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Genders - Page 6

post #101 of 141
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sojourn View Post
I appreciate the sentiments. This isn't my thread, and I thank the OP for letting me take it out there for my own usage.
Rock on, sister. You're welcome to it.
post #102 of 141
I'm going to have a hard time articulating my opinion on this. I may not have all of the terminology technically correct, but here goes.

I think there is a difference between females and males and that this difference should be rejoiced. I am thrilled to be a woman.

That said, there should be, imo, no certain expectations put on people because they are a female or a male. Girls do not have to wear pink, nail polish, fairy wings and cry openly. Boys do not have to wear blue, no nail polish, football helmets and not cry ever.
Since this conversation has focused on sons, I will reference mine. He is 6 and a half to be exact. If he wanted to wear nail polish, fine. If he wants to wear fairy wings, fine.
To this day, I am made fun of for my looks, for my beliefs, for my general outlook on life. I do not fit in to the mainstream and I never have. So I know the pain and struggle of not fitting in and being made fun of. Do I wish this for my kids? Not necessarily. But it is more important to me that they live the life they want to live and be who they want to be. Imo, we have one life here on this earth and I would hate to believe that we have to expend all of our energy and time and possibly be miserable just to live like everybody else.
Yes, not being like everyone does bring a certain amount of discontent, but deep deep down I know I am being true to me (and teaching my kids to be true to themselves) and everyone else is wrong lol
What did Shakespeare say? To thine ownself be true... I like that.
post #103 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Einley View Post
I'm going to have a hard time articulating my opinion on this. I may not have all of the terminology technically correct, but here goes.

I think there is a difference between females and males and that this difference should be rejoiced. I am thrilled to be a woman.

That said, there should be, imo, no certain expectations put on people because they are a female or a male. Girls do not have to wear pink, nail polish, fairy wings and cry openly. Boys do not have to wear blue, no nail polish, football helmets and not cry ever.
Since this conversation has focused on sons, I will reference mine. He is 6 and a half to be exact. If he wanted to wear nail polish, fine. If he wants to wear fairy wings, fine.
To this day, I am made fun of for my looks, for my beliefs, for my general outlook on life. I do not fit in to the mainstream and I never have. So I know the pain and struggle of not fitting in and being made fun of. Do I wish this for my kids? Not necessarily. But it is more important to me that they live the life they want to live and be who they want to be. Imo, we have one life here on this earth and I would hate to believe that we have to expend all of our energy and time and possibly be miserable just to live like everybody else.
Yes, not being like everyone does bring a certain amount of discontent, but deep deep down I know I am being true to me (and teaching my kids to be true to themselves) and everyone else is wrong lol
What did Shakespeare say? To thine ownself be true... I like that.
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post #104 of 141
Thank you Einley! Your beautiful words touched me to my core!

Sojourn~ I only have a toddler, but I know from personal experience how hard it is to be both "sensitive" (I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders too!) and just plain weird, LOL. I was lucky in that I grew up with 2 friends (both males!) who were sensitive as well. They cried or otherwise showed their emotion in an "unmanly" way. However, they were both kick butt soccer players and just awesome souls that everyone wanted to be around. They were never picked last on any team, even in middle school. I'm so happy to have found those "soul mates" so early on in my life, and I hope your son finds his too.

Anyway, I know that didn't really pertain to the topic at hand, but I'm totally digging this discussion! I'm taking a "Psychology of Women" class right now and it's so neat to explore the topic here at MDC.
post #105 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
I just personally believe that when we start saying certain things are for boys or for girls then that just leads to our children accepting other restrictions in the future.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantaja View Post
But there are other restrictions in the future that they will have to accept.
Yeah, I don't see it that way. The rules in my house are pretty simple. Be kind, think of others, and if you want me to hear you don't yell. I want my dd to know that she can think for herself.

If she encounters a restriction in her future, and she thinks it's wrong, I hope she fights it. If she finds a restriction in life, and chooses not to follow along, I want her to know there are could be negative consequences to her actions. But that choice to follow or not, that's her choice.


Being laughed at hurts, we all know this. We know this because at one point or another in our life somebody has tried to belittle us or treat us like we are less than they are.

