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To feel put out that people think my son's a girl?

(68 Posts)
AnotherJaffaCake Fri 14-Oct-11 15:22:19

This keeps happening when we're out. DS is 28 months old. He has longish hair, because it suits him and I like it. But he looks like a boy. He's dressed in boy's clothes. It isn't as if I put him in a pink frilly dress and then wonder why people get confused grin.

AIBU to start thinking I need to draw a moustache on his face before we go out now? Or maybe I should get t-shirts printed with "I am a boy" on them?

ThePumpkinKing Fri 14-Oct-11 15:23:56

People often make mistakes with small children.

If they're just passing strangers, it hardly matters.

rivig Fri 14-Oct-11 15:24:46

Same reply as ThePumpkinKing

worraliberty Fri 14-Oct-11 15:24:58

I was shocked to find the 'little girl' who's lived in my street for 3yrs is actually a little boy blush

thefirstMrsDeVeerie Fri 14-Oct-11 15:25:41

People think all my boys are girls. I can sort of see it with DS3 because he is pretty, DS 1 has dreads and not everyone understands about afro hair and dreads/braids so I let that go.

But DS4 is a great big BOY. He doesnt look anything like a girl. He has long hair but it all goes outwards in a big afro.

It gets easier when your child gives them a withering glare and declares ' I am NOT a girl, I am a BOYYYYYY!' grin

GrimmaTheNome Fri 14-Oct-11 15:32:20

YABU - if its not obvious to strangers which sex he is, why be put out? (unless you think girls are inferior in some way which I'm sure you don't wink)

People interpret various cues as to gender - clothes aren't a particularly reliable one as many mothers quite like unpink clothes for DDs and choose off the 'boys' rail. Long hair is usually found on girls in our culture so you can't really blame people.

I recently got to know a very nice 8 year old boy with waist-length hair who I (and most other people, I think) at first assumed was a girl (clothes no cue, the kids were all in wetsuits). He also had a name I'd not come across before which wasn't obviously gendered. His mother had a way of talking to/about him which clarified his gender for new aquaintances though - I think they were used to it and not overly bothered.

nickelbabe Fri 14-Oct-11 15:34:37

I did it to a teenage girl not long ago in the shop.

I felt awful, because I said it to her dad "oh, he's made his mind up, then?" (because she couldn't decide what books to get and had been going back and forth with books for about 20 mins grin )
the dad went "she". I got confused, thought he meant that his wife had chosen the DD's books for her.
I hadn't got a clue she was a girl. Honestly thought she was a boy.

I was mortified once they'd left hte shop and my friend pointed out that yes, she was a girl, and her name had been said outloud (which obv I havn't heard) blush

Ilovedaintynuts Fri 14-Oct-11 15:36:29

Who cares?

People often think my 13 month old DD is a boy even when she's in pink.

Aren't most children a bit generic looking until they about 3?

Boy/girl - as long as you and your family know what you've got I can't see the problem.

AnotherJaffaCake Fri 14-Oct-11 15:37:14

the first MrsDeVeerie - "It gets easier when your child gives them a withering glare and declares ' I am NOT a girl, I am a BOYYYYYY!'" smile.

It will get to that stage eventually. I reckon he's going to be a big six footer one day.

I don't get angry with people, just a bit confused, especially when he's wearing his favourite Thomas the Tank Engine coat etc. Yes, I know girls like Thomas too (my DD does). He's just so obviously a boy!!!!

One woman today even thought I was his grandmother too. I was a bit shock and sad.

thefirstMrsDeVeerie Fri 14-Oct-11 15:38:39

I said it to a lady in ikea yesterday (waves incase she is on MNs). She was brand new and dressed in blue so I took a guess and said 'awww hold old is he?'

Mum was perfectly fine

(unless she is now seething about the mad baby botherer in Ikea who couldnt tell her girl was a girl)
Baby was sooooo cute though.


thing1andthing2 Fri 14-Oct-11 15:42:00

I had the same over the summer as my DD (21 mths) had very short hair and I dressed her in navy/green tracky bottoms, and she got taken for a boy all the time. I figured two things:
1) If the DC is dressed/hair style like the opposite gender then it's obvious people are going to make mistakes and there's no point getting upset about it.
2) If the DC is dressed/hair style like the appropriate gender then people making mistakes are just bonkers and there's no point getting upset about it.

