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It's always about the toys...

(82 Posts)
Barcoo2 Thu 11-May-17 01:54:43

Every single article I've read about a child being transed, whether it's in the Daily Mail or a more reputable source, or a mummy blog or whatever, has mentioned that they preferred 'girly' toys or rejected 'girly' toys. Girly toys are always dolls and princesses. Boyish toys are not mentioned as distinctly. Usually girls who want to be boys are framed in terms of their rejection of the girly toys.

So is it all about the toys? My three year old has made enough throw away comments ('I want to be a boy knight', sticking a macaroni in her labia and boasting about a willy) and has had enough interests in pirates, dinosaurs etc for me to trans her if I was so inclined.

Does anyone have any articles or links that don't mention toys AT ALL? I'd really appreciate it if you had any...I'm just finding the whole thing so clear cut in that EVERY CASE I've read is about a rejection of social constructions of gender, guided by the parents, rather than an innate femininity that represents what real females feel or whatever.

patodp Thu 11-May-17 07:40:22

Can't say I've seen one.
We do live in the age where a toy digger is male but a penis is not.

JaxingJump Thu 11-May-17 07:44:44

Trying to explain that your child has fundamentally and violently rejected their gender for an article is impossible. It's beyond the intelligence or experience of most readers.

Talking about colours, clothes and toys is about the only tangible thing a newspaper can focus on. It's more interesting to readers than 'he just couldn't cope with being whichever gender'.

ChocChocPorridge Thu 11-May-17 08:38:29

From my own experience, kids still don't experience any gender at all (mine are 3 and 6, but also their cousins and school mates) - they know (age appropriately) where babies come from, and the basic physical differences between bodies, but otherwise, have no expectations.

Well, that's not entirely true, they know from cartoons that girls have long hair, bows, and eyelashes - but then they know female friends with short hair and male friends with long hair, and they both have luxuriant lashes, so it hasn't really bored into their consciousness very much (plus DP and I are both pretty gender non-conforming anyway, so they'd not get much socialisation from us).

They go to an international school, so the kids they socialise with already often have very different cultural gender stereotypes anyway.

Beyond actual body dysphoria, I can't see how any child can be diagnosed unless they've been raised in a very homogenous, strongly enforced gender stereotyped environment, and are strong willed enough to fight against it.

Datun Thu 11-May-17 08:51:03

OP, Miranda Yardley (a gender critical transwoman) has touched on this in the link below.

Barcoo2 Thu 11-May-17 11:15:54

I saw Miranda's post, Datun and it was interesting. However we keep seeing anecdotal evidence, anecdotal posts, etc. I wanted to know if there was a single incident where a child had 'sex dysphoria' rather than craving the idealised gender stereotypes.

Jaxing Jump I can understand a child 'violently' rejecting their gender, but I'm finding rejecting their sex a little harder to understand. Perhaps I fall into that bracket you mention, the majority of readers whose intelligence falls short. Or perhaps it's illogical.

If these children observe the opposite sex, and violently crave their gender stereotypes, why is it not the actual things I experienced growing up, such as wishing to be assigned more housework.

Barcoo2 Thu 11-May-17 11:16:47

Sorry, to add

...after all, the housework thing is actually a gender stereotype, whereas all these articles have the disclaimer 'toys don't maketh the gender however little Johnny just loved sparkly spangles...'

Barcoo2 Thu 11-May-17 11:18:28

And to add another thing, perhaps another factor is that the children with genuine sex dysphoria, like Fish's child, keep their heads down and don't go running for a publicity puff piece to show how right-on they are.

JaxingJump Thu 11-May-17 11:21:09

Is it such a leap that it's deeper than the stereotypes but difficult to express other than in stereotype? The toys and clothes are simply the expression of a very real but undefinable condition that is transgenderism. They crave the toys as the only way they can express outwardly what they are feeling. But the toys are nothing to do with the feeling itself.

JaxingJump Thu 11-May-17 11:21:59

I personally don't know because I've never experienced it but I'm not going to put my uninformed energy into telling them (the kids themselves and their loved ones) that they are wrong.

Barcoo2 Thu 11-May-17 11:23:42

But the toys don't define the sex, they only define a gender stereotype. A predilection to femininity which doesn't represent actual womanhood.

Barcoo2 Thu 11-May-17 11:26:07

So they feel like the other 'gender', but the only way to define that gender is a feeling. It's not defined by biology. That is transphobic. So how can a child know they feel like someone of the opposite sex? How did the original ideas that defined their concept of 'gender' emerge?

JaxingJump Thu 11-May-17 11:30:14

No, I mean the toys are simply a communication tool. There are things so fundamental to being male or female that none of us have managed to describe what it is. I believe trans people feel those fundamental things that make us male or female but about the opposite one they were born. The toys and clothes are a red herring. Or at best, a way for children to express their fundamental feeling of being the wrong sex in a language we non-trans people can understand.

