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MacMadame
06-15-2011, 10:09 PM
But only within their parents' limitations as well Japanfan. The parents still chose for the first 18 months, which I believe can influence future decisions made by the children (if the child is dressed in pink for 18 months and then asked what he wants to choose in the clothes sections, I think it's highly likely he'll go with what he knows and is familiar with), and they still choose the stores from which the kids can choose clothes.
I think it's highly likely you haven't raised young children... because that hasn't been my experience as a parent at all. Once my kids got old enough to express their views on what they wore, they were quite adamant at buying things very different from what I dressed them in for the first 18 months or so. :lol:

The thing is, most kids the age of Jazz in the article are attracted to bright colors, especially pink. This happens no matter what their parents did when they were infants. Personally, I think it's something hardwired into our brains.



If his parents had explained to Jazz that some of the clothes are manufactured for girls and are considered girls' clothes by virtually everyone, then he could choose his clothes in a way that expressed who he was, using the signs of his particular culture. As it is, he was as unaware of what he was saying with his clothes, as if he were using words of which he didn't know the meaning.
My first reaction to this post is: you're kidding right? First of all, you don't know what his parents have and haven't told him about gender roles.

Secondly, he's not a mannequin. Do you really think he hasn't figured out that his choices are unconventional based on the reaction he's gotten to them? He'd have to be pretty intellectually disabled to not understand that boys who dress in traditional boys clothing don't have to have their parents write notes to adults saying they are a boy. Do you really think he couldn't figure out from the bullying he received in public school that he's making choices that aren't accepted by society?

At that point, he had the choice of changing how he dressed or changing his school and he picked changing his school. Most kids would have changed how they dressed. So that suggests to me that his choice of dress and hairstyle is important to him and a deliberate choice at this point.


I have no objection to raising a child in a genderless environment, the problem I have is with the media attention that this family and child have received. Now, however the situation plays out, the child and family are destined to be in the media spotlight.
I doubt it. The media has a short attention span. All they have to do is refuse future interviews and they'll be forgotten about.


First, we are talking about a little child and not a man. A man can wear whatever he wants, because he knows who he is, is able to understand cultural signs and to measure the consequences of his actions.
And a child can (and does) learn these things through his clothing choices.

Japanfan
06-16-2011, 12:18 AM
The progressives that I know say things like: I wear pantsuits and flats to work because only secretaries wear heels and pencil skirts.

The message is of course if you look feminine and chic, you must be dumb help. Gotta look like a man to appear executive. :rolleyes:

This. A woman needs to dress like a man to be taken as seriously as a man. This isn't gender neutrality as it conforms to a male standard.

There is a limited range of clothing that is truly gender neutral (i.e. flannel pajamas and blue jeans). So one way or another, women constantly have to negotiate the issue of sexual objectification.

VIETgrlTerifa
06-16-2011, 12:27 AM
Were blue jeans and pants always gender neutral though or did it become neutral due to women going against the standard set out for them?

agalisgv
06-16-2011, 01:18 AM
The progressives that I know say things like: I wear pantsuits and flats to work because only secretaries wear heels and pencil skirts. Interesting. IIRC, the last time you mentioned this, it was attributed to female execs--not political progressives. See below:

I have attended a brunch not too long ago where a bunch of successful business women were present. And by successful I mean they were the primary bread winners of the family while the hubby stayed home. I see it happening quite a lot these days (and why not? Equal opportunity works both ways).

Anyway, the conversation touched on wearing high heels in the work place. One of the women rolled her eyes and said only secretaries do that. That struck me is sort of sexist. Basically women have to dress up as men to be perceived successful and noteworthy in business.

Then a few months later I ran into a female MBA student who is enrolled in one of the most prestigious programs in the country and who has met her share of Wall Street women.

She herself is extremely good looking and chic. And she assured me that Wall Street women are very tiffed, including tailored suits and expensive heels. So there. I was reassured that one doesn't have to give up one's femininity in order to succeed in business.

On a separate note:
Were blue jeans and pants always gender neutral though or did it become neutral due to women going against the standard set out for them? Jeans were typically considered mens wear, and it was quite gender bending back in the day for women to wear them. Even business pantsuits were quite the breakthrough since as recently as the 80's, professional women were advised to only wear skirts because pants were considered too informal and/or masculine for business environments. Heels were considered required attire, so wearing flats was a significant departure and challenge to business attire norms for women.

Interesting how what was gender bending a few decades ago is now considered neutral. But when enough people challenge the status quo, the status quo changes accordingly.

Anecdote, but I was talking with my kids about this as I was curious to hear their perspectives. It was one of the best discussions we've had. Anyhow, two things they mentioned struck me--one said boys come dressed in skirts and dresses everyday to high school, and it's mostly the adults who seem to have an issue with it. He didn't see the big deal in this at all (and keep in mind we live in a very conservative part of the country). The other said boys openly date other boys, and girls openly date other girls as young as 6th grade. He said no one really cares, but the parents aren't necessarily aware of it.

My oldest said if maybe adults would just bud out of such things, maybe kids like Jazz wouldn't have such a hard time in school. He really thought it was a generational issue with adults being the problem (though he also thought the parents should have done a better job at pressing the school to be more tolerant and protecting Jazz from bullying rather than just pull him out of school).

