm not telling you how to raise your own children. I'm telling you how you are allowed to interact with mine. I'm telling you that I intend to minimize the damage caused by this rot we live in. If you must use gendered words when interacting with my child than use terms such as "young woman". Stop calling her little girl. Likewise, I should probably stop calling her "crazy". She is a "stinky punk," though.

 

myself:

i was raised in an environment with strict rules about the performance of my femininity.  my father had let me shadow him as he built things and took engines apart, much to my fascination, and despite my mother's exasperated attempts to dress me up (and put me in beauty pagents oh my god).  when i got to be a certain age, though, that was the end of that.  i was told 'ladies don't XYZ.  i was also sent to a religious school that instructed me that women should defer to thier husbands and wear 'that which is fitting to a woman' (or however that goes).  i knew the whole time that i was not this or that.  something in between.  i have had a long term relationship with a person who identifies as a female lesbian but am now married to a man, one who considers himself to be pretty 'masculine' according to the culturally defined definitions. 

i was confused so much as a child, not about who i was necessarily, but about why it was important that i be in one particular category or another and that certain things were off limits because of something so random. 

so that's why i want to do this as a parent, for my child.  i don't want her to think that anything she wants to do/be/try is out and that i want her-- and, yes, other people too-- to realize that genetalia doesn't really have much to do with interests, skills, and the concept of self.  for me, it takes the confusion AWAY rather than giving any kind of suggestions.  kind of like giving her a rainbow basket of markers and some blank paper rather than a coloring book. 

 

post #118 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post


 

 

 

And this is probably one of the (GOOD) reasons there are more advocacy groups for women.  It's also highly socially unacceptable for women to abuse their husbands (or boyfriends) as its far more likely that a man will custody of children of the relationship if he alleges abuse, but if a woman alleges abuse (and can prove it!) she is usually forced to send her children on visitation, and is told that she must be lying - b/c we live in a patriarchal society tat holds men up and lets them do everything they want.

 

Also, the bolded contradicts the (don't remember if it was you who said it) earlier statement that cited men being 90% of murder victims as a reason that men are abused more often.  Men are usually killed by OTHER MEN - not their abusive women partners.  And, men who ARE killed by women partners are usually the abusers themselves.  Of women who suffered from battered woman syndrome and killed their husband, and then went to jail for it, the ones who have been pardoned for that crime and released have a ZERO percent recidivism rate - 0%.  No other formerly incarcerated demographic has that low of a recidivism rate.

 

Men are abused FAR less often than women.  Women are abused FAR MORE often than is known.  I know so many women who have been abused/are being abused that its not even funny.  It doesn't happen to men on the same level, b/c it is socially acceptable for men to abuse women. 

 

I'm not saying that I'm going to raise my son to be a doormat and get beat up - I would never do that.  However, he will be expected to show respect to ALL other people, and if he ever starts acting the way his father did towards me, he's going to get an earful.


Like I said before, saying that there are men in abusive relationships in no way is minimizing abuse against women. I never said that we need less help for women of domestic violence. I just think we need to, as a society, recognize the fact that there are men out there who are being victimized. And I never said that men were killed by women, I just said that men are the victims of murder 90% of the time. I can tell you that I was SHOCKED when I found out that there are men who are abused. I always thought that women were non violent, sweet and loving. Of course many women are. All I'm saying is that our society doesn't believe that there are male victims out there. We just assume that men are always the perpetrators and never the victims. Why do we make that assumption? Because we are sexist and believe that women are sugar and spice and all things nice? Because we think that men who can't get out of abusive relationships are wimps?
Also, remember that these men I'm talking about are NOT abusers. They are most likely very gentle men who are embarrassed to get help. Also remember that 50 years ago we didn't believe that women were victims of DV either.
Edited by scottishmommy - 5/26/11 at 8:57am
post #119 of 224
post #120 of 224

Thanks Hildare, for taking the time to elucidate your own family's foray into, well, whatever you'd call it, challenging gender lines, I guess. I agree with you and your husband on many points, and I think it's brave of you to take it a step further and put it out there to your families and community that this is something that's important to you (and everyone, really). I also think it's super cute that your husband calls your LO comrade :) 

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