Gender Fears


Gender Fears.


Today I find out if Baby A is a boy or a girl.

My life has never stood to be so drastically influenced by a single moment.  Boy or Girl.  This is it.

If it’s a boy, I will be excited about the dirt and football and bugs and mess.*  I can picture him getting super obsessed about something like cars or bugs or dinosaurs.  I hear that little boys love their mamas specially; my heart hurts thinking about it.  Our son will grow up learning from Mr. A what it means to be a man and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better teacher.  There are some truly great things about boys.

But, how do I make sure he is kind and good?  How will I know he won’t bully the gay kid at school to look cool in front of his friends?  What will I do to make sure he never takes advantage of a girl?  How do you make sure your kid doesn’t grow up to be a binge drinking meat hear misogynist?  Boys are kind of scary.

If it’s a girl, I will be stoked about the dresses and the tutus and the tea parties.  In my head we will be like Lorelai and Rory when she’s older, with a psychic connection and professional level banter.  I can hear my house being filled with girly giggling and sleepovers.  Most of all, I can see how she’ll love her Daddy and how he will be wrapped around her finger.  She will have a strong sense of self-worth because her Dad is going to show her just how much love and respect she deserves.  A little princess could be amazing.

But what about body image and raising a girl in this society that does everything it can to make women feel imperfect and less-than.  How will I make sure she’s feel comfortable in her own skin?  How can I guarantee that she won’t starve herself to achieve a wafer-thin frame that is just not in her genetic cards?  How do I make sure that she never feels the need to use her body to receive validation and love?

Excitement and anxiety?  Sounds like I’m a Mama already.

Bonus question: Do you think Baby A is a girl or a boy?!

*I have a Masters degree in the Sociology of Gender.  I am fully aware of the social construction of gender (Boy: sports and rough housing Vs. Girls: ballet and fairy tales), but let me tell you.. as my first baby is arriving and I know NOTHING about parenting I can’t help thinking in cliches.  Please keep the hate mail to a minimum. My daughter can LOVE sports and bugs and my son can LOVE babydolls and glitter.

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