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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:01 PM
Original message
Do you hate male/female stereotyping of children or do you think that
it is valid and/or does no harm? Example, "boys will be boys", "sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what litlle girls are made of".
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bling bling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. I have researched the subject at lenghth.
From what I've studied, I think there are definitely differences beteween people who have xx or xy chromosome. But I don't like sterotyping children. Who we ultimately become is a mix between biological and sociological factors. Gender stereotyping is never a good thing, IMO.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. But can those differences be translated into "all boys like trucks" and
"all girls like dolls" and therefore if you are a certain gender and do not like trucks or dolls, you have a problem?
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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. Tremendously damaging
as all lies are.

Cultural lies are particularly evil.

They create difference and then hate, where none needs to exist.

'Divide and conquer'....always ask yourself....who benefits?
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. One of my daughter's friends (not the brightest bulb in the group) told
her 2 year old daughter who was running around having a lot of fun with my 2 year old grandson that she was acting like a boy and should go sit down and be still. I wasn't there luckily because I think my nice southern manners would have gone out the window with that one.
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pdxmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. When my daughter was 2, she was out in the sandbox
trying to pee standing up, like her brother. :)
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. I Really Hate Pink
In my girlhood, there was no question: pink was for girls. Never mind that I looked sick and sallow in pink, there was no escaping it. Home Ec was required even though I learned to cook and sew at home, so I have an abiding fear of power tools (well, the cutting kind--I can solder and drill and staple and sand and whatever, but the skillsaw gives me willies--all that noise!)

I went to an all boys (nearly) school for engineering. How the world has changed!

It didn't change because the patterns stayed the same--it changed because pioneering women MADE it change. Hell yes! It makes a difference if your options are cut off before you get to them!

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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. My Feminist mom who was great at all the home making skills would
not let me take home ec. (that was in the 60's). She said that she could teach me or I could learn on my own all I needed to know in that department. She said take science classes and I did and became a science major in college and later worked in a lab doing research.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
5. Ha!! I'm from the generation that gave Barbie dolls to sons
only to have the little guys grab the heads and point the feet at somebody and yell "BANG!" Little girls flipped those dump trucks over and draped them with Kleenex and toilet paper to make dolly beds.

Who really knows where this stuff comes from, whether it's hard wired or something they picked up off the televison?

All I know is that too many of my peers who were determined to raise free children ended up with boys who played war and girls who wanted everything frilly.

The best they could do was teach them manners and hope to present decent human beings to the world when they turned 18. Most of them succeeded in at least that much.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. There is some truth in that but exposing both guys and gals to
all toys has its merit. My gson loves to push his anatomically correct baby boy doll in the stroller (like we do his baby brother) but he also love his cars and trucks. He also loves his kitchen (we often real cook together) and his vacuuum and washing machine. This may have more to do with the machine's moving parts, but I was also always fascinated with how things worked also (even though I am a girl). It has more to do with saying: be who you are, not who society says that you are.
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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Cultural stuff can overwhelm
any 'freethinking' if you let it.

It's not hardwired...just added. Socially approved cultural stuff.

As a girl, I climbed trees, used dolls as guns, liked toy trucks...drove my parents crazy.

Happily married for over 30 years with 2 kids...that I raised to be freethinkers.

Neither of them have had problems or conflicts either.

Humans are humans...the male/female thing is cultural bullshit.
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pdxmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. I was like you as a child
and my mother couldn't understand why I hated the pink room and the dresses and the curls. As a teen, I refused the makeup and all the giggling and catty talk.

Now I have my own daughter, who is about as feminine and frou-frou as they come. My mother says I'm being punished. :)
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Maybe your mom can look upon it as her "reward" instead of your
punishment. God, I hate the fashions for young girls now, I think they are disgusting and teach consumerism and flightiness. They seem to be a really good representation of the values of the bushies.
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pdxmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Definitely she is her reward
First and only granddaughter, until very recently.

Today's styles are, for the most part, horrendous. My daughter went through a phase, but seems to have found her own way to be herself, but still be in style. She wears lots of retro T-shirts now, and uses her hairstyle and accessories to do the feminine, girly thing. She's got the comfort of nice jeans and T-shirts (not sloppy/baggy), but stays up to the pressure of peers by being able to mimic all the "in" hairstyles herself, without having to go out to have it done.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. That is great. She is finding her own voice and not being pushed by
the market. I was shopping for clothes for my grandsons (almost 1 and just turned 3), and was upset, first, that there are so few choices for clothes for boys, and then, that the little girl stuff was endless and pricey but so flirty and so brittany spears driven. It is going to take some tough and wise parents to get past that stuff. Again, society teachs girls from an early age that they are their looks and not the individual wonderful selfs they really are, no matter how they look.
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pdxmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. You want to be shocked, check out Limited Too
This is a store for "tweens", and my daughter made me go in there. She's past that age, but wanted me to see what was there, because it even appalled her. I could not believe that they were marketing that stuff for those that young, much less that parents were dressing their young girls that way. There wasn't one thing in there I would have let my daughter wear when she was that age.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Why are these youngsters so driven to dress this way? Designer jeans
were the worst (I thought because of the elitist consumerism of them)I had to contend with with my daughters. Some of that is just a fun part of being young and wearing stuff that shocks, but this stuff is just plain sick.
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pdxmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. It's what they see the "popular" people wear
So they want it too. It takes strong parents to fight that.

