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Genders - Page 5

post #81 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantaja
Or that make-up is for older girls and women, not little boys.
You don't see anything wrong with sending a child the message that females should "fix" or enhance their faces but males are fine the way they are?

Quote:
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.
Men are just as soft, sweet and meek as women.

Quote:
What's wrong with genders being different from each other?
The problem is that the differences are created by culture. Males and females are not actually different from each other, except as pertains to reproductive function.
post #82 of 141
I don't want to get my kids started defining what they can do in this world by the nature of what's growing between their legs. There are enough people in this world that are going to tell my daughter that she can't be a firefighter and my sons that they can't be stay at home parents or ballet dancers - I'm not going to be one of them, and I'm not going to set them up to believe it by telling them that some things are for girls and some are for boys. If my 7 year old DS wanted to wear a dress to school, I'd be fine with it (although I would probably have to have the ridiculous "some people are mean and will make fun of you" talk).

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?
post #83 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sustainer View Post
You don't see anything wrong with sending a child the message that females should "fix" or enhance their faces but males are fine the way they are?


Men are just as soft, sweet and meek as women.


The problem is that the differences are created by culture. Males and females are not actually different from each other, except as pertains to reproductive function.
Serious question here - did cavemen have a "culture"? As far as science is finding out, women literally tended the cave and children and tried to make themselves more attractive to mates, and men were hunters and tried to make themselves stronger and more protective. I've got a headache, sorry if that makes no sense. It's always been my impression that gender roles to some extent are just part of who we are. Women traditionally are gentle and nurturing and men are tough and protective (don't throw tomatoes at me here, I'm going off impressions I've gotten from most the scientific communities).
post #84 of 141
My son stopped doing most of those things because he got from our culture that it wasn't okay for him. That makes me sad. He recently cut his hair because he was tired of people assuming he was a girl - which sucked, because he really liked his longish hair. Seriously, I wouldn't judge any of my kids for doing things outside narrowly defined gender roles - but other people do. That's not going to make me say x is for girls and y is for boys.
post #85 of 141
If my son wants to wear dresses or fairy wings or just jeans and a t-shirt when he is 10 or 25 or 60 years old, I will support him in that. Society may not, but I sure will.
post #86 of 141
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I can tell you in all honesty that I would still support DD or DS 100% if they chose any of those things. If DS ends up being a "girly boy" and wants to wear fairy wings when he is 10 or dress in girl clothes as a teen I can tell you that I'd be damn proud that my son has the self confidence to go against the grain. I was that teenager. I was boyish. I wore boys clothes and hung with the guys and did "guy" things.
And what I'm not understanding, is that here at MDC, a community of people who go against the grain of mainstream society, a haven against those that would look down on us for not conforming, some members would actually force or encourage their children to conform to societal norms of gender roles.
post #87 of 141
Well, my kid isn't 9, but he's not a toddler, either. He's a 5 yr. old whose friends are generally 6-8. I would be absolutely shocked if, in the next 3 years, he stops playing with his dolls, runs screaming from skirts and nail polish, and disowns all of his friends (90% of whom are girls). He knows about gender roles. He thinks they suck. Peer pressure from the boys who won't play house with girls doesn't faze him. And I'll still think he's pretty when he's 8, 9, 10, 18, 19, 20.
post #88 of 141
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.

I hope you feel the same if and when your kids are older. We need more parents like you. I've already sold out in more than one way. (public school and gendered roles).

I DO have to consciously remind myself that they are "handsome" and not "pretty"....though, they are "pretty" to me, everyday, always and forever.
post #89 of 141
Only one of my children is a toddler.

Yes, it would break my heart if my child was picked on and was hurt over it. It would.

But that would have nothing to do with it. I wouldn't tell them they can or can't do this or that because of their gender. We would work it out as best as we could. I would support my children to do what they felt most comfortable and happy with.
post #90 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmom View Post
I can tell you in all honesty that I would still support DD or DS 100% if they chose any of those things. If DS ends up being a "girly boy" and wants to wear fairy wings when he is 10 or dress in girl clothes as a teen I can tell you that I'd be damn proud that my son has the self confidence to go against the grain. I was that teenager. I was boyish. I wore boys clothes and hung with the guys and did "guy" things.
And what I'm not understanding, is that here at MDC, a community of people who go against the grain of mainstream society, a haven against those that would look down on us for not conforming, some members would actually force or encourage their children to conform to societal norms of gender roles.


