Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gender Issues

So, N and I have been having all sorts of weird discussions lately because of this article. Basically, the parents of a, now-4 month old, baby have decided to keep its gender a secret so that the child might be raised gender neutral until such time as it chooses to claim some sort of gender.

Gender issues are really not my thing.

I know that they are important, and I certainly believe that a person ought to be able to express themselves in whatever manner they choose, but beyond that, I'll be honest and admit that I really just don't have an opinion.

BUT, this article has led to some interesting discussions. I don't think we ever really pressured K into claiming that he is a boy, but he will assure us at least two or three times a day that he is, "a Big Boy." And, ordinarily, that wouldn't bother me, because as his genitals will tell, he is in fact male...and we call male children boys, so...there. Except that lots of people believe that society has assumed stereotypes of male and female that, maybe USED to be true (so you could associate masculine traits with Male and more feminine traits with Female) but are no longer necessarily applicable. And, some go so far as to call this a damaging part of our society that really ought to be given more consideration...particularly when raising children.

K has long hair...and he doesn't want me to cut it. He likes his hair, he calls it both "pretty" and "neat". He occasionally wears it up high in a pony tail. For this, he gets mistaken as a girl. It really doesn't matter how much his clothes scream BOY!! it's the hair that fools everyone. In fact, it's such a common mistake, that I don't even bother to correct people anymore unless I'm truly engaging them in a meaningful conversation or intend to see them again. K really doesn't mind.

K has been asking for a 'princess dress' by which he means any dress with a twirly skirt. I haven't exactly been REFUSING to purchase one for him, but I have gone out of my way to distract him from his interest whenever I notice him admiring the clothing in the girl section. I've been feeling a bit guilty about it because I really and truly am not bothered by him wearing a dress. But, I dread all the talk among the regulars at the parks we frequent...the ones who know that my child is a boy.

But, now, this article has had me reconsidering my dread about putting K in a dress of his choosing. And, if he wanders over to the girly side and requests a "beautiful princess dress" again, I probably will get it for him. And, if he wants to wear it to the park, well, then, by all means. After all, whoever really decided that dresses are 'just for girls'?

Idk, it's a weird thing because it's one of those topics that I just don't have much of an opinion on outside of, "do whatever you want so long as it doesn't hurt me".

It leaves me fairly passive.

If K ends up gay, or bi, or transgender, or whatever, I really just won't care. I'll still love my baby just for being. I teach him to respect all sexes, all gender associations, and to recognize the marketing that DOES target gender specifics...but I don't think I'm behind the whole disassociating him altogether from his sexual gender.

What do you think?

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