or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parents keep child's sex secret - What do you think?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Parents keep child's sex secret - What do you think? - Page 5

post #81 of 224

hmmm- I am trying to respond with my own personal opinion without offending anyone whose opinion differs with mine- but I guess some people feel pretty heated about this subject. I personally don't even understand it.  I don't understand the idea of genderlessness. Is that the right term? sorry, there are so many things in life to be educated about and this is just not something I have really encountered much, so I don't even know what is politically correct in this issue. I haven't even read all of this thread so perhaps it is all clarified in here. I guess the issue is that some people have issue with being labeled male or female based on the genetalia etc that they are born with? They feel that this is somehow restricting? I don't really understand that but I respect people's right to feel that way. But for a baby? It just doesn;t make sense to me and it seems to me that to give this idea of being genderless to a baby is putting an adult concept onto a baby. What if they baby wants the definition of being male or female? The whole thing feels- confusing, I guess, to me. And like kind of a burden to give a child. Will they ever label the child a boy or girl or just let the child decide who they are on the inside? I seriously mean no offense to anyone for whom in life this is an issue- I don't even know the correct language. Transgendered? I am familiar with the term but I don't really know the definition.  I know that I have a friend who went to a liberal arts college, and there were a group of people who took offense that the women's bathroom had the label women's on it. It was an all women's college. I never understood that.

post #82 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


Serenbat, I totally understand your anxieties about gender and the fact that you percieve your male child as being oppressed for his male-ness. You are right that comments like "boys don't cry" are violent and uncalled for. People do tend to be gentler to young girls than young boys. However, I do think it's important to realize that the oppression of women in this society is STILL vast, even if it isn't the same. Where boys are wrongly pushed to be "strong", girls are still perceived as the weaker sex. They still generally take their husbands names by default (not criticizing the choice). They still make .77 for every dollar a man makes. They still find themselves in poverty all over the world. They're still looked at as sex objects. Even little girls are heavily marketed very sexualizing clothing. My dad still asks me who's going to do my bike repairs for me. I do them myself, dad. I do them myself.

 

Homophobia, IMHO, is what tends to drive people to put pressure on boys and men to perform as the binary dictates. People don't want men to "act like women" or boys to "act like girls", because woman are, hands-down, perceived as the inferior sex. We like to deny this in contemporary society, because we like to think that patriarchy and sexism are in the past. Men are "sissies" when they act like women. Why? Because women supposedly have qualities that aren't as wonderfully "masculine" and "strong" as those of men.

 

I could go on for days. I just don't think that your little boy being pressured by people to perform is a product of discrimination against men as opposed to women. I think it's a product of patriarchy and other gross, dumb, homophobic nonsense.

 

post #83 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 think some of this must be regional. I can't recall anybody ever telling my boys not to cry. We've moved a lot, but my kids grew up on the East Coast...at varying points between Rhode Island and South Carolina. My husband wasn't told that he couldn't cry as a child, but my mid-Western ex-husband was spanked for crying. Culture/society is not homogeneous across the country, so maybe that's why some of us don't seem to truly understand your perspective.

 

 

 

 

post #84 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



Okay, I guess I am actually following what you are saying a little tiny bit more now, it is just that I actually disagree with you in a lot of ways.  My three year old son cries all the time and gets the rock star treatment in our neighborhood when he's upset (lots of people "oh are you okay? oh here, what can I do for you?")  And girls get offered candy more?  Is that a scientific fact? 

 

So then you are saying that by being perceived as a girl, your son gets offered more candy and doesn't get told not to cry, and therefore this will positively impact him later in life?  I mean, really.  I am asking seriously.  Because I have a husband, and a son, and my husband has FOUR sisters and is the only boy, and I think he gets preferential treatment due to his sex. 

 

I believe that instead of hiding a child's male sex out of fear of inappropriate comments (which I do agree with you that there are people and places in which boys having emotions is taboo), that we should work on changing attitudes of those rude and insensitive enough to tell our boys not to cry.  I think that is a far better way to have a positive impact on our children than to try to have them be perceived as the sex that they aren't.  It just doesn't make sense to me.  And this isn't about your son to me...you asked before what he was to me and I will tell you--nothing.  Obviously.  Whatever parenting choices you make are yours to make.  Since the dialogue has been opened, I guess I am just trying to understand fully from someone who is essentially choosing to hide their child's sex what the perceived benefit is.  I am sure there are an equal number of parents with female children trying to allow the world to perceive their child as male for the perceived benefits of that sex.  Sex is a fact.  Allowing a child to be raised gender neutral is different than hoping the child will be perceived as the opposite sex. 

