Swedish parents keep child's gender secret

The Local reported June 23 on Swedish parents who are keeping their 2-year-old's gender a secret. They're raising a not very funny Saturday Night Live Pat.

pat snl.jpgThe child was called "Pop" for the interview with parents, but is not the child's real name:

Pop's parents, both 24, made a decision when their baby was born to keep Pop's sex a secret. Aside from a select few - those who have changed the child's diaper - nobody knows Pop's gender; if anyone enquires, Pop's parents simply say they don't disclose this information.

In an interview with newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in March, the parents were quoted saying their decision was rooted in the feminist philosophy that gender is a social construction....

"We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mould from the outset," Pop's mother said. "It's cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead."

The child's parents said so long as they keep Pop's gender a secret, he or she will be able to avoid preconceived notions of how people should be treated if male or female.

Pop's wardrobe includes everything from dresses to trousers and Pop's hairstyle changes on a regular basis. And Pop usually decides how Pop is going to dress on a given morning.

Although Pop knows that there are physical differences between a boy and a girl, Pop's parents never use personal pronouns when referring to the child - they just say Pop.

"I believe that the self-confidence and personality that Pop has shaped will remain for a lifetime," said Pop's mother.

The article goes on to quote a sane psychologist who thinks this is a disastrous social experiment and an insane "Swedish gender equality consultant" who thinks it "might have positive results."

Mentioned in the piece was a tragic story of which I was previously unaware:

david reimer.jpg

... a controversial case from 1967 when a circumcision left one of 2 twin brothers without a penis. Dr. John Money, who asserted that gender was learned rather than innate, convinced the parents to raise 'David' as 'Brenda' and the child had cosmetic genitalia reconstruction surgery.

She was raised as a female, with girls' clothes, games and codes of behaviour. The parents never told Brenda the secret until she was a teenager and rebelled against femininity. She then started receiving testosterone injections and underwent another genetic reconstruction process to become David again. David Reimer denounced the experiment as a crushing failure before committing suicide at the age of 38.

I read more about David Reimer and found a liberal agenda was behind "sexologist" Money's treatment, which we now know was sadistic and pedophiliac, not unlike like-minded predecessor Alfred Kinsey. Read Reimer's story in a 1997 Rolling Stone article by John Colapinto, later expanded into the book, "As nature made him: the boy who was raised as a girl."

A synopsis on our point, from Reason.com:

For much of his career, Money's admirers saw him as a bold pioneer fighting puritanical reactionaries. This was his self-image as well. He touted himself as a defender of sexual liberation: for the rights of gays and other sexual minorities, for legalized pornography, for breaking down social taboos.

But... [w]hen the truth about the Reimer case was exposed, the sexologist suddenly seemed much more repressive than the conservatives he hated.

Not that he acknowledged this. He told Colapinto that the press's embrace of Diamond's exposé was a product of right-wing media bias and "the antifeminist movement," insisting that "they say masculinity and femininity are built into the genes so women should get back to the mattress and the kitchen."

By this time, though, his critics were emerging not just from the right but from the community of open intersexuals - people born with mixed or indeterminate gender. It turned out they don't like to be coerced by social engineers any more than they like to be coerced by the party of rigid sex roles....

So expect this poor child in the midst of his parents' gender-identitied social experiment to grow up messed up. And not alone. Closed The Local piece:

But with a second child on the way, Pop's parents have no plans to change what they see as a winning formula. As for Pop, they say they will only reveal the child's sex when Pop thinks it's time.

[HT: LauraLoo]


Comments:

I remember hearing about David/Brenda. It's so sad.

I think "Pop's" parents are ignorant fools and have no idea the damage they are causing their child.

Posted by: Kristen at June 29, 2009 11:01 AM


In their attempt to give their child freedom to grow up with no stereotypes they are masking who he/she truly is. Kids want to be accepted for who they are. It won't be long before the child spills the beans, so to speak. What are the parents going to do then, punish him/her?

Posted by: Janet at June 29, 2009 11:14 AM


What a cruel and sadistic person you would have to be to do this to your child. It infuriates me.

Posted by: Bethany at June 29, 2009 11:19 AM


How tragic for David.

