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to be sad that my DD has now passed gender discrimination 101?

(407 Posts)
ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:02:44

My DD can now accurately pick out the boys and girls in her peer group (age 1-2). Presumably she has successfully identified that boys and girls are dressed differently/have their hair cut differently.

This is entirely due to adult imposed gender discrimination, as she a) isn't looking at them naked, b) can't possibly be detecting the very subtle actual differences in behaviour/appearance.

So lets hurry onto the next lesson:

Society expects girls and boys to behave differently and have different interests, strengths and weaknesses.

Before I could at least wonder if, when she saw in books that all the girls are doing different things to the boys, she might not realise which was which and specifically which group she was 'supposed' to be in. Now I know she will be learning exactly what is expected of her every time a tired old stereotype is rolled out.

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 25-Mar-13 14:07:38

Oh don't be absurd. At what point do you think we should be able to identify the sexes? Or shouldn't we Christ, that would make picking up in nightclubs difficult. Or maybe we shouldn't care at all? How exciting it would be to get to the bedroom and be prepared for a surprise!

Your whole OP is so nonsensical that it's made me quite cross. Bugger this, I'm off to pick up my 5yo from school. She's wearing Hello Kitty wellies and has a Mike the Knight lunchbag. Sorry.

sydlexic Mon 25-Mar-13 14:07:40

When my DS was that age he saw Boy George and knew he was male, I was surprised. Widow twanky in Alladin, he knew was male, maybe there is something else that tells them.

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:09:42

Oh my DD could tell for ages the difference between men and women. That's fine. Men and women ARE different.

But toddlers under the age of 2 aren't different. So why should she be able to differentiate?

Cookethenook Mon 25-Mar-13 14:10:12

Uhh, ok...

I would have thought that was actually quite an important life skill, being able to tell who is a boy and who is a girl? It's hardly discrimination. Your DD is pointing out facts.

I take it you don't dress like the sex you are then if you're so keen on avoiding 'adult imposed gender discrimination'? And neither does your partner? We'll just all walk about in hessian sacks and shave our heads shall we?

abbyfromoz Mon 25-Mar-13 14:11:38

.... This actually makes my head hurt...relax?

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:11:48

FFS I did say HER PEER GROUP in the op!

I have no problem with her differentiating men and women.

I have a problem with us artificially exagerating the difference between babies/toddlers of different sexes...apparently just for the purpose of making sure everyone knows their place.

Emilythornesbff Mon 25-Mar-13 14:14:22

Fear not.
The ability to identify gender difference in oneself (and in peers) is a normal developmental phase.
She's just perceptive.

Cookethenook Mon 25-Mar-13 14:15:08

Do you just refer to your DD as a 'child' then? Not a Girl or a boy?

MichaelaS Mon 25-Mar-13 14:15:22

Erm because they ARE different? Like people with different skin colours or people with different body shapes.

I think you are confusing a rampant passion against gender discrimination with trying to make the genders the same. There are inherent body differences between the genders. Face shape is (for the majority) a clue even in early infancy. There was some research I believe that found 1year old boys could identify other boys (girls took longer to do this).

Being a boy or a girl doesn't force you to conform to society's idea of appropriate play choices. It does mean you have either a willy or a womb. Different, not equal, neither better or worse than the other.

FeckOffCup Mon 25-Mar-13 14:17:37

Why do you have a problem with toddlers being able to be identified by gender and not older children or adults? You say there's no physical difference in under 2s but there isn't much physical difference in children until puberty, should they all dress gender neutrally until they are around ten in your opinion?

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:19:16

I will say it once more.

I do not have a problem with real difference between genders.

I do not therefore have a problem with my DD being able to tell the difference between adult men and adult women.

I do have a problem with imposed artificial difference.

I do therefore have a problem with her being able to tell apart toddlers by gender.

I'm not entirely sure she has worked if she is a girl or not. It helps that approximately 50% of people who interact with her assume she is a boy (on account of not wearing an exceptional amount of pink, I presume).

vladthedisorganised Mon 25-Mar-13 14:20:19

DD is particularly vehement in her insistence that random animals - like a bird in the garden or a dog trotting down the street - are male or female. 90% of the time I have no idea, but she's absolutely certain.
Of course with mallards or a particular sort of large dog, there's no question, but half the time I go with 'your guess is as good as mine'. Doesn't bother me.