 

post #85 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuburbanHippie View Post
  I wanted to raise my baby to be a person instead of a truck/car/train obsessed boy in blue.


Well, my DS is a boy, through and through.  For now anyway.  He's obsessed with cars, trucks, and trains, and wears a variety of colors, and has a pink flower bath towel, and a pink monkey beach towel.  He didn't have any toy trucks until he started talking, and his 3rd word was "tru" (for truck) - I don't know where it came from, but thats HIM - thats not me shaping him to be a "boy", thats just who he is.
 

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!"

 

I've never had ANYONE, EVER say to my son, "Boys do not cry!" - not a single person.  When he's crying, people will smile at him, or make a face to try and cheer him up, or say something like, "Oh dear, did that hurt?  Are you OK?"  Only positive things, never anything I wouldn't want them to say. 

 

you still don't get the impact?

 

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

 

This would be perfectly fine with me, as I don't teach my child to take candy from strangers, nor do I want it offered to him frequently.  I wouldn't want it offered to a daughter either, so I might feel differently if I had a daughter.

 

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?


I guess I don't get why you want your DS to be perceived as being a girl either.  I would think it would make more sense to, when something negative happens, stand up for him and tell the person saying "Boys don't cry" - "Yes, sometimes boys do cry, and that is perfectly fine with us."

 

post #86 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

hmmm- I am trying to respond with my own personal opinion without offending anyone whose opinion differs with mine- but I guess some people feel pretty heated about this subject. I personally don't even understand it.  I don't understand the idea of genderlessness. Is that the right term? sorry, there are so many things in life to be educated about and this is just not something I have really encountered much, so I don't even know what is politically correct in this issue. I haven't even read all of this thread so perhaps it is all clarified in here. I guess the issue is that some people have issue with being labeled male or female based on the genetalia etc that they are born with? They feel that this is somehow restricting? I don't really understand that but I respect people's right to feel that way. But for a baby? It just doesn;t make sense to me and it seems to me that to give this idea of being genderless to a baby is putting an adult concept onto a baby. What if they baby wants the definition of being male or female? The whole thing feels- confusing, I guess, to me. And like kind of a burden to give a child. Will they ever label the child a boy or girl or just let the child decide who they are on the inside? I seriously mean no offense to anyone for whom in life this is an issue- I don't even know the correct language. Transgendered? I am familiar with the term but I don't really know the definition.  I know that I went to a liberal arts college, and there were a group of people who took offense that the women's bathroom had the label women's on it. It was an all women's college. I never understood that.

 

Just to answer some of your questions the best I can... They're great questions...

 

I guess the issue is that some people have issue with being labeled male or female based on the genetalia etc that they are born with?

Assigning your child a boy/girl label (gender), according to their genitalia (sex), is "putting an adult concept onto a baby". The concept of "boy" and "girl" and all that they imply, are cultural and societal constructs. They are not scientific or biological. The only thing scientific about bodies are the bodies themselves. I have a vulva. That does not make me a woman. My self-identity (which has developed over time and has been effected by many things) makes me a woman. I know plenty of self-identified men with vulvas. I am okay with the assigning of gender labels for infants, and don't think they're inherently harmful to the individual child, as long as the modeling for gender is as fluid and non-constricting as possible, which is so hard to do (perhaps impossible to do entirely, but it's also impossible to avoid all concepts of gender).

 

What if they baby wants the definition of being male or female?...Will they ever label the child a boy or girl or just let the child decide who they are on the inside?

A baby doesn't care about what labels they get. A baby is a baby. An older child may develop a gender identity / pronoun preference, and that should be openly discussed with and accepted by their parent(s), regardless of the gender assignment and birth what the child's presentation (clothes, behavior, hair, etc) and/or pronoun preference becomes. These may also change and develop over time, which is also normal and healthy.

 

Transgendered? I am familiar with the term but I don't really know the definition.

Transgender means a lot of things. Here are a few big ones:

 

Quote:
  • "Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these."[2]
  • "People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves."[3]
  • "Non-identification with, or non-presentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth."[4]

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender

 

I know that I went to a liberal arts college, and there were a group of people who took offense that the women's bathroom had the label women's on it. It was an all women's college. I never understood that.
Your school was called an "women's college", but in a time when the definition of "woman" is changing, there is the argument that so should the admittance of gender-specific schools. There has long been a movement to allow transgendered and genderqueer  people of any genetalia to enter "women's colleges". Meaning that Male-to-Female (MTF) transgendered women should be allowed admittance, and so should female-to-male (FTM) trans men. Some people at your college likely identified as men (or else not wholeheartedly as women), and were also likely challenging the idea that there was no "male" or "masculine" presence at the school. Also, gender-segregated bathrooms have been an issue for trans folks forever. The "women's room" and "men's room" are unsafe spaces for many trans people, who don't really feel comfortable in either bathroom. There is a lot of advocacy for other bathroom options that aren't gender-specific.

