Gender.

October 18, 2013 § 22 Comments

I’ve been thinking about gender lately.

Namely, because we are still on the fence about deciding whether or not we want to “FIND OUT.” That is the big question everyone is asking these days. I think if you asked me today if I was ready to know, I would say no and cover my ears and hide my eyes. I don’t really care about being surprised on delivery day. It’s not that. With a twin birth experience, I think there will probably be enough surprises to keep me occupied. The sex of my children does not have to be one of them.

It’s just that is such a BIG thing! And with all big things, I have a tendency to avoid. Avoid avoid. Plus, I can’t unlearn it! And it feels kind of special not knowing.

I don’t care about the whole buying stuff thing. I consider just about every color to be gender neutral. And I think I will probably not buy my children clothing with dump trucks or tiaras on them until (and if) that is something they pick out for themselves.

A friend joked that I should find out the sex of one of the babies and wait for the other until delivery. At first, I was all like haha but then I thought hold up. Maybe? Because, well, HILARIOUS. And because you seriously can’t go wrong. If we find out one is a girl, well, it could be a girl and a girl! Or a boy and a girl!

That being said, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the possible combinations of sexes I could have inside of me. The possibilities are all incredible and unique, especially when you think about the sex of each baby in relation to the other. I honestly think I will be thrilled with any of the three possibilities and will equally mourn the other two.

One thing you all don’t know about me is that my master’s research was focused on social inequality – specifically, privilege and, its flip side, disadvantage. If you haven’t thought about this topic ever (or if you have, and want to read something that will surely impact you), read this right quick. It is a breath stopper for me. Every time. Anyway, during the course of my undergrad and master’s work, I spent a lot of time reading and thinking about women’s studies and gender.

I would consider myself a feminist. My definition of feminist? A proponent of equal rights for men and women. Easy, right? Perhaps we’re all feminists after all, eh?

Yet, when I think about the possibility of parenting girls, I think about added stressors that come with it.

And, no, I don’t mean all of the dangerous penises out there (at least not yet) or the worry about pubescent teenagers, which are the things people around me bring up when they muse over the idea of us having two girls.

I worry about the things this young woman so elegantly states with brief but eloquent and empathic words:

http://www.upworthy.com/watch-a-student-totally-nail-something-about-women-that-ive-been-trying-to-articulate-for-37-years-6?g=3

Do I want girls, though? You bet. And boys? Absolutely. One of each? Bring it on.

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§ 22 Responses to Gender.

  • Kristina says:

    Thanks for sharing this – I have to admit I was pretty excited thinking you might be about to share the twins gender! 🙂 Interesting thought to learn just one of their genders… you could also learn one at a time, letting each one sink in for a couple weeks/month. I posted the video to FB – powerful!

  • 2dognite says:

    I could spend a year talking about gender fears and excitement. Perhaps fodder for my own post in the near future. I am going to find out the gender because A) it’s a beautiful surprise no matter when you get it and B) I think the more clues I have as to who has taken up residence in my uterus, the more I’ll be able to connect to my renter 🙂
    There’s no right or wrong way to do it.
    Thanks for posting that amazing slam poetry piece. Gave me shivers.

  • Kimberly says:

    Peggy mcintosh. She is a life changer. I still remember the first time I read that in community building and social change class in college. My jaw hit the desk. Hello new perspective on life. I really worry about gendering my kids. That is a hang up about finding out the sex. Because my famiky will immediately start assigning them gender stereotypes! But I also think it will help me bond to know what is growing in me! Thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love the idea of only knowing the gender of one! What a way to have the best if both worlds!