Have these parents completely lost their marbles?
Sick and sad.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 11:22 AM


My husband's name is Patrick but is usually called Pat. Guess how much he hated that segment on SNL? :)

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 11:25 AM


While I have mixed feelings about what Pop's parents are doing, I see a significant difference between Pop's case and David Reimer's case. David Reimer was actually lied to about his true sex and was not given a choice as to being raised a girl. Pop's parents, in contrast, are letting Pop lead the way. I believe that it is at about age 3 that children start to become very concerned about gender norms and gender identity. I predict that at that point, or certainly by kindergarten age, Pop will pick a gender identity and that the parents will allow that.

That having been said, my gut instinct is to have serious concerns about deliberately presenting a child as completely androgynous to a hostile world. On the other hand, I like the idea of protecting Pop from having an identity imposed on him or her by people's assumptions that girls are one thing and boys are another. I am not sure that they can protect Pop entirely though because THEY know Pop's true sex and I will bet that THEY are influenced by that knowledge in the way they treat Pop.

Posted by: Prochoicer at June 29, 2009 11:30 AM


people's assumptions that girls are one thing and boys are another.

But girls ARE one thing and boys ARE another. We are both human but completely different in the way we are designed. This sick experiment is going to have really devastating psychological effects for poor little "pop". I hope his parents have a change of heart before it's too late.

Posted by: Bethany at June 29, 2009 11:35 AM


I see a significant difference between Pop's case and David Reimer's case. David Reimer was actually lied to about his true sex and was not given a choice as to being raised a girl.

They're not using pronouns to refer to the child- they are just calling him/her "pop". Isnt this the same thing as lying to your child? Making your child think of himself/herself as androgynous...don't you think this is just as crippling as lying to your male child and telling him he's really a girl?

Why exploit a child like this for this strange need for "true identity" whatever that is. EVERYONE is shaped by things in our lives, and yet we all have our own identity. No matter what, this child is going to have influences...you can't go through your life without being influenced some way or the other by someone else. It's an insane goal that these parents have and they should be ashamed of themselves for using their child as an experiment.

Posted by: Bethany at June 29, 2009 11:41 AM


Topic of Paramont Importance!!!!!!!

PLEASE READ AND SPREAD FAR AND WIDE!!!!!

-------
The following is a summary from Charles Kerchner and Mario Apuzzo on their court case. You can also read more about the case at http://puzo1.blogspot.com

The Kerchner v Obama & Congress case.

Here is the Defendants motion and supporting brief attempting to get a dismissal.

Read it here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/16831085/

Note: The recent motion and supporting brief for dismissal by the defendants
in the case has now moved it from the “continued stalling phase” by the defendants which was being handled at the Magistrate Judge level, up to a higher level in the court system, i.e., to the full U.S. District Judge level assigned to this case. He will make the decision on the motion to dismiss, not the Magistrate
Judge.

The U.S. District Judge assigned to this case is The Honorable Jerome B. Simandle. Thus if anyone wants to write a letter and send it to the Judge in this case from this point on, regarding the defendants attempts to get a
dismissal without the merits being addressed, the correspondence should be
addressed to the U.S. District Judge, Jerome B. Simandle. He is basically at the same address as Magistrate Judge Schneider. However, I will repeat it here for the convenience of the readers. Be sure to reference in your writing that it is in reference to the Kerchner v Obama & Congress case:

Honorable Jerome B. Simandle,
U.S. District Judge
United States Courthouse
Mitchell H. Cohen Building
4th & Cooper Streets
Camden NJ 08101

------------------------------------

But remember though, the U.S. District Judge and/or the Magistrate Judge were not asking for these letters. The first round came in spontaneously. Now, I as the Lead Plaintiff am asking for more. :-) And, we were as surprised as anyone when we saw those initial letters being put into the public record for the case on the PACER system. We do not know if they will continue to put future letters in the record. Either way still want letters sent to the Judge at this
critical standing decision making point in the case. At this point I wish to have
thousands of letters written to the Judge about the case and tell them how "we the people" feel about the words in that motion to dismiss and the supporting brief.

