Emergence

Emergence
Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Baby Gender

When my daughter was a baby, plenty of people thought she was a boy. A college professor saw her on a day she was dressed in hot pink and effused, "What a beautiful boy!"

With my son, "plenty of people" mistaking his gender seems to include who's never seen his penis. Which, by the way, is fairly generous for a baby.

There were at least five instances of "mistaken baby gender" that were verbalized to me at Border's today. By far the funniest was a kind, middle aged African American man kneeling in the sci-fi section, talking on his cell phone. Gabe was toddling toward him and the man started speaking into his cell: "You'll never believe what I'm looking at: The most beautiful baby girl is walking towards me, and she's wearing a red snowsuit, with dinasaurs! And now she's smiling at me!"

Luckly, I am a woman with a sense of humor, and I would much rather have a slightly effeminate looking little boy with gorgeous lashes and abundant hair and a sweet personality than a man's man baby ready to beat the shit out of the other toddlers. But a statistic of 100% of strangers mistaking a child's gender without even hesitating?

There's a positive side to the fact that it doesn't matter whether I dress the boy in blue overalls with trains or a pink and purple butterfly suit: Maybe our culture is becoming less entrenched in gender stereotypes when it comes to baby clothes?

And what's more, new studies show that the younger generation of women actually prefer men with more feminine features, theoretically because it implies a man who will be a partner, rather than mere meat-winner. Which reminds me to mention that I just read on Brethren Priestess's blog that the meat industry does more global warming damage that smelly trucks and SUV drivers. Surprising, isn't it?

So whatever your gender, or whatever people think it is, go have a veggie burger for me, okay? And be well and happy with who you are.

3 comments:

lisa said...

people often thought my first son was a boy because i wrapped him in a gorgeous pale pink blanket i received before his birth :-) it was too pretty not to use and he looked very sweet in it! then when i had three sons strangers would look at my pregnant tum and make comments about how i must not want any more boys, which i thougt was quite insensitive to say in front of my boys! well... like you said, at least we keep our sense of humor and carry on :-)

Jemila Monroe said...

Geez, that is insensitive. Good for you for using the beautiful pink blanket anyway! :)

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