With boys, it's the sloppy/baggy jeans, clothes with holes, etc. My biggest thing was we never could afford the prices on the majority of that stuff. I worked to make sure my kids understood how to best spend their money, and that designer or name brands weren't what was important. It seems to have stuck with both of them.

My kids are anti-fashion. And they prefer classic rock to pop or alternative. And they don't believe that there are male/female careers or limitations. And they're independent. Which sometimes all combines to add grey to my hair. :)
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. Hang in there, sweetie. The funny part of that popular people thing is
that many of the fashion setters were unable to have the pricey items so they came up with their own variation and that became the "in" thing.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. I did all of those "boy" things also but that was okay because it meant
you were tough and that was a good thing. Now if you were a boy and you wanted to dance, cook or sew, that was something entirely different.
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pdxmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. Harmful, most definitely
I think you have to take into account that boys and girls are different, without a doubt. But the "boys will be boys" thing just leads to bad boys. And the "sugar and spice" thing just leads to naive parents.

I want my son to know how to do his own laundry and cook for himself. I want my daughter to be able to change the oil in her car and fix a leaky faucet. They both can do all those things and more. And I'm proud of that.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Ah, children as individual people, not stereotypes, what a great idea!
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gaia_gardener Donating Member (333 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. It bothers me
I loved our old preschool. My youngest son took a doll to school and no one batted an eye. I said something to the administrator about how great it was that they didn't discourage him from having his baby and she said "well, he'll grow up to be a parent too, right?"

I was a strange child. I played dolls and house and gardened and football and baseball and "explorer" and all the things that little boys do and little girls do.

I'm trying to raise my boys to do both as well. In our house, nothing is a "girl" thing or a "boy" thing. And no one is allowed to make fun of anything they do.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Well, that is how it should be and those will be some great guys that
are content with liking what they like and being who they are. Lucky children.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
13. Ann Coulter isn't made of sugar and spice.
More like mold and Dracula's bile.

Against stereotyping by sex & would prefer to let girls climb trees if they want and let boys take ballet.

Re-hauling public education so that kids aren't in same-age classrooms for 12 years might help.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. That part about Ann is funny. Although I am sure she considers herself
quite the female honey. But please explain about the age education thing. Thanks
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. Probably shouldn't have gotten off onto the Coulter --
-- tangent.

Anyway, the same-age shoe-horning of an entire population into same-age public schools classrooms seems to me to require a sort of petty and competitive atmosphere in which girls and boys must conform to expected (and stereotyped) norms.

The old one-room school house asked for the older ones to assist with the younger ones -- and a strong, self-directed adulthood was slowly built into the expectations of both girls and boys of their future roles as individuals.

My suggestion is an expensive one, I realize, but I see a lot of harm coming from same-age social factories that our public schools tend to be.

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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #28
37. So are you suggesting, that schools should be co-mingled with all the
ages together?
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. In essence, yes. Small groups of variously aged --
-- learners in each group.

I believe it is the idea of same-age competition that is so limiting.

The social pressure alone is limiting, and I think it spills over into intellectual growth and self-actualization.

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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. I think it is a good idea. It would foster a much more normal grouping of
people, even little ones.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Yes.
Thank you for your conversation on this with me tonight.

Much appreciated.

Good wishes to you.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. Well, thanks for bringing this to my attention. It's something I would
never have thought about otherwise. Have a wonderful night.
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Undercover Owl Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
16. it's definietely overdone
The gender difinitions are potentially harmful when children don't fit the expectations, for example, boys aren't supposed to like girls' and girls aren't supposed to like boys' toys. When they get a little older, girls and boys have separate topics they are supposed to be interested in, or be seen as weird. Girls are not encouraged to collect insects, even if they might be interested. Boys are not encouraged to learn how to sew, even if they might be interested.
Little boys still hate pink. Not that much has changed.

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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. But I hate pink too. I think it is an insipid, stupid color. Am I a boy?
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
22. Interesting Japanese POV
A female American college professor from Duke taught English in a Japanese women's university for a year. She asked her classes about gender differences in Japan, and one answer that came up over and over again was that MALES are far worse at math than FEMALES. Hmmm.... the exact opposite than in the US. When she told them that, they all laughed... basically that couldn't believe any man could be good at math.

