S/O - genders and what is acceptable, and why? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 54 Old 03-09-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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The answer is simple.

If your a girl and you dress up like a boy your asserting your right to be who you want, when you want.

If your a boy dressed up like a girl your effeminate, gay, weird, different and all those other "evil" things we don't want any of our children to be regardless of gender.
It occurs to me that this is still related to the idea that boy are better than girls.

A girl who wants to do boyish things isn't necessarily the ever dreaded evil gay, b/c it is natural and normal to want to do things that are superior, and since boy things are superior a perfectly normal girl should want to do them.

Now a boy who wants to do girly things must have something wrong with him, b/c it is unnatural to want to do stuff that is silly and inferrior, and girly stuff is very very silly and terribly inferrior to the boy stuff he is encouraged to do. Therefore he must be GAY!!! :

(again, not my personal beliefs, don't shoot messenger)

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#32 of 54 Old 03-09-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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At the risk of offending someone, I just have to say that - well, maybe "bad" is too strong a word, but to me, there is definitely something less than ideal about wanting to be a hair stylist and liking makeup and hair products. And I suspect that most other people who feel that way would be equally dismayed if their son or daughter wanted to be a hair stylist. To me, being into makeup isn't dumb because it's a traditionally female thing; it's dumb just because it's dumb. (And so are monster trucks and watching sports on TV, I might add, just in case you think I've been brainwashed by the males in power into thinking everything traditionally associated with men is better.)
I don't think she's trying to say people who are like that are dumb. I think she's just saying that she personally thinks its stupid but isn't judging others for feeling that way. I personally hate pink and nail polish and sparkles. Ew. But I'm not going to keep my daughter from loving them. It's her choice. I think that's all Daffodil was saying.

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#33 of 54 Old 03-09-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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This thread gave me a lot to think about. I don't like stereotypes and so my dd was taught and encouraged with everything boy from birth. She can name all the construction vehicles by sight and I purposely buy boy pajamas and sheets and such for her. However, we've noticed that as she ages, she's tossed the toy cars to the side and has really developed an interested in being a ballerina. So...I finally went out and got her a tutu. I realized that I too was reinforcing the stereotypes by not encouraging all of her wants, and instead just those that were more masculine. Now, she still loves trucks and dinos. . .and tutus and her baby. I just need to live and learn...

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#34 of 54 Old 03-09-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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A girl who wants to do boyish things isn't necessarily the ever dreaded evil gay, b/c it is natural and normal to want to do things that are superior, and since boy things are superior a perfectly normal girl should want to do them.
Well, until she gets to be a certain age... speaking from experience, if I girl doesn't seem to get along well with other girls, prefers the company of "the guys", but doesn't seem to want to date said guys it can be quickly assumed that she's a lesbian... Trust me, I had plenty of rumors spread about me throughout junior high and high school because of this very problem...

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This thread gave me a lot to think about. I don't like stereotypes and so my dd was taught and encouraged with everything boy from birth. She can name all the construction vehicles by sight and I purposely buy boy pajamas and sheets and such for her. However, we've noticed that as she ages, she's tossed the toy cars to the side and has really developed an interested in being a ballerina. So...I finally went out and got her a tutu. I realized that I too was reinforcing the stereotypes by not encouraging all of her wants, and instead just those that were more masculine. Now, she still loves trucks and dinos. . .and tutus and her baby. I just need to live and learn...
She sounds well rounded and I think that's awesome!

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#35 of 54 Old 03-09-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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Well, until she gets to be a certain age... speaking from experience, if I girl doesn't seem to get along well with other girls, prefers the company of "the guys", but doesn't seem to want to date said guys it can be quickly assumed that she's a lesbian... Trust me, I had plenty of rumors spread about me throughout junior high and high school because of this very problem...
Even in the adult world it happens. Every hear the stereotype of female cops? They are all lesbians apparently. Female construction workers, miners, millwrights... In fact there are plenty of male-oriented jobs that have the "If she does that work she must be a lesbian" attached to it.

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#36 of 54 Old 03-09-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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I don't know about the "certain age" bit... Every hear the stereotype of female cops? They are all lesbians apparently. Female construction workers, miners, millwrights... In fact there are plenty of male-oriented jobs that have the "If she does that work she must be a lesbian" attached to it.
Very true. I didn't think about that...and gym teachers! If you want to teach girls' gym you MUST be a lesbian...