  • Gypsy Mama says:

    Have you seen this poetry slam? Hits me hard in the heart: http://youtu.be/u9Wf8y_5Yn4

  • Steph Mignon says:

    Oh wow. I watched the video. I read the article. Both really really REALLY are making me think. As to the article, I am extremely aware of race, of being white, and of being surrounded by people who are not white and how that has shaped my perspective, stereotypes, and prejudices. I live in a predominately black neighborhood (75%), in a predominately Hispanic city, Los Angeles (57.5%), and came from 8 years in Hawaii (22% white). In all three of these places I have been the minority. But yet, I still have experienced both privilege AND prejudice. It’s fascinating and sad and reality. As to the video, I, a girl, am supposedly having a girl. I hope with all hope that I can empower her not to say “sorry” before she poses a question. Oh man, that particular line really got me. Personally, I try not attach too much importance to pink, or blue, or trucks, or tiaras, but it’s hard. I even felt a little guilt when I was making my gender announcement sign, simply because it was pink (I couldn’t find red markers, but really I should’ve just done it in blue!). I don’t want my little girl to be trapped by those constructs, but yet I don’t want her to fear and loathe them either simply because she thinks she should. See what I mean? I’m thinking hard about all of this! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!! And for selfish reasons I want to know what you’re having, but totally respect if you don’t go for it. I just hate not knowing things!

  • J o s e y says:

    Remember – gender is a social construct, sex is a biological fact. Definitely words that I think our society use interchangeably far too often! (obviously people aren’t meaning anything bad by saying gender – I think most are just uncomfortable with saying s-e-x out loud! *LOL*)

    At any rate, we waited to find out the sex with our daughter (LOVED finding out in the delivery room with my husband) and we found out at 18w with our son (also fun). You really can’t go wrong. 🙂 I will say that we got a lot more USEFUL baby shower gifts from people when they didn’t know I was having a little girl – they were forced to get me stuff I needed instead of another frilly pink outfit.

    I will say it’s amazing how many opinions people have on what they THINK you “should” want. When we found out we were having “one of each” and hence the “perfect family” – people exclaimed about that to no end about how happy we must be and how happy my husband in particular must be… um, we actually wanted another girl – we already had all the stuff, we’re used to girls, and I am SO close with my sisters – I just thought it’d be great. Of COURSE we’re stoked to be having a healthy little boy (I love your line above about being thrilled with the outcome and still mourning the could-have-beens)… it was just astounding to me how vocal ppl were about what they thought our preferences were. Bizarre.

    Long winded way of saying – I’m so excited for you that you are having TWO little babies – boy or girl, they’re going to be great.

  • Libby says:

    I knew no. 2 would be our last, and we had a boy already. I was equally hoping for a boy and a girl, and already upset about not getting whichever it was. you really can’t win. She is absolutely magic, and while I feel more worried about keeping her safe in the world, I feel equally responsible about making sure her brother grows up to be a good man. It’ll be amazing either way and you guys will do a great job. We didn’t find out with either, and it was the only surprise left!

  • JustMe says:

    As far as finding out gender…it’s totally up to you, but I will say it helps me to bond more with the baby to know he is a he. Also, you won’t be harboring any tiny teeny secret hopes that get quashed on delivery day. I dunno if that really happens, but I could imagine, because I know it happened to me when I found out I was having a boy (and yes, I know the correct thing to say is “I’m happy either way), but now I am SO connected to the idea of a boy that I can’t imagine a girl. Also, I think knowing just one might be hard. Would you be more attached to the one with the gender than the “genderless” twin? Ha. I dunno, maybe that’s just me and how I think.

    Also, about gender equality, it’s definitely something I started to pay more attention to in grad school, but it was still a philosophical, academic topic to me. It wasn’t till I began my professional life that I was smacked in the face with it. I see things, especially about how men negotiate (salaries, positions, etc) and things that men take for granted. Also, comparing my husband’s approach to his business to my own makes me realize how small I try to make myself sometimes and just assume that is ok.

  • Amber says:

    Everyone always says that we’ve got the best of both world’s with a boy and a girl. They also go way over the top wit their excitement for us because it’s a boy and the girl and aren’t we “just so happy!” Really, after 14 years of trying, don’t ya think I would be ecstatic with ANY combination? Yes, I am thrilled to have one of each, but I fully believe I would have been equally thrilled whether we were having two boys or two girls. I think it would be hard knowing one and not the other though. And I wouldn’t have minded waiting until delivery to know, but my husband does absolutely wanted to know! Either way, I think it’s a pretty dang special experience.

