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mil caused my first honest to goodness facepalm

(24 Posts)
LightHouser Wed 10-Aug-16 20:33:56

My near two year old daughter was playing with my near three year old nephew in their Nana's front room, while she (my mil), dh and I sat and had a cuppa.

Mil was talking and the play got a little boisterous, but nowhere close to me thinking I needed to intervene, but mil decided she needed to give a warning to my nephew:

'Play nice. She's only a girl'

Not 'only a baby' , or 'only little' or even 'only a little girl' but ONLY A GIRL.

I actually involuntarily facepalmed for the first time in my life and dh had to subtly restrain me. I didn't say anything, I was too stunned, then the phone rang and I just sat there with my mouth wide open while my husband whispered 'I know, I know'.


NeverEverAnythingEver Wed 10-Aug-16 22:05:40


Say it next time! The little nephew needs to hear it too.

Only a girl indeed. angry

NeverEverAnythingEver Wed 10-Aug-16 22:08:09

We had our fair share of "they won't be so active if they were girls" from some people followed by comments about how exhausting their daughters were. hmm

BeMorePanda Wed 10-Aug-16 22:11:56

You really need to say emerging when you hear crap like this - for your dd's sake.

I wouldn't be leaving my child in the care of someone who spouts utter ignorant Crap like that at young children either if I could avoid it

BeMorePanda Wed 10-Aug-16 22:12:46

Emerging confused
Something grin

NeedACleverNN Wed 10-Aug-16 22:15:12

I don't think I would have been able to stop myself.

Even with a "you what?!" and hope she repeated it and heard it herself and then corrected herself

LightHouser Wed 10-Aug-16 22:56:27

Argh, you're all right, I should have said something. There was a small pause from her after she said it, like she'd realised what she said and realised my reaction, and literally the phone rang in that moment. We had to leave soon after so there really wasn't the chance.

I'll be looking out for next time, if there is one, or any hint of the kids repeating that sort of thing.

OlennasWimple Fri 12-Aug-16 22:08:42

Hoping she meant to say "only a little girl", and she would have said the same about boisterous play around a "little boy" too...?

milkyface Fri 12-Aug-16 22:19:41

Arghhhh. I wouldn't even necessarily say I was a feminist but this shit pisses me off.

Dp made tea last night (a rarity admittedly but mainly because I'm off work on mat leave!) and he didn't know what he was doing with the recipe so asked me and dss said 'this is why women should do the cooking'

I was raging. He then said 'well men can't cook can they' and I was like a lot of brilliant chefs are men. Anyone can cook if they learn. He went 'well yeah but not normal men women just know and do it don't they'

angry arrrrrrrrrrrrr I am fighting a losing battle here.

I said to dp I will be mad if our ds (3mo) has the same attitude and I will be teaching him to bloody cook!

paddypants13 Sat 13-Aug-16 20:39:33

I keep wondering if I should say something about nursery's comments about dd(3).

"Oh she's been playing with all the boys again! She's got them all wrapped around her little finger. She gets bored playing quiet games with the girls."

She's 3, she gets on better with the boys at nursery than the girls, it doesn't need a mention. Let her be 3.

I can't work out whether I'm being oversensitive or not. I just don't like the implication that she's some sort of little minx who uses her feminine wiles to get the boys to do what she wants. Could it be that they just like her because she's funny, bright, imaginative and kind?

sentia Sat 13-Aug-16 20:52:47

Next time definitely say something! This kind of thinking is so endemic and it just adds up over years and years to limit girls' ambition. It drives me mad.

paddy can you move her to a different nursery? We used to get similar idiotic comments at DD's old nursery, now at her new one her best friend is a little boy and she is the most fearless of all the kids on the climbing frame, and no one bats an eyelid. They just accept her as her own tiny indomitable self.

AnnaMarlowe Sat 13-Aug-16 21:02:18

My PIL are generally lovely but I hadn't realised the ingrained sexism until I had DS and DS

I was shocked by comments such as "when DS learns to drive" and "when DD helps you with ge Christmas dinner"

My kids are twins so there's no age thing here, just blatant sexism.

