Rowan is a very pretty boy (Look out! Those long eyelashes help him flirt mercilessly!) and has worn an amber necklace since birth. (Jewelry is evidentally a feminine thing in the US, although I doubt you could get all cultures to agree to that!) Further, his father and I do not believe that colors and patterns have gender- so he wears all colors (including- gasp! pink and purple) and has some floral and butterfly patterned clothes. His stroller is hot pink with orange flowers. To this I say, big freaking deal.
a little princess" I don't bother correcting people. After all, what does it matter- this is their issue, not mine and not my son's.
But other times, I do gently slip it in that he is a boy. Depending on where I am I get varying interesting responses. If I am here, in the Bay Area, I get anything from a non-chalant "Oh." to a tripping-over-themselves "Sorry!". No one here dwells on it too much- we all pretend to be far too progressive on gender and sexuality issues here to obsess too much. If I am somewhere else where heterosexist, heteronormative gender norms are more rigidly enforced, sometimes people give me incredulous looks or even venemous ones. They chastize me for "effeminizing" my son. They equate what I am doing (raising a kid to be free, for as long as possible, of the ridiculous way our culture deals with gender) with child abuse.
I want Rowan to be fully human, not just pigeon-holed into what our culture thinks a man or a woman (or a boy or a girl) should be. To quote Julia Serano,
...we were duped into believingI, for one, am sick of the polarity/binary model of gender and refuse to indoctrinate my son into it. (Yes, I know that I cannot help him once he gets older- he will run into people that enforce gender agendas and he may even experience shame.) But I will hold out for as long as I can and hope that he is as strong as this awesome tween:
that male and female are opposites
when we’re not
we are practically identical
99.9 percent the same on a genetic level
we’ve just been trained to exaggerate
that fraction of difference
into a chasm
into two mutually exclusive classes
and gender is not about biological sex
when you first saw me
you didn’t see my chromosomes
or reproductive abilities
instead you read my class as female
because gender is first and foremost
a class system
and it is held together by the myth
that it arises from
but for every gender generalization you can make
i can find a thousand exceptions
and natural laws
are not suppose to have exceptions
if gender was natural
wouldn’t have to be told not to cry
wouldn’t have to be taught
that certain ways of sitting aren’t ladylike
if gender was natural
it wouldn’t need to be so highly regulated...