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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

And so it starts

203 replies

MimiSunshine · 27/09/2023 17:16

I cant accurately describe my emotions right now.
sad
fuming
disbelief

my primary aged niece has just ran a race in a, mainly for fun, but they do get 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on positions, inter-school event.

She’s utterly convinced that 1st place out of easily, 40+ girls went to a male child.

now I was too busy watching her and a friends child running so didn’t pay attention to the other kids but I could hear one of the other parents asking ‘was this a mixed race, I thought it was girls only?’

then my niece comes up and immediately says that a boy won, my friends child was also saying the same thing.

one of the mums went and asked an official about it and they told her that they’d asked the school the child was from and they’d been told it was a girl.

my niece is absolutely insistent that it was a boy.

I think overall I’m feeling sad that those girls have already encountered this situation and a) lost a place in the rankings
b) are being actively told to ignore their instincts

although my brother and I both told them that we believed them and no it wasn’t fair.

OP posts:
Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 14:22

And yes, as a very often missexed child, I would be embarrassed if I knew questions were being asked. But then I also would have felt that those other girls asking were fucking right to ask to make sure they were in a fair race. Whether it was a 'fun run' or an official athletics competition. I know very well that even at that age that I would have been upset at being beaten by a male athlete so I would have understood why those girls would have asked.

Just like Lauren Black says. She gets asked often if she is in the wrong toilet. She chooses to thank the people who is asking because that takes some doing, and she thanks them for making it safe for other women and children.

Signalbox · 28/09/2023 15:05

But apparently, children who feel that there is an issue should STFU, just as women should. Good to know that compassion is for all... oh... wait...

Absolutely nobody is arguing that.

Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 15:12

Signalbox · 28/09/2023 15:05

But apparently, children who feel that there is an issue should STFU, just as women should. Good to know that compassion is for all... oh... wait...

Absolutely nobody is arguing that.

Iwasafool said that they would tell their child to be quiet if their child complained and then would dismiss their child's concerns.

So, actually, I think that Iwasafool was arguing that in effect their child should shut up and not complain. Or do you interpret 'If my child ran over complaining about another child I'd tell them to be quiet. The people organising the event can police entries, it isn't the business of a child to be making these decisions and causing upset and embarrassment to another child.' differently to me. If so, I am curious how you interpret 'I'd tell them to be quiet' and the dismissal that those in charge know better?

RebelliousCow · 28/09/2023 15:15

MissLucyEyelesbarrow · 27/09/2023 17:45

Before anyone says that boys don't have an advantage pre-puberty, they do. They already have higher testosterone levels than girls and some anatomical advantages. These aren't enough to mean that boys win every time in a mixed sex race, but they do still have an advantage.

Absolutely, they do......

I recall a few years ago beingain a loccal park play area with my granddaughter - who loves climbing and monkey bars etc.

There appeared a similar aged child ( at that time about 5 years old) which was very clearly a boy being dressed/presented as a girl. His muscularity and agility was obviously very masculine - and even his physical stance when standing screamed 'boy'. My husband and I observed him on numerous occasions and we bot agreed " Definitely, a, boy".

It really did make me realise that sexed differences and characteristics are often very apparent before puberty.

RebelliousCow · 28/09/2023 15:23

The crucial point, was that his ease ( and style) of movement across the monkey bars was very pronounced.

Iwasafool · 28/09/2023 15:37

Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 15:12

Iwasafool said that they would tell their child to be quiet if their child complained and then would dismiss their child's concerns.

So, actually, I think that Iwasafool was arguing that in effect their child should shut up and not complain. Or do you interpret 'If my child ran over complaining about another child I'd tell them to be quiet. The people organising the event can police entries, it isn't the business of a child to be making these decisions and causing upset and embarrassment to another child.' differently to me. If so, I am curious how you interpret 'I'd tell them to be quiet' and the dismissal that those in charge know better?

