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Parents keep child's sex secret - What do you think? - Page 10

post #181 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post

O my goodness Leighi, your kid is too cute for words!

I would have made the same comment but now I am scared to use any words to compliment any child on this board.  If strong and beautiful are out, what about cute?  Are we allowed to say cute or not?   

post #182 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post



I would have made the same comment but now I am scared to use any words to compliment any child on this board.  If strong and beautiful are out, what about cute?  Are we allowed to say cute or not?   

 

This comment makes it seem as though you're implying that people here are demanding that you not to say nice things about babies at all.

"Cute" is androgynous. It's not used to perpetuate a gender stereotype. "Strong" and "beautiful" are adjectives most often (not always) used to perpetuate gender stereotypes in children. If we tended to apply the terms "strong" and "beautiful"  to kids of all sexes equally, it would not be an issue. But we do, and that fact is not missed by our children, who are trained into genders by this kind of imbalance in the way we use language, etc.

post #183 of 224

Thanks for clearing that up.  I hope I don't stumble upon anyone who does take offense to the use of cute.  I use "beautiful" for all children too.  Seems from these boards I'd be in trouble for using it about 50% of the time. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

"Cute" is androgynous. It's not used to perpetuate a gender stereotype. "Strong" and "beautiful" are adjectives most often (not always) used to perpetuate gender stereotypes in children.

post #184 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Thanks for clearing that up.  I hope I don't stumble upon anyone who does take offense to the use of cute.  I use "beautiful" for all children too.  Seems from these boards I'd be in trouble for using it about 50% of the time. 

 


I know!! When I see a gorgeous child (male or female) I'm very likely to say, "What a beautiful baby!" Or "How strong!" when I see a little boy or girl who seems exceptionally... well, strong!! Now I am always going to wonder if I am insulting someone when I say their girl is beautiful ("gender stereotyping") or their boy is beautiful ("are you calling my boy a girl?") You can't win!! Oh and add in a few parents who think saying ANYTHING about looks is being superficial... yikes... I sure hope MOST parents don't feel insulted like that when I try to say something nice about their kiddos!!
post #185 of 224

This comment makes it seem as though you're implying that people here are demanding that you not to say nice things about babies at all.

 

I can understand why that person commented the way they did.... it is feeling like every word is being parsed as to the politically correct gender neutral wording.  I also thought the posters child was absolutely adorable, but also wasn't going to say anything either for the same reason.

 


"Cute" is androgynous. It's not used to perpetuate a gender stereotype. "Strong" and "beautiful" are adjectives most often (not always) used to perpetuate gender stereotypes in children. If we tended to apply the terms "strong" and "beautiful"  to kids of all sexes equally, it would not be an issue. But we do, and that fact is not missed by our children, who are trained into genders by this kind of imbalance in the way we use language, etc

 

So, wait, now "strong" and "beautiful" are out?  Who determines that?  

 

I have 3 boys.  I am constantly telling them how beautiful they are.  All. The. Time.  In reference to not only how they look, but in reference to who they are inside.

 

Is everyone supposed to walk around, not say anything?  Or, when they say something they are supposed to qualify it with the intent behind why they said it?

 

Is everything supposed to be taken out of common everyday language because of subjective viewpoints that might construe everything that could possibly be viewed as not gender neutral and offensive as such?

 

And, frankly, how can you train a gender anyway?  That almost suggests that you could train someone to be gay or lesbian.

 

If you look at one of the most recent stories out there with Chaz Bono...... he said that he always felt like he was in the wrong body.  Born Chastity, with frilly dresses and all.  Heck, his Mom is Cher.  And, still, he knew on the inside that the outside didn't match.  How many times did Chaz get called all sorts of adjectives that are associated typically with girls.... yet, today, he is living as a man.  

 

Maybe I'm just missing something so incredibly huge here, but why give so much power over to what other people say?

 

My kids have been bullied.  Picked on.  Teased.  I was too.

 

Does that make everything true?  Do I teach my kids to live by what other people say about them, or by what they know to be true about themselves?  

