This is a jump from all my baking, and eating etc. But this is a subject that I regularly think about, in particular since having children.
I remember an article I read in the newspaper some time back. Here (Sweden), there is quite a discussion about gender, particularly when it comes raising our kids. The article I remember so well, was about a couple who had a 2-year-old (I think, I can’t find the article) and they didn’t want the child to be called “he” or “she”. They had chosen a unisex name, and very few people besides those who had to know knew the child’s gender. They didn’t want their child to be formed by society’s stereotypical view of boys and girls. When the child was big enough to start asking they would let him/her know his/her gender.
This is, to me, a quite extreme example, but there are a lots of similar discussions on the boys/girls subject. There are even special pre-schools where they do what they can to be de-genderised. It goes hand in hand with the discussions about equality in the workplace and at home etc, and with feminism.
I find it great that there is a discussion about equality on all levels. But sometimes I wonder if things really need to be taken to such an extreme as the example above. I really think that there is something biologically programmed in us that makes boys different from girls in terms of behaviour. I find it hard to believe that it’s all social. If I like to cook – let me! if my partner likes to build, then fine! It’s our preferences.
For instance, our 3-year-old was about 6 months old when put in front of a toy car for the first time – he automatically started rolling it and making a “vrom” sound. He never liked stuffed toys, he has two favourites but that’s it. He plays house with dinosaurs. Luna was about 3 months old if not less when showing a preference towards cute stuffed animals. Now she also wants the dinosaurs!
I do believe in is in providing choices for the children. If a boy wants to play house, let him. We have a stove and it’s a popular toy, as well as the dinosaurs, cars and tractors and the occasional stuffed bear. If Luna later (like myself I might add) wants to play with cars and airplanes – great!, but it will also be great if she wants to play with dolls. I think it’s all about letting them be themselves and provide them with the tools for it.
In my opinion, it’s not so much about what sex you have, or colour, religious believes either for that matter. It’s all about respect for the individual, yourself and others. Sure, society as a whole as a long way still, but I’m quite optimistic of it going in the right direction. Perhaps we need those more extreme point of views to push the rest of us.