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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    2,166
    Quote Originally Posted by blade View Post
    I will say, just to make an already thorny discussion even thornier, that I think the higher up the SES ladder you go, the less you are threatened by non-conformity to expected gender norms, especially for boys. The toy kitchen anecdote is so completely alien I have difficulty relating to it.
    SES as in socioeconomic status?

    Are you actually trying to claim that rich people are more enlightened when it comes to gender?
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  2. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,642
    Wow, your neighbour is abominably rude to berate a guest about his/her gift choice in front of other guests! Everyone has the right to make decisions about what they allow in their own home, but a private conversation would suffice. There's no need to physically remove the gift at once unless it's dangerous to the child (like they gave Peanut M&Ms to a kid with nut allergies or something). That's a terrible example for the child of how to respond to an unwanted gift.

    As a kid, I loved dresses and Barbie dolls, but also played with GI Joe toys and cars with my brother. I personally fall to the side of wanting my future kids to have options associated with either gender, but especially non-gendered toys like alphabet blocks and other things that stimulate imagination. I can't imagine not letting a little boy play with something because it's "girly"; however, I *can* imagine limiting certain toys in my home because of my own believes (toy guns being a big one), so I try hard not to judge others who do things I don't understand.

    As to letting kids make their own choices, this may not come out right, but I do think that if kids are old enough to make decisions on what to wear, etc., we can also teach them that there may be consequences to their choices. I have a friend whose son (almost 6) loves pink and wants to wear nail polish. Sometimes he asks to wear nail polish to school, and she will tell him he can, but remind him that the last time he wore nail polish, the boys teased him. She feels that it's not fair to allow him to do something without warning him how others may react. He is old enough to decide whether he wants to wear nail polish enough to bear the teasing, and sometimes he does.
    Miriam ~ Helena ~ Estella ~ Beatrice ~ Anastasia ~ Alice ~ Veronica ~ Sarah
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  3. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Flyover Territory
    Posts
    1,147
    I was one of those parents who swore that everything would be gender-neutral. I got about as far as painting the nursery a soft gray before we found out the gender and the pinks and purples started finding their way in. Much of it was out of my control - at our shower, we received everything in pink and sparkles. There were several dolls, and not a single ball. Now that I'm slowly buying some of her toys myself (rare, with three sets of grandparents in the area), there are some cars and blocks and balls. She's 16 months and I've seen no preference whatsoever for girly over boyish, or vice versa. She really only cares about books anyway

    DH and I have discussed this at length, and plan to support her interests. I was very much a tomboy as a kid, and "one of the guys" in high school/college. I preferred books, digging in the dirt, and climbing trees to Barbies, dabbled in gymnastics and dance, and played sports through middle and high school (with a brief and horrifying experience with cheerleading). My parents never had a problem with my interests, and none of them were ever deemed gender inappropriate. DH, on the other hand, sounds like Ottilie. Sure, he played with his G.I. Joes and his toy guns/swords, but he also liked dolls. Most of his time was devoted to pretend play, though. He was always dressing up in tights and hats and running around as Robin Hood or Peter Pan. He would have been in dance classes if his dad hadn't decided it was sissy stuff and forbidden him from doing it. His family talks about it now as if it was the most ridiculous thing ever that he was still doing these things at 12.

    If we have a son at any point, the only thing I can see forbidding is [American] football and rugby. I think we'd lose it if we had to sit through that. I do often wonder what I would do if a son expressed the desire to wear dresses in public places. I saw the article about the dad who wears skirts to show his son it's okay, and I give him big props for being secure enough in himself to do that. I don't know if DH would be. I think, if said son was old enough to have the discussion, I'd probably level with him and let him know that he can do whatever he feels is necessary to be true to himself, but that there is a very good likelihood that he will be made fun of by his peers and even adults. Obviously, I'd make it clear that DH and I would support him in his decision, but I think it's cruel to send him off to school without a clue that this may cause problems for him. I'm a big believer in having all the information available so that you can weigh the cost and make the decision that works for you. I certainly wish someone would have told me how ridiculous those stirrup pants with the different colored Saturns on them looked - it would have saved me some merciless teasing in the 5th grade!
    Tara, proud mama to a Honey Badger
    ... and a Badger in Training

  4. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    671
    I'm not sure how economic status comes into it either. I live in a nice area with a low crime rate and fabulous schools, but its a very traditional "small town" kind of community.

    I live in a rural area, where the patriarchal family is still very common ie. Dad goes out and earns money, mom looks after the kids at home. Dad does the DIY while Mom cooks dinner..You get my drift. I also live in a very religious community, according to our most recent Cencus something like 75% of people living in my area are practising Roman Catholics.

    I don't see how financial stability comes into it, in my own experience I've witnessed gender stereotyping in a wide range of families, including families who would be financially "well off".


    Mama to Amelie Clara (2008) & Daisy Madeline (2013).

    Alice Tallulah, Polly Matilda, Rosalie Faye, Lucy Annabel, Maya Lillian, Hazel Kate, Eva Blossom, Juliet Lila, Ivy Camille.
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  5. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Flyover Territory
    Posts
    1,147
    I'm guessing Blade's point about SES may have *some* truth to it. Those who can afford a high end liberal arts education are more likely to devote time to psychology/sociology classes that actually confront these issues, thus compelling them to examine their own feelings on the matter. However, that depends on going to a truly *liberal* liberal arts school, which plenty are not. I think the same result can be accomplished by living in a diverse area. I know my short time living in the most racially/religiously diverse and GLBT friendly neighborhood in my own backwards city changed the way I viewed the world around me. My parents, on the other hand, can easily judge "the gays" because their closest encounters with a real gay person has been having him/her as a waiter or a sales clerk. They've never had a reason to work closely with or get to know these people, and probably never will. Very few of their relatives/friends have any kind of higher education, and few have lived in a diverse area for any length of time. Thus, their views will go relatively unchallenged, and they'll have no reason to examine their beliefs on the subject. Likewise, my nieces/nephews who live in the rural Midwest have extreme prejudices against all kinds of people who are different from them, while my nieces/nephews raised in liberal, affluent parts of Chicago have very different views.

    Neither of these things are anywhere near absolute. I was raised in the rural Midwest, and attended a private religious college, but both my own experiences/friendships and my empathetic personality have led me to where I stand on these subjects.
    Tara, proud mama to a Honey Badger
    ... and a Badger in Training

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