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#61 of 99 Old 07-21-2005, 01:53 AM
 
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So went shopping for pants for DD today (can that be any harder!?!?!) and ended up with two skirts for DS. I can kid myself and call them "kilts" but they are skirts (although they do have pleats and DS specifically did not want a "skirt" but a "kilt"). Very cute and the first real "girl" clothes I have bought DS so I guess I got over that barrier.

 

 

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#62 of 99 Old 09-17-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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#63 of 99 Old 09-17-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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Jamie- What you are doing is amazing and I am so proud of you for letting your child be themselves without fear and judgement. You rock! Through my work I have met a lot of people who have children that are gender-different in the way that you are discribing and I would be happy to help put you in contact with people and to talk more privately about things. Welcome to MDC - so happy you are here!

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#64 of 99 Old 09-21-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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Jaimie - !!!!

Mooooom! to  guitar.gifDS (1/05) and whistling.gifDSS (11/05).  TTC fingersx.gifour "ours" after VR on 10/12.  

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#65 of 99 Old 09-21-2005, 06:45 PM
 
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I love this thread! I know so many adults who would have loved to have mamas like you women when they were little kids pushing gender boundaries. You are doing your children such a service by letting them play freely with gender...

JamieK, you do, indeed, rock. I found this page of links from the Safe Schools Coalition that might be helpful.
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#66 of 99 Old 09-21-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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And for any of you, the link tara gave, I know the heads of almost all of those organizations and would be happy to hel;p with resources and such if you need anything.

M

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#67 of 99 Old 09-30-2005, 02:05 PM
 
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I wish I had been allowed to wear dresses and play with dolls, I had to hide.I loved high heels and panties and anything girly. I played dress up with a girlfriend and forgot to take off the dress and I was spanked through only panties.I am an adult now and I have dolls and dresses high heels and best of all I have my boyfriend John. He is so sweet and loving and caring, I was blessed to become his girlfriend. I guess I am saying let him be himself even if that is being HERSELF she will be happier. Also let her decide if she is called a boy or a girl (I bet she wants to be refered to in the feminine).
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#68 of 99 Old 09-30-2005, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jamie I think you rock.

My boy has been wearing his dresses a fair bit. The comments are usually perplexed and amused in a "uh..okay" kind of way. Yesterday a mom said, "Well, I guess he'll be able to say in touch with his feminine side" in a dubious kind of way.

What is it with our generation of parents? Why is it so hard to see this as simply a non-issue? WHo cares why a given boy might want to wear a dress? Why do we feel the need to have our kids in tiny little boxes? I have no idea what it means to my son, his gender development, or his various personality sides. I just know that it appeals to him, and I'm excited about getting to know him as his individuality unfolds.

Sigh. Fortunately the parents in our circle of friends get it and celebrate him as he is, with no puzzled looks. They compliment him when he's dressed up fancy, and it pleases him.
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#69 of 99 Old 10-16-2005, 11:29 PM
 
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I just know that it appeals to him, and I'm excited about getting to know him as his individuality unfolds.
Indeed, I can't imagine what it would take to be an opposing side to what is clearly something that DS is passionate about. What it would take and at what cost to his emotional health it would it present to not simply accept (and CELEBRATE!) who he is in the moment. I too am blessed to live in a community where this isn't a huge deal and there are even a couple of boys around town known also for sporting a dress and/or long hair.

The other day I responded to a thread about the wish for having both genders of child in a family. I responded that I'm happy with what I've got and do not desire a girl. However, I do wonder if that's because on many days I feel I truly do have both.

We've been enjoying the story of The Wizard of Oz in the last couple of days. Our local pumpkin patch used this as their theme this year and DS was intrigued so we told him the story and today we watched the movie as a family. I adore the film, the books, etc., and its been a joy to share them with DS. He (as I could have predicted) fell in love with Dorothy before he even saw the movie. It was the same with Pippi, Madeline and Laura Ingalls. Needless to say, he's been "Dorothy" for two days, dress, pig tails, basket... "and toto too." Today, he was getting into the bathtub as "Dorothy" and he told me he was pretending that he didn't have a penis and that I was to pretend this as well. At any rate, this "phase" has been going on for the better part of two years and although he's embraced a male character here and there (Mike Mulligan comes to mind), he clearly has a preference for certain types of female characters and who am I to try and change that?