Are you sure it's not that you're annoyed that the long hair on your little boy is confusing people? I guess if you want your little boy to have long hair that's your call (and I can understand it if your DS has an abundance of beautiful hair), but you can't change societal norms I'm afraid (that long hair is for girls).

OneNerveAndYouAreOnIt Fri 14-Oct-11 15:50:52

the kid next door has long hair and looks like a girl

in fact my son was amazed when i said HE - and they have lived there for five years LOL

DougalDaydream Fri 14-Oct-11 15:51:02

People always thought my son was a girl at that age. Didn't bother me a bit - if I'm honest I quite liked it because I thought he looked like a little surfer dude with his long blonde curls blush

They certainly don't make that mistake now grin

notlettingthefearshow Fri 14-Oct-11 15:53:16

I think it depends if it bothers your DS. If not, let it go.

hiddenhome Fri 14-Oct-11 15:53:21

People seem to be mistaking my ds2 for a girl, even though his hair is short and he wears boys clothes hmm

He has got a cute face though grin

notlettingthefearshow Fri 14-Oct-11 15:55:05

Does HE like having long hair and being mistaken for a girl?

It would bother me TBH but then I would probably just cut his hair.

worraliberty Fri 14-Oct-11 15:55:50

Yes, I know girls like Thomas too (my DD does). He's just so obviously a boy!!!!

Obviously not though or you wouldn't have started this thread.

You're his Mum so of course it's obvious to you.

Dirtydishesmakemesad Fri 14-Oct-11 16:02:54

People used to assume my 3rd dd was a boy. She was larger and bigger build tham my others and i think that when people see a larger looking baby they think boy for some reason. She is 2.5 now and people have recently stopped saying that mostly since she was out of her pushchait amd walks. I suppose being in a pushchair make it harder to see clues like clothes.
Dont worry - only worry of people are still confused when hes 18 grin

roadkillbunny Fri 14-Oct-11 16:11:46

This also happens with my ds, more as he is getting older, he has just past shoulder length blond hair, to me he looks nothing like a girl, when he isn't prancing about the place is his big sisters princess dresses he wears 'boy' clothing, people often only making a passing glance rather then a close look at a strangers small child so make snap, unconscious judgement on gender normally based on hair length. It really doesn't both me to be honest, it simply doesn't matter enough to me!

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 16:14:14

Cute is cute. I often ask "awww beautiful, what flavour is it I don't wish to cause offence" and then I cause offence by not knowing, refering to 'it' a 'it' and attaching flavour instead of gender. You can't win.

Both my boys had long hair when little (they had it cut when they wanted it cut, though I wish they'd kept it long) and tbh, it didn't bother me that people got their gender wrong.

Meh, my boy's 10 and people still think he's a girl sometimes.

He's has a lovely cherubic face, doesn't bother me at all.

Katisha Fri 14-Oct-11 16:28:58

If it bothers you cut his hair or something. You can't expect people to be taking as much notice of the other "clues" as you expect.

If you are not going to cut his hair, and nor should you if you don't want to, then you are being unreasonable to feel put out and just need to chill.

NotJustKangaskhan Fri 14-Oct-11 16:58:12

My husband - who is over 6 foot, built like a wall, and if you look at his from behind for more than 5 seconds you can see the sides of his full beard - has had people mistake him for a woman due to his waist long ponytail.

I, at 8 months pregnant that was obvious even under my thick coat but with my can-sit-on-it hair up in a bun under a warm hat, was mistaken for a man (and made the random stranger trying to talk to me really irritated as I wasn't responding to him - I don't think I was being unreasonable to not respond to question directed at 'lad').

People make split second judgements, I would brush it off.

Ephiny Fri 14-Oct-11 17:05:42

I used to get mistaken for a little boy when I was younger - short-ish hair and blue clothes will have that effect!

Don't see why it matters really or is anything to be annoyed about. If it is relevant, then you can politely correct the person, but if it's just a random stranger in the street then surely it doesn't really matter much?

AKMD Fri 14-Oct-11 17:11:52

YABU, small children are quite androgynous and if your son has long hair, he almost certainly looks like a girl.

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