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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-03-2014 08:51 AM
limabean
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireadtomuch View Post

I'm kind of annoyed with the fact that you can't find just plain white onsies to dye I just wish i could find a sleeping gown that's not gendered towards girls, it's a lot easier to change a baby at 2am if you don't have to wrestle them out of pants.

I didn't know the sex of either of my babies before birth, so I received tons of plain white onesies and gender neutral gowns. In my area at least, they aren't hard to find. I suppose it would be tough to find non-"girly" gowns for older babies, but I didn't use gowns for my boy or girl past the 0-3 month stage, because once they started rolling gowns would just get twisted up.

One place I always see lots of plain white onesies, if you're having trouble finding them in clothing stores, is the craft store, usually near the iron-on patches and embellishments.
02-03-2014 07:01 AM
Ireadtomuch

I'm kind of annoyed with the fact that you can't find just plain white onsies to dye everything comes gendered i'm planning on buying a lot of white onsies in various sizes and dying them into jewel tones green teal blue deep purple color, and red, orange, and yellow. i DON'T like the fact that all the girl stuff comes with hard to care for glitter, or sparkles or lace. I remember how much lace itched as a kid..... (got in trouble for cutting the netting out of a dress because it itched). Anyways all baby clothing used to be white so you could bleach it, I just wish i could find a sleeping gown that's not gendered towards girls, it's a lot easier to change a baby at 2am if you don't have to wrestle them out of pants.

02-03-2014 06:28 AM
Epiphany11

Thanks! We're really excited about the new line!

02-02-2014 10:42 PM
skycheattraffic I took the survey and loved what I saw smile.gif
I actually just bought a sewing machine and plan to make a bunch of bright, cheerful, comfy stuff for my girls.
01-31-2014 06:31 AM
Epiphany11

I'm a new mom, and I'm so annoyed that everything in the girls' section is pink (or has some pink on it), and if it's not it has ruffles or lace or sparkles or hearts...it's just too much, and there are no other options! And the boys' section isn't much better!

 

There's a new kids' clothing company that's making clothes that go beyond pink and blue. They're looking for input on their designs now: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/jillandjacksurvey

01-31-2014 06:11 AM
Epiphany11

I wish we didn't have to shop in the boys' section to get denim, plaid and camo for our girls! :) 

I also think it would be nice if dinosaurs didn't count as a "boy" interest. Why should they?

06-19-2013 12:47 PM
contactmaya

Did i mention the story where my 4yo's preschool teacher told me i could not longer send him to school in his favorite pink coat because it was bad for his self esteem? (cringe not).

 

I  kept that lovely pink coat for my younger son. When he was 4, he was allowed to wear the coat at preschool(no comment was made), but the mother of one of his classmates, 'donated' a blue coat to him...i accepted the coat graciously because it was a good coat. Should i have said something? Its so obvious to me, its hardly worth mentioning....

06-18-2013 06:13 PM
JNajla I think it's annoying. I have been direct and vocal about my "gender neutral" preference for gifts for my baby boy. Some of my family doesn't understand, some "get it". It would be worse if I was expecting a girl- I LOATHE the color pink! Gah!
06-17-2013 02:11 PM
Sphinxy

The gendering of clothing and toys (really, everything) is so disgusting to me. It's gotten worse over time, not better. I don't fully understand that. We are taking steps backwards as a society in the way we view gender. 

 

I wear blue all the time. I have blue eyes and it is one of the more flattering colors on me. I don't understand why I can wear a blue outfit and get lots of compliments, but if I dressed an infant daughter in blue people would question it. 

 

Pink/peach/coral is a very common color for adult men's dress shirts. Similarly to my wearing of blue, I know many men who I work with who rock the salmon shirt with some frequency. Totally normal as adults, but again, if they or I dressed an infant boy that way, people would wonder why we were trying to be so radical. 

 

It has nothing to do with sexuality. A few people posted about that earlier and I'm not going to call them out individually, but look... There are lesbians (self included!) who love dresses. My sexuality has nothing to do with whether my parents clothed me in skirts or overalls as a kid - in fact, they probably dressed me pretty gender neutral. I'm a lesbian because I prefer having sex with women over men, period. Hand me a power tool or a tux and I look like a fish out of water. My wife's parents on the other hand put her in a lot of dresses as a kid - but she's the athletic one in the family and is most likely to wear pants to a formal event. Similarly, there are gay men - many gay men! - who wear very traditionally masculine clothes, and aren't into fashion or decorating, etc. Those of us gay people who actually DO conform to traditional gender expression in our style are the silent majority I think, we aren't portrayed much on TV because we're boring. It's more fun to laugh at the gay guy who is obsessed over fashion or the lesbian all butched out in men's coveralls. But no matter how many pink ruffles you throw at your daughter (or hide from your son), there is just as much of a chance that they will end up gay like me as if you put her in cargo pants (or let him wear the dress). So how about just letting them wear what they want?

