Forcing gender roles on young children - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-14-2007, 09:54 PM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
Whether you want to believe it or not, those are the toys that boys and girls traditionally and in general have liked. There are boys who like princesses and girls who like race cars, but those 'traditions' were born not because we invented them but because we noticed them.

not sure i follow you here.


Quote:
....how can we be saying that we're programming genders into our children? Clearly there are enough paths that are children are exposed to that they can chose for htemselves even without us denying them the pink weebles simply because they are pink.

no one is saying anything about programming. if we were, there would be no arguments about gender being rooted in biology. if we had to program behaviors, they couldn't possibly be rooted in biology.


Quote:
Is that what I'm doing by letting my son have as many matchbox cars as he desires?

i think you know the answer to that one.
lolalola is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-14-2007, 10:03 PM
 
Inci's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 310
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A great article that explains how and why gender is a social construct is "Becoming Gendered: The Socialization of Girls and Boys," by Unger and Crawford, in their textbook "Women and Gender: A Feminist Psychology."
Unfortunately, I can't find a copy of the article online, and I can't type up much of it and post it here, due to copyright laws, of course. Throwing it out there as a resource, anyway.

Also, check out the movie "Orlando" - it's a story of person (played by Tilda Swinton) who lives in many different time periods, sometimes male and sometimes female. It shows how arbitrary gender really is. For example, at one point in history, the fashion for men was long, curly hair, ruffley shirts, and tights!

This discussion is difficult, as it seems that our disagreements go deeper than children's toys and clothes and behavior... so maybe we can back up a bit.

Moonfirefaery, do you believe that patriarchy exists, i.e. that males as a group currently dominate females as a group? Do you believe in institutionalized sexism? Do you believe that sexism is currently a problem in American society?

OOPS, gotta run - I'll write more later!
Inci is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 10:10 PM
 
moonfirefaery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Goose Creek, SC
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm saying that cars are usually associated with boys and dolls with girls because that is traditionally what, in general, overall, most boys or girls have enjoyed. There are boys who enjoy dolls and girls who enjoy cars, but if you read any child development book, you find that the types of activities usually enjoyed by the two genders are different. Usually doesn't mean always, and I certainly don't adhere to any stereotype. Some things, not all things, are based on biology, and some things have to do with nurture. And it doesn't have to be just one or the other either. It can be a combination of both.

Quote:
i think you know the answer to that one.
I do know the answer, and the answer is the reason I disagree.

Quote:
Moonfirefaery, do you believe that patriarchy exists, i.e. that males as a group currently dominate females as a group? Do you believe in institutionalized sexism? Do you believe that sexism is currently a problem in American society?
Yes, I do. Why haven't we had a female president yet? Why are females paid less? I see a problem with that, but I don't think it is to do with what toys are children play with or with having gender roles "forced" on people. Equality isn't about androgynmy. It's about respecting each other and treating each other the same regardless of our differences, not becoming one and the same. I have bigger problems with other issues, though, like our political and medical systems, like the lack of back-up families have these days, etc. I don't believe men dominate women as much as before; we certainly have more choices and more respect. They are still ahead of the lead though, certainly. I disagree that there is a specific standard for women. The problem isn't women being expected to adhere to a certain role but with people not accepting the choice of role each woman makes, for example the SAHM vs WOHM battle is what concerns me not which of the two roles mom sare expected to fulfill because I don't really think we're expected to fulfill either specifically. I don't think sexism is necessarily about keeping us in certain roles as it is about keeping us beneath men.

fambedsingle2.gif Heather, 25, single mom to Corbin, 5, and Orin, 3  uc.jpg  delayedvax.gif  nocirc.gif
Oh how I miss the days of femalesling.GIF  nak.gifcd.gif  
moonfirefaery is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 10:31 PM
 
loraxc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: In the Truffula Trees
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sociaty looks at the gender roles currently being expressed as the mainstream in that society and deems *those particular* roles as biologically determined fact, no argument allowed. For the "evidence," those who are questioned point to the way the society currently is and to the people who conveniently express the roles being pushed on them. How can the numbers lie, right?

