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Old 03-24-2013, 08:32 PM   #71
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Re: When to stop babying your babies??

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I believe the pansy post was tongue in cheek.

I didn't read anyone saying the OP was sexist (though I usually try to read generously and assume the best). I do think some were saying the word is sexist. Not the same thing.

While I am quite certain that the OP was not trying to say her baby was being "girly" because he cries, it is also true that words have meanings we may not intend. Being aware of those other meanings helps up choose our words more clarity. Even the sources you cited yourself use "effeminate man" as the first (and therefore dominant - because dictionaries work that way) definition.

Being aware of how other people hear our words also helps us clarify - we can identify how we mean them.

However, just because many people use derogatory words without malice doesn't mean these words don't carry those negative meanings forward. I'm thinking of racial epithets but also the poster in another thread calling little dogs "ankle biters."

Yes, we can all go overboard and get our panties in a twist sometimes but my point way back when was that using words like sissy and pansy (not the flower), as well as many others with gendered and sexual orientation aspects contributes to some of the ways gender works in this culture in negative ways (not saying here that all gender difference is bad, mKay?). I don't like the word for that reason. Scaredy cat, or sensitive flower of a boy, or even wimp would have read differently and avoided part of the gender (boys shouldn't cry) issue.

I can't argue with "lots of research." I responded to the one you posted.
Wow. Just wow. Thank you for trying to inform me of how to use a dictionary. Gosh I just never knew. And yes there is a lot of research on the topic but I'm not going to waste time posting them all on here...its pretty easy to look them up. Type in search box...click enter... I really wasn't trying to argue, just make a point on her behalf since I do know her IRL. I love when people try to be so convincing telling their side but don't bother seeing the side of others. That's probably some sort of ism isn't it? oH who am I kidding? I'm much too stupid to answer that.

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Old 03-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #72
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Wow. Just wow. Thank you for trying to inform me of how to use a dictionary. Gosh I just never knew. And yes there is a lot of research on the topic but I'm not going to waste time posting them all on here...its pretty easy to look them up. Type in search box...click enter... I really wasn't trying to argue, just make a point on her behalf since I do know her IRL. I love when people try to be so convincing telling their side but don't bother seeing the side of others. That's probably some sort of ism isn't it? oH who am I kidding? I'm much too stupid to answer that.
Mama I have not questioned your intelligence here. Nor have I attacked the OP.

I have tried to explain where I was coming from and I have talked about a link that you yourself say was chosen without looking closely.

I don't think we are necessarily on different "sides." Or at least we don't have to be.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:00 PM   #73
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Re: When to stop babying your babies??

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Mama I have not questioned your intelligence here. Nor have I attacked the OP.

I have tried to explain where I was coming from and I have talked about a link that you yourself say was chosen without looking closely.

I don't think we are necessarily on different "sides." Or at least we don't have to be.
I hear ya. Don't mind my rage. I need not to reply to things like this after the day I have had. Your comment wasn't the one that did these things it was someone else's and then it progressed from there.

Back to the original discussion/thread though. In your line of work what would classify emotion wise the difference between a man and a woman? Or is it so vague that it can't be specifically classified? And are the brain differences valid in form of sections of the brain used for certain functions and/or classifications? Or is it really up in the air? I remember discussing this in high school and don't remember it being so up in the air (mind you this was over 7 years ago)
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:01 PM   #74
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Re: When to stop babying your babies??

My nephew is very sensetive in comparison to other boys. At that age he was similar to your son, but still very happy and overall enjoyable. I wouldn't worry about him toughening up or anything, he is only sixteen months after all. There's time to see how he grows and matures.

He very well may end up being an extremely masculine boy, or a sensetive one - I would embrace either as who he is. Of course you can set limitations if he is being OVERLY sensetive in order to prevent meltdowns and build his self esteem, but otherwise, I would leave it as it is.

Also, do you think your opinion of your younger son could be influenced by what you are accustomed to from your older son? That's a possibility, and not entirely uncommon.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:19 PM   #75
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Re: When to stop babying your babies??

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Mama, claws in please. I never accused the OP of sexism and never questioned your ways of raising your children. Nor did i question your education. it was you that questioned mine. Some of my research is relevant, yes.

I explained my own feelings about words and why I think they matter and I have done my best to show why I take issue with the specific claims made in that blog you linked..

You and I may never agree but it's not just a matter of opinion. Some science and some research is better than others and that particular piece is poor.

Even the stories told by posters in this thread suggest that children vary widely in terms of their sensitivity and resiliency regardless of gender.

In general the posters here tend to agree that resiliency is good and as a group we tend to encourage our children - boy or girl - to move on if it isn't serious.