06-02-2013 09:48 PM
Kamiro

I love all colors and I like clothes! I'll dress a child in a rainbow if given a chance - love color. bouncy.gif

04-25-2013 08:00 AM
Escaping
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisedea View Post


greensad.gif This is so sad to me. Depressing that our society (well, namely parent opinions forced on their children) has such control over something that shouldn't be a big deal.

As an early childhood teacher, I see some of this starting in the early grade levels. It disgusts me that parents will tell their children that it is wrong to wear or like "boy" or "girl" colors (toys, clothes, games)--enough so that it carries over into the classroom. If more parents allowed their children to dress as they want and be proud of who they are, the bullies (parents and children alike) would have much less power....

 

For the record, I wouldn't tell my son it's wrong (not that I'm saying you said I did, just so no one misunderstands), I'd just say 'this is what's clean, put it on and go to school'.

 

Luckily I live in a big city and have several friends who are same sex couples both male and female, and have families just like "normal" people, so if my son does happen to be gay, hopefully he sees that there is life after grade school and the bullying will end one day. I have faith that one day bullying will be a thing of the past, but the sad reality is that we're currently living in that past. Kids still call each other "gay" as an insult, they see that same sex couples can't get married (and surely can put 2 and 2 together). No kid ever asks a boy "why are you wearing pants, are you straight?" because straight is seen as "normal" and no one cares. As soon as everyone is given equal rights and equal opportunity to live their lives, kids will be able to stop enquiring "why are you wearing a dress, are you gay?" because it won't matter.

04-21-2013 11:41 AM
Polliwog My DD has both capes and twirly dresses. She much prefers the dresses. She has dresses and skirts in all colors and wears them everywhere. She'll put either leggings or cartwheel/bike shorts underneath and she's ready to go. Often up in a tree.

My DS is really fussy about the feel of clothes. He never cared about the look. But when he was little, he REALLY wanted a soft jacket. Who decided that velour and furry cloth is only for girls?
04-21-2013 03:07 AM
Fillyjonk

@ queenjane and re all the boys shoes were navy, black, brown...maybe some would light up but they all had transformers, trucks, etc on them. He wanted "shiny, glittery, fun"...the only options were super girly stuff.

 

Ok I've been through this one with ds. We got very into customising clothes. Say with the black shoes. Buy them, if that's all there is, and then go on ebay and get some sparkly purple laces, for example. With clips-my son had long hair for years so I know this one. Ebay will be your friend. Or if not ebay, get some plain clips and use a glue gun to stick cool stuff onto them. Its very, very easy.  If you want purple hoodies without the frills, and both my son and my daughter did, buy plain ones and dye them. There are loads of options here. And its really a lot of fun and if you have a kid who likes fashion they will probably love modding their own clothes. I've done this with all my kids and I think its been helpful in passing on the idea that we don't have to accept the roles society hands us, we can actively create ourselves and influence how people see us. 

 

The one very small point I'd chuck in there is that, IME of my own small kids who have not really been that exposed to societal norms, most kids are looking to have fun with their clothes. Re " sometimes wonder if a boy chooses "girl things" when really he just wants FABULOUS fun shiny cool things. If a boy wants to play with a horse with long hair he can brush often a pink or purple horse with flowers in its mane is his only option. If he likes the feeling of "twirling" often a dress is the only easily accessible option (but he might be just as happy with a tunic or cape or something like that if it was available)".

 

I think this is spot on, however IME a lot of girls are exactly the same but, because its easy for them to just get on with the pink and blue, no one really talks them through it and looks at the other options. If a girl likes twirling, she's just handed a dress and no one considers whether she'd be just as happy with a cape. 

04-20-2013 10:36 PM
Mama505

queenjane-  I also don't mind butterflies, and my DS loves them, but like you said they are all frills and lace, not like real butterflies which are truly beautiful (and could be super BLING-y in some iridescent colors, or bedazzled, or whatever).  I am knitting DS some socks right now and the pattern has butterflies on them.  He loves them, BUT the pattern clearly says that the butterflies can be hazardous if worn while riding bikes, playing on playgrounds, or doing anything a 3yo might possibly want to do (because they hang off the socks with long flappy wings).