I've actually made effort to find some good male/boy role models for DS, just well, I think it's nice to have both, but he just doesn't cling to them the way he does female ones. I think partly because I haven't had as much luck finding boy role models with the qualities DS holds dear, but mostly I think because DS is just DS and its not where he's at right now. We're reading Elmer and the Dragon right now and while he's loves the story, it just simply doesn't occur to him to align himself with the main character; a sweet, caring, very resourceful boy. OTOH, I'm fairly certain that if the main character were a girl, he might very well be pretending to be her right now.

I think sometimes I do search for deeper meaning in his appreciation of girl characters. I wonder what it says about his personality. He spends some time as different types of animals, dinosaurs, the occasional fire fighter, train engineer or construction worker, but its the "chicks" he loves best. And you know what? He makes one cute little girl!

I'm not sure if there was a real point to this post, but its hugely strong theme in our lives right now, and its wonderful to have such a helpful and supportive thread... I just felt like sharing.

My .02 for the day... for what it's worth.

The best,
Em

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#70 of 99 Old 10-18-2005, 12:24 AM
 
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What is it with our generation of parents? Why is it so hard to see this as simply a non-issue? WHo cares why a given boy might want to wear a dress? Sigh.
It is generations, and generations, and generations throughout history.

Don't forget, that it took hundreds (thousands?) of years to where we now let, and accept, girls wearing of pants/trousers if they want to.

The world did not end when females started wearing pants.

I doubt that it will end when boys wear skirts.

Once the idea of girls wearing pants was not considered wierd or "unusual", around the 1950's-60's, it only less than 10 years or so for females in pants to be a non-issue.

There were always a very few strange odd ball females in history who wore pants: Joan of Arc, Calamity Jane, etc. , but who were either ridiculed or arrested. It has to become a "fad", with more than just a few oddballs to make it acceptable, before it becomes "accepted" by the population at large.

Until and unless, dresses and skirts on boys becomes common/popular, then we still may be hundreds of years away from accepting it.

If it ever suddenly becomes a fad, then overnight we shall see lots of boys in skirts, as common as we now see females in public wearing pants.

It is impossible to say/predict if we are 3 years away from it being commonly accepted, or a hundred and fifty years away from it being accepted.
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#71 of 99 Old 11-01-2005, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was at a store buying new shirts for my ds, in the girl section of course (the boy clothes are so dark they hold NO interest for him); he picked out three pairs of stretchy pants, purple, bright pink, and red; fine. I was ready for it.

When we passed a white shirt with a little reindeer and a pink bow and trim, he cried out with delight. He had to have it! I cringed internally, thinking, hoo boy, what will people say to him about *this*? This shirt was overtly *trying* to be girlish. It wasn't just a color or a topic (like butterflies) that is stupidly designated to be for girls only, which we have agreed is stupid.

I let him hold it for a while, and said, "We can get it. But I want you to look at the way it's designed, it's really trying to be girlish. I think that if you wear it, people may say that it looks girlish and you shouldn't be wearing it."

He was delighted! "Yeah, it looks very girlish, don't you think?" That was what he liked most about it!

And he really could give a hoot that people think that's bad. His policy is just to ignore that talk. The next day, wearing his favorite new reindeer shirt to clay class, he said to the teacher, "Hey, don't you like my shirt?!" And she said, "Um, yeah, it's nice." And he said, "It's really girlish, huh!" In a proud and delighted way. (And to her credit, she didn't say anything discouraging, nor did any of the kids.)

I have to keep reminding myself that in addition to simply liking the color pink and things like butterflies and flowers, he also actively likes the idea of appearing girlish per se. In his world, girls rock! And why the heck not? I hope when he finally does get exposed once and for all to the idea that the *reason* he is supposed to eschew girlishness is that girls are supposedly inferior creatures, he will be fully prepared to brush it off. We'll see.

