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Old 01-05-2013, 04:07 PM   #11
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Re: So whats the big deal with making sure babies gender conform?

i don't get it either.
but then again, i don't feed into gender stereotypes or roles either.
when they are too young to protest they will wear what i put them in & when they are old enough to make the decision for themselves that is exactly what they will do.

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:07 PM   #12
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Re: So whats the big deal with making sure babies gender conform?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leyash View Post
My 11 year old boy just got a PURPLE cast taken off... which seems to be a "girl" color.

I think comments (from me or anyone else) are more likely to scar my children about how they are wearing an inappropriate color or whatever, than LETTING them wear the "inappropriate" color.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:12 PM   #13
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Re: So whats the big deal with making sure babies gender conform?

The dressing bit makes some sense if trying to avoid confusion (or teasing) when out and about. But I have friends whose husbands really freak out when their boys want to play with dolls... even if their boys mostly play with trucks. They are over-prescribing gender differences to their boys to the point of distortion. That makes me sad b/c it's sending the message that men are not supposed to be nurturing, that they have to be concerned about guarding a certain image, that they have to reject parts of themselves, and that they can't be "tainted" by the things of the "lesser sex" (yes, I think it inherently sends that message about girls).

But with the girls there isn't that paranoia about tainting so much as about not staying in their place. Thus in families/communities where it is acceptable for girls to be tomboyish it is sort of a "win win" that they got both plates spinning (theirs and the more dominant sex's). Yet even in families with tomboy girls, the girls are sometimes frowned upon if they have strong opinions or show leadership in other areas. Anyhow, girls are often taught to reject parts of themselves too (the original question re: girls being encouraged to be tomboys is not universal in the U.S.--quiet and meek is strongly encouraged in many families, and I grew up having to wear skirts and not play sports). I'm glad this limitation on girls has changed a lot, but it hasn't changed completely. Nor has it changed at all in some subcultures.

Children naturally grow to become curious about their gender and ways to identify with their gender, ways to belong (I think this is part of why most little girls seem to say pink or purple are their favorite colors even when those colors infrequently remain their favorite colors as adults). As it is, sometimes the ways they choose to belong to their gender during those growth spurts in which they are particularly gender-socializing themselves (as little kids entering their more social years and as teens) are less than healthy depending on what messages they are consuming (e.g., there are plenty of studies out regarding how smart girls dumb themselves down during adolescence for instance). They don't need the added pressure from adults to fit into narrow cookie cutters. And they WILL pick up on adults' paranoia about their becoming gender-typical whether that leads them to choose gender stereotypes more strongly (usually) or to (sometimes) rebel. And that means that they are becoming narrower versions of themselves. Just my 2.

But being exceedingly careful about gendered colors is by itself, I think, a neutral sort of concern when it comes to how we handle (and sometimes misshape) kids according to their gender. It can even be a good concern when it comes to wanting to shield kids from the teasing that might surround them (you know, that photo that might come back to haunt them in teen years). It probably also stems from parents' fears of being poo-poohed by their own friends.

Personally I never much liked pink until I got older (and now I only like bold or "off" pinks like magenta and orchid). So it would not really occur to me to dress a girl in pink (especially not pastel pink, which I dislike). A salmon sort of color sometimes looks quite nice on men, fwiw.

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #14
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I personally don't care. I'm not going to deliberately put DS in anything too "girly", but I don't do that with DD either. They wear the clothes and colours that look good on them and that they like.

DH cringes a little when DS wants something pink, or when he wants to play dress up with the tutus, or watch a Disney princess movie. He claims it due to my influence, but honestly, after watching Beauty and the Beast for the 10 millionth time I would have killed to watch Cars.

DD on the other hand loves cars and trucks, as well as dress up. DH of course thinks that is okay.

I do feel bad because I worry that as DS gets older, he's not going to live up to DH's expectations. For example, DH was very into sports as a teenager, at this stage DS has no interest in any sports, not even playing with a ball.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:45 PM   #15
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I tend to conform to gender e expectations and I'd put my boys in that onsie. Out of the house, too.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:56 PM   #16
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I think gender specific things are good if you will be offended if your baby is called the wrong gender. You can't tell with babies. Although my DD2 gets called a boy even in hot pink hello kitty pajamas . Beyond that I think it's so ridiculous when I hear my friends fretting over their son wanting a doll or a pink bike. My in laws think it is just awful that my 4 year old nephew chose a purple bike. A color or a toy isn't going to "make them gay."

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:59 PM   #17
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Re: So whats the big deal with making sure babies gender conform?

We don't really go for either; especially toys. DD1 plays with cars, dragons, and still loves her Barbies and other 'girly' toys. I had light purple and pink dress shirts growing up. We just don't want to limit our children on things that's not going to really affect their life. I guess this topic could go in so many directions I honestly don't know.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:09 PM   #18
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I get that some people are really concerned with gender roles, but yeah, it is a pretty foreign concept to me as well. Both me and DH have dressed our son in girl clothes and our daughter in boy clothes, we've bought them both "boy" toys and "girl" toys, and all that jazz. Our extended family seems similarly unconcerned with gender roles, and our community is the same. Right now there seems to be a definite trend in our neighborhood to name kids ambiguous names, or names that are stereotypically from the opposite gender (such as girls named James or Joey). As for toys, I think removing any reference to gender-typical toys is a bit silly. Instead I prefer to make sure that our kids have a wide variety of gender-neutral, gender-typical, and gender-atypical toys to play with. My hope is that no one category is emphasized over the others, and that the kids have the freedom to express their likes whether those be gender-typical or gender-atypical. But I admit that I avoid hot pink. A kitchen set doesn't need to be hot pink to be fun.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:23 PM   #19
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Re: So whats the big deal with making sure babies gender conform?

I had one girlfriend who was given a boy's name b/c her parents had been expecting a boy. She has spent her whole life hating it. I don't get that push, honestly, but then I embrace gender difference just not the over-ascription of it (especially as someone who has at least as many traditionally masculine traits as I do traditionally feminine ones). In cross cultural studies they find that genders' traits are like bell curves that almost entirely overlap; we are far, far more the same than we are different even if some individuals will display those far ends of the respective bell curves (the most gender-typed personalities). The one consistent difference they find really is that women on the whole tend to have a bit less confidence than men on the whole in all cultures, a phenomenon quite possibly explained by their social vulnerability in male-oriented societies.

Man, I know how to ramble! Anyhow, I wouldn't be tempted to make that sort of statement (that is, to want to give a girl a boy's name). Perhaps I am not empathetic enough to those who wish to make that sort of statement, but it sort of seems like making a statement at a kid's expense--a statement that kid is likely to wrestle with her whole life. I would personally want to proceed with caution on the naming front.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:26 PM   #20
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I'm one that said only at home. My ds is the only boy & will not hesitate to wear pink or purple snow pants or boots outside if they're the only ones dry. He's also worn his fair share of hand me down girl jammies & sweats. My youngest now wears ds's handme down snow gear outside. Away from home, it's gender specific because people talk & I don't want my kids teased.

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