Spin-Off... are you going to find out the gender before the kiddo is born? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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April 2008 > Spin-Off... are you going to find out the gender before the kiddo is born?
riverside knitter's Avatar riverside knitter 06:38 PM 08-27-2007
We will be finding out. We're super-impatient as are all sets of parents. It's going to take some convincing to keep my mom from trying to tag along to that particular appointment.

On the sex/gender front, a transgender friend of mine summed it up beautifully: "Gender is between your ears; sex is between your legs." As a longtime sociology/gender studies/grammar geek, I've long been irked by the improper usage of "gender" since it seems to be nothing more than an inaccurate way for people to get around using that oh-so-uncomfortable word S-E-X. I'm also completely annoyed by the use of "an historic" since "H" is not a vowel, but I digress...

blizzard_babe's Avatar blizzard_babe 07:41 PM 08-27-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by talk de jour View Post
Forgive me for attempting to hint that maybe you might want to use a more tolerant term, especially here on MDC.

You have no way of knowing what the gender of your child will be until they are old enough to determine that for themselves. All you can know is their sex -- what they have between their legs. :/

:
It's not what you said, it's how you said it, to be perfectly honest. Your comment had validity (though not all agree with your interpretation, it certainly is a valid point on a complicated issue)... but just jumping into a conversation with a terse, snippy answer is probably not the best way to get your point across. You could have said the same thing in a much friendlier manner.

It's the difference between the teacher who gently asks, "What goes at the end of a question?" and the one who bellows, "You forgot your question mark again!" It's the difference between the boss who helps you map out areas in which you can improve, and the one who jumps on every shortcoming without suggesting a pathway to improvement.

This is clearly an issue you feel strongly about, and I can respect that. BUT... people learn best when they feel like the person teaching them respects them for what they already know, and doesn't resent them for what they have yet to learn.
christinespurlock's Avatar christinespurlock 07:58 PM 08-27-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post
It's not what you said, it's how you said it, to be perfectly honest. Your comment had validity (though not all agree with your interpretation, it certainly is a valid point on a complicated issue)... but just jumping into a conversation with a terse, snippy answer is probably not the best way to get your point across. You could have said the same thing in a much friendlier manner.

It's the difference between the teacher who gently asks, "What goes at the end of a question?" and the one who bellows, "You forgot your question mark again!" It's the difference between the boss who helps you map out areas in which you can improve, and the one who jumps on every shortcoming without suggesting a pathway to improvement.

This is clearly an issue you feel strongly about, and I can respect that. BUT... people learn best when they feel like the person teaching them respects them for what they already know, and doesn't resent them for what they have yet to learn.
I so agree. Although what you wanted to get across was valid, your presentation just sucked.
Ironica's Avatar Ironica 08:14 PM 08-27-2007
[Ok, this sounds unfortunately ranty... but I do think this is an important semantic distinction, and reveals things about our own experience and the experience we give our children. And, I think that the correction made by Talk du jour is totally inappropriate. Let me 'splain...]

I don't know about anyone else, but I intend to go by my child's sex in socializing them toward gender, until such time as they tell me otherwise (which is a very rare event and therefore extremely unlikely). In which case, the sex and gender of my baby are the same. Now, we've been very, very lax on teaching our 3-year-old about gender; he still uses pronouns randomly, and while he can identify "Mommies" and "Daddies" he will call women men and vice versa. He doesn't care who is a boy or a girl, or who wears dresses or slacks, or plays with trucks or dolls. And I'm perfectly happy with that. ;-)

Furthermore, the reason we are NOT finding out the baby's 46th chromosome is because, as soon as that information is known, society (even those of us who are extremely well-meaning and conscious of this phenomenon) will instantly imbue the baby with gender, complete with color-coding, physical descriptions, and appropriate naming schemes. So, the very act of finding out your baby's sex (whenever you do it) simultaneously gives them gender... making the two terms interchangeable in this instance. Before my child was born, I could totally see putting him in the cute kimono-like outfit a friend brought back from Singapore... but once he was a BOY, I just couldn't dress him in something that looked so... feminine. ;-) Even ME! And I thought I had this knocked.

Unfortunately, I can't find an online cite for it... but there was a fascinating study I learned about as an undergrad sociology student. This was done back in the days when all the babies were in the nursery, behind a giant viewing window. The researcher stood there admiring a baby, waiting for another person or group of people to approach. He'd strike up a conversation, ask them about their new relative, and when the question was turned around on him, he'd say "That's my new nephew over there." This was greeted with evaluations of the boy's big strong arms, how he'd be a football player, look at him shake his fist, yadda yadda. Next group comes in, same thing... but he says "That's my niece over there." Now the other family talks about how dainty she is, how pretty and petite, maybe she'll be a dancer. Same damn baby, but we see him/her differently with different gender information.

I'm still gobsmacked at how casually well-educated, "liberated" women and men will gender-type small children. I get told my son is "such a boy" all the time, even though he likes pink and plays with girls. ;-) My mother (who didn't like me to wear pretty dresses for some feminist reason) and a good friend of mine (with a Master's Degree and a very equitable relationship with her husband) noted one day that my son was "such a boy" because he was good at bringing shy kids his own age into group play. They'd seen him do it with my friend's daughter, and were just observing him doing this with a random little girl his age at the mall. Sheer coincidence that these were both girls, and that he a boy; he's outgoing and energetic, so he wants everyone involved. ;-) Doesn't have one whit to do with sex, but they see it through the lens of gender anyway.

So, while I agree that there's a distinction between sex (a biological characteristic) and gender (a social construct), I don't think that distinction is relevant to this discussion, since none of us are even equipped to raise our children without gender in this society. If my son someday reveals that he'd rather be a daughter, I'll respect his feeling on his own gender... but for now, knowing what's between his legs tells me what his gender is.
emcare's Avatar emcare 01:39 AM 08-28-2007
As far as the original question goes, yes, we will find out as long as the babe cooperates during our sono.

I love being able to call my child by it's name while it's still inside. My husband and I have always talked about "the next one" and it will be so nice to talk about either Joseph or Terese. As in, "we need a couple more dipes for Joseph" or "Terese is really kicking today". It just always feels more like the baby is a part of the family already and not so much an expected guest.
sadiejane08's Avatar sadiejane08 05:06 AM 08-28-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
So, the very act of finding out your baby's sex (whenever you do it) simultaneously gives them gender... making the two terms interchangeable in this instance.
Being a language person (translator), I approached tdj's comment from a purely linguistic point of view, and "sex" and "gender" ARE interchangeable terms. Like many words, they each have multiple meanings; only one of those (the one referring to the chromosomal makeup of a person) is interchangeable. But for the purpose of this thread, I think it was completely, utterly clear to everyone who answered the question that the original poster was using "gender" in this chromosomal sense. Which made tdj's point not only intrusive and irrelevant, but linguistically incorrect.

That said, had she padded her post with information about how the GLBT community finds the use of "gender" offensive when people mean "chromosomes," and she just wanted to let us know so we didn't innocently offend anyone here, that'd have been great. It would have been a real contribution to the thread. (Though I guess then we'd have gotten a post from a militant feminist to let us know that the use of "sex" when people mean "chromosomes" is offensive . . . and so on.)
3for3hb's Avatar 3for3hb 06:31 AM 08-28-2007
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