The chutzpah of those lawyers saying the defendants have "sovereign immunity" on a Constitutional Matter such as this! This case is not about some simple misstatement or simple policy slip up or politics. This is a serious legal matter. This is about violation of our Constitution. "We the people" are the sovereigns! We created the Constitution and the LIMITED federal government. It is now out of control. And as parts of the federal government, the President and Congress are NOT Sovereign and above the laws and our Constitution, when it
comes to Constitutional matters. And we will be asking the court to so rule,
grant we Plaintiffs standing, and not dismiss the case.

Posted by: James at June 29, 2009 11:47 AM


I say live and let live. These people need to find a hobby.

Posted by: Janet at June 29, 2009 11:50 AM


While I believe that Pop's parents are probably making a mistake, I also believe that it is wrong the way adults push gender norms on children in our culture.

Janet said that kids want to be accepted the way we are. Problem is we DON'T accept children the way they are. We insist that they conform to what WE think is correct for little boys and little girls. We ruthlessly insist that children act in a whole host of particular ways WE think are appropriate based on their gender.

I well remember being steered away from some toys and activities because I was a girl. I well remember having dolls pushed on me with a fanatical zeal despite my obvious lack of interest. I well remember the completely different standards of behavior tolerated in boys as opposed to girls. The socialization begins the moment we emerge from the womb. It is very hard to buck the norms of what is expected of your sex when you are a small child.

Posted by: Prochoicer at June 29, 2009 11:53 AM


"was rooted in the feminist philosophy that gender is a social construction."

Can't fool even a newborn on that claim when it comes to breast feeding.

Posted by: xppc at June 29, 2009 11:58 AM


Bethany, the parents said that Pop knows the physical differences between the sexes and therefore must be aware of his or her own true sex. So I don't think they are lying to Pop. Again, they seem satisfied to let Pop lead the way. I am willing to bet money that Pop soon picks a gender identity that matches his or her actual sex. Meanwhile, Pop will have been spared assumptions about whether Pop is timid or angry by nature, assumptions about whether Pop should try to be pretty or try to be strong, and assumptions about whether Pop can do things without help or not.

Posted by: Prochoicer at June 29, 2009 12:01 PM


"It's cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead."

No, it's actually cruel to not bring up a child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

PCer, you are the ultimate modernist propgandist.

Posted by: HisMan at June 29, 2009 12:09 PM


In my own case (and I think I am a very typical, not androgynous woman), I remember at age 3 or 4 that I had no interest in dolls, no interest in playing quietly, and turned my parents' hair prematurely grey with lots of climbing and other daredevilish behaviors. Loooved to climb. But I also INSISTED on wearing dresses to pre-school, despite my mother's best efforts to put me in little overalls and hightops. It is not that I especially liked dresses, but I definitely wanted people at school to know I was a little girl, not a little boy. But then I got to school only to find that the boys had the run of the place. Also I learned that making farting noises by blowing into your hands is much worse if you are a little girl. :(

I think children at that age are figuring out gender and generally DO want to conform to society's markers of their sex. But that doesn't mean that all children want this, or that children generally are happy or well-served by all the rigid rules regarding gender presentation and behavior.

Posted by: Prochoicer at June 29, 2009 12:10 PM


I normally don't get involved in other peoples' parenting, but this is cruel and unusual.

As someone who is quite pleased to have found Joseph Campbell and read his work, I honestly have to say that it is undeniable that gender is biological. And there's nothing cruel and unusual about raising someone to be a certain gender- his or her gender.

This is not a good idea, and I hope that these parents realize it...

I won't hate on them, just hope that Pop comes out with some sanity.

Prochoicer, yes there are gender stereotypes but they are deeply rooted in biology. Stereotypes need to go but you can't honestly believe that just because it is culturally accepted that only women can cook (as an example) means that gender is constructed.

Posted by: Vannah at June 29, 2009 12:13 PM


"Janet said that kids want to be accepted the way we are. Problem is we DON'T accept children the way they are. We insist that they conform to what WE think is correct for little boys and little girls. We ruthlessly insist that children act in a whole host of particular ways WE think are appropriate based on their gender."

I didn't experience any ruthless behavior from my parents. I would suspect that most children did not. Parents by nature are supposed to be teachers - getting their children ready for their roles as adults. Fathers teach their boys so they can become strong men; mothers teach their daughters so they become strong women. The idea that children are being indoctrinated in gender roles is silly. The survival of our species depends on our not only accepting, but embracing our gender roles.

