PDA

View Full Version : Parents Keep Child's Gender A Secret Following Birth (and other incredulous stuff)



Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 [19] 20 21 22 23 24 25

milanessa
01-31-2012, 10:13 AM
I buy toys that are as gender neutral as possible. I don't buy clothing with skulls, footballs, etc. When they are old enough, they can choose their own toys and clothing - within reason (No Barbies, no sequins)


Why no Barbies or sequins?

BlueRidge
01-31-2012, 01:42 PM
Do some folks feel that the goal should be to eliminate gender altogether?

milanessa
01-31-2012, 02:20 PM
Do some folks feel that the goal should be to eliminate gender altogether?

Not my goal. :eek:

BlueRidge
01-31-2012, 02:23 PM
Not my goal. :eek:

At the risk of annoying Prancer, what is gender? What is its purpose?

I've been thinking about this a while because of a couple of articles I read, one on a transgendered child, and another on a teacher who decided to only use the term students rather than the words boys and girls. The latter makes me wonder, when are we talking about gender and when about biological sex?

I'll see if I can find the links to those, but it was a while ago so I may not be able to.

milanessa
01-31-2012, 02:30 PM
I'll see if I can find the links to those, but it was a while ago so I may not be able to.

I'll read them if you do. Interesting question.

BlueRidge
01-31-2012, 02:47 PM
Here's one article:

http://togetherforjacksoncountykids.tumblr.com/post/14314184651/one-teachers-approach-to-preventing-gender-bullying-in

There seems to be a notion that individuals should choose their gender. That brings me back to the question what is gender? If it is separate from biological sex, what is its purpose?

My impression is that gender is related to sex roles. Gender is socially-constructed as are sex roles. Should there be sex roles and if not, then wouldn't the goal be to eliminate gender?

ETA: here is the article about the transgendered child: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2011/12/11/led-child-who-simply-knew/SsH1U9Pn9JKArTiumZdxaL/story.html?s_campaign=sm_fb

Ziggy
01-31-2012, 03:15 PM
Some other the 19th century attitudes to sex and gender in this thread are :wall:.


You are so born with your gender.

You are not.

You are born with your sex.

Gender is assigned culturally.


I am wondering if some people would argue that "gender" and "sex" are really the same thing.

They are not.


Similarly, I tried giving my son stuffed animals and even dolls to see what he would do. He had no interest in stuffed animals with one exception of a stuffed crocodile called Neville, that he still sleeps with. Other than that he just dropped them on the floor. At the same time he had an absolute fascination with cars or anything mechanical from pretty much his birth. The one traditionally viewed as female interest of his is cooking.

How surprising that boys have absolute fascination with cars pretty much from their birth when it's a toy that they receive pretty much from their birth and that surrounding adults approve of them playing with. Fancy that.

Babies look the same, regardless of their biological sex. Yet adults use different words to describe male and female babies and assign them different characteristics.

And of course girls get pink onesies and boys get blue.

The vast majority of parents will subconsciously react differently to their child behaving in the way they see appropriate to their biological sex vs. the way which they see inappropriate. Whilst most will not call their son a fag because he plays with dolls, they probably will have negative body language, give him less attention, etc. And children want to please their parents so they will modify their behaviour accordingly.

And then we say: "But look, he wants to play with cars!" and the self-fulfilling prophecy is complete and we just proved to ourselves that boys will be boys and girls will be girls.

Well done, everyone!

Dragonlady
01-31-2012, 03:25 PM
How surprising that boys have absolute fascination with cars pretty much from their birth when it's a toy that they receive pretty much from their birth and that surrounding adults approve of them playing with. Fancy that.

Ah the naitivity of those who have no children.

I found the gender fight back in the 70's when my kids were small. We gave them gender neutral toys. No guns, no Barbies or any kind were allowed in the house, lots of encouragement to play with whatever they wanted to play with. My son played with cars, not because he was given cars from an early age, but because that's what he wanted to play with. My daughter played with Barbies - she kept them at her great-grandmother's house.

We didn't even bother with this battle when Tink was little. She had more Barbies than any kid in the neighbourhood. Her "Barbie box" was legendary in her social group. She is less fixated on gender roles than either of her siblings.

