May 26, 2011

Is this really even an issue?

Everyone is writing about gender right now.  I might as well pop in with my .02.

My son goes by Nicky.

My oldest daughter wanted her hair cut short "like a boy" for over a year, and finally went really short like the girl in Megamind.

My youngest loves all things princess and Barbie.

My son is really into robots and Daft Punk.

My oldest daughter wanted her ears pierced when she was four.

My youngest daughter loves to push the limits and be a little bit scared.

My son really enjoys literature and loved Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and Luv Ya Bunches as much as "boy" titles, maybe more.

My oldest daughter plays robot wars with her brother and house with her sister.

My youngest daughter prefers pants to all other forms of clothing.  She hates skirts.

My son had begged for the princess Dora with hair that grew for his fourth birthday.  It was all he wanted and he took it everywhere for a while.   He also had other dolls though he never played house.

My daughters had toy cars when they were little.  They loved trains and dinosaurs too.

My oldest daughter looked great in blue, so I found a lot of blue dresses for her when she was little.

My youngest daughter is pink all the way.  She's a total girly-girl.

All of the kids watch all of the movies whether they are princesses, robots, action, or drama.  They love them all.

All of my kids know that men can wear makeup, have long hair, get their ears pierced, and wear dresses and skirts.

All of my kids know that women can have short hair, wear suits, and have big muscles.

They also know that generally speaking men and women fall in love, but men do fall in love with men and women fall in love with women too.

My point is that we've never made much of a deal about boy stuff and girl stuff.  We aren't perfect of course, but we try.  I think you can go from the one extreme of boxing your children into their gender stereotype to refusing to tell anyone whether they are a boy or a girl so they can make up their own mind.  They are going to know either way, I bet.

I don't care about the gender wars and I'm hoping that in the end, neither will my kids.


  1. Gender schmender! Let 'em play and have fun. The only way to figure out who you are and what you like is try lots of different things out. At our house Barbie dolls can be found riding in the back of dump trucks....and other than Dad we have no boys here.

  2. I like your perspective on this!

    Too many people seem to be getting caught up in judging these parents who treat gender differently.

    Isn't it better to spend your time and energy figuring out your own attitude towards gender and how your project these ideas to you kids?

    I sure think so.

  3. "He Bear, She Bear" is one of my favorite books ;)

  4. I agree completely Sadie :)

    Thanks for commenting Dave! I definitely think it's better to figure it out for yourself.

    Mo- Is this something I can borrow? ;)

  5. Did you hear about the family that refuses to reveal the gender of their youngest child? It must be difficult to do that--which demonstrates how much effort is spent in conforming to (or resisting) gender-based stereotypes.

    Our kids are who they are, and we should love them more for demonstrating honesty and courage than for an ability to be bland and inoffensive. Letting them start to figure themselves out while they're young could be a very important lesson...

  6. Hey CD :) Yeah, that's why the mommy blogs are blowing up over gender right now. I honestly NEVER thought about gender stereotypes until Funny Girl was born. I don't think I'd be doing anything differently had no one ever mentioned it to me. I do much prefer my kids just being themselves and the process it takes them to figure out what that is for each of them.

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  8. BTW, have you seen this TED Talk on gender?

    Yes, we have "He Bear, She Bear"...will bring it to the park ;)