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

screech
05-26-2011, 05:09 AM
This conversation is very timely, considering an article in this months' Smithsonian Magazine about when girls started wearing pink and boys wearing blue. (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/When-Did-Girls-Start-Wearing-Pink.html)

Proof that pink does not hinder a man's manliness:

This (http://cdn.thefrisky.com/images/uploads/alexander_skarsgard_retro_m.jpg) somehow turned into this. (http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llecqe20ih1qguwk5o1_500.jpg) (and this (http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_llcruxWgSP1qg73a9o1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId =AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1306468981&Signature=3i1%2FDyfaHa1MITDaNTaj32M4rV4%3D), and this.) (http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkwhgdpa0Q1qa2ovmo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId =AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1306469237&Signature=cbg0StGJKDEGEoJbGjCJgmsQxL4%3D)

IceAlisa
05-26-2011, 05:44 AM
I love pink dress shirts and a nice tie and suit on a man. :swoon:

MacMadame
05-26-2011, 07:29 AM
I don't see it as a social experiment. It seems like these are the parent's values, and the parents are raising their children according to them. I don't see the big deal personally :shrug:
I don't see the big deal either. If it's important to the kid, he or she will tell everyone "I'm a girl/boy" when the subject comes up. If it's not important to the kid, then it really doesn't matter what the parents do or did.

I have to say, having one kid of each gender and having an interest in gender issues, that it's very clear to me that society puts kids into boxes based on their gender and it's very hard to overcome those messages.

As an example, many pre-school aged boys are attracted to bright colors including neon pink. The boys in Mini-Mac's class would fight over who got to wear the yellow bathing suit covered in sequins from the dress-up box. (They considered it a super-hero costume, from what I could see.) All the parents in this school would have told you that they wanted their kids to follow their own interests and not be bound by society's conventions. But most of the parents were made very uncomfortable by the boys wearing the woman's bathing suit. They just couldn't help it, I think. And I think it wore off on the boys because they stopped playing with it pretty quickly, more quickly than you'd expect based on their initial level of interest.


The unschooling sounds similar to Montessori method btw (or at least has some things in common with it).
No, it's nothing like Montessori. Montessori is actually quite structured in some ways. The puzzles and games the kids work on all have a "right" answer and "right" way to do them, for example. Unschooling is more like a Sudbury school. Basically, you take your kids with you as you live real life and they learn from those experiences. For example, you take them shopping and have them figure out prices or keep a running total of what you've put in the cart and that's how they learn math and reading.

It's actually quite a bit of work to do properly, too. More than sending your kids to a school.


WRT the bullying comments, I think some sentiments expressed are at odds with those posted in this thread (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=78808). OTOH, people were saying in the bullying thread that students need to be taught to respect diversity, but in this case some are arguing a child needs to fit in with others to prevent from being bullied. Seems like a mixed message.
Word.

I find this kind of argument to be rather passive-aggressive myself. I think the people using it are uncomfortable with the gender-bending behavior but rather than copping to it, they play the "the child has to live in the real world" card. Yes, the child has to live in the real world, but it's not like a 2 year old isn't constantly shielded from most aspects of the real world. Why not shield a kid from this aspect? They can "live in the real world" later on when they have no choice in the matter.

PeterG
05-26-2011, 08:04 PM
It seems to me that the parents see a lot of rigidity in the world and would prefer to see more warm, relaxed-ness. So they want a better world for their children. I commend them.

Some random thoughts about the article Cyn shared with us...


When Storm was born, the couple sent an email to friends and family: “We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...).”

It does not sound to me like they have a rigid plan on how long this decision (of keeping the children's gender a secret) will last. They're just taking some time to give people space to think about why they cling so tightly to needing to label someone by gender.

And from some of the responses, people definitely cling very tightly to the idea of gender.

It sounds like the parents want the world to be a better place for their children, and they are taking action. I commend them for the strength of their convictions.