I call them on it every.single.time

Drives them potty.

My own parents, who are actually older than my PILs were never like this so it's not generational.

RandomMess Sat 13-Aug-16 21:12:07

I am really shock at these, especially a nursery!!!!

I would never think of myself as feminist either but, but, but it is just so wrong!

GobblersKnob Sat 13-Aug-16 21:21:31

When we went to Harry Potty Studios one of the people who shows you stuff and explains how things work said to ds 'maybe when you are older you would like to build sets like these, or maybe even be a producer or a director?' then to dd 'and you might like to make costumes or work in make up'.


I just added cheerfully 'or build the sets, or direct and ds might like to work in make up?'

She looked at me gone out and then just moved away.

You have to call people out on this stuff it is so ingrained I think most people don't even realise they are doing it until you point it out.

GobblersKnob Sat 13-Aug-16 21:22:14

Hahaha Harry PottER not Potty grin

AndNowItsSeven Sat 13-Aug-16 21:23:23

Boys are stronger than girls it's genetic, so yes he should be more gentle when playing.

Quodlibet Sat 13-Aug-16 21:29:04

My MIL, while DD was sat next to us playing with a toy doll; 'Isn't it interesting how she just seems programmed to want to do this stereotypical girl stuff?'
Me: but she also likes jumping, climbing, playing with mud and picking up insects. If she was a boy you'd be saying oh isn't it interesting he likes all this stereotypical boy stuff.'
MIL: well neither of my sons ever played with dolls.
Me: your sons never saw their dad do 50% of the childcare and housework either. DD has though, so it's not stereotypical girl stuff to her cos it's just as likely to be her dad tucking her in or changing her nappy as me.

IJustAteTheKidsFoodAgain Sat 13-Aug-16 21:31:14

Funny andnow. Just place marking for comebacks for the next two weeks inevitable comments from my DM while my DD and Dnephew are together (he usually lives abroad) about why we don't hit girls (not people) etc etc and isn't it unusual she likes maths she is a girl after all angrywinewinewine

paddypants13 Sun 14-Aug-16 09:15:43

I really don't want to move her if I can avoid it, she really loves it there.

I think I'll just mention it and hope it stops. As previous posters have said, it's so ingrained people don't even realise they're doing it.

LightHouser Sun 14-Aug-16 12:04:22

AndNow, on average yes, but is not the case that ALL boys are stronger than ALL girls. It's right to encourage him to be gentle, but rather than because she's a girl, because she's littler than him, or simply because she's another living creature. I praise my daughter when she displays strength (amongst many other things) but I also encourage her to recognise when someone or something needs gentle care when handling ... a person, a pet, a book, a flower, a cup of drink.

Some of these stories here, argh, how annoying. I think it's dead right to call people out on it, without being an asshat, otherwise how will things improve? People generally don't realise they're doing it. Whenever I have mentioned it people have generally reacted with quiet thoughtfulness (like 'Oh, yeah') and have behaved differently afterwards.

bumblingmum Sun 14-Aug-16 12:19:38

This sort of thing makes me mad! I have 2 girls and the number of people that tell them how pretty/beautiful they are rather than smart or clever gives me the rage. They do like colouring and dolls and painted fingernails but they also like playing football, climbing trees and wading through the river getting wet and muddy.
I am constantly telling my girls they can be or do anything trying to undo what other people tell them. A boy at school told my daughter she couldn't do something and she was so upset.
The comment above about boys being stronger can be true but not at the age of 3!

HermioneWeasley Sun 14-Aug-16 12:27:29

My brother has 3 nieces and always greets them with "[name] how strong you're looking today ". He's made it his personal mission to try and rebalance all the "pretty" stuff. Also buys really cool toys

MotherFuckingChainsaw Sun 14-Aug-16 12:34:49

Boys aren't stronger than girls. The strength disparity happens at puberty.

LumpySpacedPrincess Tue 16-Aug-16 15:01:53

THIS is what socialisation is, by the time said nephew is a man he would have heard this sort of thing a thousand times. Gender is how we are socialised.

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