Saturday, 21 May 2011

My Mom Rocks

I found and posted this article on Facebook.  I endlessly find things like this interesting.

One of the truly interesting fact about this article is that is had a different name when I posted it.  It was called "Parents keep Child's Gender Secret" And referred to the child as "he" in a photo caption.  Now it is called "Footloose and Gender Free" (which is a lie because the child HAS a gender whether they tell people about it or not) and they have reworded various parts of the article to make NO gender assumptions and avoided using 'he' 'she' and 'her' 'him'.

I was raised by a single mom in a pretty alternative way.  As much as there are aspects of it now that I appreciate I also spent a good portion of my childhood wishing for a 'normal' life.  But then my mom commented on the article (yes she is on FB) and I loved her take the most of all the comments.

Here it is:
"You know, I am just too old for this crap. This kid has a gender whether its parents tell people what it is or not. People ask whether a child is a boy or girl, what it weighs, how long it is, not because they want to know these things in order to classify the child before they "know the person", but because there isn't anything more to know about a person at their moment of birth. They ask as a way to share the experience with the parents, to congratulate them. It's arrogant and ungrateful to assume the birth of your child is your neighbour's opportunity to reinforce gender inequality. What the neighbours say or feel about gender wouldn't effect a kid's destiny anyway, just like kids wearing dresses or playing with trucks makes no difference to their eventual identity as male or female. You can't teach a child, much less society, to be free from prejudice or negative influence by ignoring your child's biological bits, and any effort to hide or even downplay gender just prevents the parents from influencing their kid's positive identity with what she or he will eventually discover: his/her gender. Celebrate it, I say!Social mores are slow to change, but they do change, and their is less gender-specificity today that there was yesterday. So these guys didn't invent de-emphasizing gender. We 1970s parents, who also didn't invent it, let our kids play with tow trucks and toe shoes regardless of gender. And guess what? Our kids figured out whether they were boys or girls and all colours in between, and when the time was right for them to figure it out, when the pieces fell into place for them, they became who they wanted to be. Just like almost everything else, gender is only as important as you make it. These guys seem to be making it very important by acting like it doesn't exist. And I firmly believe that whatever you make a point of hiding from your children is what they will want most desperately to find out, what they will consider important because you tried to keep it from them, and what they will resent you for, for not trusting them to weigh and understand it for themselves."

So thank you Mom because I know that even though it wasn't the most 'normal' childhood, you thought it out and respected me.  You set the bar pretty high!

1 comment:

Skeeter said...

Oh lordy. Purrrr. Doodness. xx