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Genders - Page 7

post #121 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
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.


I need a "hell yeah!" emoticon!!
post #122 of 141
I was a tomboy growing up. My goal in life was to be the first female quarterback in the NFL. I wore ball caps all the time. I cut all my hair off when I was 2 because I wanted short hair but my mom wanted me to "look like a girl." I dealt with ENDLESS rounds of "You need to learn the difference between boys and girls!" (and, later, "men and women!") yelling from my mother. She told me I deserved how I was treated if I wasn't going to act like a girl.

My children--and the Small Friends in my life--will NEVER hear that from me. I will NEVER support the idea that a boy wearing fairy wings at whatever age is a bad thing. I will NEVER support the idea that a girl who wants to play football should not be supported and loved and encouraged.

I hate threads like these because they ALWAYS serve as a place for posts like the one I quoted, and make me want to pack up my boxers and hiking boots and flee for some place where homophobic crap like this simply isn't tolerated.
post #123 of 141
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post #124 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
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.
:!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #125 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
As some people said (not me, I am actually forming opinions on this, as my son is only 2), they would encourage children to conform b/c they love them so much that they don't want them to get hurt. Surely you can understand that line of thinking, correct?
I've spoken to DS about this, and let him make his own choices. I won't tell him "no, you can't wear pink shoes because pink shoes are for girls" but I have told him "Are you really sure you want pink sneakers? Oh, look at these blue ones!"

I see that as empowering him to make educated choices. At age 4 he honestly had no idea that other kids would have gender roles attached to clothing, but if he was teased at school one day he'd never want to wear those shoes to school again (and I certainly wouldn't force him), and I'd have to spend more money on another pair of sneakers for him. I don't have a problem with him wearing pink barrettes or bracelettes or anything like that- but I don't want to waste money on expensive items (shoes) that may not get enough use.

I don't know anybody, male or female, who prances around in fairy wings on a regular basis (costume parties/Halloween/Purim not included.) It's just not something that adults do. And good luck finding Dora panties in big kid or adult sizes- but in any case, who's really going to see what kind of underwear my kids choose to wear UNDER their clothing?

I don't understand why the "boys don't cry" thing keeps getting brought up. I honestly don't see that attitude as being any more prevelant than "big girls dont' cry"- it's not "darling" when any of my kids cry, especially in public! Of course I'll embrace any crying child (if the child wants comfort rather than solitude) but I really don't see this as a gender thing at all. Crying and showing sensitivity isn't respected in this culture, from either sex.
post #126 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieMonsterMommy View Post
BOLDING MINE
You heard from me. My precious and darling (?) DS will be 9 in 13 days. He got called "pretty" last year when his hair was long--all the time. It didn;t bother him. He cut it only because it got in the way with football.

Kids with muscles? What?? What does that even mean? DS has muscles. Doesn't mean he's not growing his hair real long or wearing Strawberry HS Musical lipgloss...or that he didn't get a manicure with me and my boyfriend on Valentines Day.

It also doesn't mean that he hasn't cried in public over something that bothered him, or that he isn't emotionally "sensitive" sometimes. Or that one of his favorite shirts to wear is a ladies shirt.

No, he doesn't wear fairy wings (not sure he ever did), but he does do some "girlie" things. And I can say in 100% honesty that if he wanted fairy wings, I'd get them for him and "let" him wear them in public.


I guess I'm the best most wow parent? Sweet! Yay me!
My 11 year old ds was mistaken for a girl twice this week. He didn't care, and neither did I.

He's a person-- not a cardboard cut out of "pre-teen human, male." He wears what he wants, chooses activities that he wants... why not?
post #127 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmom View Post
Which is why we should change that....one child at a time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhippiemama View Post
And I would much rather help them understand why it was happening and work together to find some ways to change that in our community, rather than stifling my child's personality and expression just to conform to society's f*cked up system.

Thank you!
post #128 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
I don't see a lot of adult women wearing fairy wings, Holly Hobbie aprons and giant hair bows out in public.
That is such a totally good point!
Okay that was the kind of thing I was trying to think of and not getting myself... the whole "this is all great when they're little, but what happens when they grow up". I guess the answer is, um, they grow up.
post #129 of 141
I have removed several posts from this thread and edited many more of the quote. Thank you fro your patience and fortitude in contributing to such an interesting and thought provoking thread.

Please carry on, but I need to move this to Parenting Issues.

post #130 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantaja View Post
I know that I'm going to be fried for this but...what's wrong with gender differences?