I don't want my dd (7yo) to alter her thinking, or actions in fear of what others will think of her.

My home should be her safe place. Where she can express herself in all the ways she feels in her heart. She's not stupid, she knows that people can be cruel to those who they see as "different". She has already experienced being the odd one. She's been laughed at. Did it hurt her, yes. Did I hurt seeing her hurt, oh yeah. So I'm sure at only 7 years old she is already altering how she is in school in order to fit in. That's why I want our house to be safe. Where she can be herself.

I don't want being laughed at to be the moral compass in my dd's life. Does it hurt, yes. BUT is it the standard of what is right and wrong, no. Doing what is right in our hearts doesn't always feel good or comfortable. Most people who have made big changes in the world are laughed at. People who step outside of the box aren't usually popular.
post #106 of 141
I think that gender differences should be acknowledged and celebrated, but at the same time they shouldn't be absolutes.
My daughter's favorite color is blue and she will only wear "boy" underwear. And her father wears makeup; I don't.
It sounds like stereotypes have been very ingrained in you; have you thought deeply about why you hold the feelings about these types of things that you do? Do you feel that you are doing your children a favor or a disservice by forcing these stereotypes on them?
post #107 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post

OP, I don't want to join in on the "you hurt children" stuff that is upsetting you (even in your big girl panties Dora or SpongeBob, btw? ) - but consider for a moment that your son wants to paint his nails and you tell him "No, boys can't paint their nails. Nail polish is for girls." Or if he wants to buy a pair of pink shoes and you say "Pink shoes are for girls. Boys wear blue shoes." Or he wants a My Little Pony or a Barbie, and you tell him "No, those are girl toys. Boys play with trucks and balls." He might be fine with that. Maybe nail polish and pink shoes aren't a big deal to him, and it was just a passing fancy. He likes the blue shoes just as much. He's just as happy as with trimming his nails as he would have been with painting them. When you mention a truck, he realizes that he really does like trucks and that a new one would be more fun than a Barbie. Great - he goes about his life and you haven't damaged him. Then what happens when he enounters a little boy who loves his sparkly nail polish or bink shoes and plays whose favorite toy his brand new Barbie? What do you think he might say to that boy? How do you think he might feel about him?
Yeah that!
gender stereotyping won't only effect your child but other peoples children they come in contact with. "That girl must not be a "lady" cos her legs aren't crossed."

I'm really, really against gender stereotyping of any kind and the OP kind of offended me because I don't do any of the things she listed as being "girly" yet I am still a woman.
My son will grow up with the choice of how to behave, dress, decorate himself, sit, speak, and express himself. His choice and I will support him.

As a child I was ALWAYS teased. I was a tomboy for many years and called myself a "feminist" by the age of 7 and I was teased. I slowly became more "girly" and conforming and still I was teased. You can't win.
Hmmm, that didn't really make much sense sorry... I'm worn out and need to go to bed...
post #108 of 141
Quote:
I think that gender differences should be acknowledged and celebrated, but at the same time they shouldn't be absolutes.
amen sister!


subbing this thread.
post #109 of 141
I want my son to grow up doing "gentlemanly" things for ladies -- opening doors, offering seats, just generally being respectful. However, if he wanted to do that wearing nail polish and a skirt, I guess that's what he wants to do. I think society "polices" us enough about gender differences -- I don't need to be too rigid with my son.
post #110 of 141
Can I ask a really stupid question that I just need to ask because I'm trying to think it through and am not seeing the answer...

what happens when said kiddo is all grown up... say 35... and wants to prance to work wearing fairy wings. It's like... you can be gay.... you can be bi.... you can be transgendered, but try to be a straight guy in America wearing pink nail polish and prancing around in a Holly Hobbie apron and a giant hair bow? What would YOU do if YOUR dh walked in the front door with fairy wings on and blue eye shadow? At some point, most straight men conform. Maybe not as 8 year-olds and certainly not as 3 year-olds, but not a lot of 16 year-old guys in high school looking to pick up babes wearing a push-up bra and a pair of Manolos. And good luck Freshman year in college doing that.

