Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Interesting Newsweek Article

"My Name Is Jesse
But I am not a boy. Inside my parents' failed experiment with gender neutrality."


  1. This post reminded me a little of the Fausto-Sterling piece that we read. As I was reading it, I was a little torn about how we can best involve children in the process of tackling gender norms. Fausto-Sterling points out that many people are hesistant to sacrifice the "well-being" of children on the altar of gender politics. However, if we don't start allowing children to define themselves, we further perpetuate that the boundaries are very real and founded. I honestly don't know what the solution is though.

  2. Ciara, I agree that until children are allowed to define themselves, gendered boundaries will continue to exist. However, I don't think that real self-definition is ever possible because we are all constantly under social, cultural, and political constraints that define how think and act. One of the things I though was most interesting about this article was a comment a reader made afterwards. She said that "One problem with our culture is that it is so much easier for girls to "get away with" masculine behavior than it is for boys to be feminine. Many times, this manifests as feminist parents giving children of either gender a masculine upbringing, denying both male and female children their right to be feminine, by taking away dresses and dolls from the girls rather than by offering them as options for the boys. When this occurs, it gives the impression that only masculinity is acceptable, and becomes just as limiting as forcing little girls to wear dresses." I think this is definitly true, and 'gender neutral' seems to tend towards the masculine.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.