I don't see anything wrong with telling a little boy that panties are for girls, please put on your boxer shorts (or briefs or boxer briefs or Spongebob underoos). Or that make-up is for older girls and women, not little boys. Or with telling a girl to sit like a lady if her legs are spread. I'd tell my son that he can't wear a dress. When I was a little girl I wore earrings and lip gloss (well, Vaseline as a very little girl) on my lips every single day. My mother encouraged it, even reminded me if I forgot before I walked out the door.

I personally don't like pink, but I have no problem with "pink is for girls and blue is for boys." I wholly embrace my femininity and the softer side of being a woman, even though I'm tough as nails when I have to be. But every woman is when the need arises, even the softest, sweetest, meekest woman.

I see boys and girls as apples and oranges. Both sweet, both good for you, both equally delicious. But some prefer apples and some prefer oranges and that doesn't make either one less of a wonderful fruit. Each is just as good as the other, they're just different.

I want boys and girls to have equal opportunities in education, athletics and everything else. But I don't think that either gender has to dilute itself to make those oppertunities happen. What's wrong with genders being different from each other?
Well this is long so I just read the OP but I just wanted to say that:

Yes - boys and girls are different. There is no denying that. But that is just basic biology.

What you are talking about is outside appearance. That shouldnt matter. No matter what sex you are! If a girl wants to wear jeans and a boy wants to wear a skirt...why not?! What you look like on the outside just should not matter.

Caring for your body is different. Thats just trying to stay healthy. Taking a shower and brushing your teeth. But I do not wear lip gloss on my lips. I would also neve remind my children to do something in order to appear a certain way - thats asking for some serious issues I feel. (the standard - you arnt pretty unless you do this to your face)

And then we should also take culture into it I feel. I wouldnt tell a girl who was wearing a dress to close her legs because it was 'lady like'... I would do it because if we were out in public, for the same reasons we wear clothes out in public, we also dont have our knickers out on show for the public to see. If my son was wearing a skirt, the same would apply! lol

As it happens - my son loves to put on my makeup. But he thinks hes gorgeous no matter what he looks like on the outside because he is!
post #131 of 141
This is an interesting thread!

I was a tomboy growing up. I wore boy's shoes. I wore boy's clothes. I didn't want girly pink toys. I didn't care if other kids made fun of me. The only thing that bothered me was my mom trying to force me to be more girly. I felt like she didn't accept me unless I was more feminine. Even now, at 40, she'll tell me that I'd be prettier if I'd just wear a little makeup.

I don't want to impose arbitrary rules on my daughter, or on a son should I ever have one, just because society likes those arbitrary rules. My daughter can wear what she wants. She chose boy tennis shoes this time because she wanted the blue shoes. The folks at the shoe store weren't sure - was I sure I wanted her to have boy shoes? Who cares which shoes she likes best? But, on the other hand, she wanted to wear a dress today and I would never have worn a dress.

So I have no rules about this kind of thing. Kids should just be allowed to evolve naturally into who they are. My job as a parent is to facilitate my daughter's growth and allow her to become her most authentic self, whoever that is, and to offer unconditional love and support.

And I hate the word "panties" for either gender's underpants. We say "undies" here for everyone's skivvies. Or "skivvies".
post #132 of 141
We just kind of follow my son's lead on what he likes to do and play. He gravitates towards the Backyardigans, machines and dinosaurs. But I also don't shy away from buying him things that "little boys" wouldn't play with, like kitchen sets, or teddy bear hospitals. He even has his own "baby" which he cares for, but less so since his brother arrived (after all real babies are a lot more fun). He also helps me with the chores, loves to cook in the kitchen and gardening (traditionally women's work) and I encourage his participation. He was interested in my makeup for a minute, so put some lip balm on him, he thinks the blush brush is for tickling and the rest he couldn't give a fig about, but if he were interested, it wouldn't freak me out letting him explore.

We also try to make the effort to avoid macho type reinforcement and try very hard to reinforce his caring, helpful and sympathetic side, which is really important to have in men in our opinions. DH likes his hockey, and will even watch stupid things like wrestling or Trailer Park Boys, but he also helps massively around the house, has no problems showing or talking about his true emotions, and embraces feminism as well as any feminist ally. We are raising boys, but they're going to be boys who love and respect women and for that, we truly believe that they can't really be repulsed by anything ascribed to be "feminine" whether it be chores, emotion, etc.

