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  1. #11
    Senior Member Smilephantomhive's Avatar
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    If you have a son, let your husband do most of the raising.


    johari
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  2. #12
    Softserve Ice Cream Agent Washington's Avatar
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    People who are truly toxic when it comes to gender roles usually believe that they're right, without the kind of self-reflextion you seem to have. I think you'll make a fine parent.
    There's no love in fear.
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    Do we want to remind you of something? Yes: the world is good and we belong here.
    - Richard Siken

  3. #13
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codex View Post
    This is probably one of the most genuine threads I've ever started. It's very important to me to discuss this, and I never thought about any of this before until the talk of "kids" started.

    Let me start off by saying that when the time comes(not any time soon!), I plan on raising my kids as gender neutral as possible without being an utter annoyance to everyone around me, as i understand I cannot force my lifestyle and choices on others. I recognize that this is not how everyone wants to raise their kids.

    I am not used to this sort of "idea". This is totally new to me and I consider myself still quite ignorant when it comes to gender/sex issues, esp when it comes to parent-child dynamics, but i am trying to learn and remove biases that I have subconsciously picked up over time.

    This is quite a complicated topic but i'll try to condense as much as I can, and hopefully I won't end up just deleting this before posting like I usually do with serious topics lol.

    My culture, like many, treat men differently from women. Growing up, I saw the preference and privilege play out. Small things("girls can't do that, they're not smart/strong enough!"), big things(a man being selected for a job over a women, rampant sexual harassment, not making as much money for the same job, and so on). The small things overtime are just as frustrating as the big things, and its day to day, and constant.

    I grew up determined to be an exception to how women should behave because I was constantly told not to do something because it wasn't "feminine", and although I am considered "quite girly" in the traditional sense, it is simply because I like things(ex:makeup, jewelry, fashion) socially labeled as things that "women" should only like. It was a constant battle of "Why is he allowed to and I'm not?" , "if he can do it, so can i!", which resulted in a very competitive nature.
    I realize that men also face similar issues(boys shouldn't cry, make more money, don't wear pink, so on), but it is extremely difficult for me to reconcile that fact with my personal experiences.

    I don't dislike men, I dislike modern patriarchy( a word i never thought i'd use seriously), and the key to all of this is my younger brother("the only son"), whose personality never matured properly due to the early overbearing parenting that rotted his humanity and turned him into a misogynistic narcissist. He put us all through a lot, and his relationship with my parents is one that has heavily shaped my fear of having a son.

    Lets just say, I developed a real complex about this stuff, and thus, I would like to raise my kids as unaffected by their gender as possible. I don't know if this will be easy or not, but I plan on educating myself and doing my best. This way I can ensure my future kids feel empowered, and respect and treat others equally regardless of their gender.

    Now, this is all hunky dory before the thought " What if it's not a girl..." came to my mind. Ridiculous i didn't think about this before, i know. That's when i realized how big of a hypocrite i was being, and the fear i had before diminished and a new more serious fear set in:

    What if I subconsciously treat my son differently?

    It makes me sick with anger; I recognize my hypocrisy and that this thought contradicts the whole point of wanting to raise my kids gender neural, and also proves to me that i have a lot of work to do on my own mindset on gender before I am ready to be a parent. I have been trapped by the social handcuffs my gender has unfairly earned, and have developed my own negative biases towards men as a result; a thought that I did not even accept when it first occurred to me. I felt angry that I had let others negatively shape me so much without realizing it, and ashamed of myself, as that mindset sustains the cycle that I loathe.

    How the hell do you combat this without seeing a therapist. I thought about seeing a therapist, but atm, I am working through this on my own/with my very supportive and understanding husband.

    I am reassured with the love and respect I feel for my nephew and nieces. They're equal in my eyes, and I get very upset when i see my niece or nephew treated differently.