However, as these roles eventually get questioned and thrown out, they conveniently stop being such concrete biological fact. Interesting. 100 years ago it was accepted fact that women had no interest in sports or athletics, "naturally."

Don't forget that it was once believed to be biological "fact" that higher education would turn women sterile, and that women's smaller heads proved that they did not have the intellectual capacity to vote.

I'm not actually saying that there are no biological differences between men and women. There probably are, although as others mentioned, is awfully hard to determine what they are.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

loraxc is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 10:39 PM
 
Hazelnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
Indoctrination? From day one? You mean when my son first came home from the hospital he was already affected by these evil gender roles society and the media encourage? That seems highly unlikely. All my son wanted from day one was my breast. Was that indoctrinated?

See posts throughout this thread where observant people note how even very young babies are dressed in certain colors, bought certain things, and spoken to and treated in different ways based on their genders.

And yes amen, to the above. My BIL for example is SO convinced that the way things are are completely normal, natural, unforced. Girls aren't aggressive or competitive, boys can't control their sexual impulses. He's stuck in the 50s, but he sees stereotypes as facts. What bothers me the most is that he's an educated man and he can't even take a step back, look at history, and see how so many of these "facts" have changed according to social beliefs even in his lifetime.
Hazelnut is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 10:42 PM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I'm not actually saying that there are no biological differences between men and women. There probably are, although as others mentioned, is awfully hard to determine what they are.
right, I don't think anyone was trying to make the claim that there are NO biological differences between men and women, just that the culture has a tendancy to highlight those differences and use them to make 'truth' claims about the 'nature' of women and men.
lolalola is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 11:14 PM
 
Demeter9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are differences. And that's fine. Wearing pink and doing judo don't have anything to do with having a uterus.

However, having a biological imperative to procreate does create differences in behaviour. In EVERY species and all human cultures.

That men and women have ALWAYS found ways to identify themselves in some way as NOT the other gender, should make it clear in some way most of humanity throughout time have found it important to their view of themselves as what they are and are not. Female or male.

This isn't going to go away. It can only be modified. Regardless of what makes the difference, the fact that there is a difference is too important to people's views of themselves for it too be so cavalierly dismissed.
Demeter9 is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 11:27 PM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post

However, having a biological imperative to procreate does create differences in behaviour. In EVERY species and all human cultures.
you're not saying that all women have a biological imperative to procreate- are you?
lolalola is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 11:41 PM
 
forthebest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 1,062
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I havent read all the posts but in my opinion gender is just another tool to oppress us with. My son has grown up with 2 older sisters and no father, he has played with dolls and cars and other stuff of course, he's into football,one of my girls went through a doll phase, I didn't make an issue of it, she has a vast collection of cuddly toys which at present are keeping out the draughts in our old house!She loves drawing and music, my son seems more self-concience about gender roles, it bugs me but I'm not going to make an issue of it just explain that he doesn't have to live up to this big man idea. I was into cars and stuff more than dolls as a child, probably a retaliation to the conditioning forced on me, was called a tomboy, do tend to wear non-gender specific clothes and , have lived alife where I have to attempt fixing motors, chopping wood, diy etc I find it so predictable that many people have a pre-concieved notion of what male and female 'should' be like. Its all crap imo and serves to limit our possibilities. It makes me squirm when a man says to me 'thats a mans job' when I've just plastered a wall or something like I'm meant to wait for a man to come and do it or what?The notion that feminine means looking like Jordan(model with 'enhanced' breasts)When I was a kid you never heard any thing about people being gay, my eldest was coming back from school coming out with not exactly positive stuff about being gay. Of course I have instilled in my dc that there is nothing wrong with being gay or bi, I think kids now are able to ask about about a lot more than I was as a kid.I do know there are plenty of people who reinforce gender-stereo-typing in their kids and the media isn't very helpful in liberating peoples minds. At my age 39 I just can't be bothered with all the brain-washing pushed at us to get us to conform to flawed concepts, can't even be bothered putting them in their place anymore, I knitted lots of multi-coloured jumpers for my babies and had some great wee black bootees, lots of miffed people, dirty looks etc but babies really can suit some black, they also wore lovely dresses and spotty romper suits etc. I've had a shaved head for long periods of time and that really seems to wind people up, maybe more 'tolerated' these days, been 'mistaken' for a guy many times, don't care I like to embrace my male and female self, I dont think we are as different as is made out. I know thats all quite surface stuff but deep down imo many people are scared to express themselves cos of gender rules.
forthebest is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 11:42 PM
 
