• Christina Ehrlich

Breaking Down Gender Norms

First of all what is gender? Here is the definition straight from the dictionary...

...either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.

So when you see gender reveals, they are actually revealing the sex of the baby because sex refers to a set of biological attributes in humans and animals. It is primarily associated with physical and physiological features including chromosomes, gene expression, hormone levels and function, and reproductive/sexual anatomy.

Now that we cleared that up, let's continue.

First things first, this society makes it very difficult to raise children outside of the gender norms. Im my opinion I think the clothing in stores is getting better but we are still made to believe that our children fit in boy or girl activities and/or personalities.

Whenever I see people post about their sons and the caption reads something like they are all boy, I think to myself well my daughter is just like that. She is rough, loud and enjoys wearing her hat backwards. I actively make sure that our toys are somewhat gender neutral, because I want to make sure she knows she can play with trucks or barbies. I offer her a variety of different activities. I am mainly talking about my daughter who is two and a half. For those of you who know me I also have a six month old son, and I will do the same for him as he grows up.

There are two things I am trying to do as a parent. First I am actively using the pronoun they rather than he or she. This is extremely difficult because I've spent 32 years using he and she. But a little progress is better than nothing. The other thing I don't do is say that Jack will marry a girl some day and Olivia will marry a boy some day. They will marry a person who makes them happy, or maybe they won't marry at all (I want my kids to be happy, but that's a post for another day). If my friends have kids around the same age I say they can go to prom together rather than get married some day. I don't buy baby boy shirts for Jack that say "ladies man." Also I'd like to mention that I would give anything for a gay son....BUT that is not in my control. See where I'm going with this?

So as parents I think it's important to break down the gender norms for our own kids. I truly think we will raise a better generation of humans if we do! I think our kids will grow and develop into exactly who they are meant to be.

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