Posted by: Janet at June 29, 2009 12:30 PM


I didn't say that gender is entirely constructed. I am quite sure there are some innate tendencies among one sex that are more likely to be found or are more pronounced than among the other sex, and vice-versa.

But I don't think that ALL women naturally conform to the expectations for their sex. I also don't think MOST women conform completely to the expectations for their sex. In other words, group identity tells us only about tendencies among groups, but very little about individuals. Yet, we force different group standards on individuals from the moment of birth.


Posted by: Prochoicer at June 29, 2009 12:33 PM


If you don't think grown ups ruthlessly enforce gender roles, try being a little boy who likes dolls and the color pink.

Posted by: Prochoicer at June 29, 2009 12:37 PM


My boys like dolls and pink. SO? They also are all mud and bugs and sticks and yelling and fighting.
So is their sister. :) I do not have "gender specific toys" and don't know anyone who does.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 12:41 PM


This whole thing reminds me of something I overheard in the toy department of Target around Christmas.

I was buying Anna a babydoll. There was another woman with who I presume was her her son. The little boy asked the mom what they were getting for the little girl they were shopping for. The mother said "Well certainly not a doll!" The little boy asked why not, and if the little girl didn't like dolls. THe woman responded she "didn't want to further gender sterotypes."

I think my eyes nearly rolled out of my head. There is nothing wrong with a little girl having a doll. Little girls naturally like to comfort things and play mommy. My nearly 1 year old loves to push her little doll around in the stroller.

My 4 year old son gets it and puts it in for her. There's nothing wrong with that. They also play with trucks together and frizbys and balls.

What irritates me is when traditionally "girl" toys are looked at with scorn. There's nothing "better" about a truck than a doll. It seems to me that by being "gender nutral" we're really forcing our girl children into the male sterotypes.

As an aside, I later heard the same woman tell her son "Don't worry, Santa will still come even though we don't believe in Jesus."

Posted by: Lauren at June 29, 2009 12:45 PM


I will say this about toys though.

It seems like most "girl" toys are more immitations of adult activities, while "boy" toys are more characters and super heros.

Again, my kids play with both toys. My son loves to play with the toy kitchen and my daughter loves to push the tonka truck. I do think it's intersting that there is a difference in what is aimed at the different genders.

Posted by: Lauren at June 29, 2009 12:53 PM


Sure, I can agree that sometimes there are unfair gender stereotypes that we unthinkingly impose on young children that may not be in their best interest. I agree that increased awareness surrounding how we treat children based on their gender is in order. But there are two issues that bother me:

1.) Is using a toddler as a sort of spokesperson for one's belief about an ideal society really the best way to get your point across? One's gender is not the root of the problem - preconceived notions about gender that are sometimes not in the child's best interest are the problem. Is making your child act as though they are genderless going to effectively address this? I would think this would facilitate an increase in biased treatment towards their child.

2.) I believe a good bit of the inequal treatment of children based on their gender is not inherently negative. For example, I think we tolerate more aggressive behavior in boys in an attempt to tailor our discipline to the individual child. If we acknowledge that boys tend to be more physically active, that this is part of their personality, this helps us foster their healthy development. We work with it, so to speak. I don't think we encourage or discourage certain behaviors to fulfill our narrow-minded ideals of how boys and girls should be, but rather in an attempt to effectively guide them. Does this sometimes lead to insisting on behavior that really isn't best suited for some children? Yes, and we should be mindful of that and try to let the individual child's personality shape our methods of guiding them. Demanding that gender always be totally ignored as a non-factor is not my idea of being mindful.

Posted by: Janette at June 29, 2009 12:57 PM


Well, I am glad parents on this thread are so tolerant. I think that people have relaxed a bit in the last 30 - 50 years. Of course, I have witnessed in my own family just 10 years ago a minor melt down by parents when their four-year-old son kept picking up and cradling a doll. I agree that when left to their own devices, kids of both genders will play with a wide variety of toys.

There have been studies done that show that even liberal parents without even realizing it tend to help their daughters more, respond more quickly when daughters cry, and more quickly assume that daughters are afraid.

Posted by: Prochoicer at June 29, 2009 1:01 PM


This kid, "Pop", will grow up confused and disturbed.