Anyway, being the mother of a boy is a fascinating ride. I have so much to learn from him.
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#72 of 99 Old 11-01-2005, 11:24 PM
 
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I'm glad your DS likes the "girlish" look, but it does make me sad that boys can't get clothes out of the boys section and still get holiday wear or so many bright colorful things like in the girls dept.

Where are the BRIGHT purples, yellows, oranges , reds (not to mentione the pinks) in the boys sections? Soooo much olive, navy, grey. Buying fleece pants for my son & daughter. DD had pink and purple to choose from. DS had navy, light grey, dark grey and olive.

And why do they assume that boys over size 4T don't want a "holiday" shirt. You can go to target and buy an entire Christmas wardrobe for a girl in 6X-7 (leggings, socks, shirts, sweater) but boys have... vests? No shirts with pictures, etc...

 

 

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#73 of 99 Old 11-02-2005, 12:32 AM
 
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In his world, girls rock! And why the heck not?
Amen to that!

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#74 of 99 Old 11-02-2005, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Where are the BRIGHT purples, yellows, oranges , reds (not to mentione the pinks) in the boys sections? Soooo much olive, navy, grey. Buying fleece pants for my son & daughter. DD had pink and purple to choose from. DS had navy, light grey, dark grey and olive.
Yes. Very sad for boys to be pressured to give up bright and lively colors. Seems very oppressive, against the grain of normal child preferences. Gotta be tough.

And no frivolous things like holidays. Sports, though, that's fine!
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#75 of 99 Old 11-07-2005, 11:56 PM
 
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Undoing damage...

I was visiting my folks last week for an afternoon, and thank goodness it was only that long. In 2 hours time my mom managed to make DS feel bad about himself a hundred different ways including asking my long haired beautiful boy: "Don't you want a little boy haircut" as if to say that if his hair is long he is somehow NOT a boy. She also made several comments about my great-nephew who has a "little boy haircut." Then, when DS mentioned to her that I'd cut an old shirt of mine short to make a dress for him (something he was very excited about), she sort of turned away and rolled her eyes and laughed as if to say, "Ok, whatever floats your boat." Very condescending and judgemental were her actions, no question what she was thinking there...

Now, I could care less what my mom thinks BUT, I do care about DS feeling free to be who he is without being judged by ignorance. Up until Friday when we visited, he'd been wearing a dress pretty much every day and now all of a sudden I notice that he's not. He has still been pretending to be Madeline and such, but not nearly as much and no outfits that are usually soooooooo important to him. I could throttle my mother, and while I did have some words for her about the haircut as in, "Mom, let DS be who he is. Your own son (my older brother) had his hair long for years and years and he was no less a boy than anyone else, and not to mention, he looked great!" It shut her up but the damage was done.

The thing is, if I had a DD and her hair was short, I'm quite sure my mother wouldn't give a second thought about it. In fact, she cut my hair off against my wishes when I was six because it was more convenient for her. So, her making a comment that short hair = little boys really insensed me. In addition, if my girl loathed wearing dresses and preferred pants always, who would notice, much less care? It really and truly breaks my heart when I see my DS who is so amazingly adept at seeing (and being) both sides to be shot down for clearly striving to be a whole person. The double standard here is infuriating to say the least.

I guess I'm venting more than anything else here but I am concerned that DS is receiving messages from supposed "loving" family members that who he is is not "normal" and it worries me. I suppose I've been in a bit of a cocoon, homeschooling, lving in a liberal community which doesn't seem to have an issue with this type of thing... for those who have been there, I feel your pain!

Thanks. Comments, experiences, suggestions well accepted.