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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. That is interesting. I am sure the same could be said about
about cooking and designing clothes in the high fashion world of food and clothing. Males dominate. (I think this is more about money and power than ability but that is probably my Feminist side speaking.)
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RafterMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #22
31. Eh
Maybe that's true at a Japanese women's university, but 93% of Japanese scientists and engineers are male ( http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/ebaut96b.html ).

So it seems that belief may not extend off-campus.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. That's probably more about what women are allowed to do and be in
that culture and not what they are and could become. Don't you think?
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RafterMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. We're talking about stereotypes and prevailing views here
not "what they could become". I say that if the prevailing view in Japan was that women were better than men at math, that would be reflected in hiring practices.

Since it is not reflected in hiring practices, I am skeptical that it is the prevailing view in Japan.

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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #36
42. Not necessarily, if a group of men know that they as a group are
better at something than women (let's say fishing) but they are not given the opportunity to fish, then they would not be viewed, since they don't practice fishing, by society as good fishers. They have no part in that industry, so therefore must not be good at it. Then the only people that fish would be women and the stereotype of a fisher would be a female.
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RafterMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. That's a stretch
"Data from TIMSS also indicate that across countries, eighth grade girls generally had lower perceptions than boys about how well they usually did in mathematics. Boys were more likely than girls to report that they usually did well in mathematics in England, France, Germany, and Japan. Self-perceptions about mathematics performance were similar between eighth-grade boys and girls in the United States, however."

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs97/97982.pdf

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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. Your facts, unfortunately, are correct. I was not addressing actualities
but concepts and those concepts were about what would happen to groups that because of cultural pressures were made to accede power in certain areas to others, even though they might be better in that area than the other group. I understand your point about sterotypes but I think the two concepts are one.
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RafterMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. Sure, I agree with your broader point
My only point was that if things were different in Japan, it was likely to be in the other direction.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #54
55. Again, you are, of course, and unfortunately ,so so right.
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ChairOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #22
56. As someone who taught university mathematics for several years....
... I can verify that the Japanese report, based upon first-hand low-variance data.

While in general I'm a member of the camp that says that boys-are-dumb-but-reasonable while girls are smart-but-crazy, what I've seen doesn't have anything particular to do with that.

Rather, from what I've seen, the simple fact is that girls have a greater tendency to do what you, qua teacher, tell them (when you see this type of problem, think of it this way, do your homework, etc.). Boys are much more of the yah-wutever-loser attitude. But lo and behold, when homework/quiz/test time rolls around, the people who do what the teacher said end up doing better. Huh - go figure.

Of course, things change dramatically when you start getting into *real* mathematics - but there's a different song-and-dance for that (related to the more general why-don't-girls-dig-on-the-science-so-much question).
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u4ic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
23. My sister let her 4 boys be 'boys'
as kids...she thought that my other sister's son, who was quite emotional, was a sissy. She wanted them tough.

Now, she's got 4 teen/young adult sons who didn't/don't help her, aren't very sympathetic, respectful or loving, and fight alot (with her, their girlfriends, etc). She now regrets how she raised them, considering that 'sissy', who is also grown, is supportive of his parents, have helped them through a lot of tough times, lent them money if they needed it, still says I love you to his parents even though he's 25, tried to be a good role model to his younger brother, etc.

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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. Growing up to be a loving, caring human being should not be a girl
thing. Just think how much better off the world would be if more of our leaders were like that.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
26. I thought it was silly until my daughter started acting girly.
I was not at all interested in dolls. I liked cars and climbing trees, etc. Now my daughter is into all things girly. She dresses up like a princess, has tea parties all the time, etc. I got her a train set for Christmas, and she loves it, but she does princess stories with it. She'll put a train in a building and say it's a prince and then say another train is a princess who has to rescue the prince train. She played dress-up and got the Thomas train out and tried to put her dress-up clothes on him.

How did a tomboy like me get a daughter like that?

I don't know how it works. I am truly puzzled.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
43. Probably the same for the macho dad whose son likes art stuff.
Being the type of mom I was, I might read lots of stories about strong women and make sure she understand that women do not need men to rescue them, that they can be strong too and sometimes can actually do the rescuing. I am reading my gs the book, "William Wants a Doll", now that is a great book about sterotyping for boys.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. If you'll notice
I said the princess rescues the prince. She *always* has the princess rescue the prince. I love that.