 
post #87 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post




Serenbat, I totally understand your anxieties about gender and the fact that you percieve your male child as being oppressed for his male-ness. You are right that comments like "boys don't cry" are violent and uncalled for. People do tend to be gentler to young girls than young boys. However, I do think it's important to realize that the oppression of women in this society is STILL vast, even if it isn't the same. Where boys are wrongly pushed to be "strong", girls are still perceived as the weaker sex. They still generally take their husbands names by default (not criticizing the choice). They still make .77 for every dollar a man makes. They still find themselves in poverty all over the world. They're still looked at as sex objects. Even little girls are heavily marketed very sexualizing clothing. My dad still asks me who's going to do my bike repairs for me. I do them myself, dad. I do them myself.

 

Homophobia, IMHO, is what tends to drive people to put pressure on boys and men to perform as the binary dictates. People don't want men to "act like women" or boys to "act like girls", because woman are, hands-down, perceived as the inferior sex. We like to deny this in contemporary society, because we like to think that patriarchy and sexism are in the past. Men are "sissies" when they act like women. Why? Because women supposedly have qualities that aren't as wonderfully "masculine" and "strong" as those of men.

 

I could go on for days. I just don't think that your little boy being pressured by people to perform is a product of discrimination against men as opposed to women. I think it's a product of patriarchy and other gross, dumb, homophobic nonsense.

 


I totally agree. Well said. 

 

I was also taught not to cry as a child. It was definitely to get me to be "stronger." Whether that was gender-related (strong like a boy, even though I was a girl) or cultural, I don't know.

 

post #88 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 totally know what you are talking about, and it is a big problem. I do think our society is very hard on men and boys, and it takes a toll on their health and mental well being. 75% of suicides and 90% of murder victims are men. Men die an aveage of 7 years earlier than women. 90% of work place accidental deaths are men. Boys have to register for the draft at 18 years old! Our teenage boys can be slaughtered overseas, and they have no real choice in the matter. There are almost no advocacy groups for men who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. I think we want men to be super tough, and it starts when they are boys. Therefore we tend to ignore huge red flags that signal mental illness etc. And yes I do think it's empowering for girls to act like boys, but not the other way around.
post #89 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post


I totally know what you are talking about, and it is a big problem. I do think our society is very hard on men and boys, and it takes a toll on their health and mental well being. 75% of suicides and 90% of murder victims are men. Men die an aveage of 7 years earlier than women. 90% of work place accidental deaths are men. Boys have to register for the draft at 18 years old! Our teenage boys can be slaughtered overseas, and they have no real choice in the matter. There are almost no advocacy groups for men who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. I think we want men to be super tough, and it starts when they are boys. Therefore we tend to ignore huge red flags that signal mental illness etc. And yes I do think it's empowering for girls to act like boys, but not the other way around.

 

And theres a pretty good reason for that - women are far more likely to be victims of DV than men (I don't know the statistics off hand, but its pretty amazing how little it happens to men).  Even though society doesn't like it when men are emotional, or do anything that could be considered "weak", society also doesn't like it when men are accused of being abusive, and society shelter men that are accused of being abusive in ways that make it nearly impossible for women to gain protection from their abusers.  That is changing, but slowly.

post #90 of 224

The title of the thread/article is way too sensational. Keep it secret? Really?

 

How about "Parents find kids' genitals so unremarkable that they don't bother to engage in conversations surrounding the matter".

 

That isn't well-worded....But I think you get the idea.

post #91 of 224

It should be noted in our case- when our son was young we got an XY pin and put it on him (usually on his hat)- NO one read it

 

when we correct (again,I mostly do this-my DH now will not)-people don't listen, some even make remarks that it can't be- when I say he has a penis they just shut up and walk away

 

we do not dress him like a female, he does not like pink so he doesn't wear it, no thrills, no bows or ribbons

 

remarks are made to us often, not monthly, but weekly - doesn't matter if his hair is long we use to get more when it was shorter

 

it involves many things (just within the past three years) -

here is how he was dressed for a breakfast with Santa (a BOYS outfit) and I still needed to be asked "a girl or boy"? - that determines what toy he gets

this past halloween we went out within out neighborhood (where we walked a lot) and about 75% thought he was a girl - he never has had a dress on or dressed to look like a girl

 

clothing does not matter

 

what does matter is how he is talked to- inflection is different and subject matter is too (I don't see this as changing any time soon!) - to see one treatment and then another it is just like seeing how "fat" people (the ones that are not and put on the suit) get treated or the ones of "color" -somehow others get that their is something wrong with that treatment but not how we treat gender

 

I have gotten tons of comments not only about his looks but about him, he is highly verbal and has been all his life- "he can't be-boys don't talk like that" etc

 

it goes on and on

 

We are doing what we feel is right for our son, we want him to be who he is not who society expects him to be---------really simple. We only wish he was growing up with more children that would be raised like him.

 

IMG_4015.JPGsc00005c16.jpg

 

 

post #92 of 224

 

 

Quote:
 And girls get offered candy more?

 

 

in our case YES

 

we moved and I had to go to a local hardware store (mom & pop type) - it took them months before the asked if I had two children!!! for the longest time they thought he was a she (I was doing a lot of projects - by the way my DH can not use a hammer all the tools are mine) and I went in almost weekly

 

sometimes I would only we there for a few mins. didn't matter who was behind the counter-------90+% of the time he was called a female pro-noun (again didn't matter how he was dressed) ONLY on the rare occasion when someone did listen to me and heard me say HE, he was not offered candy

 

she got offered by several different people on several different occasions

 

there is also a very big difference in a restaurant as well  "look at HER manners" "SHE is so neat"  after awhile you just stop correcting people- "I can't believe it's a boy!"

 

 

it really does go on and on........

 

"does she want a flower?"

 

 

girls do get things over boy

post #93 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?


I would not want someone to be heavily involved in my child's life if they were making comments like that.

If it's strangers, well, strangers will assume it's a boy or a girl and make whatever comments they will make, and nothing you can do about that even if you do hide your child's gender.

My DS has never been told anything like that. And no one offers him candy (thankfully!) whether they think he's a girl or a boy.

I just don't get the point in hiding basic biology from a child.
Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

Assigning your child a boy/girl label (gender), according to their genitalia (sex), is "putting an adult concept onto a baby". The concept of "boy" and "girl" and all that they imply, are cultural and societal constructs. They are not scientific or biological.

I guess I just don't see 'boy' or 'girl' as a gender issue, but a sex issue. To me, those terms describe genitalia, though I agree that society does ascribe certain traits to those terms, but the terms themselves are still about sex.
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I have gotten tons of comments not only about his looks but about him, he is highly verbal and has been all his life- "he can't be-boys don't talk like that" etc

LOL one time I was at a store with DS and someone commented on how verbal my 'daughter' was. She went on & on about her grandson and how he doesn't talk but my DS talks a lot because he's a girl and girls talk sooner than boys. I didn't even have the heart to tell her DS was a boy.

However I just don't agree with girls/women being treated better than boys/men. I think society does huge disservices to both genders.
post #94 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post


I just don't get the point in hiding basic biology from a child.


I guess I just don't see 'boy' or 'girl' as a gender issue, but a sex issue. To me, those terms describe genitalia, though I agree that society does ascribe certain traits to those terms, but the terms themselves are still about sex.
 

 

Who is hiding any child's biology from them? How might one go about hiding a child's biology from them? Maybe I'm confused.

 

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.

 

 

post #95 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyBird View Post

I don't really have an opinion about it, but I did think this was kind of funny:

 

“What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” says Stocker.

I thought this was funny, because these parents are making a choice for their children by choosing to raise them "genderless".




I thought that was funny too! I think the ultimate helicopter parent is the one who protects their child from gender identity! I do think, however, that baby clothes have gotten ridiculous lately with the whole gender distinction. I was looking at pictures of my dad when he was a baby, and he was in a white lacy dress (circa 1943 England). As a cloth diaperer, I think putting a baby boy in a dress would be awesome!



agree. I didn't realize it was considered raising your kids "gender neutral" to choose clothes that don't scream boy or girl and allow them to choose their own interests. This is what we did. I have worked to get away from being a helicopter mom while still protecting my kids from things I think are harmful, such as gender stereotypes. But this is over the top.

 

And if the parents point is to save the child from the responses they get from the people around him/her it will just be an interesting social experiment that will probably cause a serious lack of a sense of realize for the child.

post #96 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by AttunedMama View Post

The title of the thread/article is way too sensational. Keep it secret? Really?

 

How about "Parents find kids' genitals so unremarkable that they don't bother to engage in conversations surrounding the matter".

 

That isn't well-worded....But I think you get the idea.


Ha ha, yes! 

 

I think the very fact that this has garnered so much media attention shows what strong feelings people have about gender and their perceived notions of it. 

 

I can't wait to see the articles about these children when they're older; I think they'll be much healthier and happier than their parents' critics could possibly imagine.

 

post #97 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 to see one treatment and then another it is just like seeing how "fat" people (the ones that are not and put on the suit) get treated or the ones of "color" -somehow others get that their is something wrong with that treatment but not how we treat gender



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. 

 

post #98 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



 

And theres a pretty good reason for that - women are far more likely to be victims of DV than men (I don't know the statistics off hand, but its pretty amazing how little it happens to men)"

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.

Here are some statistics
http://www.menweb.org/battered/batrNVAWf.htm

It's really scary stuff.

post #99 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post



 

Who is hiding any child's biology from them? How might one go about hiding a child's biology from them? Maybe I'm confused.

 

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 thought male and female applied to gender and boy/man  and girl/woman applied to biology/genitalia. I don't think people are ignoring the reality of a trans community, nor attempting to hurt or damage others if they don't get the (shifting and somewhat nebulous) terminology correct.

 

This story doesn't sit right with me I think because I am concerned about the role the media is playing in this. It seems either the parents are capitalizing on the media attention to advance an agenda or they have let it get out of control.  In either case they seem to have lost sight of what may be truly best for their child (current and future.)

 

Given that they are an unschooling family in Toronto I find it a bit hard to swallow that they haven't been able to find or create a community around their children which is supportive of children exploring gender identities.

post #100 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. 

 


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.  And I think that's fair.  I don't enjoy it when strangers ask me about my race, not I am ashamed of who I am, or because I am afraid of racism.  I just feel it's no one's business but my own - if I wanna share, I will.  And I've had people get downright angry because they think I am hiding something.  What?  I can't imagine.  But  I can see why someone might feel similar about gender - that it's really no one's business but their own.

 

This thread got me thinking about my own relationship to my daughter's gender.  I rarely discuss her gender with people.  I don't say, "But she is a girl" if people call her "he."  I sort of thought it didn't seem important.  Then I read this thread and realized... oh yes.  We know her sex.  We don't know her gender, and we won't until she does.

 

Until she began expressing preference in clothing (incidentally - anything pink, fuschia, or purple - the brighter the better it seems - plus occasional navy blue), we chose mostly gender neutral clothing for.  However, I remember being surprised at the force which I felt compelling me to want to dress her in "Girly" things - the force with which I wanted to mark her as "girl" and bestow gender identity upon her.  I remember being surprised at how quickly "girl" took root in my mind as I related to her.  And I am not sure I even know what "girl" means.  (I grew up in a household with an immigrant mother who carried her own culture's gender identity ideas with her... but which didn't necessarily track onto american ideas of gender.  So I grew up with very hazy notions of what it means to be gendered... perhaps some conflicting messages.  And in some ways, I think that's been quite helpful for me... to kind of have no idea sometimes.  Clothes seem to be a big thing, who can wear what, so it always seemed very much that being a girl or boy was mostly a matter of acting.)

 

So then I think - wow, where did this wanted to dress her in cute pink things and dresses come from?  My mom bought a set of cute blue newborn clothes for me.  We didn't know what sex baby we were going to have, and my mom thought I would have a boy.  I remember not really liking to put DD in the "baby boy blue" outfits.  Navy blue was okay, for some reason I thought it looked cute... fashionable.  But baby boy blue?  I didn't like it.  So there was this idea of gender that kept coming back to me.  And more and more, as time has gone by, I became attached to the idea of her being "my daughter" and being "my baby girl."  So much so that I can feel in me a place of mourning if she someday might be he.  Or ze.  But why?  What would change?  The essence of my child is always there....  How horrible to think someday that I could mourn her being herself, whoever that is. 

 

So then again I think, whether dd grow up to be cisgendered, genderqueer, trans, or whatever.... isn't she better off without my pressure on her to be girl, or even 'girl in a certain way'?  What if she doens't want to paint nails with me?  What if he wants to paint nails with me?  What if he doesn't?  What if she does?  It shouldn't matter to me, right?  Yet, I feel the pull of wanting things a certain way.  I can't seen going back - now - at age two and saying, let's not try to bestow a gender identity on you.  To some extent that may be because she appears to be drawn to some of the signs of "girl" - but who knows if that will change?   I have become attached to the gender I assumed her to have too now.  See how I keep referring to "her"?  So I can kind of see what Storm's parents might have been thinking.  It's not so much because the child needs to be freed.  But the parents have to train their minds so that they don't become attached to an idea in a way that could prove hurtful to their child.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parents keep child's sex secret - What do you think?