Advanced search

To think none of these things are "girly"?

(84 Posts)
AlltheWhile Sun 21-Jun-15 14:36:33

[ article here]

Nail polish has been around for thousands of years, it's only relatively recently become a thing that is seen as female.

Disney princesses for fucks sake. There were not even a thing a hundred years ago. Those women were all still women.

I really don't want to start another transgender debate, what adults do is none of my business, but I do think as a society we need to address the way see gender and children. Unless I am missing it this boy has at no point said he wants breasts or a period or anything that women do actually have.

He likes the fashion and things that are seen as girly and doesn't like sodding football. Neither does most of America. Actually soccer is more of a girl's sport in the states. Maybe all American's are transgender?

Isn't it possible that by making her 9 year old's story public and trying to be so 'right on' that these parents are actually rigidly adhering to a gender binary that says no girl would ever play football and no boy would ever wear a dress? And forcing him to follow a path he might not feel like he can go back on in a few years time?

Should we not just be saying, "yes, ds that is a very nice dress, and here are some glittery shoes to match, but can you please just go tidy your room". And getting the fuck on with it without pigeonholing children?

*(And I'm totally ignoring the dresses, jewelry, tights and high heels worn in the past by men when they were considered male fashion)

AnyoneForTennis Sun 21-Jun-15 14:40:06

I agree op

She's just attention seeking and using her child In the process

AlltheWhile Sun 21-Jun-15 14:40:36

have given a rubbish response to the Brantano question if anyone is interested in reading it. LEt clothes be clothes have responded to them. ink{ link sorry}

AlltheWhile Sun 21-Jun-15 14:43:59

Oh I just give up on the internet today. The internet wins. I'm going back to bed. I can make links. I really can.

QueenStromba Sun 21-Jun-15 15:18:57

I notice in the sidebar of shame that Kellie Maloney tried to strangle their ex-wife.

Theycallmemellowjello Sun 21-Jun-15 15:24:54

But the kid says he wants to be a girl. That's not the same as simply not liking football. And if he decides he doesn't later, he can be a boy again. Nbd. I understand your argument but I think that transgender acceptance acknowledges the fluidity and performed aspects of gender and undercuts rather than reinforces the gender binary.

WorraLiberty Sun 21-Jun-15 15:27:49

His Mum has to be a Mumsnetter! grin

Oh and I don't get this bit.... It's easier for him to dress-up and paint his nails when he's indoors at the moment because he can still get a little embarrassed when someone notices his nails.

Right, so sticking him in a bloody national newspaper won't embarrass him at all? confused

AlltheWhile Sun 21-Jun-15 15:39:59

theycallmemellow is it possible though that this mother is telling him the things he likes are girl things though? And so if he wants to do those things he must become a girl? Her use of words such as "girly girl" and the fact that he doesn't like football say to me he is getting a very strict idea of gender at home.

ALso I really am trying to avoid the transgender debate as I think this is a different issue in away. But ^ transgender acceptance acknowledges the fluidity and performed aspects of gender and undercuts rather than reinforces the gender binary.^ this may or may not be true for adults and those that discuss gender theory or whatever but is it true for a 9 year old whose mother says that he has always liked doing "girly" things?

Agree with tennis that it might just be attention seeking. And yes, worra that struck me as odd as well, as well as her saying he can "be a boy again" later. Well not really as it's not been placed on the internet forever.

Theycallmemellowjello Sun 21-Jun-15 15:48:47

I don't think that the fact that activities aren't inherently gendered (obviously since gender is a social construct) means that gender doesn't exist and that aspects of our society aren't gendered. I would say much of the culture surrounding football and fashion/make up is very heavily for example. So describing certain things as girly or not is not necessarily inaccurate though I guess it is prescriptive. But if he is consistently rejecting traditionally masculine gendered things for traditionally feminine things that does suggest and interest in femininity rather than a pure, gender neutral love of dressing up. I don't see that this is going to do him any harm anyway. The mum is right that he can be a boy again when he likes.

NurseRoscoe Sun 21-Jun-15 17:10:32

My little boy loves Disney princesses however he also loves superheros. There are no rules on gender when buying toys and he shows no interest in wanting to be a girl!

I agree that this is very attention seeking

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sun 21-Jun-15 17:25:16

I won't click the dm link, I can just imagine how it's written. I don't know where the line is on this site sometimes. Letting a boy wear a dress is ok, but don't stealth brag about it. If a child is questing his or her gender though, it's because the mum has 'put ideas' in their head. Certainly not trying to be supportive, and avoid a truly horrible time during puberty. Maybe I'm biased though. I currently watching my friend struggle later in life changing gender. It would have helped them enormously if they had help from a young age, at least some level of understanding. That's the biggest issue here, lack of understanding about gender is a hurdle our society still needs to over come. Transphobia is a serious issue, even in our supposed liberal society.

elderflowerlemonade Sun 21-Jun-15 17:26:50

I think some very little boys are sometimes attracted to disney princesses if perhaps they have older sisters. It isn't typical by 9, though.

I am unaware of any men who wear nail polish.

carrotsmakeamessofyourcurtains Sun 21-Jun-15 17:33:31

"But the kid says he wants to be a girl."

If the kid said he wanted to be a train driver would the mother send him back to school in a Great Northern Railways uniform and buy him the Darlington Express? Or would she say "That's nice dear. Do you want spaghetti or linguine with dinner?".

He's nine. Nine, not nineteen.

"Isn't it possible that by making her 9 year old's story public and trying to be so 'right on' that these parents are actually rigidly adhering to a gender binary that says no girl would ever play football and no boy would ever wear a dress?".

