14 July 2010

More Posts I'm Never Going To Write

  • The one about the ecological superiority of living in a small house.
  • The one about (ditto) having only one child.
  • The one about raising a gender neutral child.
  • The one about "Baby X".
  • The one about keeping a kid's gender a secret.
  • The one about how irritated I am by sweeping generalities about "girls" and "boys" and what "girls" do and what "boys" do.

18 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The gender-neutral thing is such a puzzle--because no matter how hard you try it does seem that MOST (certainly not all) kids do seem hard-wired to behave in stereotypical ways. Then again, how much is so embedded in our culture that even when you try to work toward gender-neutrality it is fighting the whole rest of society.

de said...

i don't think anyone can argue about your first point, but I wonder what you'd have to say about the second. When it comes to kids, I think two (or more) can live as cheaply as one.

I confess, I have never given gender identity a second thought unless someone else brought it up, and then when I do read articles such as these, I just don't get it.

I am skeptical that no one can tell what sex that Scandinavian child is, though s/he is only 2 and a half. I don't care how you dress a kid or cut their hair, there are visible physical characteristics that indicate gender (IMO - I'm not doctor).

Gender identity never came up in our house with our daughter, but there have been many clashes between my husband and me regarding what is appropriate for our son. I fight him every time, but I don't make a big deal about anything, because it's all pretty inconsequential so far. Tony's final word is always that he's just trying to keep the boy from getting beat up.

alejna said...

Oh, I'd love to hear what you have to say on some of those things.

"The one about how irritated I am by sweeping generalities about "girls" and "boys" and what "girls" do and what "boys" do."
Tell me about it! I can't stand this. I feel like it's a constant battle to keep my kids sheltered from these attitudes.

Janet said...

that's IT! I'm ecological superior because I live in a 950 sf condo!

FreshHell said...

Sigh. I have a feeling we'd agree on most of those subjects. Frankly, messing around with children in this way (all the gender-neutrality stuff and making a big deal about "boy" vs "girl") says way more about how fucked up the parents are and seems to be borderline child abuse. Kids, in my experience, figure out pretty quick what they are and while i had a girl who straddled the toy line, she's very much a girly-girl which she didn't get from me. It's who she is. I can't imagine working that hard to suppress it. I don't understand experimenting on children this way.

S. said...

I have a friend with completely different boys, one a classic hellion, the other a classic nerd, and of course it's only the hellion who gets all the comments about "boys are just like that!" Z. wears dresses, loves sparkles, adores wrestling other children to the ground, and passionately wants to swordfight. Which is to say, we grownups pick and choose what we see when we comment on the natural and inevitableness of kids' genders, and in that selection we reinforce what parts of their identity they see as related to their gender and what's just them.

And all that pink and blue we put on infants? It's about signaling to other grownups whether they should interact with babies as though they are boys or as though they are girls.

Also, on the ecological and environmental benefits of stopping at one: yeah.

Anjali said...

I'm sorry to not read your non-post on the sweeping generalizations about girls. Because if I hear one more person tell me that I have it easy because boys are more physical/dirty/loud/rough, I will scream.

Kyla said...

Okay, that one about keeping the 2 year old's gender a secret is WEIRD.

In my experience, kids choose what bits and pieces of the gender contructs that suit them and discard the rest...at least my two have! Of course, we're not the type to say, "Such and so is for BOYS/GIRLS." so maybe our kids just have the freedom to make those choices for themselves?

Today KayTar said, "I'm going to be like you when I grow up. My husband is going to paint my daughter's room pink. And paint her toenails. And he's going cook dinner and clean." I said, "What are you going to do?" She said, "Study to be a scientist!"

When she was going through district testing at 3, she named a vacuum cleaner and the tester asked, "Does your Mommy use one of these?" and she said, "Nuh-uh, Daddy does!"

yogurt said...

I'd love to hear your take on the gender identity thing. Here's mine in a nutshell: let's just allow kids/adults to express themselves in whatever way comes naturally and ACCEPT the child for however s/he IS.

I don't want my kid getting beat up either, but they do take an emotional beating when parents deride them for expressing cross-gender behaviors. Better to take a beating by strangers at school than an emotional beating from the parents who love them. Besides, there are options at the school. Complain to administrators. I know a little something about this.

And the theory that it costs just as much to raise one as to raise two or more? Don't I wish. Just dropped my twin girls at a party, each with their $$ worth of goodies. Small example where it clearly cost me twice as much. Can hardly wait for prom, let alone college tuition.

FreshHell said...

The cost thing. If it costs as much for one as it does for two I guess this means I can recycle Dusty's braces (when she gets them) and put them on Red's teeth later. Awesome. I'll tighten them with pliers so avoid paying the orthodontist bill.

Clothes can be reused (except when they both adamantly like different colors) but you have to pay twice as much to put 'em in daycare. They eat twice as much as one (and often different foods) and use up twice as much toothpaste.

Bibliomama said...

Ooh, you made me all prickly and I didn't get past the ecological superiority of having one child. Not because it doesn't have any merit, strictly speaking, but because I have friends who claim to be childless (wait, I'm not supposed to use that word anymore either, right) due to their passionate environmentalism, when it's pretty clear they were never going to have children regardless of the environment. To be clear -- these are posts you're never going to write because....? Now, off to google this genderless child and feel superior to its wacko parents.

Gwen said...

It might be ecologically superior to have only one child (or no children, I suppose), but it could be economically disastrous, what with human capital being the coal that drives the little engine that could. Or something. I don't know. I do know there's a lot of panicky talk in Europe about negative population growth and what that means for the current aging generation and future ones.

Pop, huh? Gotta hand it to the Swedes--sounds like these parents have found a new way to take their country's socialism to the next level.

nonlineargirl said...

Now that I am on kids 2 and 3, I am interested in the gender thing. Without treating I and M differently they are already pretty different, but with such a small sample who knows if it is due to gender or just personality? In any case, Mira almost never dives head first onto the couch (over the arm, from the ottoman sitting next to the couch). Ian does repeatedly, with abandon and joy.

We'll see how it goes.

nonlineargirl said...

Oh, and I totally agree that having 1 is environmentally superior. I also think this is the case with vegetarianism, though I still eat meat. So much for principles, I guess. (Hey, at least I obsessively recycle and bike to work!)

mayberry said...

Of 5 siblings/4 couples in my husband's and my generation, we have two of the three kids. By my count that means we can still have five more (replacement values and all that). So now I feel ecologically superior from having just the two, instead of 7.

Makes perfect sense, right?

Kelly @ Student of the Year said...

Well, I can tell you straight up my 1920s colonial is kind of an ecological nightmare. With the exception being the stucco and stone can do wonders keeping the cool or warm air in, depending upon the season.

Gender identity, meh. The outrage over Angelina's Shiloh struck me as insanely odd. So the kid naturally gravitates toward things that are stereotypically 'boy.' And somehow that translates to 'deviant?' We need to question a child's haircut and clothes? People...

Anonymous said...

God be damned in heaven above. I read bullshit like this and thank my ever-lasting lucky stars that I live on the west coast. What a bunch of liberal, east coast, fucked up, bullshit. Please, oh please, never move to Oregon.

Patois said...

I really hate to comment after Anonymous. Would [he/she/Pop?] be displeased to learn that I live in California?

I've loved clicking through and then reading the comments. But, man, would I simply adore reading those mythical posts of yours.