I think this started at about 2 if I remember rightly; about the same time as she started seeing people as 'small/tall' and 'light haired/dark haired'. I think there's some developmental thing about categorisation which toddlers do.. less to do with gender awareness/ stereotyping and more to do with mentally grouping things into categories.

(for the record, I'm small, old and have dark hair with lots and LOTS of white bits in it, according to DD)

Pandemoniaa Mon 25-Mar-13 14:21:13

YABU. And rather ridiculous.

You seemed to have turned a quite normal phase in your DD's development into a ludicrously over-thought crisis. Why on earth should she not be able to tell the difference between boys and girls? My dgd is 2.3 She's been saying "Hello Boy/Girl" to other children of her age for some time. Despite the fact that in almost all circumstances, there has been little evidence of any artificially exaggerated gender differences amongst the children she meets.

pramdunce Mon 25-Mar-13 14:23:10

Are you that loon who tried to hide her child's gender from the world? Seriously, there's no problem here. Presumably your child wears gender neutral clothing? Bowl haircut? You may disagree, but I htink male and female faces are different even from a very early age. I can certainly tell the gender of most 1 year olds. Even ds, who has spent his first year being mistaken for a girl because of his long eyelashes is now quite ovbiously a boy. I couldn't tell you why, it's very subtle, but his face is unmistakably that of a boy.

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:23:27


because in older children there must be an element of choice by the child (albeit heavily influenced by society).

For toddlers there is nothing but the expression of discrimination by the parents.

I saw a 1 yo at baby gym the other day, just on the verge of walking/climbing massively hindered by a huge frilly dress....others pulling hair out of their eyes. What the hell is wrong with a society that values being able to tell girl from boy over practicality of clothing/hair for play?

Emilythornesbff Mon 25-Mar-13 14:24:16

Sorry YAbu
As I explained above.
It's an important developmental stage.

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:25:09

Nah I have done nothing to hide the gender of my child except give her clothes with no particular colour bias (there is as much pink as blue etc).

Maybe she just looks like a boy whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean.

FeckOffCup Mon 25-Mar-13 14:25:37

*I do have a problem with imposed artificial difference.

I do therefore have a problem with her being able to tell apart toddlers by gender*

You are going to have to find a way to live with that problem them or get over it because it's not going to change anytime soon, most people don't make a point of dressing their toddlers so that you can't tell their gender and it's really none of your business how other people dress their children anyway, if I want to dress my daughter in pink and dresses then that's not imposing gender stereotypes on her, that's just dressing her in clothes I have chosen (and she has helped me choose more recently) according to taste.

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:25:53

emily yes and so is learning to mimic societies expectations of you.

Doesn't mean I have to like it.

PureQuintessence Mon 25-Mar-13 14:26:03

My son has lovely long curly hair. His brothers favorite colour is purple.
I do think they discovered gender at the usual time in baby development. They are just opting to do what they like, and dress how they like.

raspberryroop Mon 25-Mar-13 14:27:57

Sudo intellectual twattery at its best.

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:28:09

feck but anyone that would put a female toddler in a pink dress and wouldn't put a male toddler in the same dress is certainly guilty of discrimination.

They are treating their male and female children differently on the basis of no actual difference. That is the definition of discrimination.

Dresses/pink aren't physiologically incompatible with penises and all babies have the same preference for the colour red regardless of gender.

PureQuintessence Mon 25-Mar-13 14:28:55

Dont be idiotic.

Pandemoniaa Mon 25-Mar-13 14:30:09

I saw a 1 yo at baby gym the other day, just on the verge of walking/climbing massively hindered by a huge frilly dress....others pulling hair out of their eyes. What the hell is wrong with a society that values being able to tell girl from boy over practicality of clothing/hair for play?

You seem to be having terrible problems confusing societal values with commonsense here. There will always be some parents who dress their children inappropriately for the activities they are doing. In this respect, you see just as many over-dressed baby boys as you do girls but I really don't think you can blame society for it. Nor assume there is some grim, global plot to ensure gender discrimination is hammered home from babyhood onwards.

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