Free to Be Me Childrearing

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Bella Fortuna
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Bella Fortuna » Tue May 24, 2011 11:34 pm

Gallstones wrote:Speaking as a parent, I was never able to impose anything on my son. He had his own preferences and dislikes from day one. He didn't always voice them, but I recognize resistance when I see it.
Hell yes.

And when I was a child myself I resisted dolls and dresses and the like. I hated girly stuff. I wasn't a tomboy, but I really disliked overtly stereotypical female trappings.
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Gallstones » Wed May 25, 2011 12:48 am

Bella Fortuna wrote:
Gallstones wrote:Speaking as a parent, I was never able to impose anything on my son. He had his own preferences and dislikes from day one. He didn't always voice them, but I recognize resistance when I see it.
Hell yes.

And when I was a child myself I resisted dolls and dresses and the like. I hated girly stuff. I wasn't a tomboy, but I really disliked overtly stereotypical female trappings.
Do you have brothers?
I picked up on the sexism way before Kindergarten. It is why I asked to have a penis sewed on---I didn't have one and having one seemed to make some kind of difference.
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Bella Fortuna » Wed May 25, 2011 1:01 am

Gallstones wrote:
Bella Fortuna wrote:
Gallstones wrote:Speaking as a parent, I was never able to impose anything on my son. He had his own preferences and dislikes from day one. He didn't always voice them, but I recognize resistance when I see it.
Hell yes.

And when I was a child myself I resisted dolls and dresses and the like. I hated girly stuff. I wasn't a tomboy, but I really disliked overtly stereotypical female trappings.
Do you have brothers?
I picked up on the sexism way before Kindergarten. It is why I asked to have a penis sewed on---I didn't have one and having one seemed to make some kind of difference.
Nope, nor male cousins. No father regularly present, either, and mainly females in the family. I identified very early on as bisexual, though, for whatever that's worth! :dance:

Really I don't remember thinking about gender at all other than to not care for stereotypical extremes of one sex or the other. I definitely got over the no dresses or long hair stuff, but even now I've never thought of myself as particularly feminine and I dislike attitudes of conventional female helplessness and its trappings (as much as I dislike similar male equivalents of machismo and bodybuilders and that sort of thing).
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Gallstones » Wed May 25, 2011 1:25 am

I had six siblings. One stillborn, four brothers one sister. My sister died 13 years ago. We were close and estranged off and on. I was close to the brother who followed me in birth order--we are less than 13 months apart. I noticed very early that he got privileges that I didn't get and that I had duties he didn't have. I found that highly chafing.

Lots of cousins. The families were very close and the cousins were very much like siblings too.
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Hermit » Wed May 25, 2011 3:07 am

...in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be...
What exactly is wrong with that?

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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Svartalf » Wed May 25, 2011 7:32 am

Seraph wrote:
...in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be...
What exactly is wrong with that?
If only that they are preemptively messing up the kid's self image when it comes to relating with other humans?
Kids who know their own gender are not necessarily well adjusted, kids who feel they've been attributed the wrong one are messes, so what do you think will happen to a genderless kid when the hormones come striking and it has not been prepared to deal with genders? Even worse, how will it go if others generally regard that kid as a complete weirdo?

Looks like the parents are going to raise little storm to be autosexual.
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Hermit » Wed May 25, 2011 7:38 am

Svartalf wrote:If only that they are preemptively messing up the kid's self image when it comes to relating with other humans?
Which part of "...in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be..." means that the kid will be genderless? The parents have no more or less in mind than allowing the kid make up its own mind on the matter.

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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by JimC » Wed May 25, 2011 7:41 am

Possibly, they read "The left hand of darkness" a little too often...
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Coito ergo sum » Wed May 25, 2011 11:18 am

Gallstones wrote:I had six siblings. One stillborn, four brothers one sister. My sister died 13 years ago. We were close and estranged off and on. I was close to the brother who followed me in birth order--we are less than 13 months apart. I noticed very early that he got privileges that I didn't get and that I had duties he didn't have. I found that highly chafing.

Lots of cousins. The families were very close and the cousins were very much like siblings too.
Out of curiosity - what "privileges" are you referring to?

As a male, I remain baffled by this assertion.

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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Ronja » Wed May 25, 2011 11:22 am

Gallstones wrote:
Friends said they were imposing their political and ideological values on a newborn.
I understand the outrage cause this doesn't happen in other families.
. :lol:

Sharp as ever, Gallstones... :tup:
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Ronja » Wed May 25, 2011 11:31 am

Seraph wrote:
...in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be...
What exactly is wrong with that?
A: It's so unusual - don't you see? The kid won't be like all the others and that will lead to bullying. :prof:

Q: So we should make all kids as alike each other as possible - and that would stop bullies? :ask:

A: Ahum... Well it makes people feel uncomfortable, a kid with no gender! I think if that family wants to be a part of this community, we have a right to know! :dq:
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Ronja » Wed May 25, 2011 12:18 pm

I was "sure" during my second pregnancy that I was carrying a son, as the baby was so different in behavior, daily rhythm and pretty much everything from what our firstborn daughter had been. Younger Daughter is very clearly a girl, though - she had her pink phase, likes to wear her hair long, and her best friends are all girls. However, they tend to be bright, nerdy, inquisitive girls - the odd ones out. Quite unpopular that little group is in their class, too (the class is dominated by the large group of more "ordinary" girls, who compete with each other in popularity and conformance).