So you think every individual child in that big event should be in charge. So OP's niece decides a girl is a boy, another one decides that boy should be in the under 11 race not the under ten race. Someone else complains that a child doesn't really go to the school they are representing. I think that is called chaos and no one will end up being able to race.

Funny how it wasn't an issue till the child won. Sounds like sore losers to me.

NeighbourhoodWatchPotholeDivision · 28/09/2023 15:47

Iwasafool · 28/09/2023 15:37

So you think every individual child in that big event should be in charge. So OP's niece decides a girl is a boy, another one decides that boy should be in the under 11 race not the under ten race. Someone else complains that a child doesn't really go to the school they are representing. I think that is called chaos and no one will end up being able to race.

Funny how it wasn't an issue till the child won. Sounds like sore losers to me.

It's interesting that you equate children being allowed to voice their concerns with being "in charge".

Also interesting that you think anyone wanting confirmation that the rules are followed brings about chaos. It is literally the opposite. Blind trust that the rules are followed in spite of evidence to the contrary destroys the rules we have.

Why didn't you simply tell us from the start that your parenting philosophy is "children should be seen, not heard"?

Signalbox · 28/09/2023 15:51

Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 15:12

Iwasafool said that they would tell their child to be quiet if their child complained and then would dismiss their child's concerns.

So, actually, I think that Iwasafool was arguing that in effect their child should shut up and not complain. Or do you interpret 'If my child ran over complaining about another child I'd tell them to be quiet. The people organising the event can police entries, it isn't the business of a child to be making these decisions and causing upset and embarrassment to another child.' differently to me. If so, I am curious how you interpret 'I'd tell them to be quiet' and the dismissal that those in charge know better?

Apologies I somehow misread your post. I can see now that is what was being argued.

Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 15:57

Iwasafool · 28/09/2023 15:37

So you think every individual child in that big event should be in charge. So OP's niece decides a girl is a boy, another one decides that boy should be in the under 11 race not the under ten race. Someone else complains that a child doesn't really go to the school they are representing. I think that is called chaos and no one will end up being able to race.

Funny how it wasn't an issue till the child won. Sounds like sore losers to me.

So you think every individual child in that big event should be in charge

Err. No. Where did I say that? Your post seems to take a rather bizarre absolutist approach to take.

I think if a child or a group of children have a concern they should be able to express it to a relevant person. In this case, a parent or a school representative. Why wouldn't or shouldn't they? Even better if it is their own school representative as several people from that school might have concerns and it can be officially dealt with. That would be standard procedure for dealing with complaints, wouldn't it? I would expect so.

So, you not only think that children should 'keep quiet' and not say anything that you feel will cause chaos. You also think that children should accept boundaries being breached and should suck it up. I say this because you refer to an age category boundary contravention that should also be ignored so it doesn't cause chaos, as an example you gave.

And isn't it rather lacking in compassion to then victim blame the children who lose out to the child who may have been a male child running in a female child's race? Or to victim blame a child who feels it was not fair to lose to an older student?

Where then are your own limits on what is and isn't acceptable before a child can express their concerns about this race?

And what about other concerns that a child has that might embarrass someone if they knew the child raised that concern about them?

Certainly an enlightening post. Thank you.

Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 16:00

Signalbox · 28/09/2023 15:51

Apologies I somehow misread your post. I can see now that is what was being argued.

No worries signal.

If I have misinterpreted something, I am quite happy to have it pointed out to me.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g · 28/09/2023 16:06

MrsOvertonsWindow · 27/09/2023 20:15

And this is what happens when the social contract breaks down. That is, the acknowledgement that girls and boys are different and that sport (and other areas) are separated on the basis of sex. People become suspicious, stop trusting the honesty and integrity of officials and assume that people are lying.
Pretending that people can change sex and shamefully allowing children to be involved in the charade, has been a completely regressive & retrograde step for society, baking in unfairness and discrimination - especially for girls and women.
We'll never know but what a shame for all those children involved.