04-20-2013 09:24 PM
queenjane

I have a son who loves "fashion" (less now than six months ago....he went through a whole Justin Beiber phase and decided purple was his favorite color) ....my issue is that it is next to impossible to find "boy clothes" with *pizazz* unless you want to pay a lot of money for them. We went to payless to get shoes....all the boys shoes were navy, black, brown...maybe some would light up but they all had transformers, trucks, etc on them. He wanted "shiny, glittery, fun"...the only options were super girly stuff. But he didn't want "girly" (pink, flowers, etc) he wanted stuff that was fashionable and shiny and cool. Why can't they make "boy" shoes with gold shiny lightning bolts or cool red studs or something? Or "boy" clothes that aren't boring? I had to look long and hard to find clothes that looked like something JB would wear that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Luckily i found some skinny jeans in size 4 at Target in bright colors (i think we got red, a bright blue, white, and black) and i was able to find some purple shirts that didn't have additional "girly" attachments (its harder than you might think to find a purple hoodie that has no lace, flowers, butterflies etc)....i sometimes wonder if a boy chooses "girl things" when really he just wants FABULOUS fun shiny cool things. If a boy wants to play with a horse with long hair he can brush often a pink or purple horse with flowers in its mane is his only option. If he likes the feeling of "twirling" often a dress is the only easily accessible option (but he might be just as happy with a tunic or cape or something like that if it was available) My son went through a period where he wanted to wear clips in his hair but it seems most of them were butterflies, flowers etc. NOT that there is anything wrong with a butterfly but why don't they make other options? (Im sure they do, but you have to look hard for them.)

 

My current personal pet clothing peeve is skulls on baby clothing. Don't know why. Its not like i find skulls particularly offensive. It just doesn't feel very babylike to me.

04-20-2013 11:08 AM
Fillyjonk

"I am glad that your friend who wore a dress to school seems to have suffered no adverse reactions, but one can hardly say that because one person didn't, nobody would. I also think you may have misunderstood WHY I didn't allow my son to wear the dress for picture day. It was NOT because I thought it would make him gay or trans. It was because I was afraid he would be bullied (in his conservative suburban school) either now, or in the future and as he has  little to no understanding of the consequences- I decided to make that decision for him."

 

Ok fair enough that's one anecdote. But I guess that's where we are with this. Anecdote and personal belief. We lack rigorous, unbiased studies. I can say that in this one case it wasn't an issue. When my friend was a kid, we had a law in place in the UK, which, in effect, made teachers absolutely unwilling to take any kind of stand against homophobic/trans bullying, and created a culture where, as a child who did not identify with the heternormative model, there was absolutely no representation, no mirror held up at all. I think it was probably worst than living before this law in some ways because at least, prior to this, teachers could have taken some action and introduced some non-straight ideas and so on, whereas after, even (especially) gay teachers were silenced. In effect, most teachers actively promoted heternormality-there was great fear of prosecution and also, a teacher who was themselves outed would have been in great trouble. Suicide among gay youth at that point was ludicrosly high and I've read a number of studies suggesting that there are ongoing mental health issues in the LGBT community as a hangover from this era. What I'm trying to say is that, first, his parents would probably have little cause to believe that sending him to school in a dress would work out ok but trusted and it actually was. It wasn't really something anyone felt the need to comment on, kids are more tolerant than I think we often believe. But secondly, kind of paradoxically, I think if you are in a situation anything like that then I do understand how difficult it must be. Its an awful, unnatural situation where we are dividing love into acceptable and unacceptable. I agree with Lisedea-its a dreadfully sad situation. I'm fortunate to be in a position to homeschool and I do appreciate not having to make my kids make these choices. 

 

Its a small point too but I'd mention that my own son had long hair, wore pink and was mistaken for a girl for years, probably til he got a slightly shorter haircut last year, and yk, its never bothered him in the slightest. But he's not dealing with it alone, he spends a majority of his time in the HS community where the lines of weirdity are not only way, way further out than that but actually celebrated anyway, so I accept its a little different. 

 

One thing I feel my friend and his siblings got from the dress wearing experience. None of them would ever laugh at someone wearing a dress because, in pride of place in their mum's photo album, is at least one of them in a frock. It is a normalising experience. My friend is also incredibly pro LGBT rights, and I really think that having had someone say yes, not no, to him when he wanted to bend the rules a little helped a lot with this. He sees it as a defining experience. 