loraxc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: In the Truffula Trees
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
That men and women have ALWAYS found ways to identify themselves in some way as NOT the other gender, should make it clear in some way most of humanity throughout time have found it important to their view of themselves as what they are and are not.
I don't argue that men and women have historically chosen to make distinctive choices about dress and appearance that distinguish one from the other, perhaps for mating purposes. Of course, I do dispute that current trends and preferences in American society at this moment in time somehow represent some kind of biological "truth" as to the nature of this phenomenon. It has certainly not been shown across time and cultures that men are plain and women adorn. I could show you a thousand pictures of men in elaborate masks, makeup, tattoos, earrings, and clothings to prove otherwise.

I don't really see what any of this has to do with the conversation, though, honestly. Acknowledging the fact of ritual gender-based dress and appearance modification is neither here nor there in this dicussion, IMO.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

loraxc is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 11:46 PM
 
WinterBaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
And pretending gender means nothing is also ridiculous.

I wonder how many of the people in this thread are going to tear their hair out when their children hit their teens and start acting out gender-stereotypes to find themselves....because they've been discouraged from playing out gender roles as little children.
Oh let's be honest - this occurs more to find someone *else* rather than themselves (and they may well neglect parts of themselves in the process,) and has little to do with whether or not they've played out gender roles as children and a lot more to do with their newfound sexual awareness and interest, LOL. And you're darn right I'm going to tear my hair when my daughter hits her teens, but it's going to be over these serious growing up issues, not whether or not she's trying out make-up and frills in an effort to be more attractive.
WinterBaby is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 11:49 PM
 
Demeter9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
you're not saying that all women have a biological imperative to procreate- are you?
Do you consist of cellular matter? Do you have DNA?
Demeter9 is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 11:56 PM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
Do you consist of cellular matter? Do you have DNA?
you didn't answer my question, and I'm still confused.
lolalola is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 12:17 AM
 
Demeter9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
you didn't answer my question, and I'm still confused.
Everything that is alive has an imperative to procreate. Biology isn't necessarily destiny. But it certainly is a force to contend with, one that is programmed into you so deeply that often even your strategies to avoid procreation still promote it. Male or female.

Floral dresses aren't programmed by DNA, but effective strategies for promotion of your genome are. Strong gender association is an effective and powerful signal of such a strategy.
Demeter9 is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 12:17 AM
 
moonfirefaery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Goose Creek, SC
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Sociaty looks at the gender roles currently being expressed as the mainstream in that society and deems *those particular* roles as biologically determined fact, no argument allowed.
Which ones specifically?

Quote:
See posts throughout this thread where observant people note how even very young babies are dressed in certain colors, bought certain things, and spoken to and treated in different ways based on their genders.
I really doubt the color that my son wears or how he is spoken to has any effect on which toys he selected out of the toybin the first time he crawled over to it.

And don't think you're observant because you notice something as obvious as that boys are dressed in blue and girls in pink.

Quote:
gender is just another tool to oppress us
Being different doesn't have to mean unequal. My husband and I are of two different genders, but I'm not oppressed by being the wife, the one with the vagina instead of the penis. So let me get this straight, I should teach my daughter not to be 'girly' even if that's who she wants to be just so she won't be treated unfairly? I think I'd much rather teach her to demand equal treatment but still be her own unique person, whether it conforms ot their idea of femininity or not.

fambedsingle2.gif Heather, 25, single mom to Corbin, 5, and Orin, 3  uc.jpg  delayedvax.gif  nocirc.gif
Oh how I miss the days of femalesling.GIF  nak.gifcd.gif  
moonfirefaery is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 12:39 AM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
Everything that is alive has an imperative to procreate. Biology isn't necessarily destiny. But it certainly is a force to contend with, one that is programmed into you so deeply that often even your strategies to avoid procreation still promote it. Male or female.
well...I know several women who are not inclined in the least to procreate. Though, they aren't likely to admit it freely, given that motherhood is still considered a woman's 'true purpose', and well...there must be something wrong with them if they don't want children. And, I think if you were to ask men if they have a primoridal urge to become fathers you might get a few blank stares.

