Gender Stereotyping/Gender Play Conventions

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Gender Stereotyping/Gender Play Conventions

Postby autumnbronze » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:08 pm

My DH was wrestling with DS on the bed.

When I entered, DS said,"bully mummi."

DH then explained to DS that mummi is a girl so shouldn't bully. I was :whut: and asked him, what kind of message was he trying to send. Can bully boys but not girls? Shouldn't it be "cannot bully at all?"

Another time, DH raised his eyebrows when he saw DS playing with playdough and cooking set (which comes with it). He mentioned that coming from a family of three boys, its something he just have to get used to. Although we had a discussion and agreed that DS just having plain fun playing with them and that we shouldn't be concerned about gender stereotyping and play conventions for now, I noticed some weeks later, DH bought him a lego train set while I left them for a while to run some errands ....... Am I 'reading' too much into this :wink:

Any comments????

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Postby kiasimom » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:47 pm

Hmmm.... :?
Let me share.

I think this teaching " Boys should protect the girls as girls are supposedly the weaker sex ".

And boys shouldn't play with barbie dolls, cooking set as they are deem feminine and demure.

All these teachings has been passed down centuries ago and it has been debated that there should be equality in both sexes.

But seriously speaking, I doubt there will be equality.
It is compulsory for men to serve NS whereas it is not compulsory for women to go NS.

When men showed their fears and tears to the world, they are considered not manly whereas when women showed their fears and tears, it is deemed normal and they will get the attention and protection.

To make it short, as long as the children are growing healthy and happily, we shouldn't mind too much into this.

God is fair. We are born to compensate and complement each other.

I don't mind DS playing with cooking set as I want him to be a good husband in future and helps out with housework chores.
I don't mind DD standing up for the boy who has been bullied as I believe irregardless of genders, everyone has a part to play when it comes to justice.

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Re: Gender Stereotyping/Gender Play Conventions

Postby rains » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:11 am

autumnbronze wrote:My DH was wrestling with DS on the bed.

When I entered, DS said,"bully mummi."

DH then explained to DS that mummi is a girl so shouldn't bully. I was :whut: and asked him, what kind of message was he trying to send. Can bully boys but not girls? Shouldn't it be "cannot bully at all?"

Another time, DH raised his eyebrows when he saw DS playing with playdough and cooking set (which comes with it). He mentioned that coming from a family of three boys, its something he just have to get used to. Although we had a discussion and agreed that DS just having plain fun playing with them and that we shouldn't be concerned about gender stereotyping and play conventions for now, I noticed some weeks later, DH bought him a lego train set while I left them for a while to run some errands ....... Am I 'reading' too much into this :wink:

Any comments????


I feel that your husband is trying to teach your son to be gentlemanly in the first instance. Yes, I do think that you're reading too much into the word 'bully'.

Boys are by nature stronger than girls. The equality between sexes does not refer to the physical. It's more of the mental or psychological.

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Postby schellen » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:33 am

If it is just to teach the boys to be gentlemanly, then it is okay but unconsciously or consciously "restricting" what a boy or girl can play with and how they play with their toys and friends is too much. If sashimi and I encounter such parents, they will get a earful from us. If they still insist on their ancient ways, DD1 will not be playing with their children. Not that we want to restrict her choice of playmates but DD1 has been brought up with no gender restrictions (like how my mom and me and my sis were brought up) so we believe that she will also choose not to play with such children as she will feel constrained by their "rules".

By the way, DD1 has plush and dolls, play dough and art materials, Lego (the unisex kind), radio-controlled cars, train set, toy tool set, cooking set, etc.

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Postby rains » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:42 am

I once came across a joke about kids learning about stereotypes.

The parents were very confident that their son would grow up free from the stereotypical mindset of occupation vs gender eg. nursing is a female job, pilot is a male job etc, bcos the mother is a female pilot.

One day, an aunt asked the boy if he would want to be a pilot when he grew up and the boy said,"Eeks! That's a woman's job!"

I feel that stereotyping is often subconscious, more caught than taught. We teach as and when we can, but we really can't control what our children think.