04-17-2013 12:27 PM
CatsMom129
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnthrope View Post
I tell my sons that they have penises, and some people have penises and some people don't

 

I find it interesting that you advocate gender neutrality, yet this wording contains some subtle sexism. In my view it would be more gender neutral to say, "Some people have penises, some have vulvas, and a few people even have some combination of the two." As it is worded here, the implication is that girls are people who lack something (a penis), rather than people who have their own complex anatomy, which is valuable in its own right.

 

I realize I may be nitpicking here. My point is simply that cultural attitudes can seep into our thinking, even when we do our best to challenge those cultural attitudes. Also, if my reading is off, and you have another reason for your wording, then please let me know.

04-15-2013 07:24 AM
EchoSoul

We had to go out to Goodwill and get our son pants, as he's finally hit another growth spurt, and suddenly outgrew his 2T stuff. The ONLY pants that fit him well were "girl" pants. All the "boy"'s clothes were baggy. So, if it fits... what's the huge deal? Pants are pants. =\

04-14-2013 07:02 PM
lisedea
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

For me it isn't an issue with my son or whether or not it would turn him gay, it's how society would react to something he would consider normal and part of who he is. If he was gay or trans, I'd want to protect him from bullying as long as I could until he's old enough to understand or at least have a better concept of why some people don't accept him. If he were a little bit older, I could make resources available to him so he wouldn't feel isolated. 
I'd rather my son hate the clothes his mom picks out for him in daycare/kindergarten than be bullied by his peers for being who he is.

greensad.gif This is so sad to me. Depressing that our society (well, namely parent opinions forced on their children) has such control over something that shouldn't be a big deal.

As an early childhood teacher, I see some of this starting in the early grade levels. It disgusts me that parents will tell their children that it is wrong to wear or like "boy" or "girl" colors (toys, clothes, games)--enough so that it carries over into the classroom. If more parents allowed their children to dress as they want and be proud of who they are, the bullies (parents and children alike) would have much less power....
04-13-2013 07:59 AM
Escaping
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post

Re the boy/dress thing. I actually know a man who was allowed to do this as a child and so his family have school photos of him in a dress at age 5. It is totally and utterly not a big deal. He grew up to have three sons and is actually your pretty normal straight male afaik. And the dress picture is a cute thing.

 

For me it isn't an issue with my son or whether or not it would turn him gay, it's how society would react to something he would consider normal and part of who he is. If he was gay or trans, I'd want to protect him from bullying as long as I could until he's old enough to understand or at least have a better concept of why some people don't accept him. If he were a little bit older, I could make resources available to him so he wouldn't feel isolated. 

I'd rather my son hate the clothes his mom picks out for him in daycare/kindergarten than be bullied by his peers for being who he is.

04-13-2013 07:38 AM
mama2cal&darby

"Re the boy/dress thing. I actually know a man who was allowed to do this as a child and so his family have school photos of him in a dress at age 5. It is totally and utterly not a big deal. He grew up to have three sons and is actually your pretty normal straight male afaik. And the dress picture is a cute thing."

 

 I am glad that your friend who wore a dress to school seems to have suffered no adverse reactions, but one can hardly say that because one person didn't, nobody would. I also think you may have misunderstood WHY I didn't allow my son to wear the dress for picture day. It was NOT because I thought it would make him gay or trans. It was because I was afraid he would be bullied (in his conservative suburban school) either now, or in the future and as he has  little to no understanding of the consequences- I decided to make that decision for him.

 

"Ok I am assuming that by "biologicially based" you mean "genetically predetetermined?" "

 

Actually by "biologically based" I mean an inborn combination of genetics and environmental factors.

 

" We have several friends who identify as trans, and others who identify as gay (including their beloved cousins dads) and it has literally never come up."

 

I'm not sure if this was meant as a response to something I said (maybe not), but my family has lots of gay friends (my DH and I were both actors...very large gay community in theatre) and it has also never been an issue here. We are in Canada and my kids see marrying someone of either sex as being a viable option. 

 

"I remember years ago, when taking psychology courses, being involved in an experiment of this nature. Participants were shown eroti-ish pictures of  men and women and various measures of <ahem> interest taken. But the problem was, at least for the images of the women, that they had used the same images for all participants, male and female, and that they were basically taken from lad magazines. Non-straight women often do not find the same images arousing as straight men, there is far too much cultural baggage associated with it all and lesbian pornography is an entirely separate genre. Just a small illustration to show how tricky this field really is."

 

I absolutely agree. I am now a psych grad student and I am well aware of how *squishy* much of psychology can be!