The grandparents were supportive, but resented explaining the gender-free baby to friends and co-workers. They worried the children would be ridiculed. Friends said they were imposing their political and ideological values on a newborn. Most of all, people said they were setting their kids up for a life of bullying in a world that can be cruel to outsiders.

The resentment of having to explain... (whatever, fill in the blank) seems to me to be about someone actually have to think anew about a subject that has previously been labelled, sealed and packaged in an easy way. Now we have to stop...think...and re-think previous ideas and beliefs that we have been taught - which might not actually make sense. This takes everyone out of their comfort zone. Which makes some people angry...defensive... (this could go on and on)!

When you think of previous groups of oppressed individuals, looking back now it's clear that the abuse directed at these people was wrong. But it took someone to stand up and say that something needed to change. I'm wondering if the phrase, "don't shoot the messenger" is apt. I'll have to think about that one. Your thoughts?

Bullying. I find it interesting that most people in this thread seem to be angry at the parents for letting their children be whoever they are as opposed to be angry with anyone who would dare to direct any form of mis-treatment or abuse at a child. It seems to be blaming the one receiving the abuse, rather than directing anger towards someone who is acting in an improper, hurtful way. (There, I've managed to explain that without using the words, "blaming the victim"...oops!!!) :lol:

skatesindreams
05-26-2011, 09:03 PM
This conversation is very timely, considering an article in this months' Smithsonian Magazine about when girls started wearing pink and boys wearing blue. (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/When-Did-Girls-Start-Wearing-Pink.html)

And there's a great photo of FDR in a dress and long hair.

This was common for males in the 19th century - Victorian era
If you've seen any portraiture/photos of children you might assume males to be females up until about age six.

Then, upper-class boys were dressed in short pants and ruffled shirts - think "Little Lord Fauntleroy" - until they were young men,

Garden Kitty
05-26-2011, 10:04 PM
Proof that pink does not hinder a man's manliness:

This (http://cdn.thefrisky.com/images/uploads/alexander_skarsgard_retro_m.jpg) somehow turned into this. (http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llecqe20ih1qguwk5o1_500.jpg) (and this (http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_llcruxWgSP1qg73a9o1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId =AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1306468981&Signature=3i1%2FDyfaHa1MITDaNTaj32M4rV4%3D), and this.) (http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkwhgdpa0Q1qa2ovmo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId =AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1306469237&Signature=cbg0StGJKDEGEoJbGjCJgmsQxL4%3D)


And the leader of the Giro d'Itlalia wears the coveted "pink" jersey (http://cache.boston.com/multimedia/sports/bigshots/giro/bs27.jpg), even for time trials when they're in more aerodynamic kits. (http://cache.boston.com/multimedia/sports/bigshots/giro/bs18.jpg)

WindSpirit
05-27-2011, 04:16 AM
I went to college with someone whose gender I still don't know. I *think* Terry was a he - but I'm not certain. But I realized quickly that it didn't matter, and if I was uncomfortable not knowing, it was a reflection on ME, not on Terry. Terry was popular on campus, successful in school, was brilliant at languages (learning and teaching) and is a successful adult. I guess s/he didn't get the memo that not having a well defined gender identity meant that s/he was doomed to a life of social shunning, inability to get a job or achieve success. There were two kids at my elementary school whose gender I couldn't tell. I don't remember their names if I ever knew them (we didn't have classes together). No one seemed to pay much attention to it.

You are what you are. I just don't understand trying to raise a genderless person on purpose. Those parents want their child to be able to choose later? We choose our genders? :huh: Maybe intersex people can (although I heard some say they don't feel the need to), but I sure don't remember choosing mine.

I've never been a girly girl and I don't adhere to many aspects of what a regular woman is "supposed" to be, yet I have no doubt in my mind I am female and always have been. I don't think I would have appreciated it if my parents had decided to treat me as a genderless person for the first years of my life, let alone made such a manufactured mystery to the outside world of it. They didn't push gender roles on me or my sister, but that's different. And thank god they never had me wear pink. :yikes:

People are born male, female, intersex, female in male body and vice versa. Some people don't feel like they belong to either sex or they belong to both at once. That's all cool and we all should be treated accordingly to what we feel we are. I just don't think we choose it.