Exactly. This is an event run by schools. A few years ago everybody took it for granted that the teachers organising it would have ensured that only girls took part in the girls' races and vice versa. Even if the odd person mistook a girl with short hair for a boy or a boy with long hair for a girl, nobody seeing one of these children in the race would have thought they were in the wrong event, because such a thing was inconceivable.

Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 16:09

NeighbourhoodWatchPotholeDivision · 28/09/2023 15:47

It's interesting that you equate children being allowed to voice their concerns with being "in charge".

Also interesting that you think anyone wanting confirmation that the rules are followed brings about chaos. It is literally the opposite. Blind trust that the rules are followed in spite of evidence to the contrary destroys the rules we have.

Why didn't you simply tell us from the start that your parenting philosophy is "children should be seen, not heard"?

Questions, eh! Those are pesky tools of chaos for a person who may absolutely hate to be seen as causing trouble and strife! No... we should teach our children to suppress any discomfort they feel or any concern at an injustice! In officialdom we must trust.

No problems at ALL with that. No red flags at all. Nothing to see here, move along!

PegasusReturns · 28/09/2023 16:13

Yes keep quiet girls.

Don’t question why

Don’t challenge unfairness

Do what you’re told, keep your mouth shut and smile.

#BeKind2023

Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 16:16

Yes pegasus.

Dissidente · 28/09/2023 16:57

@beastlyslumber that's really offensive using a word like f*ckery and saying that those of us who say kids do misgender each other are trying to derail the thread.
Consider this: I deal with hundreds of girls, and a few of them have recently started using masculine names and pronouns. Almost all of these are taller, more muscular, bigger than average.
Having people say you are a boy when you are a girl must be much more painful now than 20-30 years ago.
I am not saying the girls were wrong - they could well be right, but if the winner is a girl she could be feeling very isolated.

Froodwithatowel · 28/09/2023 17:11

Iwasafool · 28/09/2023 10:27

Just stop and think for one minute how this must have felt to that little girl. Adults and kids speculating on her sex, her teachers being questioned.

The officials did ask the girl's school and they confirmed she was a girl. What more do you want.

Ah

Emotional blackmail 101.

Women! Think how awful it will be for a poor little girl to be misgendered! Don't upset anyone!

While teaching that little girl that it's the job of women to bend over and take it from men who get to do exactly what they want at everyone else's expense and couldn't care less who they upset on the way.

No. I don't care how sad one little girl gets about being misgendered. It's not exactly a disaster, I'm sure she'll recover. I'm more concerned that she and all other little girls, and big girls for that matter, are not fucked over at length, systematically by men in ways that they wont get over and which are a disaster, enabled on their happy way by twits wailing at women to be naice and protect everyone's feelings in a properly gendery stereotypical way while being codependently boundaryless about their own feelings, cos being kind and being trampled on is your women's birthright.

Get a grip for pete's sake.

Froodwithatowel · 28/09/2023 17:12

Oh and what do I want?

I want the officials to explain, exactly what they mean by 'girl', because it's quite possibly meaning 'female children and some male children'. If you're frantic for all the suspicion about whether boys and men have sneaked into a women's space or event, go and 'educate' those males into respecting women's boundaries, spaces and events and to stay out of them. And then no one will need to worry.

SuperNewMe · 28/09/2023 17:25

No. I don't care how sad one little girl gets about being misgendered. It's not exactly a disaster, I'm sure she'll recover.
Charming.
Only care about some kids, it seems.

Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 17:27

"enabled on their happy way by twits wailing at women to be naice and protect everyone's feelings in a properly gendery stereotypical way while being codependently boundaryless about their own feelings, cos being kind and being trampled on is your women's birthright."

Yes. I believe that being nice and protecting some people's feelings (not all women and girls though. Certainly not those being exploited) has been called 'compassion'. And to discuss the protection of women and girls is called 'zealotry' which is 'very unattractive' apparently.

