Author Topic: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?  (Read 3336 times)

okits

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So our first child is a girl, our second is a boy.  DD's old snowsuit fits DS perfectly, but the pattern is aggressively pink and purple.  DS and his daycare classmates are so young (18-30 months) that I don't think they'll really notice or care.  I'd love for him to keep wearing it because we'd be getting a third winter out of a high-quality snowsuit (and in it he does kind of look like DD at that age - nostalgia!)  But DH is concerned the other parents will think we are cheap for dressing him in a girl's snowsuit (because the social standard is that it's okay for girls to wear boys clothes, but not okay for boys to wear girls clothes).

More experienced parents, how much judgment is there, really, when you dress your son in girls clothes?  I'd like to try to reassure DH on this issue (though in the end, if he still feels strongly about it, I'll cave and buy a boys snowsuit for DS.  "Face-punching", telling him to not give a F, or complaining about the expense are all not effective avenues, but if it's no big deal and I can convince him of that, I'd be excited to save ourselves the expense.)  If relevant, we live in a multicultural neighbourhood with a wide variety of income levels.

TIA!

englishteacheralex

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 01:21:56 AM »
Could you dye the snowsuit black?

I had a boy first and now have a girl, and I avoid dressing her in her brother's old clothes because I get bored with the awkward conversation that happens over and over when people think she's a boy.

But I also have quite a few hand-me-down hookups and have not had to buy her any clothes at all yet. And she's already almost a year old.
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shelivesthedream

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 03:05:28 AM »
Seriously, I think under two or three years old there is zero reason to worry. If anyone comments, just say "It was such a lovely snowsuit we just wanted to see it on one more cute baby! It reminds us of when our other children were his age." And then you will enter into a charming conversation about how they grow up so fast.

It's very very normal to dress young children in crazy stuff, either because it's what you have available or it's because it's the only thing they were willing to wear that day (hello all-in-yellow days of my childhood). If your son were older I might be concerned about the other children (but I'd still give it a go!) but the worst that's likely to happen is you get a bit of side-eye about having bought such a crazy pattern in the first place. Also, presumably it has the advantage that it makes him easy to spot in a crowd.

Why don't you suggest taking your son out in it a few times before you decide? You can always buy a 'boy' one later if you/your DH finds it is a problem, but you (both) may well realise that it's totally fine. Try it out and see how it goes.

human

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 03:41:41 AM »
Your question was about judgment, I would say there is probably a lot but now a days more like wtf? And eye rolling and maybe quiet without you in ear shot. Is it right no but if dh cares that much he will go out and buy one himself.

Villanelle

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 04:00:22 AM »
I don't have kids so I guess I'm not your target demographic, but when I see kids in crazy outfits, I generally just assume that the kid picked it out and the parent wasn't interested in a battle, and that's the end of it.

A friend has 3 yo twin boys.  One of them is pretty in to princesses, pink, and all sorts of more traditionally female choices.  The boys often have coordinating outfits, but one will wear a Toy Story Woody shirt, and the other a Cinderella shirt, for example.  Or Batman sunglasses and My Little Pony sunglasses.   I suppose maybe some people thought it odd, but most didn't seem to.  And this is when the kid was actually picking it out himself and was consistently choosing the more traditionally feminine motifs, colors, etc. 

If you or your DH are anything like me, it might help to have a prepared answer.  "Saving a few bucks before he's old enough to care" or "kids picking their own outfits; what are you going to do" or "we don't care about typical gender norms this early" or whatever. 

gaja

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2017, 04:50:35 AM »
Kids of that age don't care. But to interfering adults, I always replied with a bright smile and "oh, we don't color code our children".
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Anatidae V

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 07:36:41 AM »
Not snowsuits (because we don't have snow here), but I've been dressing my (only child) 6month old son in leggings from the girls section of Target because they're gorgeous colours. So far the other parents (of boy's and girl's) have only said he looks cute in it or enquired where I got it so that they can pick up the same for their son/daughter.

iowajes

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 08:00:40 AM »
Could you dye the snowsuit black?

I had a boy first and now have a girl, and I avoid dressing her in her brother's old clothes because I get bored with the awkward conversation that happens over and over when people think she's a boy.

But I also have quite a few hand-me-down hookups and have not had to buy her any clothes at all yet. And she's already almost a year old.

My daughter is still under a year and wearing mostly boy hand me downs. When people I'll never see again ask "his" name, we say George. It makes people feel bad when they misgender, so who cares.

I don't think I'd dress a boy who is too young to pick them himself in tutus it dresses, but a pink/purple snowsuit seems fine. I wouldn't see that as cheap, but totally reasonably. Kids wear them for such a short time.

However, the hand me down trade is strong in our area. A facebook sale group will likely have a snowsuit for free or $5.

sokoloff

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 08:45:02 AM »
We have a daughter (8) and son (6). He wears his hair quite long and she wears her hair short, so they often get called/inquired about as the wrong gender. He wears tights sometimes and wears a lot of her old clothes. She went through a phase of wanting "only boy's clothes" (which was also fine with us).

We've never cared and they've never seemed to care, either. Anyone not in our family who does care can cram it with walnuts.

You know that you don't need to care either (hence your question), but I agree that this isn't the hill upon which to die if DH is irrationally insistent.

ysette9

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2017, 01:20:45 PM »
Oh, who cares? Just be secure in your parenting decisions and laugh at anyone who cares enough to comment.

