Question #3: Raising Sexes the Same?
(This post is part of a series for July 2013 entitled “Question Month.” Read the intro to the series here.)
My Facebook post earlier today:
“Question No. 3: how important is gender equality and what, if any, are acceptable ***PARENT-IMPOSED*** differences in raising children of each sex?
“(p.s. I use the words sex and gender intentionally and not interchangeably — consult google to learn the difference.)”
The answer to the first part is easy for me: very. Gender equality (gender relates to how a person is classified in societal terms, rather than their physical genitalia) is very, very, very, very important.
Should we raise boys and girls differently?
Gut answer: no.
Nitty gritty gets more complicated. I would never refuse my child, male or female, the right to wear clothes, cut hair, or pursue interests more common to the opposite sex. But with babies and toddlers, they are not yet equipped to make all preferences known.
Feels like parents of all same sex kids have it easier. But maybe those of us with both sexes have this wonderful challenge that makes it easier to accept any form of deviation later.
Do I put my son in dresses?
I don’t hesitate to use them for my daughter. Yet I went out of my way to find her “boy” garments, partially just so she wouldn’t have a wardrobe entirely of pink.
No, I don’t put my son in dresses.
If he wanted one, I would. In a heartbeat. But making that choice for him feels wrong.
Same with pink, and ruffles, and such.
I am delighted to see him pushing a stroller around. His obsession with Owlet’s little wooden dollhouse is adorable. But those are his choices. I am all in favor of his choices, whether they align with his sex or not.
And what about hair? We have yet to cut Owlet’s hair even once. I expect we will probably cut Platypup’s sooner. Is that… Morally Wrong? (I am somewhat kidding. But somewhat serious.)
Owlet offered one of her bathing suits to Platypup the other day. I stuttered a bit, settling on the answer that it was too big for him, then pulled out his pair of swim trunks.