I think what's programmed deeply is the desire, urge, need, imperative (whatever) to have sex. So, yeah, strategies to avoid procreation do fail, but that has nothing to do with a biological imperative to bear children.
lolalola is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 01:14 AM
 
Jwebbal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 1,513
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
What's so horrible about someone wanting to know whether the child will grow up to impregnate a woman or give birth
oh boy, WHOLE lot of assumptions in that don't you think?
Jwebbal is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 01:40 AM
 
eilonwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Lost
Posts: 15,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
My concerns with the construct of femininity, and I am concerned because I am the parent of a 7 yr old girl, stems from its intense preoccupation with the 'body', and how this manifests itself in girls' lives. Masculinity doesn't demand such self-scrutiny and self-doubt.
It doesn't? You are the parent of a seven year old girl, but do you have any boys? Have you done any research about boys? Masculinity most assuredly lends itself to plenty of self-scrutiny and self-doubt. It's insulting to insinuate otherwise.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
eilonwy is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 02:01 AM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
It doesn't? You are the parent of a seven year old girl, but do you have any boys? Have you done any research about boys? Masculinity most assuredly lends itself to plenty of self-scrutiny and self-doubt. It's insulting to insinuate otherwise.
eilonwy: I was wondering when someone might jump on that

I do have a son, he is only 15 mos. And, admittedly, my research has focused almost exclusively on 'girl culture' and femininity.

I realize that there is indeed, increasing pressure on boys to conform to an ideal 'masculine body'. I make no pretense to generalizations about boys as immune to body concerns.

I don't have time to really comment in detail right now, as I am off to bed (midnight here, yawn), however, I will address it more thoughtfully tommorrow.
lolalola is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 03:03 AM
 
moonfirefaery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Goose Creek, SC
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
oh boy, WHOLE lot of assumptions in that don't you think?
No, not really. It's not an assumption, but a generalization, a hypothetical question. You can't ever know from looking at a baby what they will grow up to be, but you can tell based on their gender what role they will play in a hypothetical procreation. While not all people, regardless of gender, chose to procreate, men and women still play a different role in procreation. Whether or not a person is designed to give birth and breastfed or do the impregnating is an important, biological difference, and our actions as women and men do have a lot to do with that difference. Men do not give birth; women do not impregnate people. That may not mean anything to you but it does mean something to others, and judging them for that is pretty rude.

fambedsingle2.gif Heather, 25, single mom to Corbin, 5, and Orin, 3  uc.jpg  delayedvax.gif  nocirc.gif
Oh how I miss the days of femalesling.GIF  nak.gifcd.gif  
moonfirefaery is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 03:29 AM
 
Jwebbal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 1,513
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Rude? It is an assumption, on so many levels. May I suggest you do some real reading on this topic. There are those who do not fit so neatly into your categories of "impregnanting" and "giving birth". There are the intersexed, gays and lesbians, MtF's, FtM's, and so on and so on. I have tried so hard to just stop reading, but the misinformation is just so provactive, who can leave it alone? I am going to try again......
Jwebbal is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 02:42 PM
Banned
 
Robert Goodman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrennaMama View Post
Robert, you keep asserting this 'preference' argument, as if sexual/gender assignment is something as menial as one's flavor preferences, as if humans are divided into flavors, and we just happen to like one flavor better than the other. However, the truth as far as neuro-chemistry, and brain construction is that one's brain architecture (and I intentionally use this word for that is how it is referred to in neurology, so as to call up an image of structure, permanent design) is a constant, (albeit organic and therefore subject to aging, senility, disease, and influence from outside catalystic influence; see earlier posts about chemical imbalances, etc).
I see this a lot -- individuals claiming that this type of behavior or preference is neurophysiologic and therefore somehow exalted, while that type of behavior is merely psychologic -- a matter of the programming rather than the architecture of the computer. One common area in which it tends to come up is in the assertion of "addictions". But that's another story.

