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To find "gender competitiveness"; among mums/women really disturbing?

(205 Posts)
MmBovary Fri 12-Oct-12 11:36:59

I'm the mother of two little boys and since pregnant with my second boy, I started hearing and perceiving a very detrimental attitude from mums and other women to having only boys.

The funny thing is I consider myself a feminist in many ways and will always advocate for gender equality in all its forms, but since having boys I'm perceiving a nasty attitude towards having boys only and I find it so demoralising and annoying, to say the least.

I also have to say that the malicious comments come mainly from women, not men, which I find even more disturbing.

I have heard people saying "poor you" when I said that I was expecting another boy. Or women commening on other women having "four boys" with pity in their eyes.

I also saw documentaries of women so desperate to have "the girl" that they went into IVF to be able to choose the gender of their child. The message of the documentary was horrible, basically that these women were so miserable because they had only boys. Imagine what these poor boys are going to think when they understand that message. That they were not good enough because of their gender? We, as women, have been fighting for centuries to avoid that kind of attitude, and now we seem to be promoting it, but the other way round.

Having children is a beautiful experience, no matter what sex they are. Why are some women out there making it all about a competition about having the "girly girl", and making it sound as if having boys only in something to be avoided?

I have two children and I don't want to have more. I would never try for another baby for the sake of expecting to have a girl.

The irony of this little annecdote is that the more I immerse myself in the so called "woman's world", in terms of gender roles as wife, mother, co worker, and even friendship etc, the more I start to think it's quite awful. It's a world full of petty jealousies, judgements and competitiveness and it seems so hard to run away from it, unless you're prepared to be on your own.

If I had a daughter, I would be sick worried of what lies ahead for her.

CamperFan Fri 12-Oct-12 11:38:38

The only time I have ever come across this is in posts like these on MN!

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 12-Oct-12 11:41:51

I do know what you mean. I have 2 boys and another mother who has just had her 3rd boy is sort of pitied by some as the 3rd 'should have been a girl really'. But I don't know if you get this with girls too. I suspect you do as another friend has 5 girls and the feeling was certainly what a shame the twins weren't boys.

lynniep Fri 12-Oct-12 11:46:14

I've never come across it in real life either.

DeWe Fri 12-Oct-12 11:48:12

I've seen similar comments to a friend with 4 girls, and she says the comments she gets are nothing to what her dh gets off other males.

When pg with dc#3, having got 2 girls a lot of people assumed we were after a boy.

CoteDAzur Fri 12-Oct-12 11:49:47

It has to do with the assumption that everyone would want "one of each", not with girl babies generally being more desirable than boy babies.

" "woman's world"... it's a world full of petty jealousies, judgements and competitiveness "

Did you just notice this when you became a parent?

PumpkInDublic Fri 12-Oct-12 11:51:08

I've seen this in real life too. Pregnant friend was asked when she would be trying for her third as scan had confirmed a second much wanted baby boy.

DP was a boy in a long line of boys until his DM had a girl. Don't want to out myself but there was between 8-12 children in the end. Until she got 'her' girl. I don't think it's anything new but I cannot imagine how the boys must feel, means to an end etc.

It's even acceptable in children's literature, Mrs Weasley anyone?

TeacupTempest Fri 12-Oct-12 11:51:20

Never seen this in RL.

LittleWhiteWolf Fri 12-Oct-12 11:53:20

I did once stand in a queue with my daughter in her pushchair next to a grandmother, mother and her son in a pram. The grandmother made a fuss of DD then said "that's what we wanted." I stupidly said "what, a baby?" and they both replied "a girl."

Thats the only time I've come across this in real life. However I have also experienced mothers speaking out about preferring boys and only wanting boys, not girls.

BlueberryHill Fri 12-Oct-12 11:53:49

I've come across it, heard comments when people have 'just boys', don't hear the same with 'just girls'. There lots of comments about boys being boys, as though they aren't as well behaved as girls or not expected to be. Obviously this isn't everyone, but enough people seem to say it.

I have DS1 and then boy / girl twins, when I am just out with the twins, I get lots of comments about, 'Ah isn't that nice, one of each' as though that is the ideal and some people even saying I don't need to have anymore.

It annoys me, I know they don't know about DS1 and are just making conversation but I feel its a slight on him, the extra boy. I know its me being over sensitive but I hear the comments a lot and find it a bit wearing.

I don't recognise the competitive, jealous world though, I just avoid people who do that. I know a lot of supportive, funny women.

steben Fri 12-Oct-12 11:54:29

Have posted about this before - ime more women want boys than girls and since having dd I have gotten pretty fed up with people pitying me for the teenage years ahead and generally being the mother of girls. Also i have had it pointed out many times how boys are"far easier" and "they love there mums so much more" and are generally much better to handle". I nod politely but I do find it very irritating - do girls not love their mums? Mine seems to love me...