Yes. The insistence that girls should not have boundaries and that adults shouldn't encourage girls to have boundaries and support those boundaries is possibly one of the most concerning things I have read all day.  

But I do hope that Iwasafool can come back and tell us what is the limit to the loss of boundaries and opportunities for any female child would be before any adult should listen to a female child's concerns?

beastlyslumber · 28/09/2023 17:29

Dissidente · 28/09/2023 16:57

@beastlyslumber that's really offensive using a word like f*ckery and saying that those of us who say kids do misgender each other are trying to derail the thread.
Consider this: I deal with hundreds of girls, and a few of them have recently started using masculine names and pronouns. Almost all of these are taller, more muscular, bigger than average.
Having people say you are a boy when you are a girl must be much more painful now than 20-30 years ago.
I am not saying the girls were wrong - they could well be right, but if the winner is a girl she could be feeling very isolated.

Are you new to Mumsnet? If a word like fuckery offends you, it may not be the place you're looking for.

The fuckery is the derailing, saying the girls should shut up about what they know to be true in case it hurts the feelings of a hypothetical girl being 'misgendered' - or rather because some of the grown women on MN got sad remembering how one time they got called a boy and this thread is hurting their feelings.

SuperNewMe · 28/09/2023 17:34

in case it hurts the feelings of a hypothetical girl being 'misgendered' - or rather because some of the grown women on MN got sad remembering how one time they got called a boy and this thread is hurting their feelings
The grown women telling you here on MN aren't hypothetical though, and what happened to let women speak?

Helleofabore · 28/09/2023 17:40

Quick question. The OP has never indicated that this child knew that questions were being asked about the validity of them in that race.

Why are some posters continuing to post as if that child knew about the concerns raised by a mum to an official who then checked with the school?

Signalbox · 28/09/2023 17:57

The fuckery is the derailing, saying the girls should shut up about what they know to be true in case it hurts the feelings of a hypothetical girl being 'misgendered'

This is a misrepresentation of what most of us are arguing though. It is not that girls should “shut up”. It’s that in some cases mistakes are made in relation to a person’s sex. The OP isn’t entirely clear and people are interested in the detail which hasn’t been forthcoming beyond the child “just knowing”.

I think what this thread highlights is that schools must be clear about their sporting policies because ambiguity just causes a massive bun fight. Primary aged children should never be in a position where they are having to navigate this issue and parents shouldn’t be put in a position where they are suspicious of other children who in SOME cases (if not in the case of the OP) may be accused of cheating when they are not.

beastlyslumber · 28/09/2023 17:57

SuperNewMe · 28/09/2023 17:34

in case it hurts the feelings of a hypothetical girl being 'misgendered' - or rather because some of the grown women on MN got sad remembering how one time they got called a boy and this thread is hurting their feelings
The grown women telling you here on MN aren't hypothetical though, and what happened to let women speak?

They're derailing. This isn't a thread about these women and their sad hurty feelings. Over something that happened to probably most of us at some point and we got the fuck over it. Certainly wouldn't dream of weaponising my "lived experience" to invalidate the experiences of girls facing the injustice of having their race stolen by a boy.

beastlyslumber · 28/09/2023 18:04

I think what this thread highlights is that schools must be clear about their sporting policies because ambiguity just causes a massive bun fight.

What it actually causes is a great injustice to girls. But yes, I agree that policies should be clear and unambiguous.

This is a misrepresentation of what most of us are arguing though. It is not that girls should “shut up”. It’s that in some cases mistakes are made in relation to a person’s sex.

Well I'm not trying to misrepresent anyone. It just seemed that post after post after post was all about "I was misgendered!" "No one knows what a girl is!" etc. Yes mistakes can be made. But usually they are not, especially when the girls are actually in close proximity and know the child in question.

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