  • K says:

    Okay, I’ll tell you a secret…T found out at out anatomy scan the genders of ours. I wanted to wait a little longer, so I told him to think of a way to tell me that was cute and that I’d tell him when I wanted to know. I held out until June which was about 25 weeks. We told everyone we didn’t know. I liked having that secret to enjoy and I avoided the pink/blue gender bias.

  • Aramis says:

    I’m way too much of a nosey parker not to want to know the sex, if I could. I don’t know how anyone holds out, not to mention when you’ve got two cooking in there!

  • Amanda says:

    I kind of wanted to keep it a secret, but the husband wanted to know, and with him knowing, I also wanted in.
    We just found out last Thursday, and we are so happy to know, definitely makes me feel more connected in a special way, maybe, because it made us finally be able to decide on a name, and that makes it all so much more real (we really liked a bunch of girls’ names, but were having trouble with boys’ names that convinced us 100%).
    As for the gendered baby stuff… I want to avoid it as well, but boy is it hard. Like you I think all colors are neutral, and I love color (green! red! ) but I have found that there really is a lot of pink cutesy or blue + trucks around. And the neutral stuff you find is beige and cream hmmm. You can find stuff by looking around (and I think in the US you have more choice…. I hear great things about Carters and even about Target), and anyhow, this weekend we finally succumbed and got two onesies in red with a lionand turquoise with monsters for our baby girl. They were in the boys’ section… but who cares. I am a sucker for dresses though, so it is nice to know we can choose a few of those too. (But if you decide to keep it a secret, an option is to get only stuff for the first 3 months, and then get the cute dresses (or other specific stuff) later. Anyhow, long ramble. And yes, complicated stuff. Like Steph Mignon said above:

    “I try not attach too much importance to pink, or blue, or trucks, or tiaras, but it’s hard. I don’t want my little girl to be trapped by those constructs, but yet I don’t want her to fear and loathe them either simply because she thinks she should.”

    (I mean, honestly, I do like pink, I just don’t want it to be the absolute one and only color).

  • jesselyn6585 says:

    In a perfect world, I would have 3 Or 4 boys, and then the last one a girl. I’ll start holding my breath now haha.

    I was never sure if I wanted to find out the gender or not until I heard an interview with a father. he said that finding out gave him 2 special days to celebrate. He had a pink party with all of his male colleagues the day he found out he was having a girl. And then he got to celbrate again when she was finally born. I will definitely find out.

  • sarah says:

    I LOVE that poetry piece. Gave me some good Monday thought fodder. Thanks for sharing!

  • julieb79 says:

    I am too much of a planner and need to visualize, so I had to find out. As stated by others, it really has helped me connect with the little guy in utero. We’ve told people but I like the idea of pretending you don’t know to have a fun secret between you and AE. I couldn’t have sat on it because I was too excited but there you go. I totally hear you on being disappointed for not getting gender combos #2 and #3. The night before our anatomy scan I couldn’t sleep as I realized I was going to be upset either way, mourning for whatever gender it wasn’t. And I was very briefly sad in the exam room when they said it was a boy, but then the excitement over imagining life with a little boy took over and I got over it. Now if we ever have a second and it’s a girl, she’ll have an awesome big brother to look out for her (and maybe I’ll be less neurotic than I know I’m going to be with our first kid, leading to a healthier mother-daughter relationship). And if we get another boy then I’ll be ready for him as well.

  • I would need to know. But if you can hold out… more power to you! Either way, the amount of pink/blue craziness is totally your call. You get to dictate all of that jazz because you’re the mama! Isn’t that the best?

  • Christa says:

    My b/g twins are 11 weeks old today. My husband found out their genders at an u/s around 18 weeks. He kept it a secret from everyone (including me). I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know – and his reasoning was I can always find out, but I can’t unknow…when we were in the delivery room it was the two best surprises ever!

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