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#37 of 54 Old 03-09-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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I don't think she's trying to say people who are like that are dumb. I think she's just saying that she personally thinks its stupid but isn't judging others for feeling that way. I personally hate pink and nail polish and sparkles. Ew. But I'm not going to keep my daughter from loving them. It's her choice. I think that's all Daffodil was saying.
Actually, I was being a little more judgmental than that. I wouldn't exactly say people who like nail polish and makeup are dumb, especially if they have a lot of other more worthwhile interests that are more important to them, but I do think the world would be a better place if no one cared about nail polish and makeup. I don't try to keep my daughter (or my son) from loving nail polish and pink sparkly stuff either - but she's just a little girl. I think it's natural for kids to like that stuff, but I think adults ought to recognize how silly and superficial it is and move past it.
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#38 of 54 Old 03-09-2009, 11:51 PM
 
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I find it incredible how deeply rooted it is though. And how early children are aware of it. i have an almost 4 year old dss that i've had in my life since he was two, and there is no way he would ever want to or that we would get him dressed as a female or to play with girls toys. And it doesn't necessarily come from the parents either cause dh definetly would never care or make a big deal of it. its just so part of our culture that it seems inevitable. I would bet that none of the boys in your daughters class even considered the possibility of doing their project/ dressing up like a girl. My dh once told that from a very young age he afraid of being labeled as a "fag". So sad.

We do our best to make sure our kids don't feel like they have to fit into a certain gender mold. Yet my dss the other day stopped wearing a watch he got at mcdonalds because he said it was for girls only. I told it was for boys and girls and he told me no, just girls.

I also have a four year old sister who sometimes comes over and won't play with any of dss's toy cars because she says they are "for boys".

It just makes me so mad
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#39 of 54 Old 03-10-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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Actually, I was being a little more judgmental than that. I wouldn't exactly say people who like nail polish and makeup are dumb, especially if they have a lot of other more worthwhile interests that are more important to them, but I do think the world would be a better place if no one cared about nail polish and makeup. I don't try to keep my daughter (or my son) from loving nail polish and pink sparkly stuff either - but she's just a little girl. I think it's natural for kids to like that stuff, but I think adults ought to recognize how silly and superficial it is and move past it.
See, that is judging someone based on their preferences. Someone who likes nail polish and make up isn't nessecarily superficial. There are too many people out there who are anything but superficial who like make up and nail polish to assume that they are silly for enjoying something like that.

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#40 of 54 Old 03-10-2009, 12:33 AM
 
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Actually, I was being a little more judgmental than that. I wouldn't exactly say people who like nail polish and makeup are dumb, especially if they have a lot of other more worthwhile interests that are more important to them, but I do think the world would be a better place if no one cared about nail polish and makeup. I don't try to keep my daughter (or my son) from loving nail polish and pink sparkly stuff either - but she's just a little girl. I think it's natural for kids to like that stuff, but I think adults ought to recognize how silly and superficial it is and move past it.
i think playing dress up is fun and worthwhile no matter who you are. thats all dressing up for say, a night at the theatre or even just wearing your absolute favorite outfit is. those goth kids you see at the mall or wherever....thats what that is too. just as much as the little girl or boy in the sparkles and ribbons and whatnot. i think its sad that that is not encouraged in boys and men more. i don't think playing dress up is the most important experience to have but it is fulfilling and fulfillment even of our silly desires is important. the world would be a far drabber and gloomy place w/o dress up

dress up even fits in with so called serious interests and sometimes really can help a cause to progress. examples.....the guerrilla girls, anarchy cheerleaders, peta protests, etc.....

sorry to get a little off topic but i think it was somewhat relevant :
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#41 of 54 Old 03-10-2009, 02:11 AM
 
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Very true. I didn't think about that...and gym teachers! If you want to teach girls' gym you MUST be a lesbian...
I actually did have a lesbian gym teacher, but considering that throughout my school career I must have had somewhere close to 10 female gym teachers that is pretty much in keeping with the 10% of the population gay estimate. So, there are lesbian gym teachers, but there are probably also lesbian hairdressers, lesbian cheerleader, lesbian florists. I worked with two lesbians in the very very girly bridal industry.

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#42 of 54 Old 03-10-2009, 02:33 AM
 
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I actually did have a lesbian gym teacher, but considering that throughout my school career I must have had somewhere close to 10 female gym teachers that is pretty much in keeping with the 10% of the population gay estimate. So, there are lesbian gym teachers, but there are probably also lesbian hairdressers, lesbian cheerleader, lesbian florists. I worked with two lesbians in the very very girly bridal industry.
The movie "But I'm a Cheerleader" is about a lesbian cheerleader. And I have a lesbian hairdresser.