Quote:
I have no doubt, to comment on your 'chocolate vs. vanilla' bit, that ALL preferences have the potential of being mapped out in the brain. But the anthropological, biological, neurological FACT is that what accounts for FOOD preference and SEXUAL GENDER come from two different parts of the brain.
I would suggest that this distinction is far from proven. Do you have examples of patients who had strokes or other injuries in the "sexual preference" area of the brain and either changed or became ambiguous as to their sexual preferences?

Quote:
It simply is not even comparable to 'chocolate vs. vanilla' and I resent (just a tad) the assertion that it is.
Yeah, I noticed it gets that way. Why the resentment? It's not like I'm a Holocaust denier, saying in effect that vast numbers of Jews & other observers are liars. We have a disagreement about facts that affect the population as a whole, but I don't see why this type of disagreement has to lead to resentment. Why can't it be like disagreement as to the origin of species or the cause of Legionnaire's disease, or something like that where people could hold strong and differing opinions?

Robert
Robert Goodman is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 02:56 PM
Banned
 
Robert Goodman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
INCI's mention of reverse sexism made me shudder a bit as I recalled my experience at P.S. 108, where I went to grade school here in the Bronx. It was the early 1960s, and the teachers (all female) were ahead of the curve on women's lib. While otherwise girls & boys were allowed to choose their activities in the schoolyard for P.E., at least twice a year the teachers made all the boys play traditional girls' games & vice versa. They also made all the boys, but not the girls, sew aprons; I don't remember what they made the girls do in the meantime, while we boys were herded into another room to sew. Sometimes in plays they made boys take girls' parts & vice versa, even when we had enough boys & girls to fill the parts.

Robert
Robert Goodman is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 03:15 PM
Banned
 
Robert Goodman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
It seems a lot of you are deciding that having boy toys and girl toys and designs for the different genders means programming boys to be one way and girls to be another. The toy companies are just trying to brainwash them into their gender roles, rather than creating toys & designs traditionally liked by each sex more to appeal to both genders more and two different personality types. Could someone please explain to me why toy companies would really care about doing that? They would sell just as many toys if boys and girls played with the same toys than if boys and girls play with toys for their respective genders; they would just sell more of the same toy,
I thought I already explained that. There are some cases in which the makers benefit by differentiation, other cases in which they lose, and others in which they come out even. If you have a household with a boy and a girl and a toy that's in use 2% of the time, then the boy & girl could easily share it. If, however, the boy won't use the girl's version & vice versa, then you get to sell another unit. OTOH, you increase your mfg. cost, and if it's an item that's in use so much that they wouldn't've been sharing anyway, you don't get any more sales. OTOOH, if you're trying to sell their parents man's deodorant and woman's deodorant, and they're really the same thing with a different label, and the increase in mfg. cost is trivial, but the household uses up deodorant at the same rate, it's a wash.

Which reminds me...Jwebal says:
Quote:
getting ready to jump in the tub with my 3 yo,
Now see, if I had my bubble mixture out as a consumer product, I'd be thinking, if parents share baths with their children, that means less opp'ty to sell bath foam. If they could be convinced to bathe separately and drain the tub and refill it with an "age-appropriate" bubble bath for each, that means I get to sell more foaming base! Even more if I can convince them to separate the boys from the girls and to refill the tub yet again! (Convince them re-using bath water is
yucky too.)

Robert
Robert Goodman is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 03:16 PM
Lis
 
Lis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What I find interesting is that while we are quick to be critical of how society places value judgments on our children in terms of how they should behave, learn, play and develop, we fail to be critical of ourselves and how we place value judgments on our children. We watch them play, take interest in and/or focus on specific things and we assume (most times) it is because of their gender, some innate biological determinate factor, and/or a genetic predisposition, etc etc. It is precisely because we take notice in these things; encourage or devalue certain types of play (even on a superfical level), we too as parents, intentional or not, have ALOT to do with imposing gender roles on our children as we are not free from societal expectations or assumptions of what gender means and what is socially acceptable for our children to like, take interest in or enjoy, even at a young age.