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Postby autumnbronze » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:19 pm

kiasimom wrote:Hmmm.... :?
Let me share.

I think this teaching " Boys should protect the girls as girls are supposedly the weaker sex ".

And boys shouldn't play with barbie dolls, cooking set as they are deem feminine and demure.

All these teachings has been passed down centuries ago and it has been debated that there should be equality in both sexes.

But seriously speaking, I doubt there will be equality.
It is compulsory for men to serve NS whereas it is not compulsory for women to go NS.

When men showed their fears and tears to the world, they are considered not manly whereas when women showed their fears and tears, it is deemed normal and they will get the attention and protection.

To make it short, as long as the children are growing healthy and happily, we shouldn't mind too much into this.

God is fair. We are born to compensate and complement each other.

I don't mind DS playing with cooking set as I want him to be a good husband in future and helps out with housework chores.
I don't mind DD standing up for the boy who has been bullied as I believe irregardless of genders, everyone has a part to play when it comes to justice.


Hi kiasimom,

Thanks for being the first to respond :wink:

I especially like your rationale in the last 2 para.

Thanks again, buddy :wink: :wink:
Last edited by autumnbronze on Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby autumnbronze » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:36 pm

schellen wrote:If it is just to teach the boys to be gentlemanly, then it is okay but unconsciously or consciously "restricting" what a boy or girl can play with and how they play with their toys and friends is too much. If sashimi and I encounter such parents, they will get a earful from us. If they still insist on their ancient ways, DD1 will not be playing with their children. Not that we want to restrict her choice of playmates but DD1 has been brought up with no gender restrictions (like how my mom and me and my sis were brought up) so we believe that she will also choose not to play with such children as she will feel constrained by their "rules".

By the way, DD1 has plush and dolls, play dough and art materials, Lego (the unisex kind), radio-controlled cars, train set, toy tool set, cooking set, etc.


Hi Schellen,

Thanks for your reply. :D

I do think its the former, rather than the latter. DH is v open minded and flexible generally. And his reaction to the 'situation' above, I think is more of an subconscious reaction than anything else. As mentioned, he was brought up in an all male environment in the extended family. There is only one grddaughter in the 12 or so grdsons.

I don't want DS to be brought up in a gender restrictive environment too, hence my concern and am interested in what other parents have experienced/to say in this.

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Postby kiasimom » Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:23 pm

Hi autumnbronze dear,
Anytime for u :-)

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Re: Gender Stereotyping/Gender Play Conventions

Postby autumnbronze » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:06 pm

rains wrote:

I feel that your husband is trying to teach your son to be gentlemanly in the first instance. Yes, I do think that you're reading too much into the word 'bully'.

Boys are by nature stronger than girls. The equality between sexes does not refer to the physical. It's more of the mental or psychological.



rains wrote:
I feel that stereotyping is often subconscious, more caught than taught. We teach as and when we can, but we really can't control what our children think.



Hi rains,

Thanks for sharing. This is an interesting insight (2nd quote). Something to ponder about ....

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Postby 3Boys » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:01 pm

Boys are boys, and girls are girls, and if they were both the same, life wouldn't really be much fun, would it? :wink:

At one time, at the height of the feminist movement many decades ago, some proponents of gender equality tried to prove that boys and girls were essentially built the same, but were only different in outlook due to upbringing. Advances in medical science and brain imaging have largely discredited those views, in that boys and girls do view the world slightly differently and this is essentially hardwired.

Don't get me wrong, there should be no limits placed on girls (or boys for that matter) to achieve their maximum potential, and stereotypes that play to those limits should not be encouraged. However, it is my humble opinion that any attempt to raise boys and girls exactly the same way opens the door to issues downstream. If we tailor our parenting to children of the same gender but with different capabilities, why would we not tailor them to boys and girls?

I only have boys, and I will raise them with certain expectations, like opening doors for ladies (my DW still likes that), being gentlemanly, but at the same time, respecting women for who they are, and playing as hard against them in all areas (like crossing swords in a forum).

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