04-13-2013 02:12 AM
Fillyjonk

Oh, to add. I am not having a go, but re "The best science now indicates that sexual orientation is predominantly biologically based, but the same cannot be said for gender identity.".

 

Ok I am assuming that by "biologicially based" you mean "genetically predetetermined?" I apologise if not. As a materialist I'd say that everything is biologically based, including learnt behaviour. But one important thing is that as we learn, so our brains do change. Einstein had an unusual brain but its impossible to say whether he was born with it or whether it developed that way because of how he used it. Or whether it was even relevant to how he used it-maybe he happened to have a weird brain and it had no impact on his work.

 

Assuming you are saying that sexuality is genetically predetermined.The science of sexuality and gender is notoriously slippery. How do you even measure sexuality? I don't think anyone has ever really done so satisfactorally. I've had my eye on this research for years and I have never seen anything that's made me come to the conclusion that sexuality was predetermined, or not. My own feeling is that we all have differening tendencies and inclinations and what gets expressed is partly a result of environment, partly learning, and partly genes. I don't mean that we are all fully bisexual, I think that that is statistically rare, but I think most people are less monsexual than they possibly admit.

 

I remember years ago, when taking psychology courses, being involed in an experiement of this nature. Participants were shown eroti-ish pictures of  men and women and various measures of <ahem> interest taken. But the problem was, at least for the images of the women, that they had used the same images for all participants, male and female, and that they were basically taken from lad magazines. Non-straight women often do not find the same images arousing as straight men, there is far too much cultural baggage associated with it all and lesbian pornography is an entirely separate genre. Just a small illustration to show how tricky this field really is.  

04-13-2013 12:08 AM
Fillyjonk

"Gender is constantly evolviihologng, socially-defined and highly performative, it's not a fact of your anatomy."

 

yeahthat.gif

 

Re the boy/dress thing. I actually know a man who was allowed to do this as a child and so his family have school photos of him in a dress at age 5. It is totally and utterly not a big deal. He grew up to have three sons and is actually your pretty normal straight male afaik. And the dress picture is a cute thing.

 

My kids are a little older, and I raised them, not to be unaware of gender at all, but to be aware that gender is a social construct to some extent, and that their gender is not the primary thing about them necessarily, its not more important than them being interested in sailing or liking yellow. It does not trump anything else. As they have got older we've discussed what this might mean in terms of other people. My son has always been quite stereotypically boyish in terms of energy and interests (though he has a number of stereotypically "female" interests too) and its only fairly recently that he's even discussed gender really, and that was in the context of conversations we've had about equality. We have several friends who identify as trans, and others who identify as gay (including their beloved cousins dads) and it has literally never come up. He's at an age when his female friends are not letting the boys play, sadly, and we've discussed it in that context and how exluding someone beuase of their gender is quite hurtful.

 

We see nothing odd or unusual in it so I think, nor do they. If my kids were gay it would be, literally, nothing more than them telling us they really disliked custard.

 

They are homeschooled but this is a mixed blessing as I'd say that among homeschoolers are some extremely morally conservative people. We have had serious issues in the past in our groups with Stonewall (LGBT rights) anti-bullying posters being deemed "inappropriate" and certainly thinking of my kids homeschooled peers vs the schooled ones they meet in their activities, prejudice more often comes from the homeschoolers and is more likely to be unchallenged. But it has the advantage that I can choose to balance their influences a little.

04-12-2013 01:25 PM
mama2cal&darby
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnthrope View Post


See, I have no issue with my children having "gender identity disorder".  If they are trans*, they are trans*, and it's just part of who they are.

 

It's harder for people who publicly display homosexual attraction to live in our society, too, but it would be inappropriate to "protect" my children from being gay.  My MIL actually used that line on my DH when he was an adolescent-- it went something like "I will love you no matter what, even if you are gay, but I do hope you aren't gay because the world is very hard on people like that."  I'm sure she was just trying to protect her children and do right by them, but she ended up sending them the message that she would be disappointed if they had same-sex attractions, that being gay was some kind of worst-case scenario, and that homosexuals were OTHER. 

 

I want my children to know that I love them for who and what they are, and nothing they could say or do or think canould change that.  I don't want them to think that I love them in spite of a part of their identity or that I would have preferred that they were different people.  Gender and sexual orientation are a very personal part of identity, shaped by a complex interplay of social development and innate physiological factors we do not understand.