 

post #186 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post



I would have made the same comment but now I am scared to use any words to compliment any child on this board.  If strong and beautiful are out, what about cute?  Are we allowed to say cute or not?   



smile.gif I take no offence with any compliment.  Ds is strong, beautiful, and cute!  (smart/polite/happy are my favorite compliments, but those come more from meeting him vs a photo)

post #187 of 224
Interesting thread! The OP asked what people thought about keeping this child's sex a secret - and I think this situation seems odd, really. There are a number of things that feel uncomfortable about it to me -

First, that the older children are being asked to keep it a secret. I agree with another poster who said that when something is kept a secret, there is the implication that something is wrong. It seems even odder that they obviously know that their sex was disclosed, but for some reason, the youngest sibling's sex is not. Then, that it went a step further and the parents flipped a coin to decide if they would refer to the child as male or female when they were going on vacation -so that they either did lie, or were willing to lie, in front of their other kids really sends, I think, a confusing message.

Second, I don't get why the mom didn't stick up for her son in the store and buy him the pink boa. Again, it seems like a weird message to your kids to keep the siblings sex a secret in an attempt to not have the baby burdened with gender stereotypes, but then when the older child has a very real experience with gender stereotyping, the mom doesn't go to bat for him.

Really, I think that what the parents are doing doesn't, and won't, be of any real service to Storm. I think any child would benefit from parents who are mindful, sensitive and supportive to their kid regardless of what they are in to (and really stick up for them to another adult should the child decide to cross traditional gender lines) and honest.
post #188 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post

First, that the older children are being asked to keep it a secret. I agree with another poster who said that when something is kept a secret, there is the implication that something is wrong. It seems even odder that they obviously know that their sex was disclosed, but for some reason, the youngest sibling's sex is not. Then, that it went a step further and the parents flipped a coin to decide if they would refer to the child as male or female when they were going on vacation -so that they either did lie, or were willing to lie, in front of their other kids really sends, I think, a confusing message.

 


Bolding mine. ITA. It must be some dirty, shameful secret that the older siblings are doing storm such a big favor protecting him/her from. Really wrong message to send. I don't think all the stereotypes out there are right, but we need another solution, and this is NOT it.
 

 

post #189 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post




Probably because some of us have seen the worst of people and want to protect our kids from that.

 

Here is what I got (from members of my family mostly...but not entirely) when I was a kid:

 

You can't pick that (heavy thing) up...you're a girl.

Let me help you (with something that I was perfectly fine with on my own).  Saying "no thank you" never stopped the "help".

Keep your opinions to yourself...this is a guy conversation.

You're not allowed to have an opinion about this...you're a girl (in regards to politics and social issues)

You can't be a (insert male-dominated profession here)...you're a girl. Marry a good man so you won't have to work.

Why do you want to go to college?  Can't you meet a nice boy in high school?

Are you going to college to get your MRS.?

Girls don't hold doors open for people

Girls are not welcome to help set up risers for school concerts.  Risers are too heavy for girls (I fought this one...infamously...and won).

Why don't you ever wear dresses?  Are you gay?  Why don't you wear makeup?  Are you gay? Why do you only wear comfortable shoes?  You a lesbian?

Don't you worry your pretty little head about it.

Are you getting fat?  If you get fat nobody will want you.

Don't disagree with me.  You're young and only a girl.  What can you possibly know?

You can't possibly do (insert practically anything here) on your own.

 

And on and on and on.

 

So yeah, I am REALLY sensitive to gender stereotypes.  Because I spent a great deal of my life fighting against ignorant people who felt my value to be nothing more than pretty, vacuous arm candy.  Anything beyond that and I was a challenge to their worldview.  And yes, my family are schmucks and I moved away as soon as I could tyvm.  But the point is that people like this are out there folks.  All of these people, for example are alive and thriving right at this very minute in the greater Detroit area.  You should go visit, Canada-paradise folks...have fun!  Oh, and I have also encountered similar stuff in Oklahoma and Nebraska (oh!  and Texas..can't forget Texas).  It is out there...

