I have a question about something I said to ds2

(23 Posts)
mypussyiscalledCaramel Thu 11-Jul-13 07:48:33

Thankyou for the clarification, I was just pointing out that we do things that are supposedly gender specified.

If I was talking face to face it would be easier to explain what I mean.

If my ds are interested in anything that society says they shouldn't be, I don't generally take a great deal of notice.

They are who they are and if they are happy then so am I

CoalDustWoman Wed 10-Jul-13 23:55:01

But if you want to read about this, Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine is an eye-opener.

Do you need to be stronger? Sorry if you're having a hard time of it.

CoalDustWoman Wed 10-Jul-13 23:53:24

Why do you say climbing trees, playing with cars, helping Dad with the car are all boy things? And dolls, dressing up and fairy books are girl things? When you have the examples of yourself and your son to prove it's not true. Just let them be activities and interests and don't let what's in the pants feature at all. What's so hard about that?

That's what I mean by boxing in. You don't need a book to tell you that gender-dividing this stuff and negatively ascribing characteristics to a gender is bit silly, a best.

mypussyiscalledCaramel Wed 10-Jul-13 23:45:23

but... but... I don't understand your terminology of boxing myself in.

Maybe I should find some books to enlighten me about feminism. Might even help me be a stronger person

CoalDustWoman Wed 10-Jul-13 23:37:10

But you think that his actions redeem your faux pas.

You keep dividing stuff. Why? You have the evidence in both your son and yourself that loads of stuff is attractive to both genders. So why box yourselves in?

I know I'm being short with you. It's because I have had it up to here with sterotypes. It's infuriating and limiting to everyone. Like you should say to your son when he shrieks, just pack it in grin

mypussyiscalledCaramel Wed 10-Jul-13 23:35:18

I shall make sure he screams like a seagull, howzat?

Ds2 has more female friends.

This whole thing is very difficult to explain on t'interweb.

I don't put labels on things, I don't specify that its a girl/boy thing to him

mypussyiscalledCaramel Wed 10-Jul-13 23:28:35

Ye Gods!

It was MY faux pas not hisangry

So if I say that my boys like doing stuff that girls like doing, its still wrong?

I grew up doing more boy things than girl things. climbing trees, playing with cars, helping my Dad with the car.

It's not a disaster mypussyis we all do these things without thinking. But maybe stop using "like a girl" as an insult; allow him to make his choices about what he enjoys without commenting on anything to do with what gender that activity is supposed to be for, etc.

Everything around us leads to this gender segregation with the girl things being seen as a bit rubbish, I don't see how anyone can say they've never conformed in an unthinking way. I know I've made mistakes in the past.

We just have to keep trying to be aware of these subtle influences around us. Hope that makes you feel a bit better? smile

What will he be screeching like, next time he does it? Baby? Donkey?

mypussyiscalledCaramel Wed 10-Jul-13 23:22:15

It was just the screaming doing my head in.

Both my boys are arty crafty types, both have always liked pink.

Ds1 has been told by his granddad that big boys don't cry and I replied that granddad was talking out of his arse. If my kids cry I know they are upset.

If either of them decided that being female was the way to go I woul support them all the way.

The only one being damaged in my family isDs1 because of his neanderthal grandad. I spend a lot of time pulling him up on sexist jokes, telling him that others may not see the funny side, he now no longer tells me racist jokes either.

CoalDustWoman Wed 10-Jul-13 23:13:45

It's not his faux pas!

What's with the girlie squeaks thing? And you're still trying to box him in (or out). Loads of people don't think that those are excusively girl things to do.

mypussyiscalledCaramel Wed 10-Jul-13 23:01:21

Oh, I see.

Can I just say that he loves anything that is supposed to be liked by girls, i.e dolls, dressing up, anything pink and he is currently reading fairy books.

Would these help redeem me with the fauxpas?

KRITIQ Wed 10-Jul-13 22:55:35

Well, I think others have covered it really. But, I'm curious why you thought it was a good idea to dissuade him from shrieking by referring to it as "girlie shrieks," in the first place. Why not say shrieking like a parrot or a donkey? Why specifically a girl?