Boys are VERY different from girls, and it ain't just social conditioning.

BlueRidge
01-31-2012, 03:26 PM
...

And then we say: "But look, he wants to play with cars!" and the self-fulfilling prophecy is complete and we just proved to ourselves that boys will be boys and girls will be girls.

Well done, everyone!

Is this bad? Why? And what would be a better way? See question above, is the goal to eliminate gender? Or is it to allow everyone to choose their gender? If the latter, what purpose in that case does gender serve?

milanessa
01-31-2012, 03:36 PM
Is this bad? Why? And what would be a better way? See question above, is the goal to eliminate gender? Or is it to allow everyone to choose their gender? If the latter, what purpose in that case does gender serve?

Well, I'm not for eliminating gender but don't think choosing a gender is right either. Choice implies a conscious decision (IMO) and young children (also IMO) can't do that.

BlueRidge
01-31-2012, 03:39 PM
Well, I'm not for eliminating gender but don't think choosing a gender is right either. Choice implies a conscious decision (IMO) and young children (also IMO) can't do that.

Isn't the idea of the original story in this thread that the child would choose its gender when it was old enough to do so? Or is it just that it would choose what gendered clothes-toys-activities it liked regardless of its sex? (which still brings up the question, what is gender and why...)

milanessa
01-31-2012, 03:52 PM
Isn't the idea of the original story in this thread that the child would choose its gender when it was old enough to do so? Or is it just that it would choose what gendered clothes-toys-activities it liked regardless of its sex? (which still brings up the question, what is gender and why...)

My thoughts on all of this are not yet coalesced but initially I'd go with what I bolded. A child could prefer feminine clothing and yet also choose toys traditionally considered masculine, no?

BlueRidge
01-31-2012, 03:56 PM
My thoughts on all of this are not yet coalesced but initially I'd go with what I bolded. A child could prefer feminine clothing and yet also choose toys traditionally considered masculine, no?

Sure. But then my next question here is about the "traditionally considered" masculine or feminine. If the idea is that individuals should be able to choose what suits them, why continue to consider things masculine and feminine? Why not eliminate gender? What purpose does it serve?

I don't have any conclusions about all this, it just feels like when people discuss gender they have a lot of unexplored assumptions and I'm interested in exploring those.

Ziggy
01-31-2012, 03:59 PM
Ah the naitivity of those who have no children.

Ah the "I think I know it all just because I had children" of those who have children.


I found the gender fight back in the 70's when my kids were small. We gave them gender neutral toys. No guns, no Barbies or any kind were allowed in the house, lots of encouragement to play with whatever they wanted to play with. My son played with cars, not because he was given cars from an early age, but because that's what he wanted to play with. My daughter played with Barbies - she kept them at her great-grandmother's house.

We didn't even bother with this battle when Tink was little. She had more Barbies than any kid in the neighbourhood. Her "Barbie box" was legendary in her social group. She is less fixated on gender roles than either of her siblings.

Parents are only a part of the equation.

Children see gender roles everywhere.

On TV, in the books they read, in the computer games they play, online. They see how other people behave. They see how their peers react to their behaviour and each other's behaviour, etc.

(While Storm's parents may not assign any gender to their child, society will)


Boys are VERY different from girls, and it ain't just social conditioning.

No, it's mostly social and cultural conditioning and there's loads of research literature showing that.


Is this bad? Why? And what would be a better way? See question above, is the goal to eliminate gender? Or is it to allow everyone to choose their gender? If the latter, what purpose in that case does gender serve?

It's socially constructed.

Is that bad? Personally, I think that it is bad, because it confines people.

Its purpose seems to be the organisation of society, management of power relations, etc.

People like to feel secure and they like the world around them to be predictable. Gender roles ensure that.

We know what to expect of men and we know what to expect of women.

We also get guidelines how we should behave ourselves and don't have to work our identity out ourselves (which could do us a load of good).

BlueRidge
01-31-2012, 04:01 PM
Aren't these sex roles? Isn't gender used to create sex roles?