Posted by: RSD at June 29, 2009 1:12 PM


I probably do the opposite. I have encouraged my boys to hold dolls(and their baby siblings)as I would like to raise them to be loving and affectionate Daddies. :)

Oh, and I only respond quickly when there is blood. Moms tired.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 1:16 PM


I'm glad that you mentioned that, Lauren, about girls being looked down upon in terms of toys. Normally, I'm skeptical of "women are victims!" comments made by anyone, anywhere, but you're right.

The stereotype that gender is constructed is because women of the past felt that they only way that they could be equal to men was to deny their gender, since being a woman was seens as weak.

And, as someone who has become increasingly passionate about women's rights, that does quite sadden me. Women are strong; gender doesn't have to be masked with illogical conclusions.

You really should try reading Joseph Campbell's writings. He mentions the nurture versus nature argument and really does sort out where the notion that nurture causes gender came from.

Posted by: Vannah at June 29, 2009 1:17 PM


Vannah, what's really sad is that it is often the women who are looking down on "girl" toys!

I remember my mother always ordering me the "boy" toy from McDonalds when there was an option. I had zero interest in hotwheels. I wanted that silly Barbie on a stick!

I even find myself doing it. There's a shop called vision forum that has really, really cool old fashioned toys. I find myself thinking that the "boy" toys are cooler than the "girl" toys.

In reality, they are both really cool, but since my daily life includes domestic activities, I forget that these things are play for children.

A civil war era soldier's outfit is more obviously imaginative from an adult's perspective than a toy sewing machine. From the child's perspective, however, they are both really awesome. I try to look at things from my kids' points of view instead of my own when it comes to choosing toys.

Right now we're doing all thing Thomas the Tank Engine. They both agree that trains are about the coolest things ever.

Posted by: Lauren at June 29, 2009 1:26 PM


Vannah,

I will check out Joseph Campbell on nature-versus-nurture. I am familiar with his writings regarding the mythological significance of gender, but not with his writings on how our sex actually shapes us as individuals.

I think women (and men too!) often do shy away from certain activities because anything with exclusively feminine connotations tends to be looked down upon. To my own lifelong regret, I quit ballet when I was a little because I didn't want anyone to think I was a "sissy." (And ballet is extremely unpopular among American boys for the same reason.)

Women, though, are often in a double bind because we are expected and encouraged to do certain things and then disparaged for doing those exact same things. For example, we are expected to wear make-up, but then we get stereotyped as frivolous and vain for spending time on our make-up. No wonder so many women get fed up with the feminine activities!


Posted by: Prochoicer at June 29, 2009 1:26 PM


Lauren,
My daughter always thought the boy toys at McDonalds were better/more interesting than the girl toys. I wish McDonalds would just get rid of those toys all together. They are getting dumber and dumber and polluting our environment with all that non-biodegradable plastic. More parents should just say "No toy, thank you".

Carla,
Looking for bugs under rocks. Can't beat that for a good time. :)

Posted by: Janet at June 29, 2009 1:40 PM


"Right now we're doing all thing Thomas the Tank Engine. They both agree that trains are about the coolest things ever.

Posted by: Lauren at June 29, 2009 1:26 PM"
===============================================

My almost-2 yr old adores Thomas right now and we're thinking of going to the Illinois Railway Museum this Aug for the Thomas weekend...

..should provide a historical and hysterical perspective, too...

Posted by: RSD at June 29, 2009 1:49 PM


Janet- I did that all the time when I was a little girl...until the time I lifted up a rock and there was a HUGE SCORPION under it. I didn't look under rocks much after that!

Posted by: Erin at June 29, 2009 2:00 PM


Erin,
YIKES!

Posted by: Janet at June 29, 2009 2:26 PM


Janet,
Hours worth of activity under rocks!! :)

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 2:37 PM


Carla,

Lol. Yes, "hours worth". Especially if you tell the kids to try to dig to China...

Then there's always lot's of fun collecting rocks and pine cones and stray feathers...

Who needs happy meals toys?

Posted by: Janet at June 29, 2009 2:42 PM


Yep. Four happy meals are purchased only for toys that are worth pennies. We rarely eat out anyway. Nature has enough FUN in it!!

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 2:47 PM


We're planning on doing the Day Out with Thomas too.

I can't wait!

