Monday, November 8, 2010

Gender Identity

And here is my latest argument. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about gender identification. I know there have been a lot of experiments and research performed on this topic.

I could go on about this for a while. But, my main issue right now is the color coding. If I currently had a little boy or girl, I would love to do my own little experiment.

Dress your toddler in some gender neutral clothes (say a little girl in some brown/black/green) and they are automatically called "he."

Our mother was pretty much against the pink for girls and blue for boys rule. There are a few people she made exceptions for. And that's how we were raised.

A friend of the family raised her two daughters quite differently. Daughter A was during the hippie movement. She was dressed in gender neutral clothes. She is an engineer who doesn't shave her legs. Daughter B was after the hippie movement. Mom started wearing make-up, watching her figure and maintaining her own appearance. Daughter B is a make-up wearing, nail polishing, skinny, little, feminine and sexy thing.

It is interesting, isn't it?

I am not sure where the color coding came from. Looking at art, I presume it started centuries ago.

But why not let your kids decide how masculine or feminine they want to be? My niece wears a lot of boy hand-me-downs. And I think Americans are over consuming in their need to buy more and more things (like clothes for younger children of a different gender, when their older sibling of the opposite sex has perfectly fine used clothes). And so, little niece doesn't want to wear anything in her hair. And when offered to wear a barrette to pull back some hair from her face, she rejects. Well, how about if her role model, the older brother wears it? Ok, now she will gladly wear one, too! And see, it's not about what is for a boy or what is for a girl. She wants to be just like him.

And with that being said, it is fine with me if my son wants to wear his hair in a clip because the girl down the street is doing it. He will figure out what is "masculine." And I always liked that my little cousin (although quite macho) would wear a dress during playtime. He is from Madison. How many boys will do that?

And the last thing I will say is if I have a baby (although I always sit with the laptop on my lap, which supposedly reduces your chances, so it's unlikely), please do NOT buy me blue things with sports logos on it for my son or pink ruffled things for my daughter. It's sexist!

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