I think being a kid is just so much about exploration and discovery, I'd hate to stifle it (short of the things he climbs to get a bump on the head daily) in any way.
post #133 of 141
Quote:
I don't agree with "sitting like a lady."
But if one is wearing a skirt or dress, it would make more sense to sit with the legs either crossed or together.
post #134 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantaja View Post
I don't see anything wrong with telling a little boy that panties are for girls, please put on your boxer shorts (or briefs or boxer briefs or Spongebob underoos). Or that make-up is for older girls and women, not little boys. Or with telling a girl to sit like a lady if her legs are spread.
The sexist notion that females shouldn't sit with their legs open is so appalling to me that it makes me feel physically nauseous to think of all the unfortunate girls out there with this ridiculous limitation placed on them.

How is it fair that males can sit with their legs spread as far apart as possible, showing off their whole genital region (especially if they're wearing snug pants) while females are expected to sit with their legs crossed or primly squeezed together at all times?? It seems to send the message that female genitals are objectionable or gross in some way and also that males get to take up more space than females. There's also a sexist message that it's girls' responsibility to shield the stereotypical uncontrollably sexual male from her sexuality; if she sits with her legs open, she's inviting rape.

I would never want to pass these hurtful, dysfunctional, and just plain wrong messages on to any child of either sex. Children should be able to sit and hold their bodies in any way that's comfortable and preferable for them.
post #135 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post
The sexist notion that females shouldn't sit with their legs open is so appalling to me that it makes me feel physically nauseous to think of all the unfortunate girls out there with this ridiculous limitation placed on them.

How is it fair that males can sit with their legs spread as far apart as possible, showing off their whole genital region (especially if they're wearing snug pants) while females are expected to sit with their legs crossed or primly squeezed together at all times?? It seems to send the message that female genitals are objectionable or gross in some way and also that males get to take up more space than females. There's also a sexist message that it's girls' responsibility to shield the stereotypical uncontrollably sexual male from her sexuality; if she sits with her legs open, she's inviting rape.

I would never want to pass these hurtful, dysfunctional, and just plain wrong messages on to any child of either sex. Children should be able to sit and hold their bodies in any way that's comfortable and preferable for them.
A big YEAH THAT! to this whole thing.

I'm not opposed to males and females having differences. I beleive some (but NOT ALL) of those differences are probably genetic, though ALL of them are culturally influenced (The whole pink thing makes me laugh, because it is 100% societally determined. It's not like they come out of the womb saying "oh, my vagina makes me love pink!')

But what I really hate are the number of the differences that people claim are "innate" and are definitions of feminitity that are really about telling girls that their bodies are wrong and dirty, that they are weak and incapable of taking care of themselves physically (even opening doors!), and that they are the guardians of everyone's virtue, boys included. Their faces are wrong and must be painted and fixed. Their bodies must be hidden and controlled, and not take up too much space in the world, either through leg spreading or by being too tall or worst of all, gaining too much weight. I want my daughter to take up all the space she needs to do what she needs to do and not fear its "Unladylike" to do so.

I further hate the ones that tell boys that showing any care for other human beings is wrong, that feelings are for girls, and that the only way to communicate as a boy is to hit and hurt and wound, and the only things they're allowed to like are trucks and sports. Geeze, where would the world be if Michaelangelo had been told that he had to only play with trucks and balls?

It's a long way from saying "girls tend to be better verbally than boys"
post #136 of 141
I think my take on all this is a bit different from most people here but DS is only 11 months so I reserve the right to change my mind!

Firstly, I don't like nail varnish and make-up and earrings on any child, boy or girl. Secondly, I really would like to continue to have a lot of say in my child's wardrobe but not for any gender reason. I like natural fibres, plain clothes without logos or cartoon characters, organic cotton when I can afford it. I also am particular about children dressing warmly and comfortably. I would rather a young child was blissfully unaware of what they were wearing. There's plenty of time to be fashion conscious later. Basically, I suppose I'm saying that I would like my child to have gender neutral influences and environment (toys, room colour, clothes, etc) until they started expressing a strong preference either way. Then I would want them to express themselves but still within my guidelines. (I wouldn't want the house full of pink Barbie merchandise for a boy or girl).