Also, everyone really needs to go rent the live action "Thomas and The Magic Railroad." It stars Alec Baldwin and is hillariouly bad. Of course, my kids think it's the best thing ever...

Posted by: Lauren at June 29, 2009 3:08 PM


It's bizarre enough to hear George Carlin's voice...

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 3:12 PM


Oh man, the George Carlin versions are WAY better than this horror. In fact, just the standard videos narrated by Alec Baldwin are better.

I can only describe this video as bizzare. Holden was very confused by it the first time he watched. He couldn't figure out why there were real, live people on the Island of Sodor.

The best part is the line "The magic you refuse to believe in will get the better of you."

Really, Thomas? Really?

Posted by: Lauren at June 29, 2009 3:19 PM


What was done to poor DAVID is reminiscent of something JOSEPH MENGELE would have done. As for 'Pop'...I don't get it. Since when are children FORCED to be a certain way? I was a 'girlie girl' growing up..pretty dresses, dolls, tea parties, etc. That's just the way I AM, my two year old daughter, on the other hand, is 'tomboy girlie'. She likes to wear dresses sometimes, she likes stuffed animals(not so much dolls), she LOVES shoes..but she also likes dirt and mud and bugs, and climbing things. I'm not FORCING her to be any certain way, just because I was that way. She is who she is...she's my daughter, and I adore her.

Posted by: Pamela at June 29, 2009 3:22 PM


I don't care for Thomas at all but can handle him better than Jay Jay the jet plane. Bah.

Pamela,
Amen!

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 3:25 PM


Ahh. Jay Jay freaks me out. I think it's the computer generated expressions or something.

Posted by: Lauren at June 29, 2009 3:28 PM


Jay Jay creeps me out too.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 3:32 PM


good grief, just when you think the world can't get any stupider, it does!
Gender is not a social construct. It's a biological one. One is either female or male. The activities ones does as a child do not do much to make girls less or more feminine. The activities that interest a person I think are do in part to personal preference which is likely influenced by alot of variables.

I truly feel sorry for this young person who has such weirdo parents.

Posted by: angel at June 29, 2009 3:45 PM


my goodness, my use of words goes to hell when I have a migraine. (The activities that interest a person I think are due in part to personal preference which is likely influenced by alot of variables.

:(

Posted by: angel at June 29, 2009 3:52 PM


When I was a kid, I owned Hot Wheels and Go-Bots (anybody remember the Go-Bots?) :D. My male cousin used to come over and he'd play with my little baby dolls and I'd play with Legos and racecars.

We both grew up quite normally otherwise. ;) He is a wonderful Dad and husband today, who loves to cook and also plays bass in a rock band. He didn't allow himself to be held back by gender stereotypes.

My daughter loves "girly" clothes (oh, boy, and shoes and purses!) and toys along with the "boyish" toys. She is rough and tumble and doesn't mind getting in the dirt. :) My son will dig in the sandbox all day, but when it comes to feeding the dog, it's "eww, Mom, do I have to touch the food??" LOL He is very much a boy, though, and she's very much a girl. They both own legos and share the Thomas train set downstairs (which they BOTH begged for).

There is a difference between allowing a child to play with whatever toys interest them and RAISING a child to be a girl when he was born a boy. Poor David Reimer... :( How devastating.

Posted by: Kelli Author Profile Page at June 29, 2009 4:53 PM


Yes I remember David Reimer. I remember being horrified at his situation. In my mind, he was experimented on.

Posted by: angel at June 29, 2009 5:02 PM


angel,
You should not be here if you have a migrane. What are you thinking? Go relax. I hope you are feeling better soon. :)

Posted by: Janet at June 29, 2009 5:20 PM


Is Thomas a bit stereo typical in having all male engines?

I remember a women ringing up talk back radio and saying this. She was concerned that girls wouldn't want to play with these trains because they were all male orientated.

I was quite astounded that she believed this.

Posted by: Therese at June 29, 2009 6:11 PM


thanks Janet. It's weather related. :(

Posted by: angel at June 29, 2009 7:57 PM


I LOVED He-Man when I was 6 and I still have my two action figures from those days. I also remember watching GI Joe. In fact, I rented and then bought the old Speed Racer series from the late 1960s.