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#43 of 54 Old 03-10-2009, 02:36 AM
 
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i think playing dress up is fun and worthwhile no matter who you are. thats all dressing up for say, a night at the theatre or even just wearing your absolute favorite outfit is. those goth kids you see at the mall or wherever....thats what that is too. just as much as the little girl or boy in the sparkles and ribbons and whatnot. i think its sad that that is not encouraged in boys and men more. i don't think playing dress up is the most important experience to have but it is fulfilling and fulfillment even of our silly desires is important. the world would be a far drabber and gloomy place w/o dress up

dress up even fits in with so called serious interests and sometimes really can help a cause to progress. examples.....the guerrilla girls, anarchy cheerleaders, peta protests, etc.....

sorry to get a little off topic but i think it was somewhat relevant :


I've been know to dress up. And to dress up my family. Just for the sake of doing it. And now I have DS who can't argue, I plan to enjoy it while I can. I don't think that makes me a bad person.

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#44 of 54 Old 03-10-2009, 07:19 AM
 
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I've started a topic like this once on MDC too.

It indeed strikes me very much that so-called 'cross-dressing' is much more tolerated cfr. girls than boys. Or just girls looking more like the 'masculine stereotype' than boys looking like the 'feminine stereotype'. And it shouldn't even be that much extreme to get 'overly concerned' or plain critical, judging, conservative, outcasting reactions.

I'd like to disagree on what's been said here about dressing 'feminine' and 'masculine'. These are so totally not inborn characteristics but ideas/behaviours created by societies, and cultures, and nowadays, in most societies, ever present modern media plays THE MAJOR role in that, please, let's call those artificial 'femininity' and 'masculinity'. So I totally disagree that a sparkly pinky dress IS what is feminine, and a suit IS what is masculine (just two examples...). These are ideas created in the minds of ppl, and those are being passed on from generation to generation and from society to society. The term 'feminine' may be a good description for certain things that women are more geneticaly/biologically 'programmed' for, as is the same for the term 'masculinity' on men. Personally I believe that these gender differences are there because of homonal, biological differences in males and females. But I believe these real things 'feminine' and 'masculine' are just a tiny fraction of what most ppl in this world tend to believe.
There are/have been cultures and societies where males wear skirts/dresses, where men and women dress about the same, where dress is just there for practical reasons, as it was originally so.

Just a more simple example: WHY should pink be a girly colour???????? Uh, it's a colour, just as brown, green, blue, orange, whatever. The meaning subscribed to pink is a creation of modern Western society. If you all think about this a little, you will see this, I'm sure.

And so, THIS is a major reason why nowadays some parents (as there are here on MDC too) do not wish to dress their children like societies 'stereotypes' on boys and girls, what they should wear, how they should behave, what they should play with, what they should like, what they should be good at, according to society's categorising all things in 'Girls' and 'Boys' things.

If a person opts for not wishing to dress a daughter in 'pretty pink' than that stems fom this idea that the socalled stereotype femininity is a lie, and not sth they wish to conform their children to. They are trying to work on gettng these stereotypes down by the very act of not accepting these. Another way may be by finding it ok for their sons to wear whatever they would like, and to also allow pink or purple and the like on boys. Not the colour is the stereotype, but the ideas in people's minds are. Basically, they have no problem with pink or glitter or khaki or plenty of zippers lol, they have a problem with the sterotypes surrounding these.

I'm also trying to be a consensual person, so I won't be the kind to force my kid to wear that and not this, because that's MY idea, their idea is as valuable as mine! So if they decide to dress like a stereotypical boy, they do. If they want to wear sth girlish, fine by me (unfortunately not by anyone else it seems). But it's the general idea, as explained in this very post, that I'd like to pass on to them too, I wish for them to hear an ALTERNATIVE PERSECTIVE than the very mainstream one, on these issues. My boys have semi-long somwhat curly hair. It's lovely. Some ppl are so silly to think that hair slightly over the ears means 'feminine' or 'girl'. My boys happen to like their hair that way. Just as the girl nextdoor could have her head shaved/very short haircut if she likes.
All the ideas my boys got from what a boy can wear/not wear and do/not do do NOT come from me:. They come from the outside environment, from the media (books, tv, dvd, anything), from department stores full of separate boy's and girl's sections with mainly pink/white/purple for girls and mainly brown/khaki/blue for boys, from seperate girl and boy sections in toystores, and the list goes on...