 

 


You can add to that:

It's not ladylike to... (chew gum, play ball, climb trees, 5 million ohter things)

You can be so pretty when you want to be.

No man will put up with that (speaking my mind, laughing loudly, not cooking....)

Because that is a womans job! (laundry, cooking...)

You'll never find a man with that attitude (after all, finding a man is my purpose in life, because without one my life has no real meaning, purpose or value.)

No man will ever have you now (meannig a lack of virginity means I am a worthless piece of chattel)

Men don't like women who are too bright (try and be stupid you idiot)

....

 

For those of you that never heard such things, just move on and don't worry your pretty little head over it.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by ElizabethE View Post

Nothing great ever happened by everyone just sticking with the program and doing as they were told. If we want the world to be a better place, sometimes radical changes have to take place. And remember, things we think of as normal now used to be radical once. We've got to have the vision to push through and progress together. One day we won't know what someone "is" just by looking at them, and that's okay.


This is so true. For almost everything in life. Radical ideas spur growth and creativity. Of course they also spur a lot of evil. But we won't progress at all, for good or bad, if we are only sheep.

 

And just because you do agree with the group (like I do about the original issue being not the best idea for storm or the rest of the family), does not make you a sheep. No one has to have a radical opinion about all issues for their opinion to be valid.
 

 

post #190 of 224

pp's child is beautiful... my child is beautiful...  ALL children are beautiful.  :)

 

however, if you guys wanna see something that will REALLY mess a child up (much more than gender neutral parenting) ask some grown up children who had their entire childhood centered around their appearance.  when people praise and appear to value one for beauty alone, it's a sad thing.  some lessons early on continue throughout life:  don't ever try to do anything else, all you need is to look good.  don't worry about being a good person (you look good). look good at all costs, even starve or puke to do so.  surround yourself with people who continue to praise you.  find yourself terribly alone when your beauty doesn't exist in the same way.  spend lots of money as you age to try to cling to that image of perfection. 

this and much, much more. 

 

OT a bit, sorry. 

post #191 of 224
post #192 of 224



Well, if it seems as though I'm implying that, its because I am ;).  This is the third thread I can think of in the past few weeks in which people were basically spanked for making any comments on a child's appearance period.  And while I agree that it isn't appropriate or healthy to focus heavily on an infant or child's appearance, I also think it is overkill to freak out when someone calls someone else beautiful, male or female.  Half the time when I say to a friend "your newborn is beautiful!", I am really not even meaning the child's appearance.  I am meaning many other things...more a celebration of "what a wonderful new life! how beautiful. congratulations."

Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

 

This comment makes it seem as though you're implying that people here are demanding that you not to say nice things about babies at all.
 

post #193 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post



Well, if it seems as though I'm implying that, its because I am ;).  This is the third thread I can think of in the past few weeks in which people were basically spanked for making any comments on a child's appearance period.  And while I agree that it isn't appropriate or healthy to focus heavily on an infant or child's appearance, I also think it is overkill to freak out when someone calls someone else beautiful, male or female.  Half the time when I say to a friend "your newborn is beautiful!", I am really not even meaning the child's appearance.  I am meaning many other things...more a celebration of "what a wonderful new life! how beautiful. congratulations."


 

Nobody here is implying that it is a problem to call anyone beautiful - we're just marveling at the polarization of adjectives based on perceived gender.

post #194 of 224


I agree. They are beautiful, darn it. And I reserve the right to tell people as much as I please :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post



Well, if it seems as though I'm implying that, its because I am ;).  This is the third thread I can think of in the past few weeks in which people were basically spanked for making any comments on a child's appearance period.  And while I agree that it isn't appropriate or healthy to focus heavily on an infant or child's appearance, I also think it is overkill to freak out when someone calls someone else beautiful, male or female.  Half the time when I say to a friend "your newborn is beautiful!", I am really not even meaning the child's appearance.  I am meaning many other things...more a celebration of "what a wonderful new life! how beautiful. congratulations."