This boys don't play with dolls thing reminds me of a scene in an episode of Full House when Jesse and Becky's twins are toddlers (just over a year old). They are playing with an old doll of Michelle's and Jesse is upset.....well, Becky says that boys that play with dolls "may turn out to be great fathers some day" ;)


This couple in Sweden is crazy.


Posted by: LizFromNebraska at June 29, 2009 11:40 PM


Well, honestly, I don't take the girl toys from McDonalds when they are Barbies. But that is because we don't allow Barbies (or Bratz) toys in our home. Not because of a boy/girl thing.

I don't know of any child who grew up in any time past the 1970s who was forced to only play with girls toys or boys toys because they were the "correct" gender.... I had blocks and wore coveralls and I had dollies and wore dresses and aside from the wearing dresses thing, my brother had the same.

I bought a baby doll for my oldest son when we were expecting his younger brother. He was not all that interested in it... it got taken over by my oldest daughter... and then passed down to her younger sisters over the years. But it's still known as "Joey's" doll.

I always tell people that my boys are sweet, gentle, and kind (which they are, and VERY good at dealing with their little sisters. They will be very good daddies someday)... but my girls scare the crap out of me! LOL

My oldest daughter is a red belt in tae kwon do (she wanted to take it at age 3, had to wait until 4 and still wanted to take it so I said, "No problem"). She played Little League baseball with the boys, not softball with the girls... and did very well at it. When she was up to bat one of the boys from another team who thought girls couldn't play at that level beaned her with the ball on purpose. Her only response? "I got my base". (Her trophy at the end of the year listed her name as Alison "I'm NOT a China Doll"! because she said that so often.)

The next time she was up to bat in that game, my then three year old daughter (who is now 8) who looks like the sweetest, most angelic teensy little Tinkerbell doll was standing behind the backstop and started screaming at the top of her lungs, "Make him PAY! Make him pay for hitting you!"

My now three year old daughter is a TANK... she's been known in her gymnastics class to look at a couple of the whiny little boys who are crying and refusing to try something a little more adventurous and just shake her head and say dismissively, "Wuss." (The joys of having toddlers and teenagers. Advanced vocabulary for insulting others... but I have to admit, everybody had a hard time not laughing when she said it!)

And Carla, our baby boy is going to be a Patrick, named after his grandfather. We debated on this one and I HATE the name "Pat". I really, really, really wanted to name him Jamison. We went several rounds on it and family knows he is NOT to be called Pat. We've actually started calling him "Trick". Not really sure why.... but there ya go.

Posted by: Elisabeth at June 30, 2009 12:29 AM


Elisabeth,
Precious stories from you about your girls! The good Lord knew I could only handle ONE!! :)

I am the only one who calls my husband Patrick.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 30, 2009 5:59 AM


Trick is sorta like Trig. :)

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 30, 2009 6:00 AM


The Complementarian view is becoming an increasingly important one in today's culture. Biblical manhood and womanhood is a battle that must be fought with grace and mercy, but one that shouldn't be compromised.

JT@RedeemingRiches
http://redeemingriches.wordpress.com

Posted by: JT@RedeemingRiches at June 30, 2009 8:52 AM


I do not think that "Pop" is an appropriate gender neutral name. It screams of male influence to me. I think they should go for am much more gender neutral name.

How about "Repressed"?

...or "Michael Jackson"?

Posted by: Brett R at June 30, 2009 10:41 AM


LOL, Brett!!

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 30, 2009 10:56 AM


Uhmmmm, yes, trucks are better than dolls!


(even for girls)

Posted by: Larry Geiger at June 30, 2009 12:07 PM


God created us male and female. He had His reasons. He is God. We are not.

Posted by: Elizabeth at June 30, 2009 1:09 PM


I don't agree with what Pop's parents are doing, but I also think (as others have said here) that it's likely Pop will figure out before too much longer what he/she really is. What God has put into Pop cannot be altered by human effort. And except for the clothing, they aren't doing anything we don't do with our children as far as letting them decide in which "direction" they want to behave. I have a 5 yr old boy who can be very sensitive and often quite motherly...then the next minute go out and drive his Tonka, making loud engine noises. He also plays Barbies with his 11 yr old sister. She loooooves to climb trees, is totally wicked with a baseball, loves playing with cars and trucks in the dirt, has no problem grabbing worms either. But she loves to dress pretty, and fusses with her hair a lot, too.