Barcoo2 Thu 11-May-17 11:47:51

Yes, well your interpretation doesn't make sense to me, but you said you were uninformed.

I am actually trans, by the way.

according to Stonewall's definition

Datun Thu 11-May-17 12:10:09


You're upholding the 'essence' theory. That there is something inside a person that determines whether they feel like a male or a female.

And you're saying that this is expressed through associating with stereotypical masculine or feminine items/roles.

If this essence existed, there would be zero need for hormones or surgery. No modification would be necessary. You could just 'be'. Plus there wouldn't be any angst.

The anxiety arises because they 'perceive' something external that they are not or can't access.

Every single narrative from a transwoman will focus almost exclusively on an idealised version of womanhood.

There's nothing to stop men doing all the wife work, looking after elderly parents, taking the kids to school, etc. But it's never about that. It's about the stereotypical fantasy version. Or a yearning to be
able to express themselves in a more 'vibrant' way, or to enjoy a comradely relationship with other women, or, very often, being able to relinquish that toxic masculinity that they feel defines manhood.

I could more readily believe in an internal essence, if I ever saw any evidence of it.

Read any account of a man who has detransitioned. They will readily explain gender dysphoria, they even may still have it. But they always admit to wanting to discard masculine roles in favour of feminine roles.

Which is why we need to abolish gender. Everyone can have whatever role they want or a mixture of all of it, and we can all go home.

The 'internal essence' can't be described, explained, defined. Articulate, educated, erudite people cannot do it.

Are there things in the infinite universe that are currently indefinable? Yes.

But being a woman isn't one of them.

chickendrizzlecake Thu 11-May-17 12:13:43

There are things so fundamental to being male or female that none of us have managed to describe what it is. I believe trans people feel those fundamental things that make us male or female but about the opposite one they were born.

Hmm. There seems to me to be several problems with that theory. The problem with the concept of an innate sense of maleness or femaleness (or a 'gender identity') is that in order to be real it has to be something that everybody possesses, and that doesn't explain why so many people, including myself, don't seem to have one.

You seem to be sidestepping that argument by stating that everyone does have one, but only trans people are sensitive enough to detect it because it's the 'wrong' one.

You'll forgive me I hope for finding that extremely unscientific.

MariposaNieve Thu 11-May-17 12:15:15

I do think it is possible to feel like the other sex. I am a female and I feel like a female, if I woke up with a male body would I still feel like a female in my mind? I'm not sure. But I do have a fundamental feeling of being a woman, not related to what I like or dislike or knowing I have a vagina... but just something that is. I really don't know how to explain it. Is that due to socialisation though, are these things that make me feel like a female innate or put upon me? I honestly don't know there, but whether I like stereotypically "male" or "female" things doesn't change that fundamental feeling of being a woman. Sorry, just having a think, it might not make any sense.

As for toys... I saw this posted by someone on my FB just yesterday. Names of kids have been blanked.
What would this mother do if they ended up the other way around? It made me feel uneasy.

Datun Thu 11-May-17 12:17:05

Being trans is a far more about how you want people to treat you, than how you treat them.

Datun Thu 11-May-17 12:19:24


You feel like a female because you are one. It's just knowledge.

If you think feeling like a female is separate to both your biology and your role. Describe it.

Datun Thu 11-May-17 12:24:05


The roles on that card could easily be swapped around. It wouldn't make any difference. A girl can be a superhero, have adventures, be a sidekick, a boy can wear a crown, be a be prince, live a fairy tale.

Barcoo2 Thu 11-May-17 12:25:31

If i have any sense of being female it's having craved a baby in my arms, for my whole life.

However we never see that as a factor with these children. They're all getting sterilised anyway so parenthood is moot.

MariposaNieve Thu 11-May-17 12:28:21

Datun I don't think all feelings/experiences can be described.

I was only pontificating really. I haven't come down either side of the fence quite yet. Perhaps if I woke up male tomorrow then I would feel like a male due to the hormone change? If I was raised as a male in today's gendered world, perhaps that would also make me feel like a man/male...

Just typing as the thoughts come, sorry.

MariposaNieve Thu 11-May-17 12:30:33


I didn't say they couldn't be. My point was this mother is obviously stereotyping her very young children. Would she think her daughter was trans if she started liking the things on the 'brother' side?

chickendrizzlecake Thu 11-May-17 12:30:56

While I agree that it is the media who focus on the toys as a way of explaining the child's discomfort, it does always seem to me that a key part of the narrative in these reports is missing i.e. the bit where the parent turns around and tells the child 'actually, there are no such things as girls' and boys' toys - there are just toys and anyone can play with any ones they like'

Of course it could be that the media simply don't report that bit - because they don't think their readers/viewers want to hear that, but the entire silence is troubling.

Barcoo2 Thu 11-May-17 12:32:25

You'd feel like a male because in this imaginary setting you'd have a male's body. You'd wake up with a stiffy then have a luxurious wank before going to work where you were treated with respect and deference. And be called 'mate'.

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