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Thread: Avoiding gender and sexuality 'norms'

  1. #55

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    I agree re: beauty, Dach - some of the most beautiful women I know would never be supermodels/film stars, but that doesn't mean they're not beautiful. And I make sure I tell them they're wonderful and gorgeous.

    Maya, IKWYM about beauty being in the eye of the beholder: my mother was so down on my looks growing up that I look at old pictures now and think how dreadful I look. Apparently she thinks I look pretty there - but only told me how dreadful I looked at the time. I really can't be arsed with the whole beauty nonsense any more. Fine, I'll put on mascara and lipstick most mornings, but that's to look female, not pretty.



    Saša, DS's godmother (and my best friend) is Austrian, the name came because I wanted a nice name for bumpling that other people didn't already have.

  2. #56

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    419

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    We are trying to bring up our 3 sons gender neutral, basing their behaviour and attractions as personality as opposed to gender. All 3 have a very sensitive soft loving side but can be loud and play fight like 3 puppies when they feel the need. I have always steered away from 'boys' clothes as i find the colours bland and dark and the boys when younger and oscar now much preferred to shop in the 'girls' section to buy bright pinks and purples. As for toys we have always had dolls, slings, tea sets, kitchens, trains, cars, lego and playdough as our main attractions. My older boys are the first to object to a toy being sold as a 'girl' or 'boy' toy yelling SEXIST at the TV. I just celebrate their personalities and try not to pigeon hole their behaviour as one sex or another, they are just themselves. My middle son wore a nighty for about 4 years because he preferred it to pajamas, he rode a pink bike (he chose it) and wore pink most every day to kinder. My younger son loves the bright pinks, blues, purples and oranges in clothes so wears those most days. It is just a non event in our home, clothes and what they play with don't determine their sex of define who they are. they are just themselves and we love them.
    I think society needs to be aware that by giving allowances based on the sex of the person such as "they are aggressive because they are boys" may send a message that they have an excuse for being aggressive and therefore are not accountable for the consequences. We all, male and females, need to be mindful of our behaviour and keep ourselves in check.
    Anyway that's my 2 cents worth.
    Beckles

  3. #57

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Gold Coast, Queensland
    Posts
    945

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    Beckles, you are so right. I always cringe at comments like that. Especially when people say things like: "well, of course he cheated, he's a man after all."
    We all are able to control our impulses, even men (I know, that is sexist ) It has nothing to do with gender but with compassion and respect for other creatures.
    And I can understand that your boys like the colourful girls' clothes better. I have never really looked at it like that, but it is true, boys' clothes are very dark, gloomy and just too adult. Girls' stuff seems much more fun and child friendly.
    But it does depend, sometimes I go into a shop and the girls' section greets me with a sea of pink and makes me want to vomit. So I sometimes shop in the boys' section just for something different.

    Saša

  4. #58

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,095

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    Gosh, this is such an important question.

    Since I fell pregnant and even moreso after giving birth to DD, it's really made me start to question what it means to me to be a woman, and what society expects of you as a woman. It starts straight away when all the newborn clothes are pink and blue and people assume your baby is of a particular gender just from the colour. I haven't worked out how to do it yet, because I want her to understand that her gender doesn't limit her in anyway (she can be a scientist, an engineer or a mechanic when she grows up if she wants), but to also have an appreciation for how special it is to be a woman and to have the ability to create life, to nurture, to raise a family and contribute strong, confident people to the world . . . Then I come back to "What if she doesn't want children?" and I feel confused all over again LOL! I guess I just have to help her come to an appreciate for what her body CAN do, if she wants it to. I also really want her to have understand that women do not have equal status in the world and as women, it's something we must constantly fight against. The plight of women all over the world is our business and we must be concerned. I hope I can show her the illusions of freedom and equality presented to us . . . I want her to be a feminist, for her to have an understanding of herself as a human being and a woman beyond what is expected of women.

  5. #59

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    419

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    Flick Ruby is an anarchist feminist who states "We are not asking men to attone for the sins of the forefathers, we are asking them to take responsibility for the masculinity of the future, we are not asking women to be perpetually aware of their opression but to emerge from it..."
    I think she hits the nail on the head with this one!
    beckles

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