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?
post #91 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?
No, I don't. While their intent may be good they would be hurting their children more in the long run. By suppressing who your child is you make them feel like there is something wrong with feeling the way they feel or doing what they do. Lots of gay men fall into a more "feminine" gender role and it makes a lot of people in today's society uncomfortable. If my son turned out to be a feminine gay should I tell him that he should hide it just so he doesn't get made fun of? How will we ever change the stigma attached to these things if we encourage our children to hide everything that will offend others? We should never change ourselves because of the insecurities of others.
My sister made fun of me for breastfeeding in public (yes, she really did) but I won't stop doing it just so she won't make fun of me. Her making fun of me makes her the ignorant one.
Some people make fun of me for CD'ing and my husband makes fun of me for eating organic and being a vegetarian but I won't stop doing it because of that. And a lot of people do tell me that vegetarianism is "unnatural" just like a lot of people would say a man wearing a dress goes against his "natural" gender role.
post #92 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmom View Post
No, I don't. While their intent may be good they would be hurting their children more in the long run. By suppressing who your child is you make them feel like there is something wrong with feeling the way they feel or doing what they do. Lots of gay men fall into a more "feminine" gender role and it makes a lot of people in today's society uncomfortable. If my son turned out to be a feminine gay should I tell him that he should hide it just so he doesn't get made fun of? How will we ever change the stigma attached to these things if we encourage our children to hide everything that will offend others? We should never change ourselves because of the insecurities of others.
My sister made fun of me for breastfeeding in public (yes, she really did) but I won't stop doing it just so she won't make fun of me. Her making fun of me makes her the ignorant one.
Some people make fun of me for CD'ing and my husband makes fun of me for eating organic and being a vegetarian but I won't stop doing it because of that. And a lot of people do tell me that vegetarianism is "unnatural" just like a lot of people would say a man wearing a dress goes against his "natural" gender role.


Okay. I just wish the rest of the world was as tolerant as MDC members, but it isn't.
post #93 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
Okay. I just wish the rest of the world was as tolerant as MDC members, but it isn't.
Which is why we should change that....one child at a time.
post #94 of 141
I have a 6 year old boy who needs to go to bed. Subbing to read later!
post #95 of 141
Quote:
Of course we don't care when they are toddlers. If they are still wearing fairy wings and whatnot as 9-10 yo's...well, I haven't heard too much from any of those moms.
It may be the region I live in (pretty far over on the so called "hippy dippy" scale) but I know several boys (not toddlers) with long hair, tunics that are not that far from skirts, and nail polish. And several girls who have buzz cut hair and dirt on their hands. I've actually learned not to comment on "your little girl/your little boy" with mamas I don't know simply because the line here is very very blurry. Even in school aged kiddos. And I attended college with many many people (gay straight bi questioning etc) who didn't fit into a neat and tidy "gender category". Right down to the fairy wings in some cases.

I think it just kind of depends on where you live and how strongly you feel the need to support a child's individuality vs how far you're willing to bend to protect your child (and by extension yourself) from gender discrimination. (and I mean that in a good way... I certainly sympathize with and understand parents who feel the need to change who their child is in order to protect them).

And on a related note, does anyone find it interesting that so many of the comments in this thread refer to gendered behavior in male children rather than female? As if "gender male" comes about through things you don't do (don't cry, don't decorate the body, don't play with dolls) while "gender female" comes about through things you do do (do decorate the body, do sit with legs together, etc).
post #96 of 141
I refuse to box my children in. They can be, do, dress as, become anything they want.

I lived in a boxed world as a JW for a very long time, being told that men are the leaders that God chose and women were inferior and meant to be child bearers and cooks and maids only-ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!

I will NEVER place limits on my children. If my daughter wants to wear Bob the builder underwear and carry around tools, then great. If my son(should it be a son) wants to play dress up and have a dolly, then he most certainly will.

How are you to define your child? You can teach your children what you think is ok, but eventually they will become what they are going to become and will possibly hate you for your single mindedness. I wouldn't want that for me, so I will allow my children to become the people they want to become, never something based on gender alone....
post #97 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangebird View Post

Yes, it would break my heart if my child was picked on and was hurt over it. It would.
ITA. 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.
post #98 of 141
Because it's not "embracing a difference", it's "perpetuating a stereotype" which I think can be incredibly constrictive to growing into and appreciating your natural self.

I have no idea how this thread is going - I haven't read any of the other replies at all. But this is something that I feel very strongly about. I think these things inhibit us in a big, big way. I feel that it's far more important to start with a blank slate and encourage children to find what they like, and be able to pursue and enjoy that. Telling them what to wear and what they should like, even indirectly (television commercials always featuring girls playing with barbie dolls, for example) translates into shame, and feeling unaccepted and "wrong" for those that don't fit the stereotype. People will also often make nasty assumptions about the kid (or adult!) that doesn't fit that mold. However, more often than not, I think those feelings just get trampled, as girls learn that it's more important to paint nails than play with trucks (for example), and then that child grows up with a false sense of self. I think that makes for a lot of angry, sad, confused adults. Doing what they think they're supposed to do, and liking what they think they're supposed to like, because of those societal expectations and messages. And not even realising it. I don't think it's that much different than the growth of eating disorders and poor body image in the face of mass media.

Expectations based on gender can be incredibly hurtful and confusing.
post #99 of 141
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!
post #100 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantaja View Post
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?
And, IMO, there's a conflict between thinking something like this, and telling only a girl that she should sit with her legs closed. Why should it be any different for a girl than a boy? And who says so? No, really, where does that come from, and why SHOULD it be a rule for girls and not boys? To me, that's just telling the girl right there that she is not equal to a male. If a sister and brother were sitting next to eachother, both sitting with their legs equally open, and equally comfortable with this leg arrangement-- and a mom tells only the girl that she must change and sit with her legs closed... what does that say to her? Your brother can be more comfortable than you can. You have different rules and expectations than your brother. Your brother can get away with more things than you can, etc.

Nobody tells me how to sit. I prefer to be comfortable. I would prefer everyone to be comfortable. Especially children, they get told what to do all the time as it is. I can understand some sense of formality in certain situations, but I would make no exception for any gender. That sends a strong message.
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