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Two months old today! 13 lbs 7 oz, 22 inches long. And doing great. She smiles in very adorable ways... it's almost manipulative, because I swear there's some kind of instinct or reflex or something we have as humans, when a baby smiles at you, you HAVE to smile back and become happy.

aliki gave us this outfit, btw. I love it :)

Speaking of outfits, you might notice from pics that we dress her in a lot of gender neutral outfits... or maybe even some that could be considered "boy" because they're blue. Marc & I both equally hate the whole idea that pink is for GIRLS and blue is for BOYS and children must fall into these society-established gender roles the moment they come out of the womb.

But we disagree on how we should respond when out in public strangers assume she's a boy. I figure they're just being nice and telling us how cute she is, just take the compliment and move on, not like they really care if she's a boy or a girl. They just picked a pronoun. He's kind of offended though that they'd assume she's a boy just because she's wearing blue, and if we correct them they'll avoid making the mistake with other babies. When someone says, "Oh he's so cute!" I'll just say thanks and move on. Marc calls them out. "She's a girl." He says they should be saying "your baby is so cute" and we should show them the light.

I even excuse them if they find out the truth from me... is that bad feminist or what? Conversations go like this...

Oh he's just adorable! What's his name?

um... Josephine.

Oh I thought she was a boy I'm so sorry!

Oh it's okay she's wearing blue it's totally understandable!

I'm on a poll kick lately, so what do you think lj?

How old is he?

*She's* two months old (add emphasis so they know they were wrong)
She's two months old (no emphasis... act like you didn't hear the mistake)
Two months! (leave all responses gender-neutral, avoid controversy)


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
I kind of wonder how we'll deal with this, if it ever comes up! So far we only have gender neutral clothes for the fetus.
Aug. 10th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
I always did correct people but not in a chastising way. I agree that they should learn not to assume gender based on color and that they need to be corrected to challenge their stereotypes, but I don't think it's offensive. I automatically assume babies are girls (only had girl cousins to babysit and have two girls) and cats are boys (being the only male in the house irritated my dad so we were only allowed male pets, this isn't as horrible as it sounds) so there are other reasons people may assume gender.
I really don't like your sample conversation though. I think saying "Oh it's okay, she's wearing blue it's totally understandable!" is defending and even reinforcing the stereotype! How about "Oh that's ok. isn't it great that babies can't tell the difference?" or "Oh that's ok, she didn't get the memo that only boys can wear blue and girls are supposed to wear pink."
Aug. 10th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
Or "She did get the memo that only boys can wear blue and girls are supposed to wear pink, but I'm afraid she can't really read yet." :-)
Aug. 10th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
Or, 'That's okay, I don't think she's offended.'
Aug. 10th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Even better! I kept thinking that sounded a little harsher than I meant it.
Aug. 10th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
I agree with sxyskeksis, most people just assign the gender of the babies they are familiar with. My mom used to try all sorts of things to get bows on my head and people would still look at my pink frilly outfit and bow and say "He is so cute". People are just in their own world.
Aug. 10th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
people never thought i was a boy because i had my ears pierced when i was 2 weeks old. i think babies all look the same, really. they stay androgynous until they are like 4. so if i met a baby i didn't know i would assume the gender based on clothes too, but only because i've assumed that their parents have assigned them the gender role before i have. if i met your baby and called it a boy and you told me his name was josephine, i would commend you on dressing her in blue. but i picked "no emphasis" because really no good comes from embarassing people. people say my name wrong all the time, but i answer to "zo" and "chloe" because its not worth making people feel like idiots most of the time.
Aug. 10th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Never had this problem. I don't know why people assume babies with hair are girls and babies without hair are boys, that makes no sense since most babies don't have hair. But they do.
Aug. 10th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
I'd probably emphasize the 'she's,' but I'm just an insufferable stickler for details like that. It's possible that, by the time I have kids, I'll decide to be more polite.
Aug. 10th, 2010 06:19 am (UTC)
At the no ponytails stage, my girls get "little fella'd" all the time, even in pink. I either just respond "thanks", or sometimes without thinking, I stick in the feminine pronoun "she's two months old," and oftentimes people don't seem to hear it, which is fine.
Aug. 10th, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
same thing here... we never told the gender of the baby to anyone.. mostly because I didn't want to land up with all blue or all pink clothes! So we have a few blues... and people often refer to the little one as a "he". I don't correct them, but when I refer to her in response, I use "she". Some apologise for their mistake/assumption, I just respond with "oh that's ok. We never shared the gender with friends, so they bought whatever!"