But she's still very girly.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. Sorry, I did miss that part. She is feminine, but brave and strong, the
best human qualities there are. (Well, okay, I am being a bit prejudiced here.)I am having to learn a whole other way of life with my 2 grandsons. I think Goddess brought them into my life to show me some balance on the male side of things.
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bluestateboomer Donating Member (313 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
32. My 13 year old daughter is all girl,
but she is also an outstanding athlete and musician (not stereotypical girl instrument either). You gotta make sure all your kids get the chance to excel at what ever they're good at.
:yourock: kid!
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #32
47. It sounds to me like she is all human, not all girl ,and has been nurtured
to be all she can and wants to be as an all round person. Kudos to you!
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
38. Go by what the kids like...
Some boys like traditionally "boy stuff" and that's ok and same with girls. It's about supporting your children for who they are as individuals. That's the most important thing. All children should know how to take care of running a household and be prepared to support themselves financially when they are adults.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #38
51. First, love your name. Second, you speak straight to the point. We
do our children a disservice when we do not equip them to take care of themselves as adults. Learning to do laundry, cooking, changing the oil in your car, balancing a checkbook,cleaning, mowing the lawn, etc., these are jobs that have no sex. They are just tasks that we all need to learn so we can take charge of our own lives, be we male or female.
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ldf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
40. it is the beginning of the whole
brainwashing that females are inferior to males.

i truly believe that if male and female children were raised without any of the trappings or biases built into the blue/pink myth, they would end up being similar in all the strengths.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #40
52. Brought both of my daughters up that way but they live in today's
American society and the business and legal world treats women differently and the good old boy network is strong and hearty and in this administration getting worse all the time. I am looking to you youngsters to show the next generation what's what. I thought by now that things would be better but I feel every day that we are slipping further and further into the 50's.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
57. It helps teach them their role from the beginning
I recently read Paradoxes of Gender by Judith Lorber. She states that most gender differences are societal. boys and girls are treated differently from the moment that their sex is known. This is why it is important to dress infants in pink or blue, so that people will know how to treat them. For example, baby boys are treated rougher and as if they had more energy while girls are treated more gently and as if they were calmer. As children come into contact with media and other children who may have been strongly gender stereotyped by their parents, they further learn what their roles are. Some teachers and other important adults in children's lives may also be involved in the stereotyping. The stereotyping strongly encourages children to behave gender appropriatly regardless of how they naturually are. If the stereotypes were so naturual than there would be no reason to so strongly encourage them and treat the gender rebels disapprovingly.
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Nobody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:08 PM
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58. My mom would tell me I wasn't being very ladylike
and my retort has always been: Of course I'm ladylike, I'm a lady. Everything I do is ladylike.

I have always hated the "boys will be boys" mentality. It seemed to me that it was a means of excusing boys whenever they misbehaved and were going to get away with it. Sneaking out of the house at midnight to TP a neighbor's house: Girl gets grounded and boys will be boys so it's OK if he does it.

I'll never forget when my brother's ex was pregnant with their second daughter, she said in front of her oldest daughter that she didn't want another girl because she didn't want a misbehaving kid like First Daughter.

I was present so I could undo some of the damage being caused. I spoke up immediately and said that I liked girls, girls are great, I should know, I was one.

And I love the look on people's faces when I respond to the "You throw like a girl" line. My response: That's right. I do throw like a girl. I hit what I aim at.

Kids are individuals and should be treated as individuals.
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KnowerOfLogic Donating Member (841 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:17 AM
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59. No double standards on right and wrong; everything else is
beside the point. Whatever is truly biological will not need to be 'taught' by parents; every individual should be allowed to choose their own path in life, and not be sent down one or the other based on what is between their legs. Gender stereotyping is one of the most primitive forms of social structure, and it should have been tossed on the ash-heap of history ages ago, along with animal scarifice, slavery, and the divine right of kings.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:54 AM
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60. Interesting question!!
I feel their are valid things that separate us (male from female) and not just our "goodies." Biologically, there are things more common to women, and others more common to men. However, and this is said as someone without children, it is more important to let a child be comfortable with who he or she is, than worry about what society will think. It is important to explain "sex roles" because they will encounter it.

I was raised by a very strong woman. When someone said my mom wasn't being "lady-like," she would say; "That is because I am not a fucking lady, I am a woman!" To her, 'lady' meant a woman who bowed down to her man and other, was always polite, and always did the "nice" things. A 'woman' was an individual capable of anything, including being tough, if needed. My father hit my mom...once! She explained that "if that ever happened again, one of them would be in jail and the other in the ground...and she really had no desire to go to jail!" :) That's my mom! She and my dad raised 4 boys. We are all independent, but very close to our parents. My dad has mellowed over the years and doesn't pull the macho crap as much as he used to (a former airborne ranger in the army).

I think that your sex doesn't determine your behavior, nor should it. I am gay and I was a sensitive child, artistic, and hundreds of other stereotypes, but I am who I am. I have feminine and masculine attributes, and I use the one most appropriate for the occasion. I have a penis, but I know my spirit is both male and female, and that suits me just fine! :)
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