So my question is.... blah see I don't know what my question is. Just... I don't know, gasp, are we making a mistake on this one?
post #111 of 141
Quote:
what happens when said kiddo is all grown up... say 35... and wants to prance to work wearing fairy wings
He'd probably have his own show or youtube channel and have no problem

Quote:
What would YOU do if YOUR dh walked in the front door with fairy wings on and blue eye shadow?
My DP has walked through the door wearing stranger
post #112 of 141
I support my kids being who they are! Pink clothes, boy underwear, make-up or no... whatever. Those things aren't important in and of themselves. What matters is my child knowing that it's okay to be who they are regardless of what mainstream society thinks they should wear or look like.

My 16 year old Ds has long hair and a fuller beard than many men twice his age. He's applied for a few jobs that want him to cut the hair to collar length while the women who work there are afforded the freedom to tie their hair back or braid it. Unbelievably sexist and incredibly frustrating. He knows that society often thinks he should look a certain so called "acceptable" way, and at this point in his life he's not willing to conform. Later on he may decide that he is in certain areas, but maybe not in others.

Point is, boys in dresses and make up, and girls who aren't can learn that society is what it is (and what it is is pretty effed up IMO), and they will have their own decisions to make as they face that. I think it's far better for them to learn to face that with supportive parents in their corner instead of parents who are part of the chorus of voices crying "conform to this or else".
post #113 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilkTrance View Post
I want my son to grow up doing "gentlemanly" things for ladies -- opening doors, offering seats, just generally being respectful.
See I just see those as "kind or polite things" rather than gentlemanly. I open doors, have offered my seat, and even pulled out a chair or two for men and women. Gender was never a factor, kindness was.


Quote:
I think society "polices" us enough about gender differences -- I don't need to be too rigid with my son.
So true!
post #114 of 141
I haven't read all of the responses yet, but wanted to add that some of the hottest guys I've ever dated wore skirts/nail polish. They were very masculine men with a touch of punk rock that I found irresitable.
That said, my son's may wear whatever they want- and I hope they find a girl who loves their chipped nail polish when they are older.
post #115 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
Can I ask a really stupid question that I just need to ask because I'm trying to think it through and am not seeing the answer...

what happens when said kiddo is all grown up... say 35... and wants to prance to work wearing fairy wings. It's like... you can be gay.... you can be bi.... you can be transgendered, but try to be a straight guy in America wearing pink nail polish and prancing around in a Holly Hobbie apron and a giant hair bow? What would YOU do if YOUR dh walked in the front door with fairy wings on and blue eye shadow? At some point, most straight men conform. Maybe not as 8 year-olds and certainly not as 3 year-olds, but not a lot of 16 year-old guys in high school looking to pick up babes wearing a push-up bra and a pair of Manolos. And good luck Freshman year in college doing that.

So my question is.... blah see I don't know what my question is. Just... I don't know, gasp, are we making a mistake on this one?


I don't know what your question was either

Personally, I don't know many 35 yo men who enjoy dressing up in fairy wigs, regardless of what their preferences were as 3yo's. I think that line of thinking is a little off-kilter.

When I was 3, I liked being NAKED... NAKED NAKED NAKED.... ALL THE TIME! At 29.... um, not so much. Right now I like to wear clothes, especially in public. Maybe I've "conformed", maybe I just don't like the way people stare at me when I'm naked in my front yard. At 3, I didn't care. I rode my tricycle around naked and free. I also tied toilet paper in my hair and pretended I was Repunzel. My mom never said "ladies don't run around naked with TP in their hair".... but somewhere along the way, I figured it out all on my own.

My 3yo loves pink and purple and sparkly things... he also wears rubber rain boots with EVERYTHING. DS1 spent the better part of his 2yo life wearing a green, fuzzy monster costume and snow boots...... he's 10 now and informed me the other day that he only likes wearing jeans and dark t-shirts. Kids grow up and (usually) their tastes change.

I don't feel the need to limit them, especially when they're small and just trying out new things.
post #116 of 141
Yeah, and a man who liked to dress in such a way would likely be partnered (or whatever) with someone who was down with that. So I am not sure it would be an issue.