My point is....yes, we told them that God made them a boy/girl...but we let them decide what kind of boy/girl they want to be. We don't agree with the majority of the stereotypes either, because they don't fit every child.

Posted by: Owen at June 30, 2009 2:54 PM


I don't really get why the line about wearing pants and dresses is underlined. Presumably this would only be a problem if Pop is a boy. I've never understood why people get het up about men wearing skirts, when women are can wear pants without so much as a second glance.

Has no one ever heard of Utilikilts? www.utilikilts.com I work with a few guys who swear by them in the summer. Manly men, all of them -- I work mostly with carpenters; some electricians. I wish someone made women's-sized utilikilts; I have to stick with wearing little boys' cargo shorts. It's a tragic role reversal: me sweating in my cargo shorts, the guys easy-breezy in their skirts. There are plans for kids' utilikilts. I eagerly await that day. ;)

Posted by: Alexandra at June 30, 2009 3:32 PM


Hi Alexandra,

"Has no one ever heard of Utilikilts? www.utilikilts.com I work with a few guys who swear by them in the summer."

Never heard of them. They look ridiculous on the website. I can't imagine any guy I know wearing one, but I'll be on the lookout! I suppose you could sew one yourself or find a seamstress.

Posted by: Janet at June 30, 2009 5:30 PM


Janet, there's a flying company that I sometimes work with, and almost all of their mostly-male employees wear the utilikilts. They look great! Mr. Alexandra is saving up to buy one this summer, after years of pining away. I'm always curious why some people think they look ridiculous but don't take issue with, say, shorts on men.

I work with a few women who wear the kilts, but they just don't come small enough for me. I know a lot of seamstresses but something like that can be time-consuming; the draw of the utilikilts is that they're really well-designed. They have a lot of fabric so that you can reliably move/squat/etc without flashing everyone. They have places for tape measures and hammers and sometimes even a loop for a cordless drill. Some have cargo pockets that detach from the pants. etc. I could easily get someone to make me something (or just buy something) that looked similar, but in terms of function it would take sometrial and error to make something that worked similarly.

Posted by: Alexandra at June 30, 2009 6:06 PM


I just thought of something that 'irks' me...lol. My two year old loves 'Wonder Pets', but one day I realized...has anyone ever noticed that almost all of the pets the Wonder Pets get called on to 'rescue' from some perilous situation are FEMALE? I only recall them having to rescue ONE male animal...what is THIS teaching our children?

Posted by: Pamela at June 30, 2009 9:38 PM


This is interesting.

If the child is male and he begins to manifest masculine characteristics will the parents allow him the freedom to express himself?

If the child is female and she begins to maninfest feminine characteristics will the parents allow her the freedom to express herself.

Now they may model my wife and I, but I do not recall ever coaching any of my five children in how to be male or female.

None them have shown any indication of gender confusion or same sex attraction.

There was movie with Sean Connery entitled, 'The Medicine Man'. It was filmed in the rain forest of South America and some of the extras were actual rain forest tribespeople.

There is one scene where a little boy and a little girl are running and playing together. The little girl has all the 'grace' of a doe and the little boy has all the 'majesty' of a buck.

I do not believe they were modeling modern culture or even their own culture. They were just being who they are.

(If you have never observed deer in the wild this will be difficult to understand.)

I remember a lady telling me she would not buy toy guns for her son because she abhored 'violence' and she did not want to cultivate that attitude in her son.

He surprised her by biting his peanut butter sandwich into the shape of a gun.

Boys will be boys and girls will be boys.

There is a paternal instinct and a maternal instinct.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at July 1, 2009 9:07 PM


Pop's parents are usually an extreme method to try to instill values and morals that the rest of the world barely tries to do. if not for extreme examples like this, then no one would stop to think about their parenting. as hard as i am trying to raise an ethical son, i know many many many more are not trying at all. i put him in a pink shirt and i get questions! but no one wants insensitive males as fathers. but they don't try to educate or give non-sexist morals to their children in order to have sensitive fathers someday. i admire their "experiment" and wish their child/children a happy upbringing.

Posted by: ParenttoaBoy at July 3, 2009 9:46 AM