Given that, I fail to see why it's useful or helpful to insist boys are "naturally" less "sissy" than girls. If anything, all it does is make some sensitive boys and some aggressive girls seem bad or wrong. I have a problem with that, and the kind of pseudo science that supports it.

.
As a child I, obviously, was a girl. I hated being called sissy. It would result in a knock down drag out fight. I didn't care one bit what the dictionary said it meant. It was to me and to my peers an insult.

Truthfully meanings of words change long before the dictionaries catch up with the common useage of the word. Take for example the word gay. It once meant happy. Now it means homosexual. It was used and likely still is used by some as an insult. I am sure at one time you could look up the meaning of the word in the then current dictionary and it's current meaning would not have shown up even if it was commonly being used in such a way.

Also being considered an effeminate male would have then and for many even now be considered an insult.

Honestly though I don't think as long as you are not abusing your children what you wish to refer to them as should really require 70 posts. I will say things like," Oh my baby is being such a cry baby." when he is being particulary whiney. Yes it is absolutely an insult. Not arguing, I insulted my child. He doesn't take offense though. He is only 21 months old. Certainly I don't say that to my 9 year old son. Though sometimes I do tell him buck up when he is being particularly whimpy. Yup, I did say my son is sometimes whimpy but generally only when I am present. He hasn't died yet. He also seems to be in general well adjusted despite my occasional loving insults.

So, do I think you insulted your son a bit. Yeah I do. Do I think it will harm him. Nah, not likely.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:27 PM   #76
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Re: When to stop babying your babies??

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I'm "old school" and live the life of traditional based stereotypes and roles of a woman. And no it doesn't bother me. Obviously not all the same but still traditional. ( I vote, am educated, have a degree, do hobbies that i love, etc) Which is most likely why things like simple words don't bother me. I don't look into them so much and "read between the lines" if I don't feel there's a need to. Just my outlook on life. Times are changing though where there seems to be an ism or ist added to everything these days.
I think this is maybe part of what others are saying too - that these are social roles that some people accept and embrace and others reject in whole or in part. You are happy in your social role as a 'traditional' woman - traditional in our culture and society. It doesn't have to be natural or biological to be fulfilling. I choose not to - and I'm not fighting my 'natural' instincts as a woman, nor am I 'unnatural' or a biological freak for not having or acting on those instincts. We're both just living our lives in ways that feel 'natural' to us.

And I think when people were pushing back on the OP for describing her son's behaviour as 'sissy' had a lot to do with how we present these roles to our children - whether or not we give them options, whether or not we encourage gendered characters in our children. And specifically what I take issue with is how pop psychology and some evolutionary biology ignores the data we have and draws 'biological' 'scientific' justifications for behaviors that are particular to our own society. And I think what Jamie was suggesting is that not only is this bad science - that ignores cross cultural data, carries assumptions that aren't justified, and draws conclusions that aren't supported by the evidence they do present - but it also has a harmful effect in presenting some behaviour as 'natural' and other behaviour as 'unnatural'. Which is pretty interesting, really, because what the post was initially talking about is whether his behaviour was 'natural' to this specific kid - and whether it was possible to socially 'shape' his behaviour in more desirable ways (encourage resilience, independence, and perhaps self esteem).
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:30 PM   #77
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Re: When to stop babying your babies??

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I think this is maybe part of what others are saying too - that these are social roles that some people accept and embrace and others reject in whole or in part. You are happy in your social role as a 'traditional' woman - traditional in our culture and society. It doesn't have to be natural or biological to be fulfilling. I choose not to - and I'm not fighting my 'natural' instincts as a woman, nor am I 'unnatural' or a biological freak for not having or acting on those instincts. We're both just living our lives in ways that feel 'natural' to us.

And I think when people were pushing back on the OP for describing her son's behaviour as 'sissy' had a lot to do with how we present these roles to our children - whether or not we give them options, whether or not we encourage gendered characters in our children. And specifically what I take issue with is how pop psychology and some evolutionary biology ignores the data we have and draws 'biological' 'scientific' justifications for behaviors that are particular to our own society. And I think what Jamie was suggesting is that not only is this bad science - that ignores cross cultural data, carries assumptions that aren't justified, and draws conclusions that aren't supported by the evidence they do present - but it also has a harmful effect in presenting some behaviour as 'natural' and other behaviour as 'unnatural'. Which is pretty interesting, really, because what the post was initially talking about is whether his behaviour was 'natural' to this specific kid - and whether it was possible to socially 'shape' his behaviour in more desirable ways (encourage resilience, independence, and perhaps self esteem).
This.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:32 PM   #78
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I hear ya. Don't mind my rage. I need not to reply to things like this after the day I have had. Your comment wasn't the one that did these things it was someone else's and then it progressed from there.