The only way I could understand those parents' behavior is if they had an intersex child. In no case (that I can think of right now at least) can I understand making the whole affair public. It's not about their child. It's about them. "Look at us, we are so cool and progressive. We so don't care about our child's gender, we're going to expose our child to public scrutiny and put it under a microscope, so whatever our child wants to be it can, no pressure. No pressure at all." :rolleyes:

heckles
05-27-2011, 04:33 AM
It does not sound to me like they have a rigid plan on how long this decision (of keeping the children's gender a secret) will last.

Why not work against gender stereotyping rather than spending all this energy to play this game?

Seems to me that this poor kid with the porny first name is going to get pseudo-accidentally touched in the crotch under the guise of play by nosy adults trying to get the 411, if that hasn't already happened a few dozen times. Playful leg squeezes that go just a little too high, and so on.

VIETgrlTerifa
05-27-2011, 04:38 AM
Yes, and let's blame the parents for the inappropriate touching, shall we? I mean, they asked for it right? :rolleyes:

Angelskates
05-27-2011, 04:39 AM
They are wrong about who knows the child's gender. The passport office knows, as will anyone who has looked at the passport or birth certificate.

What if Jazz wants to tell people? What if he wants to talk about Storm? It's unnatural to always use a name and not he/she.

mag
05-27-2011, 04:43 AM
... In no case (that I can think of right now at least) can I understand making the whole affair public. It's not about their child. It's about them. "Look at us, we are so cool and progressive. We so don't care about our child's gender, we're going to expose our child to public scrutiny and put it under a microscope, so whatever our child wants to be it can, no pressure. No pressure at all." :rolleyes:

This.

heckles
05-27-2011, 04:49 AM
Yes, and let's blame the parents for the inappropriate touching, shall we?

Never said they were or weren't to blame.

VIETgrlTerifa
05-27-2011, 04:54 AM
Never said they were or weren't to blame.

I apologize for assuming that your disdain for the parents decision to not announce the sex of their baby to others and describing it as them playing a game also meant that they were responsible for the way other people are going to react.

Rafter
05-27-2011, 02:58 PM
For those who didn't read the entire article, they also co-sleep: discuss.

Creepy.

modern_muslimah
05-27-2011, 03:45 PM
There were two kids at my elementary school whose gender I couldn't tell. I don't remember their names if I ever knew them (we didn't have classes together). No one seemed to pay much attention to it.

You are what you are. I just don't understand trying to raise a genderless person on purpose. Those parents want their child to be able to choose later? We choose our genders? :huh: Maybe intersex people can (although I heard some say they don't feel the need to), but I sure don't remember choosing mine.

I've never been a girly girl and I don't adhere to many aspects of what a regular woman is "supposed" to be, yet I have no doubt in my mind I am female and always have been. I don't think I would have appreciated it if my parents had decided to treat me as a genderless person for the first years of my life, let alone made such a manufactured mystery to the outside world of it. They didn't push gender roles on me or my sister, but that's different. And thank god they never had me wear pink. :yikes:

I remember when I took Gender Studies in college being taught that sex (male/female) is predetermined but gender (man/woman, boy/girl) is not because gender is socially constructed. That evidenced by the different ideas of masculine and feminine that exists across cultures. What is considered feminine in some cultures may not be in others. We "perform" gender based on our biological sex, most of the time. When I wear hijab, that is a way of performing the role of being a Muslim woman. Of course, there are people who do the opposite (transgendered) and people who are androgynous.

I imagine that the children's parents are aware of these theories and hence, let their children "pick" which ever gender they want. Personally, I feel like the parents are using their children as political statements. I understand fighting gender norms and stereotypes but I somehow feel this is going beyond that.