The fact that it was effective probably means he has already learned that girl = inferior and that the worst insult for a boy or man is to be seen as being in any way like a girl or woman. He'd rather stop doing the thing he likes (in this case shrieking) out of fear of not being seen as "boy enough" or "man enough."

In terms of his self-esteem, if he enjoys/is good at activities that are seen as "associated with" being female in society, (i.e. caring for others, cooking, crafting/creativity, etc.) but fears he will be condemned (by parents and others) for doing them, he could feel conflicted. If he feels pressured to conform to some masculine ideal and eschew what he really wants to do, to be, he could end up being very, very unhappy and feel "untrue" to himself.

On the other hand, by giving him the message that he is superior to girls by virtue of being male, he is unlikely to afford them genuine respect as valued human beings. His behaviour towards them is likely to have a very negative impact on their self esteem. I suppose if you don't have DDs or any girls or young women close to you, this part may not matter to you.

In short, if you don't see why this is an issue, I doubt anything anyone could say here will make a difference.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 10-Jul-13 22:45:23

"Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots, because it's OK to be a boy, but for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think that being a girl is degrading. "

This if from the Cement Garden (I think the film version).

It sums it up for me. You are telling him that something being girlie equates with it being beneath him or degrading.

It's the same reason I hate - and pick up on - adults referring to 'cried like a girl' or 'man up'.

Drives me round the fucking twist, this casual equating of negative features to being female. One of my real red flag issues.

CinnabarRed Wed 10-Jul-13 22:45:21

It's also more effective, BTW. The DSs don't want to identify with babies, but don't see any issues with being compared to girls! Bless 'em.

CinnabarRed Wed 10-Jul-13 22:43:11

I've had to have exactly the same conversation with DH.

Toddler DS2 is learning about manipulation of emotions and cries at the drop of a hat.

DH now asks him (conversationally and politely, so real upset is recognised and managed) why he is crying like a baby rather than crying like a girl.

Still not great, but progress.

CoalDustWoman Wed 10-Jul-13 22:36:31

mistaken for a girl by you, or anyone else who peddles this nonsense.

CoalDustWoman Wed 10-Jul-13 22:35:32

Well, they're not girlie squeaks if he's doing them, are they? So why say that irritating noises are made by girls?

Just tell him to pack it in and stop making a racket. Why make it (derogatory) about one gender?

Damage his self esteem - what, if he's mistaken for a girl? Poor lamb, I can think of nothing worse.

As well as that, there's the voice pitch issue. I don't hear many women shouting in deep voices either grin.

Thistledew Wed 10-Jul-13 22:29:56

Maybe the reason that you observe more women and girls shrieking and screaming than you do boys and men is that boys are ridiculed and discouraged from an early age from displaying such overt emotion, but girls are not?

In simple terms, you are suggesting to him that being a girl is something rubbish, something a boy should be ashamed to be smile.

I sympathise though, I also hate shrieky sounds, whether a male or female is making them. Though adult men tend to struggle with high pitched screams, I'd think. If it were me, I'd find another way to discourage him from making them.

I don't see any problem from a feminist perspective in calling your cat girlie or birdie grin. At least its not called Inverdale or something

KaseyM Wed 10-Jul-13 22:27:45

I think it just adds to the general equation that girlie=not a good thing to be.

It's a small thing just once but it all adds up. I know someone who says "don't be a girl" everytime I mess up. Hear it often enough and you equate girl as being something that no one wants to be.

I don't like it really.

It says girls squeak - they don't necassarily.

It says you can't squeak because you're not a girl. I don't see why kids can't do stuff because they are boys or girls.

I would have just said it sounds awful - my ears hurt etc, etc.

mypussyiscalledCaramel Wed 10-Jul-13 22:15:07

When he started school he decided screaming loudly was the done thing.

The only way I could stop him was to ask him "to stop with the girlie squeaks"

Now, as far as I am concerned and through observation, girls and women are the ones that scream when they meet, scream when they are pissed and scream in arguements.

My cat is female and affectionately known as 'girlie or birdie'.

I am interested because it was pointed out to me on another thread that this statement was derogatory to girls and it may dent my boys self esteem. Can't see that happening, he's too popular in everthing he does.

So please inform me in what way I have upset the feminist thinking.

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