Perhaps a more apt question to ask ourselves would be not why "little willy" or "little sara" likes cars, the colour pink, trucks, women's shoes and/or spinny things for example, but in which ways do we, as parents, impose our ideas of what these things mean to our children, to us and to others

l.
Lis is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 03:52 PM
 
moonfirefaery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Goose Creek, SC
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Rude? It is an assumption, on so many levels. May I suggest you do some real reading on this topic. There are those who do not fit so neatly into your categories of "impregnanting" and "giving birth". There are the intersexed, gays and lesbians, MtF's, FtM's, and so on and so on. I have tried so hard to just stop reading, but the misinformation is just so provactive, who can leave it alone? I am going to try again......
No, it is not. I explained already that it was a generalization and a hypothetical. Even in gay couples, men do not give birth, and women do not do the impregnating. I am fully aware of the various family situations of gays and lesbians, being that I am a bisexual woman whose friendship circle consists largely of homosexuals. There are couples that adopt, who use a surrogate mother and donor eggs/sperms, etc. However, men never give birth, and women never impregnate. If you have evidence of man giving birth or a woman impregnating someone, and I mean by sexual intercourse not invitro fertilization, I sure would love to see it. If children grow up to procreate, men will not be doing the birthing, and women will not be doing the impregnating regardless of their sexual orientation. Moreover, most likely, the men will not be doing any breastfeeding, unless they manage to lactate like Laura Shanley's husband. Men will be fathers, in most circumstances, and women will be mothers in most circumstances in a family situation, even if they are not heterosexual, unless they are transexual (though the average person does not grow up to have a sex change operation.)

Quote:
If, however, the boy won't use the girl's version & vice versa, then you get to sell another unit.
But whether or not the boy and girl will play with the toy isn't up to the toy company. They are expanding their profits, not seeking to program. There are tomboy girls that won't play with girl versions of toys, too. I just don't agree that it's entirely about gender roles, but personality types. Biology doesn't 100% influence a child's preferences, nor does society.

Quote:
If they could be convinced to bathe separately and drain the tub and refill it with an "age-appropriate" bubble bath for each, that means I get to sell more foaming base!
LoL! I wonder what the differences between the different bubble baths for certain ages would be, lol.

Quote:
Perhaps a more apt question to ask ourselves would be not why "little willy" like cars, the colour pink, trucks, women's shoes and/or spinny things but in which ways do we, as parents, impose our ideas of what these things mean to our children, to us and to others
While I think some parents do this, I don't think everyone does. I don't feel I'm imposing my ideas of these things to my son. I encourage him to play with all of his toys, 'masculine' or 'feminine.' I have an issue with trying to place your child into a neat little stereotype, but I also have an issue with trying to prevent your child from becoming who they might truly be by not allowing them to play with Barbies. What if I never let my daughter have one, and she is the kind of girl that'd really enjoy one? But we never know? That would be a shame. I'm not for pushing children towards one kind of toy or another but exposing them to all and letting them decide. If you want to limit the impressions of gender roles that come from society and the media, there are more effective ways than telling junior he can't have a blue bicycle because it's stereotypical. I definitely think this is the better question. We need to realize that our society does have an impact on children's choices, but their preferences are mostly to do with their individual biology, some of which has to do with their gender and the rest with their personality. You can't make a child like playing in her play kitchen, but your words can make her chose it over other toys in order to please mom and dad. Watching your words and what words your children hear are a lot more important than disallowing certain toys because they are feminine or masculine.

fambedsingle2.gif Heather, 25, single mom to Corbin, 5, and Orin, 3  uc.jpg  delayedvax.gif  nocirc.gif
Oh how I miss the days of femalesling.GIF  nak.gifcd.gif  
moonfirefaery is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 05:44 PM
 
Demeter9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
Rude? It is an assumption, on so many levels. May I suggest you do some real reading on this topic. There are those who do not fit so neatly into your categories of "impregnanting" and "giving birth". There are the intersexed, gays and lesbians, MtF's, FtM's, and so on and so on. I have tried so hard to just stop reading, but the misinformation is just so provactive, who can leave it alone? I am going to try again......
And yet, even the intersexed often pursue some form of procreation. Even those who do not pursue biological procreation often throw themselves into some sort of propagation of memes through intense activism or through adoption/surrogacy/step-parenting. Which involves some adoption or adaptation to a genderizing concept.