By the way, to the OP, your post about a girl with a skirt sitting with her legs crossed made me smile. We're from Scotland and let me tell you, men in kilts still spread their legs a wide as they like. If you're lucky they remember to push the fabric down but otherwise you get to confirm that the rumour about Scotsmen really is true!
post #137 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I beleive in embracing children for who they are naturally, not definining them by rigid gender roles. At the same time, I see nothing wrong with having a "girly girl" or a "boyish boy" if that's who they are naturally.

I also see nothing wrong with traditional gender roles being available for adults who choose to embrace them. I dress in very feminine ways and encourage my daughters to do the same. My oldest is required to wear dresses or skirts to school and my other daughter wears dresses or skirts almost constantly by choice. DS only wears pants when at school, out in public, etc. But if he wants to wear a dress for "playing dress up" that's fine with me!

I see a big difference between modeling traditional gender roles, and enforcing them on young children. If DD wants to dress up like Daddy or DS wants to dress up like Mommy, that's OK with me. If a young child of either gender wants to go to the supermarket in a Spiderman costume, or a sparkly pink fairy costume, or any other strange combination of clothes, that's OK with me.

By age 9 or so I expect kids to dress "appropriately" in public most of the time. If I had a child who felt drawn to cross-dressing, I'd figure out the best way to support that child- I'm not 100% sure what that would look like as that's not an issue I'm facing with any of my children.
I agree with this.

I have some neighbors with two dds. The girls are natural athletes. They both wanted to be on a softball team this year. (7 & 9) The nine year old had to join a team that was put together at the last minute, but the coach was awsome.

She was yanked off the team by her Moms because the ONLY color left for this new team's uniform was pink. They refused to allow any child of theirs to wear a pink uniform.

Sad.
post #138 of 141
I have thought about this quite a bit, mostly because my mom tried to steer me toward girly things my whole life. Quite unsuccessfully I might add. She only succeeded in making me miserable and feel like I couldn't measure up. As a result I have become downright hostile when someone suggests a woman cannot do X.

DD has never been into dolls. Thanks to ILs, she has a few but for the most part they sit on the floor doing nothing. The dollhouse I bought for her is used to play "parking lot" with her cars. As soon as DD turned 1, she stopped wearing dresses so I have a few Hannas that have never been worn. Tomorrow, she has to have her picture taken for school and I have told her she has to wear the skirt because it is required for girls if she wants to be in the picture. Since she doesn't like skirts, she wears the boys pants as part of her uniform. (She can change immediately after the pic but the director will not allow her in the pic otherwise. I left it up to her as to whether or not she will be in the pic, she says OK to the skirt.)

And yesterday DD helped me change the flat tire on my car. She also picked pink out for most of her clothes. I hate pink so if she wanted to rebel at all, it would be wearing pink.

I think there is an appropriate time and place for discussing societal norms but when the boy child is picking out pink fairy wings or when the girl child wants a boy's skater haircut is not one of them. Then it would look more like disapproval than protection. I would rather have a general conversation at dinner.
post #139 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post

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.
Yes. Yes. Yes. I couldn't have said it better.
post #140 of 141
My DP grew up being told that girls wore certain clothes. Her mom made her wear a bra at age 9 (she's barely a C-cup now, and was a late bloomer, I doubt she even had buds at age 9). She always felt an attraction to men's clothing, but never wore it. Until college she pretty much dressed in only t-shirts and jeans, because these are ok for women.

Now that she's realized that women can actually wear whatever they want, she dresses almost exclusively in men's clothing. She also wears baseball caps, and no makeup. She does not sit with her legs together, or otherwise act like a "lady". She is mistaken for a man sometimes, but realized that she doesn't actually care which gender total strangers take her for. She really doesn't encounter huge problems often. She works in a very conservative industry, yet no one bats an eye at her masculine attire or affect.

I also don't wear skirts very often and never wear makeup. I can't say as I've ever considered either of us to be diluting our gender. I don't think DP's mother's insistance on female attire was at all helpful to her. Incidentally, my mother never had to insist, I was the girliest, pink-loving, frilly-dress wearing kid on the block. By my own choice. I now hate pink, do not own anything that might be called frilly, don't shave much, never wear makeup, etc. Funniest thing is that I like men's underwear- but only with skirts. Boxer briefs are great, they keep the legs from rubbing!

We're expecting a daughter. She'll have examples of both traditionally feminine women (lots in my family) and non-traditional women. She can choose whatever expression of gender she wants, and whatever style of clothing (so long as it gives appropriate coverage for the weather - we live in a cold climate in winter). If the ultrasound was wrong and we get a boy, I feel that the same rules would apply for him.
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