The best,
Em

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#76 of 99 Old 02-20-2006, 12:27 PM
 
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I have DD aged 13 and DS aged 11,and when they were little both would wear aprons to help cook and bake,After a time my DS beagan to wear a cotton skirt of his sister instead of his apron.I disn't mind as they looked asout the same.Gradually his sister started passing him hand-me-downs and he was quite often in a dress.he still wears boys' clothes but if my DD has friends over he just puts on a dress and joins in,and they accept him .H e has even been at a slumber party !Recently for his birthday he was given make-up set and made up by his girlfriends.He is too young ,as are girls at that age to wear make-up and his sister and friends are developing.What do I do ,stop him ?Any ideas ?
If knew how to access photo albums ,would post pics,as he is cute and pretty too.
Paula
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#77 of 99 Old 02-20-2006, 12:49 PM
 
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[QUOTE=AnthroMama
I will not be an agent of gender oppression in my child's life even if I know others will do it. Protecting them from it seems misguided. I would not protect them from other things by becoming the oppressor.

PS. On the hair thing some of you might remember my quest for 'boy barettes'. I am into a more genderqueer look for my ds - I like to get him to pair the girly hings he is into with less traditionally girly things and heighten he challenge to everyone else's gender issues. So, I couldn't find any but I made some and they are SO cool! They are little clips with frogs and cars and basketballs and dinos and a wrench, etc on them. [/QUOTE]

That is great. I wish I had though of that when my oldest was little. He would have looked great in barrettes. He had long, very curly hair (he's biracial-AA/white)
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#78 of 99 Old 02-20-2006, 02:21 PM
 
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I have mixed feelings about this topic...

It is grea to let your son be who he is....but he is going to be teased from it. Are you going to let him wear dresses to school?
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#79 of 99 Old 02-20-2006, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by paulapinny
I have DD aged 13 and DS aged 11,and when they were little both would wear aprons to help cook and bake,After a time my DS beagan to wear a cotton skirt of his sister instead of his apron.I disn't mind as they looked asout the same.Gradually his sister started passing him hand-me-downs and he was quite often in a dress.he still wears boys' clothes but if my DD has friends over he just puts on a dress and joins in,and they accept him .H e has even been at a slumber party !Recently for his birthday he was given make-up set and made up by his girlfriends.He is too young ,as are girls at that age to wear make-up and his sister and friends are developing.What do I do ,stop him ?Any ideas ?
If knew how to access photo albums ,would post pics,as he is cute and pretty too.
Paula
It sounds liek you are doing wonderfully! I really think your children are lucky to have you as their mama because you have been so respectful and caring in letting them be who they are. I would not stop him, as I have said elsewhere in this thread, I have made a decision that I will not become like others in order to shelter my child. Kids get picked on for so many things and we can not protect them from it so enforcing arbitrary gender roles in an effort to 'protect' our kids is wrong in mu opinion. If they can not trust us, their parents, to offer unconditional love and respect, who can they trust? You are an amazing mom and I really applaud you for letting you ds be who he is. In terms of ideas, I say just keep doing what you are doing and feel free to ask us if you have specific issues that come up that you need help with!

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#80 of 99 Old 02-20-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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I have mixed feelings about this topic...

It is grea to let your son be who he is....but he is going to be teased from it. Are you going to let him wear dresses to school?
I think lots of us have addressed this here and perhaps you would be well served by reading through the thread and engaging with the issues we have been discussing - like how to protect our children from gender based oppression (from others, from family, and even from ourselves as we struggle). I don't mean to dismiss your ideas but I am not sure what you are hoping to get with this one liner. My child, for example, does not go to school but does wear whatever clothing desired everywhere we go. If your child had to wear glasses would you force them not to (eyesight, who needs it?) just so they wopuld not get picked on? Kids get teased for SO many issues - weight, height, glasses, smart, stupid, likes and dislikes, siblings, birth markers, different abilities, and the list is endless. We CAN NOT make that never happen - what we can do is love our children and create mature, strong kids who feel able to face the challenges that life presents us all. My child, for example, now has lots of words for dealing with people who would force gender roles unto him. Our super, for exmaple, told him that boys do not wear nail polish and told him to have his father remove it. My child began to laugh and said back to him "Frank, you are funny. Boys DO wear nail polish, just look". He held out his hands with pride and said, "See, I am a boy and I have red nail polish". He smiled and walked away.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#81 of 99 Old 02-20-2006, 02:54 PM
 
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Undoing damage...