 

So I'm waiting to see, as my children grow up, who they were all along.  For me, this means coming from a place of complete acceptance and facilitating whatever they feel is right for their individual lives as they develop and can control more of it themselves.  It also means that I don't plan/predict their futures-- I have no way of knowing, after all, if they will grow up to be cis-gendered teenagers or delay their puberty through hormone therapy or get top surgery or become teen parents or smoke pot or change their given names or get married or choose to remain childless or breed dogs or vote Republican, and none of that stuff should have any bearing on my love for them or how I am raising them.  I trusted that they knew when they needed to nurse when they were newborns, and while it is difficult to keep the faith, I'm trying to continue trusting them to know what's right for themselves.  Sometimes they make choices they later regret, yes, but I believe they will learn more from making a choice and reaping the consequences than from being restricted or controlled by the choices I make for them.

You assume that our parenting doesn't influence whether or not our children may develop *sexual identity disorder*. I use to assume that as well, but when I started to look into it, that is definitely not agreed upon among the leading *experts*. I don't know if they are correct, but it has made me reconsider my some of my parenting choices.

 

I also want my children to know I love them for who and what they are and I believe I do that. I just don't want to contribute to something that may make their lives significantly harder than need be. I have gay friends who have said that if they had a choice their kids would be straight because they believe it would be easier for them. That doesn't mean their kids would think they were loved conditionally.And I can't imagine the circumstances when one would verbalize that to their kids. The best science now indicates that sexual orientation is predominantly biologically based, but the same cannot be said for gender identity. That doesn't mean I love my children conditionally or accept them less if they turn out to be gay, straight, trans, conservative, bankers, or dog breeders.

04-12-2013 12:53 PM
limabean
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnthrope View Post

So I'm waiting to see, as my children grow up, who they were all along.  

 

I like the way you worded this, and I agree. I have a few friends whose husbands mildly object to their sons playing with traditionally "girly" toys, and it just seems so counterproductive to me. If they're gay they're ALREADY gay, and restricting play with certain toys isn't going to change that. So all those fathers are doing is potentially damaging their future relationship with their children, by sending a message of nonacceptance. 

04-12-2013 12:39 PM
Escaping
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2cal&darby View Post

I absolutely agree with your understanding of gender, and in an ideal world each human would be truly free to choose/discover their own gender identity without outside pressure and prejudice. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world and I believe that a big part of my job as a mother is to help my children learn to navigate the world and the society we live in. My DS2 is free to wear dresses at home, but when he woke up on  the morning of school picture day and wanted to wear a dress, I said "No".  I told him my reasons and assured him that there was nothing wrong with him wanting to wear it.Was it the right decision? I don't know, but I do feel the need to try to protect him from ridicule. At the age of 5 he can't possibly know what the future ramifications of his choices now will be. No, neither can I, but I have more information and experience than he does. I would hate  for him to be the butt of jokes and bullying when he's 12 because of a choice he made at 5 in his conservative suburban school and can't change.

 

 

I tend to agree with people who do this. I probably wouldn't let my son go to school in a dress either because of bullying, but instead of explaining it to him, I'd just lie and try not to let him buy one in the first place saying they don't have one in his size or something and hope he forgets... if one did happen make it home from the store, I'd be sure it got ruined in the wash or from painting or something so he couldn't wear it outside. I really wouldn't have the heart to tell him that I know something he likes is going to get him made fun of by his peers.

04-12-2013 12:06 PM
MissAnthrope
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2cal&darby View Post

I absolutely agree with your understanding of gender, and in an ideal world each human would be truly free to choose/discover their own gender identity without outside pressure and prejudice. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world and I believe that a big part of my job as a mother is to help my children learn to navigate the world and the society we live in. My DS2 is free to wear dresses at home, but when he woke up on  the morning of school picture day and wanted to wear a dress, I said "No".  I told him my reasons and assured him that there was nothing wrong with him wanting to wear it.Was it the right decision? I don't know, but I do feel the need to try to protect him from ridicule. At the age of 5 he can't possibly know what the future ramifications of his choices now will be. No, neither can I, but I have more information and experience than he does. I would hate  for him to be the butt of jokes and bullying when he's 12 because of a choice he made at 5 in his conservative suburban school and can't change.

 

There are also leading psychologists in gender issues who believe that early parenting plays a significant part in people developing gender identity disorder. Having  not done the research myself, I can't know if this is true or not.  I have only known a couple of people who identified themselves as being transgendered and they both had extremely difficult lives. If there is a way to save my child from that, I will. Changing the way society views gender would be great and I will try to do my part  in that, but I will also try to protect my child. For me, at the moment, this means trying to allow my son to express himself and be who he feels he is at home and up to the point where I think there could be significant adverse consequences. I am open to change and assume I will come to regret some of my decisions. That seems to be a big part of mothering.