Chrysanthemum5 Fri 12-Oct-12 11:57:16

I've seen it in real life but from both ways eg mums of only boys getting comments about wanting a girl, and dads of girls bring asked if they'd rather have boys. I think some people are just pretty rude.

Dahlen Fri 12-Oct-12 11:58:31

I think it's because in the eyes of these women, you are missing out if you don't have a girl to 'dress in your image'.

It implies massive insecurity based on worth being equated with appearance. Quite what these women would do if they had a tomboy, god alone knows. hmm

It is the arse end of sexism, where women themselves have subconsciously taken it upon themselves to perpetuate gender stereotypes for a new generation IMO.

I am a mother of both sexes and can tell you that personality is far more of an influence than gender.

Adversecamber Fri 12-Oct-12 12:01:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MmBovary Fri 12-Oct-12 12:02:18

Thanks all for all your comments. It definitely gives me a more balanced view of the situation and that's really good.

steben, thanks for sharing your experience on having girls only. You see, I never heard anything bad about having only girls. Maybe we only see one side on the coin.

CoteDazur, yes, as I grow older, I'm becoming a bit disillusioned with women's attitudes towards each other. I might be unique in this, but I cannot not deny it's happening.

Children can be so enjoyable and lovely to have around, no matter what sex they are. They can be a pain too, but that has nothing to do with gender, it's more to do with personality smile

Dozer Fri 12-Oct-12 12:06:59

We have two DDs, as do SIL and BIL (they have a boy too) and no-one has said anything re gender to me, but some men have to DH and BIL, normally stuff about being outnumbered by women/henpecked/deprived of "manly" things like sport (because girls clearly can't play or watch sport hmm), needing "time off" or a shed to escape, teenage years fending off boyfriends etc.

BIL seems to buy into it all, and SIL too. I'm trying to put DH straight!

Dahlen Fri 12-Oct-12 12:13:06

Thing is, once you realise it's a form of sexism, albeit against boys rather than girls, you then have to ask yourself where it comes from and who it's damaging.

IMO the former is capitalism (since the increased stereotyping of girl's clothing and toys is mainly down to maximising profit), which is largely controlled by men (women hold just 1% of the world's wealth). The latter is women. Women who are raised to believe that appearance is everything, that women subscribe to certain girly roles, are having their life chances limited.

I wouldn't be angry at women for doing this to their children or for being bitchy or competitive. It'd pity them for being sucked into it. They are victims (but annoying and best avoided, I'll grant you. grin).

NeedlesCuties Fri 12-Oct-12 12:42:59

I have a DS and a DD.

When pregnant I didn't care what sex the babies were, as long as all was well.

The amount of people who has said, "Oh lovely, a 'gentleman's family'" has [confused me] I'd never heard that till DD was born, so I suppose DH wasn't a gentleman till that happened wink

Dogsmom Fri 12-Oct-12 12:51:25

I've read a few posts on here that have come across as competitiveness, it's either that boys are typically naughtier or if you have a girl that it must be awful being surrounded by pink.

steben Fri 12-Oct-12 12:53:00

Agree with other poster that DH has also had many many negative comments along the lines if being stuck with girls etc... Luckily he couldn't give a fig although would have loved a son he adores his girls and they him. Also agree it is more about personality than gender - I was far more if a tomboy and dd1 looks to be going going the same way.

drjohnsonscat Fri 12-Oct-12 12:53:47

There's also competitive "it's harder for me because I've got two boys" syndrome which is really annoying. A woman said that to me recently. We both have two children exactly the same age. Mine are girl/boy - hers are boy/boy. I said we'd had a nice weekend and she said "Oh yes well you have a girl so it's easier for you". Her children are perfectly nice btw.

What really annoyed me was that I am a single parent and she's not. So if there's going to be a competition, I win grin

I agree that people are obsessed with gender roles and it's that bit that annoys me. My boy is lovely and sweet - my girl is lovely and sweet. They both play with cars and dolls. But no one wants to hear that.

Moominsarescary Fri 12-Oct-12 13:08:57

I hear. It quiet a bit but I've had 4 boys, I'm sure I well get it again when people find out I'm having boy number 5.

Someone once said well at least it will be less of a worry when their older and going on nights out. Ds1 is 17 and I don't think it's any less worrying that he's a boy. I worry about muggings, violent crime etc

Im happy to have boys, I'm sure some people think I have so many because I'm trying for a girl though. Dp would have liked a girl but certainly isn't disappointed at having boys.

A friend once said your not a 'real' man until you produce a girl hmm

Moominsarescary Fri 12-Oct-12 13:15:41

Don't know where the quiet came from! Should be I hear it alot

Glittertwins Fri 12-Oct-12 13:19:09

We lost count of the number of people who said "ooh a perfect ready made family" when they saw we had a boy and a girl. What?? A single child, all boys or all girls isn't a perfect family?

MrsWolowitz Fri 12-Oct-12 13:23:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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