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Monday, October 1, 2007

Which Baby is Which?

Poor Zack. I'll have to paste the results of the Baby Genderizing Poll in his baby book and it's evidence that everyone thinks he was a girl.

Actually, only 65% thought Zack was a girl. The bottom baby is Zack. I told you he was as pretty as any girl baby.

Which goes to show that babies are born without gender characteristics. But, the second they are born gender characteristics become extremely important to people.

In our minds they are different and we immediately treat them differently. As a mother, I found it's impossible to resist or shelter my boy or girl from it.

I attempted with Ainsley. Asking my mother to make her a blue baby blanket rather than a pink one. Dressing her in a blue sweater and just letting everyone call her a boy. But, really, by the time she was 3 I had realized the futility of my quest. No one else in her life was at all interested in participating.

There is no such thing as equal, at least not in one generation. The thing is, what it means to BE a girl is changing so rapidly we can barely process the information for our kids. For hundreds or thousands of years women were a completely different species than they are now and the definition is constantly shifting and changing. That's hard for ME to process, let alone my daughter.

However, I did set some limits. Before her 5th birthday I asked my mom to buy her some math games and asked my mother-in-law to give someone else the vacuum. Both were happy to oblige. I made it a point to buy her video games for Christmas.

Zack, he got to be all boy straight from the go, complete with an aggressive haircut and lots of growling like a pro-wrestler.

Again, I'll recommend Growing a Girl: Seven Strategies for Raising a Strong, Spirited Daughter as a great look at how we can counteract the culture's influence on girls.

2 comments:

Christine said...

Great post! I had a little girl that even when grandma decked her out in nauseating lace and pink, people still said, "Hey, little fella!"

blue milk said...

Ha! I got it wrong. This was a very enjoyable way for you to illustrate the point about genderizing babies and kids. Thanks.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Which Baby is Which?

Poor Zack. I'll have to paste the results of the Baby Genderizing Poll in his baby book and it's evidence that everyone thinks he was a girl.

Actually, only 65% thought Zack was a girl. The bottom baby is Zack. I told you he was as pretty as any girl baby.

Which goes to show that babies are born without gender characteristics. But, the second they are born gender characteristics become extremely important to people.

In our minds they are different and we immediately treat them differently. As a mother, I found it's impossible to resist or shelter my boy or girl from it.

I attempted with Ainsley. Asking my mother to make her a blue baby blanket rather than a pink one. Dressing her in a blue sweater and just letting everyone call her a boy. But, really, by the time she was 3 I had realized the futility of my quest. No one else in her life was at all interested in participating.

There is no such thing as equal, at least not in one generation. The thing is, what it means to BE a girl is changing so rapidly we can barely process the information for our kids. For hundreds or thousands of years women were a completely different species than they are now and the definition is constantly shifting and changing. That's hard for ME to process, let alone my daughter.

However, I did set some limits. Before her 5th birthday I asked my mom to buy her some math games and asked my mother-in-law to give someone else the vacuum. Both were happy to oblige. I made it a point to buy her video games for Christmas.

Zack, he got to be all boy straight from the go, complete with an aggressive haircut and lots of growling like a pro-wrestler.

Again, I'll recommend Growing a Girl: Seven Strategies for Raising a Strong, Spirited Daughter as a great look at how we can counteract the culture's influence on girls.

2 comments:

Christine said...

Great post! I had a little girl that even when grandma decked her out in nauseating lace and pink, people still said, "Hey, little fella!"

blue milk said...

Ha! I got it wrong. This was a very enjoyable way for you to illustrate the point about genderizing babies and kids. Thanks.