I’m fascinated by the story Monica shared about the baby being raised genderless. Fascinated but confused.
Boys and girls ARE different.
Before you start to think I’m some conservative traditionalist that believes women should stay home tending to the children while the man provides for his family, let me tell you a little about myself.
I was raised by a strong single mom who worked full time while attending night school. I had no strong male role models growing up. Not one. But even as a child I always felt I had more in common with boys than girls. I liked to get dirty, play with bugs and climb trees. You can argue that these aren’t necessarily “boy” things but based on our overall culture they are associate more with “boy” than “girl” so bear with me. Also, despite my moms best efforts to curl my hair and paint my nails I never felt comfortable in a dress, I still avoid high heels whenever possible and I’ve had a short “boy” haircut for most of my life. Of course I tell you this becuase hair, dresses and shoes are all things our culture define as “girl.”
What I’m trying to say is, I understand not wanting to be stereotyped by gender.
Even though my experiences are minor compared to some, I understand the pressure society puts on all of us to raise gender specific children. But ignoring the baby’s sex all together? Is that really the answer?
I for one, don’t think so.
Boys and girls may not conform to stupid society rules like pink and blue or trucks and dolls but when we put those minor things aside and look at our core there are some basic gender based truths.
For starters we have, umm, different plumbing. Even my 5 year-old knew that when he was 2. Our bodies also produce different hormones, having different effects on our bodies. Which does produce different physical traits. Do I even need to bring up child bearing?
We ARE different and there is nothing wrong with that.
Here’s what it comes down to. If you are bugged that your little girl gets only pink outfits then speak up and tell your loved ones to stop. If you want to raise a well-rounded boy then buy him a doll. Teach about gender differences and educate your child on stereotypes but don’t deny them the ability to relate to others on such a basic human level. As much as we don’t want to admit it, gender is a big part of who we are.
Babble Gender Feature: Pick a Sex, Any Sex!