DE: Bernstein

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This reading makes me curious about how I will be as a father.

Will I allow my child to cross dress at a young age?

Will I choose to play catch if my child is a boy?

How will I interact about my daughter?

Why does Jackson refer to the deviance as "gender failure?"

I will be totally honest and answer any and all questions for my child, if it is through their own curiosity that they so discover things, I will ask them. I feel it is essential for child development.

1 Comment

I think a lot of people go through this process and make certain decisions about how they will raise their children, and then change their minds once they are actually raising their child.

I'm assuming you don't have any kids right now. I don't either. We are kind of operating in a separate world than those who have children in the sense that we don't have play dates, parent support groups, PTA, parent-teacher meetings, or shopping trips for children's toys and clothing. It is kind of hard to predict how we will respond to those pressures before we experience them. Society is set up to cater to those who rear their children in a certain way.

It is also difficult to predict how your children will respond to those influences. Anecdotes:
- In class, a book was passed around about a woman who set out to do gender-neutral parenting only to find her daughter wanted to be a girly-girl.
- I knew a couple that gave their son Daniel a doll, and he discarded it in favor of more manly pursuits such as building blocks and science-y books. They gave their daughter Bronwin some of the same toys as Daniel, but she wanted a doll.
- My brother and I played with barbies, stuffed animals, hair and makeup, violent computer games, and lego together.

Sometimes children internalize societal values despite gender-neutral parenting, or perhaps their preferences just happen to fit what society already accepts. This adds complexity to the idea of free agency vs choices made from social pressure.

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