I was visiting my folks last week for an afternoon, and thank goodness it was only that long. In 2 hours time my mom managed to make DS feel bad about himself a hundred different ways including asking my long haired beautiful boy: "Don't you want a little boy haircut" as if to say that if his hair is long he is somehow NOT a boy. She also made several comments about my great-nephew who has a "little boy haircut." Then, when DS mentioned to her that I'd cut an old shirt of mine short to make a dress for him (something he was very excited about), she sort of turned away and rolled her eyes and laughed as if to say, "Ok, whatever floats your boat." Very condescending and judgemental were her actions, no question what she was thinking there...

Thanks. Comments, experiences, suggestions well accepted.

The best,
Em
Hey Em, sorry this happened. It is the worst when it comes from the people who should love our children for who they are. In terms of how to deal with it, I find just beiong really honest with my child and talking through it works. I say things like, "I thought that was a bummer when xxx said xxx to you because those are some really silly ideas about xxx". We chat some and we also think about things that could be said in that context. I find that if I model good "come-baks" for my child, then he is empowered to 'defend' himself in these contexts (see above post with the super).

Good luck.

M

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#82 of 99 Old 02-21-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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I think lots of us have addressed this here and perhaps you would be well served by reading through the thread and engaging with the issues we have been discussing - like how to protect our children from gender based oppression (from others, from family, and even from ourselves as we struggle). I don't mean to dismiss your ideas but I am not sure what you are hoping to get with this one liner. My child, for example, does not go to school but does wear whatever clothing desired everywhere we go. If your child had to wear glasses would you force them not to (eyesight, who needs it?) just so they wopuld not get picked on? Kids get teased for SO many issues - weight, height, glasses, smart, stupid, likes and dislikes, siblings, birth markers, different abilities, and the list is endless. We CAN NOT make that never happen - what we can do is love our children and create mature, strong kids who feel able to face the challenges that life presents us all. My child, for example, now has lots of words for dealing with people who would force gender roles unto him. Our super, for exmaple, told him that boys do not wear nail polish and told him to have his father remove it. My child began to laugh and said back to him "Frank, you are funny. Boys DO wear nail polish, just look". He held out his hands with pride and said, "See, I am a boy and I have red nail polish". He smiled and walked away.
Yes I know kids get teased about many things, but this you can prevent! And sorry if I offended you but that is my opinion and I'm allowed to expressed it on this thread....
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#83 of 99 Old 02-21-2006, 01:02 PM
 
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You can also prevent many other things but that doesa not make them right. Perhaps I should only partner with white men so my children will not have to face racism? Perhaps we should abort children with disabilities so they will not get teased? The only way to 'prevent' your children from getting teased is to force them to be something esle and become a part of the problematic system that says it is alright to tease people for non-conforming gender identities. Isn't there a time when it makes sense to just love our children for who they are and help them work to change the world around us?

I am not offended - your opinion is that expressed by most mainstream parents (and people more broadly) and is found all over the place. While I think it is wrong and narrow, it is not suprising and getting offended aboiut it would get me no where. I'm not sure why you'd like me to know that you are 'allowed' to have it - of course, isn't that obvious?

If you are interested in engaging about these issues, I would be happy to talk with you further. As it is, you seem to be more interested in contrary one-liners, which, as you say, is something you are 'allowed' but I don't find it productive. At the very least, I hope you'll teach your children not to tease others because they fail to conform to arbirary cultural rules about gender.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#84 of 99 Old 02-21-2006, 01:04 PM
 
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Yes I know kids get teased about many things, but this you can prevent!
Yes, but at what cost?

ETA - Oops, crosspost with Anthro.
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#85 of 99 Old 02-21-2006, 01:15 PM
 
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I'm not trying to start a debate. With my first post I jus seriously wanted to know if you send (or plan on sending) your son to school in a dress.

