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Friday, March 03, 2006

I suppose it's sad, but true. All this gender stuff really comes down to, well, worrying that our boys might be gay. Or different. Aren't there more important things to worry about? How our kids will do in school? Will they get in trouble? Will they get mixed up with drugs? Will they get hit by a car?

Mostly, as I write about gender stereotypes, I'm reminded of a fabulous essay from It's a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons. Catherine Newman's essay, called Pretty Baby, is about her five-year-old son whose favorite color is pink. She writes: "While evidently for budding young manhood--the preschool type--pink must be shunned like gender-bending kryptonite. Like it's some queer wolf in powdery-pale clothing. Pink might seem to be a swishy little color--but it’s got the strength of entire armies. Why, merely gazing too long at a carnation could prevent your son’s very testicles from descending!" And later, "Wouldn't you much rather, for instance, that your son be shacked up with the Queer Eye Fab Five than waiting shlubbily for them to come and fix him?"

I vote for a healthy, happy child. All that gender stuff--it's really insignificant.

Permalink | Gender Stereotypes | Comments (2)

Comments

I think some gender roles or behaviors are genetic. My daughter loves to have a tea party. No one taught her how. She just discovered the plates and cups and pot, and one day set the table, took the pot to the bathroom sink filled it up, and pulled me to the table to "dink" (or drink as we adults would call it). These plates and cups are part of a kitchen for pretend play we purchased for her older brother, who uses then as frizbees. Again, not something we taught him how to do. She does enjoy a good Thomas the Tank video (from exposure from said older brother) as well as Angelina Ballerina. She asks for "pretties" for her hair. He prefers to play with cars and build things. It's not because we strickly purchased gender specific toys. I honestly believe much of their "gender roles" is a part of their genetic make-up.

Posted by: Amanda | Mar 3, 2006 10:34:57 AM

some kids just come out of the chute, wanting to park on the other side of the street. no amount of indocrination or nudging will make a difference.

i'll admit... though i'm no homophobe, i'd rather have hetero kids. more for procreation purposes than anything. perhaps subconsciously i'm trying to ensure that happens by pointing out cute 4 year old girls for him.

if either of them decide they'd rather zig than zag, i'll live and love them either way, though i might grind the teeth a little.

Posted by: prego | Mar 3, 2006 2:08:01 PM

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