I so loathe this gender segregation. But it's the way it is. Nowadays. I just hope that my two boys could grow up thinking somewhat more moderately and see through the fake bubble and be openminded, and respectful of people's individual traits and differences.

When I will offer my sons to choose an activity to start as a hobby, I will present a whole range of those for them (like dancing, skating, ice-skating, gym, football, basket, horse riding,music, fashion, voleyballl,swimming, chess, whatever available around here) I'll do my very best not to stereotype any offered choices, professions named, etc. I also pay much attention to my speech, my reading books to them, and I change the text when it's presenting those steteotypes.
When I look at myself, this is what I am doing when reading/watching a program, listening to a discussion, constantly so. Partly because of my 'self-ecucation on this matter.

I do not mind if my sons want glittery nail polish because they think it's fun/beautiful. Dh seems to mind it very much, even on a 3y old little sweety pie. Sigh .
My 5y old has a beautiful fuchsia bike which he loves. Dh had no problem with that .

If only, if only, society would be more acceptable of this all and stop this, in my view, ridiculous segregation.

Just as a disclaimer, I do not say you may not like glitter or make-up or flowery prints as a girl, I do like some of these just not to a princessy stereotypical extent .
I do not say that my dh should start wearing skirts and use make up. If he would, I should just be ok with that. It's about acceptance of things other than mainstream. Things that one day are totally queer, may become mainstream several generations later. It's about accepting differences, about accepting change, too.

And oh, regarding dressing up for kids. We have a box full of hats and a whole range of capes/sjawls in all colours. Some masks, some 'handbags', etc. They can be soooooooooo creative with all of that. And thjey can become ANYTHING.

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#45 of 54 Old 03-10-2009, 09:21 AM
 
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I would have to agree. I just bought a cloth swim diaper for ds on sale and the only one left was pink. DH rolled his eyes and I came back with, "What's the big deal?" His response.."It's just not right." Says Who?? I have no problem if my son wants his nail painted or long hair orwants to take dance classes, it's self exploration not cookie cutter of who should be what. For many years I had short spiky hair and I am sure I was thought to be a lesbian, but if someone where to get to know me for me and not assume or judge by my outward apperence then they would have known I was hetero. Unique characteristics make each person an individual and I don't base people on what they choose to wear or do it's after I talk to them and know the inside. Rock on Mama, I'm right there with you!

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I would have to agree. I just bought a cloth swim diaper for ds on sale and the only one left was pink. DH rolled his eyes and I came back with, "What's the big deal?" His response.."It's just not right." Says Who??
Ugh, my friend took her preschooler to the store and let him choose his own disposable swim diapers. He chose the ones with the Little Mermaid on them, and her husband rolled his eyes when they got home. : About the picture on a diaper -- which was even going to go under his swimsuit!!!

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#47 of 54 Old 03-10-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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I actually did have a lesbian gym teacher, but considering that throughout my school career I must have had somewhere close to 10 female gym teachers that is pretty much in keeping with the 10% of the population gay estimate. So, there are lesbian gym teachers, but there are probably also lesbian hairdressers, lesbian cheerleader, lesbian florists. I worked with two lesbians in the very very girly bridal industry.
My Accounting teacher in high school was a lesbian...she was one of the sweetest ladies I knew! I miss her!


I've also noticed that a lot of times it's okay to be a lesbian but not a gay man... because being a lesbian (or a bisexual woman) is "hot" and all over popular porn (I'm not saying I agree with the sentiment... but it's out there)

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#48 of 54 Old 03-10-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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Ugh, my friend took her preschooler to the store and let him choose his own disposable swim diapers. He chose the ones with the Little Mermaid on them, and her husband rolled his eyes when they got home. : About the picture on a diaper -- which was even going to go under his swimsuit!!!
When I was four I started wearing sunglasses for my light sensitivity. My mom let me pick my own ones out, pink with flowers. Of course since I was all ready told I could have them, I was not about to give them up. My dad had to learn fast that sometimes your son likes pink and flowers. He thanked me for that years later.