Last spring MiM was out on his brother's sailing boat with both girls (I stayed home cramming for an exam). BIL I (the eldest of my three BILs) remarked on how all over the place YD was: climbing everywhere, studying the pulleys and clips, opening every cupboard in the mess, trying out what happens when you pull on this rope or that... while ED mostly sat still in the aft, reading. MiM reflected on that if YD was a boy, people around us would likely see this behavioral difference as further "proof" of genetic sex/gender differences. Whereas now the difference is usually labeled as "just" a personal/character difference and sometimes outright dismissed as evidence *against* sex/gender stereotypes.

BTW: those most eager to dismiss the non-conforming aspects of YD and her friends' behavior as "not that important" tend to be eager to dismiss also that there is pressure in the class for girls to dress alike and have alike school backpacks, pens, copybooks etc. or that the girls who do best in school, especially in math, are being actively ostracized by the "majority" girls' "leaders". :sigh:
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by CP » Wed May 25, 2011 2:42 pm

Coito ergo sum wrote:
CP wrote:
Coito ergo sum wrote:I am of the opinion that boys and girls are generally born with certain differences. I think that it is apparent behaviorally with toy choices, how boys and girls play together, and the like. There is no such thing as genderless.
I have to disagree. There's no reason to assume inherent gender dimorphism in children. Children's toy choices and play patterns are greatly influenced by the people and media around them. Girls will play with mechanical toys if you add glitter, boys will play with My Little Pony if you paint them black. Many people who claim to raise their children genderless don't; they get gender preconceptions from television, books, other children and other adults. Studies show that children pick up much better on an adult's disapproving body language than encouraging words. Some parents even claim to be raising their children genderless, and then try to talk them into using toys made for their gender and out of the other gender's toys! That's not even pretending to be genderless! Adults will also play with and speak with infants differently based on gender, so it starts very young.

I see no problem with raising a kid genderless so long as they don't try to force it when the child insists they want their gender recognised, which tends to happen quite young.
I don't think I assumed it. I and others believe we observe it.
You observe difference based on modern stereotypes. There is nothing to suggest inherent difference.
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How will the poor kid get along on a day to day basis. And I doubt this is the only wacko thing the parents are doing.

and an interesting read,

http://www.amazon.com/Delusions-Gender- ... =8-1-fkmr0
I like that book, although I think a couple of the author's assertions are a bit of a stretch.

I don't see how this negatively affects the child. When they want to be recognised as a gender, they will say so. The parents are just removing a part of the pressure for gender conformity.
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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Coito ergo sum » Wed May 25, 2011 2:55 pm

CP wrote:
Coito ergo sum wrote:
CP wrote:
Coito ergo sum wrote:I am of the opinion that boys and girls are generally born with certain differences. I think that it is apparent behaviorally with toy choices, how boys and girls play together, and the like. There is no such thing as genderless.
I have to disagree. There's no reason to assume inherent gender dimorphism in children. Children's toy choices and play patterns are greatly influenced by the people and media around them. Girls will play with mechanical toys if you add glitter, boys will play with My Little Pony if you paint them black. Many people who claim to raise their children genderless don't; they get gender preconceptions from television, books, other children and other adults. Studies show that children pick up much better on an adult's disapproving body language than encouraging words. Some parents even claim to be raising their children genderless, and then try to talk them into using toys made for their gender and out of the other gender's toys! That's not even pretending to be genderless! Adults will also play with and speak with infants differently based on gender, so it starts very young.

I see no problem with raising a kid genderless so long as they don't try to force it when the child insists they want their gender recognised, which tends to happen quite young.
I don't think I assumed it. I and others believe we observe it.
You observe difference based on modern stereotypes. There is nothing to suggest inherent difference.
There is the inherent difference that everyone generally accepts between heterosexuals and homosexuals. They're "born that way." Most men are heterosexual and attracted to women. Most women are heterosexual and attracted to men. There is one "inherent" difference. Unless, of course, you're going to dispute that and say that men and women are not born that way...

If we can agree on that one inherent difference, then we can move on to whether any other differences are inherent, or not.

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Re: Free to Be Me Childrearing

Post by Pappa » Wed May 25, 2011 3:07 pm

Coito ergo sum wrote:There is the inherent difference that everyone generally accepts between heterosexuals and homosexuals. They're "born that way." Most men are heterosexual and attracted to women. Most women are heterosexual and attracted to men. There is one "inherent" difference. Unless, of course, you're going to dispute that and say that men and women are not born that way...

If we can agree on that one inherent difference, then we can move on to whether any other differences are inherent, or not.
I don't think it's anywhere near as black and white as you suggest. Culture has a significant effect on sexual orientation. People aren't simply gay or straight. Our Western culture seems to be insistent on imposing those two categories though. Not all cultures (past and present) had/have the same need for that strict dichotomy.
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