There will be other bigger battles to fight... save energy for that! ;)

I absolutely hate the whole pink for girls and blue for boys thing. Apparently though kids get teased in DAYCARE if they get the colours wrong. sigh...it's become so ingrained even young 4-5 year olds follow it to the tea.. (obviously this is a generalisation)
Aug. 10th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
People always assume Angie is a boy, even if she's in a girly outfit. I think it's because she doesn't have much hair. :P Doesn't bother me too much though, I figure they didn't mean any harm and just want to tell me how cute my baby is so that's okay with me. :D
Aug. 10th, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
We're the same way with Erika (she has the same outfit as Josie, but in a bigger size; and btw you're welcome!) and we dress her in gender-neutral (yellow/greens), boy (blues, and cool stuff like sharks!) and girl (why is it all pink).

When people mistakenly assume she's a boy, I am like Marc, I say "her name is Erika" or "she's a girl, and she's four months old".

You DO need to show them the light and let them know there's more to it than just pink clothes!
Aug. 11th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'm saying! thank you!
Aug. 10th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
~the second one~
they'll probably hear it and think 'oh, what a dick I was! I'll be more careful next time' if they're the kind of person to be receptive to that kind of thing.

(The first one
they'll probably hear it and think 'ugh, what an irritating feminist. this is why I don't like those kinds of people' if they aren't receptive to those kinds of things, or "god, I just made a mistake, sorry" if they are.

the third one
they'll never know.)
Aug. 10th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
I'm ashamed to admit I've done the 'guess the gender on what baby's wearing' thing. Lady came into my store asking for an all-over waterproof suit, baby was in yellow, and I went 'how old is, uh, -' and felt horrible when the lady said '-she. I knew picking yellow today would be a bad idea.'
I wish that sort of thing wasn't so hard-wired into our brains.
Aug. 11th, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
I picked the second option, though in fact I would emphasize the pronoun, just not in a confrontational way. "She, actually. But two months." That's what I do with my dog, anyway. When dealing with other people's dogs of unknown sex, I'll either employ circumlocution, or just say 'it.' Or I might speak directly to the dog, thus avoiding having to use a third person pronoun. I don't think this really works for babies.
Aug. 11th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
I like the idea of mentioned that she's a girl, but not emphasizing it. People automatically assume that blue means boy and pink means girl, and I don't really think it's worth making a huge deal over it, especially if it's not someone that you're going to see on a regular basis.
Aug. 11th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
I usually just answer with "she is four and a half months", without making a point of it. Or perhaps smiling a bit if they have really made a point about the tough and sturdy little boy I have here.

I dress Ada in coordinated outfits in mostly gender neutral colours (brown, orange, yellow, green, misc colours, white) or in blue nuances; the Man dresses her in mostly-not-coordinated outfits in the same colours. Sometimes a pink item blends in - mostly dark pink, or pink print on other colours. I have bought some cool ones ((skydiving|penguins) > colour) a couple of times and then there are gifts. But I hate light pink so anything with that are silently put into the "too small" bin, or used only once if the giver is here.

Ok, sometimes I thrown in a pink bib or pink socks, if I am going to a social situation where it's easiest. Like weighting at the health clinic, where there is a bit of chitchat with the other people. But the pink never matches the rest of the outfit.

We have four dresses. When do baby girls wear dresses?? I think we have used them once each. For three birthdays, her naming day and the national day. Actually her fake national costume is the best dress she has 8so she has used it twice), it's long and heavy so she is not able to crumble it around her armpits or thereabout.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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