Possible? It's nailed on.

I wonder how much the mother got paid for the article?

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 21-Jun-15 17:38:49

Elder, presumably you don't knock around with any dudes who were in their teens or twenties in the eighties, then. Or any of my teen ds's friends who don't bat an eyelid at nail polish.

I am fascinated by this media craze for trans as a theme at the moment. I can't decide if it is a good thing as ultimately it will raise awareness and lead to greater everyday acceptance, but I can't help feel the deluge of coverage is reinforcing the gender binary, rather than diluting it. (My experience with mtf friends has left me with similar reservations).

Ds1's best friend is 13 and ftm in a catholic school. As far as I can see, it barely even registers as a theme in their friendship.

elderflowerlemonade Sun 21-Jun-15 17:44:32

Well, you're right, I don't, but that's a specific trend, isn't it? smile

manicinsomniac Sun 21-Jun-15 17:45:34


Nails, Disney Princesses etc are certainly 'girly' things in my mind but I don't associate 'girly' with being a girl. Lots of girls don't like them and some boys do. I think we probably need to not use the term 'girly' but, for the present moment, everybody knows what is meant by 'girly' interests.

A boy who likes 'girly' things is not a girl. Certainly not at 9. I don't think it's 'right on' and progressive at all, I think it's potentially very damaging. They should just accept the child as he is - a boy who likes what he likes.

Maybe he'll grow up transgender. Maybe he'll grow up to be a gay man. Chances are he'll grown up to be a straight man. But, while all three of those would be fine, there's no need to push a 9 year old down any of the routes.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sun 21-Jun-15 17:45:46

I would rather there be more acceptance of trans even if it keeps the girly/boyish idea going a bit longer. I think stopping people saying things such as 'trans people are sick freaks' or 'you'd have been better off killing yourself' (friends parents), that 'oh Disney princesses can be played with by boys, who knew'.

OTheHugeManatee Sun 21-Jun-15 17:51:09

YANBU. If they put this boy on puberty blockers he could end up sterile. Most children who express a wish to become the other gender change their minds as they grow up. I hope they don't do anything irreversible to this child in the interests of trying to be right-on.

elderflowerlemonade Sun 21-Jun-15 17:53:53

Manatee - would you be able to point me in the direction of that? (I absolutely am not arguing by the way - just inferested.)

Side note - I am very sorry for your recent bad news; I saw elsewhere on the site flowers

manicinsomniac Sun 21-Jun-15 17:55:20

MrsGently - that would be putting the needs of a tiny minority ahead of the huge numbers of children who don't want to conform to traditional gender stereotype but are quite happy with who they are.

Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying

PerspicaciaTick Sun 21-Jun-15 17:59:16

If he has been dressing as a girl and acting like a girl since he was 2yo, then why have they been shaving his head for the last 7 years so he needs to wear a wig? Surely you'd just encourage him to simply let his grow naturally rather than send him in to school in a wig?

OTheHugeManatee Sun 21-Jun-15 18:00:32

I wish there were more space for gender variant behaviour without people feeling under pressure to try and change sex. Why not welcome butch girls and effeminate boys, and encourage their self-expression and a bit more gender diversity, rather than trying to turn them into properly gender conforming people of the other sex? It sounds liberal and tolerant to make space for children to be trans, but I think it's pretty conservative and illiberal and intolerant to be so rigid about wanting gender presentation to match up with pronouns and bodies.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sun 21-Jun-15 18:00:44

So a small minority just have to suffer, and pretend just to be a 'modern child' because being trans doesn't fit into the feminist agenda. Unless I'm misunderstanding this entire, quite ignorant thread.

OTheHugeManatee Sun 21-Jun-15 18:02:40

elderflower I'll try and dig out the link and PM you.

And thanks for the flowers, it's shit but I'll get over it.

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 21-Jun-15 18:06:12

Yes, that's sort of what I am saying though - it's no problem if dudes want to wear nail polish as a specific trend. Why would it be? It would then (and has become in the past) 'typical'. Anyone can wear nail polish.

So to rule that nail polish and Disney princesses as atypical by 9 in a boy is reinforcing the binary, instead of acknowledging that it matters not a jot who wears nail polish or is into Disney princesses (or mlp - favourite topic of mine as the teen boys in these parts are all bronies - well, not all, but mine is).

It's the labeling of things/ trends/ clothes/ fashions as male or female that causes the angst if you don't fit in, really. Boys don't magically grow out of wearing nail polish or liking Elsa - they have it policed out of them by a raised eyebrow or a 'not now darling, you'll get teased at school'. Kids learn what is right and wrong, and the overwhelming message is stick to the rules.

The pigeon-holing is the problem. Hence the 'girly things' - sticking Caitlin Jenner in a corset (because All women wear those and pout on an hourly basis), and the fact that we all know what 'girly things' are.

This latest 'look at us, we are so right on, we are showcasing transgender!' media coverage is absolute reinforcement that while it is becoming more socially acceptable (nay, trendy if you are a rich sleb) to transition, you must still follow the socially ascribed rules to your declared gender, particularly if you are mtf, as there are a whole shit ton of cultural rules associated with being a woman.

It's... disconcerting. I always assumed that blurring gender lines would be a positive move. I see no blurring here. You are allowed to switch, but you must still conform.

So, in my head - I would rather see trends and activities become gender neutral, rather than ascribed (no Disney princesses for boys over 9, no nail polish for men).

TLC are starting a new documentary in July with a 14yo trans activist (I am Jazz). it is clearly another bandwagon leap, but I hope the coverage will be less biased.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: