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This makes me bang my heAD against the wall in depressed weariness, you?

(32 Posts)
Adair Mon 12-Apr-10 07:45:47

Apologies if it has already been mentioned


I have one of each. And while I am starting to see differences in how they approach some things, there are also many things that are the same - just as there are also many differences between dd and her female friends. And so WHY DOES IT FREAKIN' MATTER?!

Am also sick and tired that when ds destroys things it is seen admiringly as if he is 'experimenting with the world around him' but dd is admonished for being naughty (possibly even by me occasionally blush). How did all the stupid things boys do get to be the best way - yet, just as in this article, there is a kind of dismissive tone of the 'good little girls' who sit quietly and play even though they raise how they are asking questions and engaging just as vigourously with the world. But because they are not climbing... BAH. And FWIW my dd climbs anyway. A LOT.

It is just so LIMITING and frustrating to interpret behaviour because of gender. Even the psychologist did it - why couldn't she say 'oh boys want to play with a stick by throwing it and waving it* (my dd will do this too) but girls will want to make it into patterns or use it in imaginative play' rather than this guns and teacups bollocks.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, I love this topic where I can rant. It's just SO FUCKING DEPRESSING. And people just accept it without CHALLENGING IT.

At dd's party yesterday, the girls were the 'princesses' and the boys were the 'baddie boys'WTF??!!!! Thankfully, me and another mum jumped in to suggest some alternatives (that they were superhero princesses like in Shrek). But jeez.

skidoodly Mon 12-Apr-10 07:55:17

I feel pretty much exactly the same.

Every time I see a set of pink mega blocks I feel a red mist descend.

overmydeadbody Mon 12-Apr-10 07:59:01

I feel your pain.

But not everyone just accepts it, a lot of people do challenge these stupid stereotypes, maybe someday we will overthrow these and our grandchildren's grandchildren won't have to fight these stereotypes.

Adair Mon 12-Apr-10 08:06:20

You are right overmydeadbody, and actually you have reminded me of my great bugbear that sometimes we go on about the subjugation of women in history and forget to mention all the people who DID challenge it. Need to do lots and lots of reading - this topic is fantastic inspiration.

Dd loves pink - of course. Ds does too. I buy more pink now that I have a boy hmm. But wholeheartedly agree girl-life has become unnecessarily overwhelmingly pink. I try to mitigate by sharing everyone else's favourite colour (mine is turquoise, daddy's is purple) and saying ooh yes pink is nice, but what other colours too?

overmydeadbody Mon 12-Apr-10 08:30:06

my favourite colour is torquise too grin Closely followed by pink blush and I am not a girly girl and always climbed trees as a girl.

What does get to me is that it seems more socially acceptable for parents of girls to buy them 'boy's' things, even dress them in 'boys' clothes etc., but it's still not socially acceptable to do the same with a boy, why is that I wonder?

Why can't my DS choose a pink toothbrush in boots and buy it without the checkout girl commenting? It wouldn't have happened if DS was a girl and had chosen a green toothbrush would it?

overmydeadbody Mon 12-Apr-10 08:34:41

You know, those parents in that article had different experiences because the children where different, regardless of their gender, it just happened that the boys where noisy active ones and the girls where quieter ones. They cannot make conclusinos about all girls and all boys based on that. Hoiw stupidly unscientific.

choosyfloosy Mon 12-Apr-10 08:38:02

ok i quite liked the article, sorry

especially Bibi vdZ's bit where she's saying exactly this, that any difference between the genders is being widened and wedged open for commercial reasons

it would be nice though if someone had tried the same thing with a six-month old baby - any difference might have been measurable but would have been miniscule surely?

Wonderstuff Mon 12-Apr-10 09:01:16

Maddens me that we seem to have gone backwards since my childhood - I don't think I had any pink toys, my DD is 2 and she wants to be a princess - where did she get this idea from? I can actually only find pink shoes that fit her at the moment, Jones did not sell toddler shoes in any other colour!

Going back to the article I also think that being one of three boys is different to if you have a sister, likewise 2 sisters will behave differently if there aren't any boys about. I do think that they are different from a very early age, my daughter has got cars and blocks and a train set, but loves her dolly above all her other toys, but there are surely more similarities between us than differences she loves to climb and is more fearless than any toddler I know, male or female. Individually we are all different, it should be OK to be a girl that likes rough and tumble or a boy that is quiet and reflective. We should be in less of a rush to push them into gender roles, we should just see them as children. There are boys who hate sport and love dance and theatre, just as there are girls who love sport and hate dresses and make up and imaginary play.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 12-Apr-10 09:23:48

Message withdrawn

PatsyStone Mon 12-Apr-10 09:25:45

OP. I agree with everything you say and I get mad too.

My dd is 2.7 and so far we seem to have avoided pink obsession. She plays with dolls and play food and cars and footballs because we've given her the option to. I am convinced a lot children don't get the chance; I see people chanelling their children down gender lines from the day they're born.

Agree too with the boys will be boys attitude. People allow their boys to get away with bad behaviour because "they can't help it, they're boys" (hmm notice how this attitude then continues on into manhood?)

My dd is more fearless than my ds, they are individuals and I hope I allow them to be just that instead of from day one trying to make ds football mad and dd a ditsy pink princess. If dd does get into pink then I guess I'll have have to relax slightly and cross fingers that it won't last too long!

Why do we make the biggest generalisations across the biggest groups (male/female) surely the bigger the group of people, the more differences there will be amongst the individuals? It's madness.

Overmydeadbody - My personal take on why 'girly' things are less acceptable for boys than vice versa is that it is drummed into boys that the worst thing they could be is a girl (hence why they get told to 'stop being such a girl' if they show any emotion angry) whereas since being male is so great in this world, it is not so demeaning for a girl to want to be a boy (iykwim I am not very articulate blush)

OrmRenewed Mon 12-Apr-10 09:38:42

I agree with all of this apart from the stuff from mum's of girls that boys aren't harder to deal with. Beleive me they can be, a great deal harder! I have 2 boys and a girl. She is my middle child and was born into a family that had no different expectations of her than of her brother - she wasn't dressed in pink or given gender-specific toys. She is physically as active and adventurous as her brothers and not scared of anything. BUT there is a big difference in the way she relates to the world - DD listens better, she thinks before she charges in, she is more considerate of other people, she compromises - in a way that DS#1 didn't do until he was about 9 or 10. If there is one of my children that I can guarantee would never humiliate me in public hmm it will be DD.

That isn't to say that gender expectations couldn't be emphasised to allow boys to get away with bad behaviour, and to force girls into boxes. But it's not right to say that there is no difference. I know too many parents of girls who felt that boys were no different and that friends who had boys were making excuses hmm Until they got their own.

Now that might be down to

Adair Mon 12-Apr-10 09:52:04

Orm, I think 'harder' is so subjective though. I find dealing with the simplistic 'if you do x, y will happen' WAY easier than the internal emotional conflicts. Similarly, as a teacher I deal with fights and big incidents better than low level disruption.I also find terrible two strops easier than babies crying. So horses for courses. I would suspect that your dd COULD embarrass you in public ON purpose purely to cause a reaction - of course, she won't because of how you have brought her up but plenty of girls can and do.

Adair Mon 12-Apr-10 09:53:01

{blush] plenty of girls AND BOYS can and do.

OrmRenewed Mon 12-Apr-10 09:55:19

Yes I agree that harder is totally subjective.

LimeJellyforBrains Mon 12-Apr-10 09:55:28

On a slightly different tack, did anyone else notice that the mother of the girls said, "We've spent whole holidays with Bea and Eve..." Does she expect a medal for spending 'a whole holiday' with her own children? What normally happens? Perhaps this article is as much about differences between parents or, more likely, parenting as between different children. I have 2 boys. It's hell trying to get them off to school in the morning, but bedtime is almost identical to the description here of the girls' bedtime (ie peaceful). So?

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 13-Apr-10 14:31:10

No personal experience of childraising yet but with relatives/neighbours/friends' kids I've noticed that the girls are just a bit more sophisticated than boys of the same age. So where people try to see " gender differences" you can often put e.g. a girl of three next to a boy of four and they are at the same kind of level IYSWIM, it's not a gender difference that is natural and irrevocable, but a difference in maturity that will change over time.

Also notice that girls get a lot more encouragement for speaking & behaving prettily and being helpful, whereas boys seem to be discouraged from "helping" with adult activities e.g. carrying things to the table.

minipie Tue 13-Apr-10 15:34:14

OP, completely agree. And I agree with the later comments that the difference has actually increased since our childhoods, and that this is being done deliberately by those trying to sell children's products.

I find these generalisations so annoying. Using myself as an example [egotistical emoticon], in many ways I conform to the male stereotypes (good at maths and 3D, messy, non-diligent). Of course I also conform to some female ones too (crap at ball sports, like talking and analysing, er, like high heels...) I'm sure every child has some "boy" characteristics and some "girl" characteristics - why seek to split them down gender lines?

Intergalactic Tue 13-Apr-10 15:47:25

LimeJelly, wasn't it the parent of the other kids saying they had spent 'whole holidays' with the girls, i.e. the families know each other well and have all been away together? (disclaimer - I read the article at the weekend and haven't checked back to verify this).

FWIW I was a bit hmm at this article - fair play to them for being very clear that it was a totally unscientific non-experiment, but then what's the point of it? Just another subtle reinforcement of gender stereotypes? But then a lot of stuff in the Family guardian is a bit like that: 'we had a nice day out and a chat and our mildly unconventional family unit rubs along quite merrily'. Loads of anecdote and not much else. Although admittedly I do quite enjoy reading it, so not sure what rambling point I'm making.

belgo Tue 13-Apr-10 16:00:36

'The boys go for their guns – it's all physical – and the girls play with their teacups and Polly Pockets. Their play is far more in the mind, more about symbolic imagery'

according to that dd1 must be a boy. She has never once played with a teacup.

MmeLindt Tue 13-Apr-10 16:15:13

I find it depressing to go shopping in UK for my DD. Pink pink and more pink. Funnily enough, the gender stereotyping is not quite as bad in Germany - or at least the colour of the toys are not so extreme.

The article focussed on one short period of time. The boys were rowdy, the girls quiet and thoughtful. I am sure that the experiment would have been very different with only children.

My DS can sit and play quietly but this lunchtime he had two friends here. It was utter bedlam.

belgo Tue 13-Apr-10 16:21:11

Same in Belgium Mme Lindt - the clothes for girls are in interesting colours; Lelli Kelli are not so popular; and girls are encouraged to do all activities - for example my girls are inscribed for tennis and judo clubs this summer.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 13-Apr-10 16:26:01

I never saw the point of doll's teaparties - why? I liked things that made a big noise. Didn't mean I was on course for a sex change though. Surely children are just children?

LittleSilver Tue 13-Apr-10 18:48:10

I was in ELC the other day.

They had a nice big chalkboard. I wondered what to write on it. Then I remembered that I'm a member of "Early learning Centre please stop gender stereotyping my children" FB group.

Sadly no chalk.

banned861 Sun 17-Mar-13 11:22:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

AmandaPayneNeedsaHoliday Sun 17-Mar-13 11:24:40

What a bizarre comment confused. Why ressurect a zombie thread with that?

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