See, I have no issue with my children having "gender identity disorder".  If they are trans*, they are trans*, and it's just part of who they are.

 

It's harder for people who publicly display homosexual attraction to live in our society, too, but it would be inappropriate to "protect" my children from being gay.  My MIL actually used that line on my DH when he was an adolescent-- it went something like "I will love you no matter what, even if you are gay, but I do hope you aren't gay because the world is very hard on people like that."  I'm sure she was just trying to protect her children and do right by them, but she ended up sending them the message that she would be disappointed if they had same-sex attractions, that being gay was some kind of worst-case scenario, and that homosexuals were OTHER. 

 

I want my children to know that I love them for who and what they are, and nothing they could say or do or think could change that.  I don't want them to think that I love them in spite of a part of their identity or that I would have preferred that they were different people.  Gender and sexual orientation are a very personal part of identity, shaped by a complex interplay of social development and innate physiological factors we do not understand.

 

So I'm waiting to see, as my children grow up, who they were all along.  For me, this means coming from a place of complete acceptance and facilitating whatever they feel is right for their individual lives as they develop and can control more of it themselves.  It also means that I don't plan/predict their futures-- I have no way of knowing, after all, if they will grow up to be cis-gendered teenagers or delay their puberty through hormone therapy or get top surgery or become teen parents or smoke pot or change their given names or get married or choose to remain childless or breed dogs or vote Republican, and none of that stuff should have any bearing on my love for them or how I am raising them.  I trusted that they knew when they needed to nurse when they were newborns, and while it is difficult to keep the faith, I'm trying to continue trusting them to know what's right for themselves.  Sometimes they make choices they later regret, yes, but I believe they will learn more from making a choice and reaping the consequences than from being restricted or controlled by the choices I make for them.

04-12-2013 11:39 AM
MissAnthrope
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


It's just a function of our language -- we don't have gender-neutral pronouns that are socially acceptable to use for humans (most people object to the word "it" being used for their baby/child, and I've heard some people use "zhe," but it hasn't caught on). Even you refer to your "son" and "he" in your post.


I thought about that a LOT while I was pregnant with my first.  We use gender-specific pronouns with them by default as if they were definitely cis-gendered, but it's just shorthand.  English doesn't have a convenient neuter person, although we do use hir/ze to talk about people whose genders we can't easily categorize.  Even so, I often get the shes and the hes mixed up with my children and I don't correct myself.  Sometimes they correct me, and that gives us an opening to talk about people choosing their own pronouns and how we assume that masculine-presenting people take he/him/his and feminine-presenting people take she/her but that's just an assumption and the only way to know for sure what pronouns someone prefers is to ask.

 

And I had to re-read my post 4 times to make sure I was consistent about the son/he stuff.  It's just not on my radar.  I think of them as children, and as my children, and as their ages, and if I had to guess I'd say I probably use the cis pronouns with them about 80% of the time.  The gendered identities (boy, girl, son, daughter) aren't really in my thinking and it takes effort to summon them into my mind when I talk about my children with other people.  It's just not relevant to their lives or how we interact with them.

04-12-2013 08:08 AM
Mama505
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2cal&darby View Post

I absolutely agree with your understanding of gender, and in an ideal world each human would be truly free to choose/discover their own gender identity without outside pressure and prejudice. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world and I believe that a big part of my job as a mother is to help my children learn to navigate the world and the society we live in. My DS2 is free to wear dresses at home, but when he woke up on  the morning of school picture day and wanted to wear a dress, I said "No".  I told him my reasons and assured him that there was nothing wrong with him wanting to wear it.Was it the right decision? I don't know, but I do feel the need to try to protect him from ridicule. At the age of 5 he can't possibly know what the future ramifications of his choices now will be. No, neither can I, but I have more information and experience than he does. I would hate  for him to be the butt of jokes and bullying when he's 12 because of a choice he made at 5 in his conservative suburban school and can't change.

 

There are also leading psychologists in gender issues who believe that early parenting plays a significant part in people developing gender identity disorder. Having  not done the research myself, I can't know if this is true or not.  I have only known a couple of people who identified themselves as being transgendered and they both had extremely difficult lives. If there is a way to save my child from that, I will. Changing the way society views gender would be great and I will try to do my part  in that, but I will also try to protect my child. For me, at the moment, this means trying to allow my son to express himself and be who he feels he is at home and up to the point where I think there could be significant adverse consequences. I am open to change and assume I will come to regret some of my decisions. That seems to be a big part of mothering.