 

post #195 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

Nobody here is implying that it is a problem to call anyone beautiful - we're just marveling at the polarization of adjectives based on perceived gender.

That wasn't what I read.   

post #196 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post



That wasn't what I read.   


Yeah, what you read was probably my post(s).  And I'll say it again...focusing on a child's looks bugs the crap outta me. Gender roles aside, people call my son beautiful all the time (although, again people can't always tell he is a boy because of how he is dressed).  Its pretty much a conversation killer.  So go ahead and be "nice" but you cannot expect me to get excited about it. 

 

You wouldn't walk up to an adult you didn't know well and tell them they were beautiful, right?  That would be hella rude.  Why is it ok with a kid?

 

post #197 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post




Yeah, what you read was probably my post(s).  And I'll say it again...focusing on a child's looks bugs the crap outta me. Gender roles aside, people call my son beautiful all the time (although, again people can't always tell he is a boy because of how he is dressed).  Its pretty much a conversation killer.  So go ahead and be "nice" but you cannot expect me to get excited about it. 

 

You wouldn't walk up to an adult you didn't know well and tell them they were beautiful, right?  That would be hella rude.  Why is it ok with a kid?

 


You could walk up to me and tell me I'm beautiful anytime you like. It would make my day. Seriously, with all the mom frump, it really would!

Chamomile, it does sound like you endured some real bigotry and misogyny when you were growing. I was pretty appalled to read your list of things your family members had said to you over the years. I can understand how a compliment on physical beauty would not end there for you. Your mind might be adding adjectives to "beautiful" (stupid, useless, etc) that really were not intended. If I told you you or your kids that you were beautiful, it would only mean that. It would imply nothing else. Just a compliment. Full stop. No insinuations, no expectations. It honestly wouldn't occur to me that it would be considered rude or offensive to compliment someone on their appearance. I have done so in the past and likely will again. 

 

post #198 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Mac View Post


You could walk up to me and tell me I'm beautiful anytime you like. It would make my day. Seriously, with all the mom frump, it really would!
 


Me too!!

 

post #199 of 224

 

 

Quote:
You wouldn't walk up to an adult you didn't know well and tell them they were beautiful, right?  That would be hella rude.  Why is it ok with a kid?

 

 

you are very correct as far as I am concerned---if an older man (complete stranger )walks up to a teen or pre-teen girl or boy and says how "beautiful" they are--most parents would freak

 

my DH would not like another male walking up to us (again complete stranger) and saying how beautiful I was

 

I get exactly what you mean and what you said

 

 

IMO- a lot of the "comments" that are so hard for some to grasp I feel have much to do with age and location (where you live)--if you haven't experienced some of that it could be for a number of reasons but yes they are very true, I have heard them, I have heard others use them and I have seen many deeply effected by them

post #200 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 

 

you are very correct as far as I am concerned---if an older man (complete stranger )walks up to a teen or pre-teen girl or boy and says how "beautiful" they are--most parents would freak

 

my DH would not like another male walking up to us (again complete stranger) and saying how beautiful I was

 

I get exactly what you mean and what you said

 

 

IMO- a lot of the "comments" that are so hard for some to grasp I feel have much to do with age and location (where you live)--if you haven't experienced some of that it could be for a number of reasons but yes they are very true, I have heard them, I have heard others use them and I have seen many deeply effected by them


Doesn't this have a lot to do the intentions though? In the circumstances you describe, completely without context, many of us would assume (or at least quietly suspect) that the complimenter had ulterior inappropriate sexual intentions. Predatory intentions.  That's different than offering someone a sincere compliment. 

 

I mean, I get what you're saying. I do understand. It's just that don't like that world vision, a world in which I can't give or receive a compliment for fear of being perceived as a predator or attracting a predator. That's the same world where teachers can't hug children when they fall down and scrape their knee and need a hug (and unfortunately, we all live in that world). Too much fear for me. Too much distrust. Of course there are predators out there, but I'd like to assume that MOST people aren't, that MOST people, when they offer a compliment, are sincere. 

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