Fighting your children's natural instincts to find how they fit into their own concepts of themselves and society is NOT progressive. It is isolating.

Expanding their world and teaching them to question is far more important, and far more useful to them in the long run.
Demeter9 is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 06:00 PM
Lis
 
Lis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery
While I think some parents do this, I don't think everyone does. I don't feel I'm imposing my ideas of these things to my son. I encourage him to play with all of his toys, 'masculine' or 'feminine.'
But what are masculine and feminine toys? Do you suppose that our children know what these concepts mean at a young age or do you suppose that that most people impose those ideas onto toys and that children learn from us and from others what gender(s) are imbedded within a play kitchen, Barbie or blue tricycle, for instance? If the latter, then we can also say that toy companies do nothing more than add a certain colour dye lot as most people don't like to shake their preconcieved ideas of what masculine and feminine toys are or should look like, otherwise we would not buy them. The suggestion that most people don't somehow impose notions of gender onto toys, clothes, types of play etc is rather ignorant and the further suggestion that most people don't transmit these ideas onto children (intentional or not) and the toys choosen for them, is preposterous

l.
Lis is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 08:18 PM
 
moonfirefaery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Goose Creek, SC
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I completely agree. When I say masculine or feminine I am referring to what we usually consider boy or girl toys, but you're right: children don't know the difference. You can refrain from teaching your child a difference in more ways than just refusing to buy them pink or blue toys or not letting them play with toys traditionally associated with boys are girls, which is what I have a problem with. Toys should just be toys, not boy or girl. Instead of complaining about toys being two different colors, which can appeal to two different genders or personality types, why not simply NOT associate the specific colors with genders? That is exactly what I am suggesting, that it isn't the toy companies, that the toys aren't created to promote gender roles, and that you don't have to buy only "gender-neutral" toys to raise your child without forcing him into a specific gender role. You just have to watch what you say and what your child hears. I'm not going to buy my kid a bunch of blue toys or a bunch of pink toys in hopes of swaying him to prefer a dfferent color or associate it with his gender, and at the same time I'm not going to deny him a supposedly gender-specific toy for the hopes of steering him away from it. Society's views aren't the final say in what roles we fulfill as adults anyway, and if it were, there'd be very few people going against the 'norm...' but as it is, there's hardly a norm today, which is one reason why I'm not too concerned in general with gender roles. There's enough conflicting information out there that I think it all balances out when you look at the bigger picture.

fambedsingle2.gif Heather, 25, single mom to Corbin, 5, and Orin, 3  uc.jpg  delayedvax.gif  nocirc.gif
Oh how I miss the days of femalesling.GIF  nak.gifcd.gif  
moonfirefaery is offline  
Old 01-16-2007, 01:35 AM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Men will be fathers, in most circumstances, and women will be mothers in most circumstances in a family situation, even if they are not heterosexual...
See, this raises a few questions for me. Once the biological functions of 'impregnating' and 'birthing' and breastfeeding are done, aren't the meanings we ascribe to motherhood and fatherhood essentially social ones?



Quote:
Perhaps a more apt question to ask ourselves would be not why "little willy" or "little sara" likes cars, the colour pink, trucks, women's shoes and/or spinny things for example, but in which ways do we, as parents, impose our ideas of what these things mean to our children, to us and to others

I agree. I believe that to be part of my responsibility as a parent. Not to discourage my children from playing with particular toys, or from engaging in certain 'play', because this will of course, send the message that I think those things are 'wrong'. I have had many, many more years of social conditioning than my kids have had, and I have been influenced by many factors, so, I try to remain conscious of the subtle (or not so subtle) ways in which I teach my children to 'do' their gender.
lolalola is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off