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#49 of 54 Old 03-12-2009, 06:27 PM
 
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See, that is judging someone based on their preferences. Someone who likes nail polish and make up isn't nessecarily superficial. There are too many people out there who are anything but superficial who like make up and nail polish to assume that they are silly for enjoying something like that.
Yes..just because I like "girly" things doesn't mean I don't have any other interests. It really irritates me that girls are supposed to be either all about beauty or all about being smart..why can't we be both?:
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#50 of 54 Old 03-12-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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I don't know. My son has a very healthy "feminine" side, and I like to foster it. He wants to learn to quilt and knit among other things, and his best friends at school are girls, but the other day at school they had a book fair and in a rush he grabbed a pink pencil instead of a "boy" color, and a girl in his class made fun of him. After school he went back to the fair and got a yellow one also, b/c they wouldn't let him return the pink one. I asked him "Who cares if it is pink??" It had puppies on it, and the yellow one had kittens, and he liked them both, but he insists on keeping the pink one at home. I could care less. He could wear dresses and high heels every day for all I care.

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#51 of 54 Old 03-29-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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This might not belong here - possibly for a new thread...

But, I'm wondering how to respond to my 6yo ds who has realized this year in kindergarten (how does it start this early!?) that certain colors are for girls and others for boys, boys don't wear nail polish, and that perhaps his long hair isn't so cool afterall. It is breaking my heart to see this shift in him because it is so clear that it is a result of peer pressure and messages he's hearing at school.

I'm wondering how parents have responded to their children making gender assertions (i.e., pink and purple are girl colors). I say things like "colors are just colors. lots of boys love pink and lots of girls love blue." I'll share with him that my favorite color in kindergarten was green. I just fear that he is learning to feel badly about things he used to enjoy and love. I dunno...it's been sad for me.
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#52 of 54 Old 03-29-2009, 09:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by swampangel View Post
This might not belong here - possibly for a new thread...

But, I'm wondering how to respond to my 6yo ds who has realized this year in kindergarten (how does it start this early!?) that certain colors are for girls and others for boys, boys don't wear nail polish, and that perhaps his long hair isn't so cool afterall. It is breaking my heart to see this shift in him because it is so clear that it is a result of peer pressure and messages he's hearing at school.

I'm wondering how parents have responded to their children making gender assertions (i.e., pink and purple are girl colors). I say things like "colors are just colors. lots of boys love pink and lots of girls love blue." I'll share with him that my favorite color in kindergarten was green. I just fear that he is learning to feel badly about things he used to enjoy and love. I dunno...it's been sad for me.
Unfortunately, there's no way to stop these outside influences. We can't lock our children in our very own indoor world forever, the best we can do is to help them navigate through the world as they get to know it, and let them have a view of our own dear values without trying to force these on our children, and not only by talking about it, but by modelling. What YOU can do is continue as you have been doing. And not judging your son for starting to see things differently because of other influences. My previous post in this thread may give you some idea of what you can do more to deal with the issue in your interactions with your child.

Me:,loving HB,two active sons of 3 & 5,1 cat, nature lover,,extbf,occ,SAHM, multicultural/lingual family,+/-cl, :become a better parent/person by not expecting to be the perfect parent/person
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#53 of 54 Old 03-29-2009, 09:43 AM
 
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double post

Me:,loving HB,two active sons of 3 & 5,1 cat, nature lover,,extbf,occ,SAHM, multicultural/lingual family,+/-cl, :become a better parent/person by not expecting to be the perfect parent/person
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#54 of 54 Old 03-31-2009, 01:28 AM
 
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my dd and i were just talking abou this earlier. we have always had a good dialogue about stereotypes, and she is disturbed by the boy stereotypes getting flung at her brother.
it's freakish the way people react to a boy doing "girl" things, or wearing "girl" things. my dd can put on cargo pants and climb to the top of a tree and pick off pinecones with a slingshot, and nobody blinks (much) but let my little baby boy, my wee little 14 month old, ask me to help him wear his sister's sparkly headband, and listen to the commentary when i smile and help him put it on.

sick. just sick.

im trying not to think of the days when he's gonna want to wear some gauzy wings or paint his nails glow in the dark. i buck convention with dd, but it's really going to be a challenge with ds. people feel SO STRONGLY about boys. wtf...

gg read thread now...

eta
read! wish i could i multi-quote, but my comp. batt. is about to poop out...
real quickly,

Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
I also think that a girl who wants the pink kitchen is as normal and healthy as the girl who wants a tool set.
ITA

and the same for little boys

swampangel, sounds like a good opportunity to discuss gender bias!
PBS-talking about bias with kids
PBS-stereotypes and kids

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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