Obviously I do not think you anyone should abort their baby if it has a disablilty! I don't think a boy in a dress has anything to do with a disabled child.
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#86 of 99 Old 02-21-2006, 01:21 PM
 
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It's about how much of your child's spirit to you lay at the altar of social conformity.

And about how squishing our kids into boxes out of fear perpetuates those very boxes, so other generations of kids will continue to suffer.
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#87 of 99 Old 02-21-2006, 06:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahm1
I'm not trying to start a debate. With my first post I jus seriously wanted to know if you send (or plan on sending) your son to school in a dress.

Obviously I do not think you anyone should abort their baby if it has a disablilty! I don't think a boy in a dress has anything to do with a disabled child.
I don't plan to send my kids to school in any clothes.... they choose what they want to wear and if they choose to send themselves out in dresses, pants, kilts, what-have-you, I am cool with it. I draw the line at haltertops, miniskirts, tube tops, or anything really revealing and sexualized.

I believe the comparison of a son in a dress to a child with disabilities was just to make a point. What is being said is that there are many things that are "preventable" that children get teased for. It doesn't mean that we should beat our children into conforming in order to protect them from nasty little bullies who learn hate from their parents and spread it on. I am a bright pink haired, overweight mama. Will my kids get teased for this? I am sure of it. Does that mean I should change myself? nope. My kids have a good chance, based on genetics, of needing braces, glasses, having acne, large breasts, and weight problems. Does this mean I should sign them up for lasik surgery, breast reductions, starve them to be thin, load them up on acne drugs, and oral surgery to prevent braces? What kind of mom would I be if I was only concerned by other people and not about what is truely best for my children? Shouldn't my goal instead be to teach my children to love themselves, care for themselves, and poopoo anyone who treats them poorly because of their ignorance? That is what I think my goal should be.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#88 of 99 Old 02-21-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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Really well said hotwings and thismama.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#89 of 99 Old 02-23-2006, 10:24 PM
 
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I haven't read over this entire thread, but I've got a little boy who loves pink and I posted a bit about it over in Parenting Issues not too long ago: Boys in Pink.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#90 of 99 Old 02-25-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthroMama
Hey Em, sorry this happened. It is the worst when it comes from the people who should love our children for who they are. In terms of how to deal with it, I find just beiong really honest with my child and talking through it works. I say things like, "I thought that was a bummer when xxx said xxx to you because those are some really silly ideas about xxx". We chat some and we also think about things that could be said in that context. I find that if I model good "come-baks" for my child, then he is empowered to 'defend' himself in these contexts (see above post with the super).
Thank you so much for this AnthroMama. Had to actually go back and reread my last post, forgotten just how much this incident had bothered me.

Your advice is well taken, thank you. We have focused so much on accepting who DS is that I feel we probably haven't taken time to discuss things with him as often as we should be. He's very sensitive, and sometimes misinterprets what I'm trying to say (support, understanding of not so tolerant others, etc.) no matter how carefully I place my words. Your suggestions are excellent and simple. Perfect, I'll take them to heart.

At present, DS continues to embrace his feminine and masculine sides rather equally although if it leans more to one side, it's usually the feminine. Yep, there's my kid, sitting in the sandbox, playing with his trucks wearing a tiara. And for all those who would not understand, we're lucky to live in a community that is incredibly tolerant... we have new neighbors whom we don't know well as of yet and they know DS is a boy because of how we introduced him initially, but I'm sure DS has had them guessing at times. The other day we were headed out in the car and DS was decked out in full fairy attire (dress, wand, etc.) and our neighbor (a young man, 30ish) yelled, "what's your son's name again?" After we told him he yelled (with thumbs up sign), "He's totally cool." Yep. He is indeed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwings640
What kind of mom would I be if I was only concerned by other people and not about what is truely best for my children? Shouldn't my goal instead be to teach my children to love themselves, care for themselves, and poopoo anyone who treats them poorly because of their ignorance? That is what I think my goal should be.
Beautiful.

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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