Now, if a man suddenly started wearing fairy wings and blue sparkly eye shadow out of the blue... yeah, that might be pretty strange for a partner. It'd be something to discuss that's for sure.
post #117 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
Can I ask a really stupid question that I just need to ask because I'm trying to think it through and am not seeing the answer...

what happens when said kiddo is all grown up... say 35... and wants to prance to work wearing fairy wings. It's like... you can be gay.... you can be bi.... you can be transgendered, but try to be a straight guy in America wearing pink nail polish and prancing around in a Holly Hobbie apron and a giant hair bow? What would YOU do if YOUR dh walked in the front door with fairy wings on and blue eye shadow? At some point, most straight men conform. Maybe not as 8 year-olds and certainly not as 3 year-olds, but not a lot of 16 year-old guys in high school looking to pick up babes wearing a push-up bra and a pair of Manolos. And good luck Freshman year in college doing that.

So my question is.... blah see I don't know what my question is. Just... I don't know, gasp, are we making a mistake on this one?
How many 35 year old women prancing around in fairy wings do you know?

I know lots of grown, straight men who wear make up and nail polish.

and good luck in college doing that? University was a lot more accepting place than high school, and it was a place where my gay friends finally felt they could be themselves.

Anyways, this is all a strawman argument.

Sure, most people will conform to their gender stereotypes. That is all the more reason to allow children to have the freedom to explore and do what they want. Limiting children to their gender stereotypes will not prevent things like cross dressing. It will only make the person hide it and feel shame.

There are lots of things children do that they won't do forever, so I don't understand your argument. In fact, I hear the same argument about children nursing. It doesn't make any sense.
post #118 of 141
I don't see a lot of adult women wearing fairy wings, Holly Hobbie aprons and giant hair bows out in public.
I feel that most adults- male or female- would reserve that style of dressing for an appropriate venue/occasion. Most grown women do not slip on a tiara, evening gown, full makeup and heels to go to the grocery store or mow the lawn even if they played with princess/Barbie toys growing up.

Given a choice, a lot of women do not wear dresses every day. Given the same choice, men probably would also not wear dresses every day.
post #119 of 141
Also, to add a "child's" perspective.

I went through a big "finding myself" phase when I was in high school. I believe I was reacting against the conformist culture in which I was raised (by this point we had moved, though) and the subtle gender roles perpetuated by my mom. I stopped shaving my legs and under my arms. I didn't wear lipgloss or eyeshadow like my sister did. I dressed in completely gender neutral clothes--ripped jeans, combat boots, flannel shirts, leather jacket, all stuff purchased from the thrift store. (I think part of all this was coming to terms with my bisexuality, and feeling like, if I wasn't heterosexual, I needed to 'signal' that through the way I looked--in other words, it was just performing gender in a different way.).

Anyway, my point is: I was completely confident about the way I looked out in public. I know I didn't present as a "typical" girl, but I never really cared if it made anyone stare. What DID hurt me, deeply and in many ways irrevocably were the constant, "well-meaning" attempts by my mom to make me into someone who conformed more closely to her (and, I would say, society's) expectations of gender. There was never any cruelty or belittling...it was just the million little and not-so-little ways that she let me know that the way I was was NOT okay with her.

If you think you are protecting your child from hurt by encouraging them to conform to gender norms when those norms clearly do not represent who your child is...let me assure you, you're not. The criticism, implicit or explicit, we get from those who are supposed to love us unconditionally is far more hurtful than any stares from strangers or unkind words from the school bully. And, on the contrary, the support of his or her family can make all the difference in helping someone who is "different" feel good about him or herself. Just my two cents.
post #120 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by sojourn View Post
Are you still gonna stand strong? You still think you won't care much or see a gendered difference? You STILL think that at that time you won't see kids w/muscles and laughs at your kids? I'm just asking.

Damn straight will I stand up for my son and be proud that he doesn't want to be a sheep. I will never, never, never encourage my children to conform to gender stereotypes, and if I somehow start doing this, I hope you'll take me out and shoot me because I've obviously lost my mind. That is not who I am nor who I ever want to be.
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