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'Mum, what's gender?'

(20 Posts)
StrangeIdeas Mon 24-Oct-16 00:24:59

My daughter asked this question. Luckily I've been lurking on feminism chat. So I explained as best as I could. The difference between male and female, masculine and feminine. What society expects and the boxes people are put into. Blue for boy, pink for girl. Boy toys and girl toys. Clothes etc. How girls are supposed to be good at feeling and boys are good at doing. I expect I waffled a bit. I wasn't expecting such a question. Anyway, she stopped me with a wave of her hand and said 'so gender is bullshit and sex only matters for babies and stuff '. I said 'um yes' so she went downstairs to hassle her dad for the tv so she could have the xbox on. He said no cos star trek was about to start. I told him what she'd said, 'gender is bullshit, expect nothing less from a girl of her intelligence ' was his response. Then we watched star trek.
Gender is bullshit though isn't it? DD has seen through it already. I feel very proud of her. She's very meh about it all.
I wanted to post at the time but got dd's permission first cos I wasn't going to put her views on the internet without her say so, it wouldn't be respectful.
I think she's right btw. I'm now having to clarify it all in my head so I can answer any more questions. Though I have the feeling she thinks its all a bit stupid. She is far more intelligent than I am grin

Lifeisshort123 Mon 24-Oct-16 00:26:10

Haha sounds like my DD, how old is she?

Lifeisshort123 Mon 24-Oct-16 00:26:33

Yes it most certainly is 😂

StrangeIdeas Mon 24-Oct-16 00:30:37

She's just turned ten. It is bullshit isn't it?

EmpressKnowsWhereHerTowelIs Mon 24-Oct-16 00:33:11

It is total bullshit & it's great that your DD gets that.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 24-Oct-16 00:35:04

Gender is bullshit and the different series of Star Trek are quite fun for looking at gender stereotypes.grin

StrangeIdeas Mon 24-Oct-16 00:36:43

It was DS9. Can't remember which episode smile

StrangeIdeas Mon 24-Oct-16 00:58:01

The thing is, how do we counter the bullshit? It's all very well talking about it online and getting it straight in my head but how do I get other people to understand? I can't expect dd to do it at her age.

StrangeIdeas Mon 24-Oct-16 02:40:52

Is anybody interested in how we teach our children to recognise this bullshit and basically fuck it off as idiocy?

ChocChocPorridge Mon 24-Oct-16 06:33:13

Mine are a lot younger. I use a lot of quizzical looks when they (rarely), or someone around them says about something being for boys or girls. Seems to be working OK so far, both kids are a interested in a range of colours and interests.

I notice a lot more of the issues with Star Trek these days (like Quark lecturing Sisko on how Ferengi have never enslaved their own people.... completely forgetting about all the naked women at home) DS9 isn't as bad as others though - at least they have a fair whack of female characters.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 24-Oct-16 08:04:05

I'm not sure how to do it generally - with your own kids its partly just down to rejecting stereotypes on their behalf - getting a range if toys, buying clothes according to their function and the child's preference etc. But also by the role model you and any DP may present, as far as you can. This may be imperfect as we're products of an earlier generation of course, and sometimes we may need to explicitly acknowledge this.

HillaryFTW Mon 24-Oct-16 20:22:26

Nicely put, mini-Strange!

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 24-Oct-16 22:34:30

Did she really say "bullshit" ? I would have been surprised and not particularly pleased if my son aged 10 had called something "bullshit".

And before you all pile in on me that I'm applying some sort of "it's not ladylike to swear" standard- I'm not.

Bluepowder Mon 24-Oct-16 22:40:43

It is indeed bullshit. But then DH doesn't cook much, works more hours than I do and does most of the driving. I work fewer hours, get paid far less and do most of the house stuff and child care. Our household is a very poor model for equality and am not sure where to start with that. It is, though, a well run family unit. We have enough money and both have leisure time.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 24-Oct-16 22:57:22

Unpleasant things deserve unpleasant labels, Lass, and 'bullshit' is apposite. Stinky product of dominant males.grin

StrangeIdeas Thu 27-Oct-16 03:54:24

Just logged back on Not worried about her swearing, she doesn't do it often. She's much more likely to say 'bulls wool' or 'drat'. But I think she was genuinely surprised at my explanation of gender and didn't like it much.

DrDreReturns Thu 27-Oct-16 10:33:18

We were playing I spy yesterday and my ten year old said he spied something beginning with 'G'. None of us could get it, it turns out it was 'Gender.' wtf!
Kids seem to be a lot more aware of gender than I was at that age.

StrangeIdeas Thu 27-Oct-16 11:11:48

Indeed. When I was ten I don't think I had even heard of gender, apart from learning the gender of words in a French lesson. But that was back when we had sex stereotypes not gender stereotypes, so a long time ago.

fakenamefornow Thu 27-Oct-16 11:18:56

Your 10 yo said 'bullshit' shock

Totally missing point smile

StrangeIdeas Thu 27-Oct-16 12:52:04

She knows lots of swear words fake name, she doesn't usually use them grin. But I think she was right to in this case.

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