Yes, I hear you!  We recently moved from a smaller town where gender identity was a lot more fluid (in adults and children).  DS had the freedom to wear barrettes in hes hair, tutus/sarongs, dinosaur shirts and motorcycle (fake) tattoos all as one outfit if he wanted and no one cared, or said anything at least.  We moved for DH's work to a much bigger and more conservative city where there are a lot more stereotypical "boys" and "girls".  By that I mean, when we go to the park all of the boys are playing gun games and rough-housing, all of the girls are playing house games and neither know how to incorporate DS into their worlds!  Frankly, that is fine with me b/c I am not sure I want him to get sucked into either of those worlds, but it isn't something I had even considered before moving.  It just didn't exist for us!  So, now I want him to continue to be himself and do what feels good for him, but I would also like him to not be completely shunned at the park/library/whatever (especially not for something as trivial as what he is wearing)!  We have been keeping the fancies for at home, walking the dogs, and trips to stores.  When we are intentionally headed out to hang out at a park or something I encourage more neutral clothing.  All that said, DS is moving into a phase where it isn't what KIND of clothes to wear, it is more of getting ANY clothes on him at all!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRMum View Post

 

What I HATE is the slogans on kid clothing, "MONSTER", "PRINCESS", "I'M THE BOSS", "MOMMY'S NIGHTMARE", "AT LEAST I'M CUTE", "SOCCER CHAMP" there are so many horrible ones that make boys all out to be terrors, and girls all out to be princesses.  I hate it hate it hate it.  It is difficult to find clothes that don't put your kid in a box or put words in their mouth.  Just a rant!

I agree!  I also don't want my son to advertise for "your"  company!   

04-12-2013 07:49 AM
mama2cal&darby
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnthrope View Post

I personally do not care for pastels of any color.  So our baby/toddler wardrobes are mostly jewel tones and neutrals (white, natural, brown, gray, black).

 

We're also making a real effort to raise children with the awareness that gender is simply NOT something we can define for them nor is it something that exists in a dichotomy.  I don't even really think of my children as having genders-- I know their physical sexes, but it's strange to me when people call them boys and girls.  We absolutely do not coach them to use such language-- I tell my sons that they have penises, and some people have penises and some people don't, but I have NEVER told them that they are boys, because it's not up to me what gender they identify with.

 

Back on topic, there are comfortable, practical, and attractive clothes available in every size, and that means that there are gowns/skirts/dresses for babies up to the age of crawling and toddlers above the age of walking well, pants and long- and short- sleeved shirts for everybody, etc., and our children just pick what they want to wear (most are capable of choosing between a couple options around the age of 10 months).

 

My 3.5yo son's favorite clothes are a black and cream velvet dress and an orange shirt with monkeys and bananas screenprinted on it.  He can wear what he likes to wear and if he wants to attach meaning to his wardrobe choices as his understanding of social norms develops, so be it.  Gender is constantly evolviihologng, socially-defined and highly performative, it's not a fact of your anatomy.

I absolutely agree with your understanding of gender, and in an ideal world each human would be truly free to choose/discover their own gender identity without outside pressure and prejudice. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world and I believe that a big part of my job as a mother is to help my children learn to navigate the world and the society we live in. My DS2 is free to wear dresses at home, but when he woke up on  the morning of school picture day and wanted to wear a dress, I said "No".  I told him my reasons and assured him that there was nothing wrong with him wanting to wear it.Was it the right decision? I don't know, but I do feel the need to try to protect him from ridicule. At the age of 5 he can't possibly know what the future ramifications of his choices now will be. No, neither can I, but I have more information and experience than he does. I would hate  for him to be the butt of jokes and bullying when he's 12 because of a choice he made at 5 in his conservative suburban school and can't change.

 

There are also leading psychologists in gender issues who believe that early parenting plays a significant part in people developing gender identity disorder. Having  not done the research myself, I can't know if this is true or not.  I have only known a couple of people who identified themselves as being transgendered and they both had extremely difficult lives. If there is a way to save my child from that, I will. Changing the way society views gender would be great and I will try to do my part  in that, but I will also try to protect my child. For me, at the moment, this means trying to allow my son to express himself and be who he feels he is at home and up to the point where I think there could be significant adverse consequences. I am open to change and assume I will come to regret some of my decisions. That seems to be a big part of mothering.

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