Anyhow, I was a bit surprised since their experiences in school today are a far cry from what I remember.

Food for thought...

Japanfan
06-16-2011, 04:36 AM
Anecdote, but I was talking with my kids about this as I was curious to hear their perspectives. It was one of the best discussions we've had. Anyhow, two things they mentioned struck me--one said boys come dressed in skirts and dresses everyday to high school, and it's mostly the adults who seem to have an issue with it. He didn't see the big deal in this at all (and keep in mind we live in a very conservative part of the country). The other said boys openly date other boys, and girls openly date other girls as young as 6th grade. He said no one really cares, but the parents aren't necessarily aware of it.

My oldest said if maybe adults would just bud out of such things, maybe kids like Jazz wouldn't have such a hard time in school. He really thought it was a generational issue with adults being the problem (though he also thought the parents should have done a better job at pressing the school to be more tolerant and protecting Jazz from bullying rather than just pull him out of school).
Food for thought...

:kickass::kickass:

IceAlisa
06-16-2011, 04:39 AM
Interesting. IIRC, the last time you mentioned this, it was attributed to female execs--not political progressives. See below:
and the two are mutually exclusive? :rolleyes: Save your attempts to play "gotcha".

gkelly
06-16-2011, 04:50 AM
There is a limited range of clothing that is truly gender neutral (i.e. flannel pajamas and blue jeans). So one way or another, women constantly have to negotiate the issue of sexual objectification.

There are plenty of female clothing options that are neither masculine/gender neutral nor overly sexualized.

Even if the clothes themselves are neutral -- say khaki slacks and t-shirt -- the shape of the wearer's body will usually make the sex of the wearer apparent. If the clothes are cut to fit, the shape of the body will be clearer. Of course, different individuals have different body shapes that may exaggerate or minimize typical sex characteristics.


If women should wear miniskirts and plunging necklines, does equality dictate that men should wear codpieces?

IceAlisa
06-16-2011, 04:55 AM
If women should wear miniskirts and plunging necklines, does equality dictate that men should wear codpieces?

Neither miniskirts nor low necklines emphasize genitals. I think a more suitable analogy would be tight pants or shorts for men. :lol: Chaps?

gkelly
06-16-2011, 05:43 AM
Fair enough.

There are some professions in which that kind of clothing is appropriate or even typical, even some in which sexual objectification of the male body is the main point.

But business executive is not one of them.

Of course I did once observe Scott Hamilton taking a business meeting dressed in tights and t-shirt.

On site at a pro competition right after practice.

Japanfan
06-16-2011, 10:20 AM
Neither miniskirts nor low necklines emphasize genitals. I think a more suitable analogy would be tight pants or shorts for men. :lol: Chaps?

Low necklines emphasize breasts and miniskirts emphasize butts while allowing peeks at the crotch or at least reminding others that the crotch is within visual reach.

So I'll go with the cod piece as a fair analogy. A thong-type bottom would also do nicely. :)

IceAlisa
06-16-2011, 04:34 PM
Low necklines emphasize breasts and miniskirts emphasize butts while allowing peeks at the crotch or at least reminding others that the crotch is within visual reach.

So I'll go with the cod piece as a fair analogy. A thong-type bottom would also do nicely. :)

Breasts are not genitals, neither are buttocks. I thought that miniskirts were all about displaying the legs, not crotch.

VIETgrlTerifa
06-16-2011, 04:38 PM
Unless you're Sharon Stone. (Ok, she wore a dress but the skirt was short ;)).

IceAlisa
06-16-2011, 04:40 PM
Unless you're Sharon Stone. (Ok, she wore a dress but the skirt was short ;)).

A mini dress. Love wearing those on Saturday nights, without the crotch flash, though. :lol:

Dragonlady
06-16-2011, 07:03 PM
This. A woman needs to dress like a man to be taken as seriously as a man. This isn't gender neutrality as it conforms to a male standard.

There is a limited range of clothing that is truly gender neutral (i.e. flannel pajamas and blue jeans). So one way or another, women constantly have to negotiate the issue of sexual objectification.

This is simply not true. Business dress allows women to wear skirts, dresses or pants, however a jacket is required in all cases. I know of few secretaries who wear pencil skirts. It's the lawyers who wear skirts, especially if they're going to Court, where a black skirt is required (along with black barrister's robes).

My former boss, a senior partner in one of the big Bay Street firms, told me that when she was first called to the Bar, she made her own suits because there was little available for business women at that time. Today, there is a wide range of feminine suits available either with pants or skirts. You can even buy stylish and attractive jackets on their own. And my former boss no longer makes her own suits.

It is also possible to dress stylishly without "gender objectification" becoming an issue, and without looking like a dowdy grandmother either. The media may make it appear to be an either/or situation but that's far from true.

IceAlisa
06-16-2011, 07:14 PM
Lawyers in Canada have to wear robes to court but not in the US. We had ourselves here in SF a very tiffed ADA once also former SF First Lady Kim Guilefoyle. She won the infamous dog mauling case. She now has a job on TV.