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The male gender box

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by 9-10ths_Penguin, May 10, 2012.

  1. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    A friend linked to this on Facebook and I've been thinking a lot about it:

    Understanding Boys, Understanding Girls. « Higher Unlearning

    A couple of thought-provoking quotes from the article:

    In this one, he talks about what happened during an exercise where he got 8- and 9-year-old boys to write out what they liked and disliked about being boys, and he asked about one item that a boy said he didn't like:

    This one was after he asked a group of grade 8 girls about a video he showed (which you can see on the page) of a spoken-word poet performing a piece where he gushes over his love for a woman.

    While I was reading all this, my mind kept on leaping back to something else that made the news recently: the video that was in the OP here:

    http://www.religiousforums.com/foru...095-should-church-have-tax-exempt-status.html

    Now... I don't want to re-hash everything about that video here, but my original thought when I listened to that preacher was revulsion and anger at the idea that he'd hurt and bully a child for "acting gay", but as I read this article, I thought more and more about the more subtle but IMO still serious harm of just enforcing gender roles and stereotypes in the first place.

    So... what does everyone think? Personally, I'm glad I'm at a stage of my life where I can act as I please without worrying about fitting into some pre-defined box, and I hope that the kids around me see from my example that they don't have to worry about doing that either.
     
  2. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    :clap


    excellent thoughts....not surprised though.

    :)
     
  3. HerDotness

    HerDotness Lady Babbleon

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    Same here.

    But the times they are a-changin'. I never EVER thought I'd live long enough to see gay marriage become legal anywhere in the U.S. and looky what happened and will continue to happen, I sincerely hope.

    Hardcore gender roles are gradually lessening their hold, too.
     
  4. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Yeah... and when it comes to gender roles, I think this comic expresses my feelings about the matter: I'm one of the decision-makers now and I'm a man, so I get my say on what it means to be a man:

    [​IMG]

    ... and I have some ideas on the subject.
     
  5. Penumbra

    Penumbra Veteran Member
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    I think forcing kids into certain roles is problematic and unnecessary.

    That's not to say that there aren't genuine biological differences that result in statistically relevant mental differences between the sexes. But I think those should be left to develop however they will, more naturally, and then they likely won't be as exaggerated or artificially cultivated.

    I've always found the topic of gender interesting, since as far back as I can remember I've always been sort of a tomboy. Fortunately my parents never forced any behaviors onto me.
     
  6. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    Thats great, but many parents still avoid teaching certain sexes many needed skills, like changing a tire or sewing a button. We all have tires and buttons in life to deal with. There are many men who have never changed a diaper on this planet or women who cannot even add oil to their car. Many could not even get the hood of a car open or know which way to wipe a child.

    Yes, not forcing children is good, but many times it is what we do not do as much as what we do that is the problem.
     
  7. Penumbra

    Penumbra Veteran Member
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    Well, I'm talking in a specific context. I was "forced" to do things as a kid, but not to correct behavior towards some cultural gender construct.

    Learning how to do basic service to a car or take care of a baby are good skills to know for everyone. A parent teaching their child to have a diverse set of skills is important.

    But what would be problematic would be to, for example, notice that one's daughter is really mechanically inclined and really into cars, and then to freak out and try to shift her interests to something more traditionally feminine by strongly discouraging her from that interest and pushing hard for other interests.

    When I was a kid, my interests were super heroes, video games, playing outside, physical combat, space and technology, cute boys, and pull-up contests. :shrug:
     
  8. HerDotness

    HerDotness Lady Babbleon

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    Exactly.

    People can cope somehow if they haven't certain skills. Or they can decide in adulthood to learn to cook, change oil--whatever it is they don't know how to do--or simply pay someone else to do it for them.

    My sister's husband has always done most of the cooking for the two of them because she agrees he's a much better cook than she is despite her having had four years of high school home ec.

    My husband's younger brother learned to cook and does the cooking for his family because his wife hates it and either never learned to cook or just won't.

    Encouraging this kind of flexibility is obviously wiser even with young children than "Real men or real women don't whatever."
     
  9. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    During adolescence, most people go through a phase when they are acutely concerned with what others -- especially their peers -- think of them. It seems natural during that time to be concerned with other people's expectations of what it means to be a man or a woman. But if someone is more than, say, 25 or 30 years old and still trying to live up to someone else's expectations of what it means to be a man or a woman, they might be in trouble.
     
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