    TLDR: Wants to raise kids gender neutral. Hates the idea of "Men". Might treat son bad by accident. Realizes shes a hypocrite perpetuating the cycle.
    I think you need to relax and stop over-thinking the issue. The more you wind yourself up worrying about this, the more likely you are to fuck things up. Don't try to force gender neutrality on your children - just let them be what comes naturally. The problems with gender stereotypes only show up in the extremes for the most part, so unless you try to force them down a particular path they are unlikely to develop anything particularly destructive. Remember, the worst behaviours in kids and teenagers tend to be in response to overbearing parents.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

  4. #14
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    With the way science and technology are developing these days, someday you may be able to choose which sex your child will come out as.
    It's okay if you only want to raise daughters.

  5. #15
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    actually you sound like you'd be a fantastic parent. Not every parent is so self aware. Kudos to you period.
    Likes Grand Admiral Crunch liked this post

  6. #16
    c'est la vie Obfuscate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I think you need to relax and stop over-thinking the issue. The more you wind yourself up worrying about this, the more likely you are to fuck things up. Don't try to force gender neutrality on your children - just let them be what comes naturally. The problems with gender stereotypes only show up in the extremes for the most part, so unless you try to force them down a particular path they are unlikely to develop anything particularly destructive. Remember, the worst behaviours in kids and teenagers tend to be in response to overbearing parents.
    this is pretty close to what i think...
    "Every one interprets everything in terms of his own experience. If you say anything which does not touch a precisely similar spot in another man's brain, he either misunderstands you, or doesn't understand you at all."

    "Whether you experience heaven or hell, remember that it is your mind which creates them."

  7. #17
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    Is it really about gender or just becoming a parent in itself
    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    Music provides one of the clearest examples of a much deeper relation between mathematics and human experience.

  8. #18
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    @Codex what you need to do is become the baby-making machine GOD intended you to be.
    In challenge lies opportunity.

  9. #19
    Problem? Grand Admiral Crunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticlimatic View Post
    My girlfriend has the exact same fear, and has the same kind of progressive worldview. She thinks if she has a son she wouldn't love it.
    Mother Nature takes care of some of this when it is allowed to do its job. The more that comes between a mother and her baby (such as medical intervention, bottle feeding, early childcare), the more difficult it is for the mother and baby to bond.

    Those sorts of things may also lead to developmental delays. I know this one couple and they are super smart. I expected their child to just naturally be smart too. He is 9 months older than my daughter, and can't do anything as well as her (except maybe tantrums and being unpleasant). His parents keep saying our girl is advanced. I'm pretty sure their boy is just way behind, due to the medically unnecessary c-section at 38 weeks, the bottle feeding, and dropping him off at daycare at the age of 3 months. But there is no genetic reason for this or anything wrong with him when he was born.

    As far as I can tell, they didn't have a vision for him the way Codex does, nor were they thinking about problems and how to combat them. These two took for granted the way they were raised, and didn't consider how important this stuff is.

  10. #20
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quite a few good replies already in here

    I have two daughters and had some similar thoughts before each of them (the second time more than te first, maybe).

    As others have said, bonding will naturally occur within the first few days and weeks through breastfeeding, lots of cuddling/physical contact and time spent with the child. In my personal experience it is practically instant with the mother those reasons and grows for the father the more involved he is and the more the child becomes a person with their own personality, the more it is a recognizable individual.

    As for gender stereotypes: They are fucking everywhere and having daughters has made me even more furious about them than before becoming a parent. You can't shield your kid from the media and other kids, only give them the selfconfidence to do their own thing. My oldest daughter is 4 1/2 right now and her favorite colors are pink and purple. She loves flamingos and unicorns and the external influence in that is quite visible (kindergarden and youtube videos). However, she also hab an extensive tiger phase. She is physically very active and selfconfident (good climber, etc), has a knack for numbers and a strong interest in nature. She plays with neither dolls nor cars but animals, lots of animals. We usually think of her as half fairy princess half lumberjack or pirate. So far her little sister seems to develop in a similar way. Pink is not an evil color and she gets it sometimes, but we avoid dressing or surrounding her in too much of the stuff at once. It's all about striking a balance.

    You can probably apply a lot of that to a son.

    You mentioned a supportive partner. That is extremely valuable. Kids copy what they see more than what they are told and your relationship works as a model. Your son will see how his dad treats his mum and learn from that. He'll see mutual respect. He'll see shared domestic tasks and learn from that, etc.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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    Johari / Nohari
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