Back to the original discussion/thread though. In your line of work what would classify emotion wise the difference between a man and a woman? Or is it so vague that it can't be specifically classified? And are the brain differences valid in form of sections of the brain used for certain functions and/or classifications? Or is it really up in the air? I remember discussing this in high school and don't remember it being so up in the air (mind you this was over 7 years ago)
Ha- BTDT, as they say. Also, your day did sound pretty awful. People dropping Fs and humping trucks next to young children is pretty gruesome!

As for the rest... Emotions are hard to generalize - they vary from place to place not to mention person to person. There is a guy named Eckman who claims there are something like six universal emotions (might be wrong on the number) but even then, what gets included in each "bucket" of emotion varies culturally. There is some really fascinating work on culturally specific emotions and illnesses like "nervoso" in Latin America. So maybe we all feel something we call "fury" but whether it makes us hot or cold, whether its in our heads our guts, or somewhere else... That can be very different in different communities. Same for other emotions.

Gender is kind of the same way. There are gender differences everywhere, and most often (but not always) men dominate women. But after that its a crap shoot. Some places men are more emotional while women are pragmatic. In a few places women are the sexual aggressors.

In light of all that, the research on male and female brains is really fascinating and really hard to interpret. Is it that our brains (and our emotions) are shaped by our experiences as infants and children? But those of us who have been around baby boys and girls notice some real differences, right? So maybe the different hormone balances in girls and boys also helps shape the differences.

My best educated guess is that it's a bit of everything. Our physiology shapes our experiences but our experiences also change our physiology.

The important thing about that is that we have some power to decide how we want it to work. Not a lot, because we all live in a wider society that also shapes us - through toys, media, everyday interactions. But we do have some. And we can debate what we should do with the range of options we have.

Like teaching our boys that real men don't hump trucks next to young children. And our girls that being pretty and cute is not the only thing that makes them worthy of attention.

Sorry that's long. You got me going...
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:49 PM   #79
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I think this is maybe part of what others are saying too - that these are social roles that some people accept and embrace and others reject in whole or in part. You are happy in your social role as a 'traditional' woman - traditional in our culture and society. It doesn't have to be natural or biological to be fulfilling. I choose not to - and I'm not fighting my 'natural' instincts as a woman, nor am I 'unnatural' or a biological freak for not having or acting on those instincts. We're both just living our lives in ways that feel 'natural' to us.

And I think when people were pushing back on the OP for describing her son's behaviour as 'sissy' had a lot to do with how we present these roles to our children - whether or not we give them options, whether or not we encourage gendered characters in our children. And specifically what I take issue with is how pop psychology and some evolutionary biology ignores the data we have and draws 'biological' 'scientific' justifications for behaviors that are particular to our own society. And I think what Jamie was suggesting is that not only is this bad science - that ignores cross cultural data, carries assumptions that aren't justified, and draws conclusions that aren't supported by the evidence they do present - but it also has a harmful effect in presenting some behaviour as 'natural' and other behaviour as 'unnatural'. Which is pretty interesting, really, because what the post was initially talking about is whether his behaviour was 'natural' to this specific kid - and whether it was possible to socially 'shape' his behaviour in more desirable ways (encourage resilience, independence, and perhaps self esteem).
Yes that. Well said.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:56 PM   #80
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Re: When to stop babying your babies??

Jamie and Jam's mum, I love you. So wonderful to encounter intelligent people that really know their stuff, and while I'm no anthropologist, the area has always interested me and I don't mind light reading on such material. So neat.

I don't coddle little scrapes, bruises or falls. I always try to let the child lead in how I react. If they are physically or emotionally hurt, I comfort them. If the worst thing I do as a mother is comfort my hurting child, I think I'm doing pretty good. But all in all, both my boys have responded well to not making a big deal about bumps and bruises and tend to get right back up again. That said, they are day and night in personality. My oldest is VERY sensitive and gets his feelings hurt easily, but doesn't whine/cry, acts explosively. That's just his personality (my sister has told me he is EXACTLY like me, haha... as a child I was very explosive, easily angered and aggressive at times... and hey, I'm a girl!). Its a journey for sure trying to model and teach him the proper way to handle his anger and aggression when his feelings are hurt. My youngest is a sweeeeet heart. He's so sensitive and sweet, loves to give hugs and kisses. When he is told no or not allowed to do something, he melts to the floor, puts his head down and just softly cries. He also loves playing sword fights, play fighting/wrestling with his brother, and being a noisy, typical boy.

There are worse things in life to be than a sensitive boy or man. I say to you, embrace his sweet characteristics, don't coddle, but provide comfort when needed. I know many men who's fathers and mothers even too dismissed them, insulted them and always wanted them to be "manlier" and their relationship suffered because of it. Embrace him for all that he is, even if that means taking a step back away from strict traditional gender roles you want to adhere to.
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