My oldest (3.5) thinks babies are babies. Meaning, when I ask her if itis a boy or a girl, she says no, not a boy or a girl, it is a baby! That seems to fit how genderless babies really are. :)
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kayvent

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2017, 03:10:03 PM »
A life lesson, albeit not useful in this circumstance, is to usually buy hats/snowsuits/jackets/shirts/etc in colours/designs that the culture finds gender neutral. I think we as a culture assign genders to too many things but we have to cope with the culture we are in.

As per your situations OP, I have to ask how long your winter is. Our winter begins in October and ends in March if we are lucky but April or May is not uncommon. If your Winter is only a few months or the snowsuit is expensive, I think you can easily put the son in the girly snowsuit. If someone asks why, you say you didn’t want to buy a new suit for xxx$ or buy one that they’d only wear for a few months. My daughter had an ugly green snowsuit. When people asked, I simply explained that it was free (hand-me-down) and we didn’t want to spend money when we had a perfectly good one that was merely ugly.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 03:14:35 PM by kayvent »

Chesleygirl

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2017, 06:22:55 PM »
I have boy/girl twins.  I sometimes have them share certain clothing. It's not in my budget to keep buying new clothes all the time.

If anyone commented on it in a negative way, I would tell them to mind their own business. They don't need to concern themselves with what my children wear.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 06:24:31 PM by Chesleygirl »

gooki

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2017, 01:48:16 AM »
Our five year old son happily wears his older sisters hand me down short shorts, tshirts. And will dress up in her dresses when at home.

He doesn't care, we don't care, society doesn't seem to care.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 12:53:57 AM by gooki »
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shelivesthedream

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2017, 02:34:12 AM »
Y'all, please bear in mind that the OP doesn't care either. Her DH cares. That's the problem. My suggestion was to suggest to the DH that they take the boy child out in the girl snowsuit two or three times and see how the DH feels before committing to a boy snowsuit. What suggestions do you have for the OP (who doesn't care) to talk to the DH (who does care)?

Villanelle

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2017, 03:05:51 AM »
Y'all, please bear in mind that the OP doesn't care either. Her DH cares. That's the problem. My suggestion was to suggest to the DH that they take the boy child out in the girl snowsuit two or three times and see how the DH feels before committing to a boy snowsuit. What suggestions do you have for the OP (who doesn't care) to talk to the DH (who does care)?

I suggested having a prepared script for him to use if that makes him more comfortable, and also just telling him that based on this thread, it seems many/most people won't care and plenty of others do this as well.  And perhaps just framing it as a question of what is more important--the family's values and finances, or the views of strangers?--might help in realize he's being silly.

Depending on the outlook of the couple, it may also be valuable to tell dad that starting now with getting comfortable with relaxed gender roles might be very useful for the dad, as society is moving in that direction and it can be a valuable lesson for the child (though it might still be a bit early, but maybe not) and good practice for the dad. 

iowajes

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2017, 03:15:43 AM »
Y'all, please bear in mind that the OP doesn't care either. Her DH cares. That's the problem. My suggestion was to suggest to the DH that they take the boy child out in the girl snowsuit two or three times and see how the DH feels before committing to a boy snowsuit. What suggestions do you have for the OP (who doesn't care) to talk to the DH (who does care)?

She also asked if other parents care about this. The resounding answer is no. That's evidence to present to her husband that it is fine to put him in the snowsuit.

Most parents, even regularly spendypants ones understand hand me downs for little kids.

marty998

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2017, 05:12:11 AM »
I'm going to side with the DH here. In 14 years time that boy is going to look at those Facebook photos of himself dressed in pink and say "Mum, what were you thinking???"

Y'all, please bear in mind that the OP doesn't care either. Her DH cares. That's the problem. My suggestion was to suggest to the DH that they take the boy child out in the girl snowsuit two or three times and see how the DH feels before committing to a boy snowsuit. The DH has already vocalised his feelings about this and you are all dismissing it as silly What suggestions do you have for the OP (who doesn't care) to talk to the DH (who does care)?

I suggested having a prepared script for him to use if that makes him more comfortable, and also just telling him that based on this thread, it seems many/most people won't care and plenty of others do this as well.  And perhaps just framing it as a question of what is more important--the family's values and finances, or the views of strangers?--might help in realize he's being silly The DH would like to implement his own views for his own family...Why is he being silly, but the views of strangers/society matter more?.

Depending on the outlook of the couple, it may also be valuable to tell dad that starting now with getting comfortable with relaxed gender roles might be very useful for the dad, as society is moving in that direction and it can be a valuable lesson for the child (though it might still be a bit early, but maybe not) and good practice for the dad. 

Look, I'm quite an open minded person, and I just know I'm going to trip over myself making this argument, but there's a difference between gender roles (equality/women working in traditionally male dominated fields and vice versa) and dressing your little man in girls clothing.

I highly doubt the OP would ask her hubby to go to work in a dress. So why is it perfectly ok to dress the boy in a girls' outfit because a mothers group(?) thinks it's cute? Ask the husbands' male friends and you'll get a totally different answer.

Sorry, but just giving a male perspective, amongst all the female posters here.
___

I'll leave the post here but I'll self moderate by saying I understand this is not really a big deal. I am not going to argue any further... as one above put it, this is not a hill I wish to die on.

If faced with this in future I would tend to go down the Kayvent route and just buy yellow :)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 05:18:23 AM by marty998 »

sokoloff

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2017, 05:23:08 AM »
I highly doubt the OP would ask her hubby to go to work in a dress. So why is it perfectly ok to dress the boy in a girls' outfit because a mothers group(?) thinks it's cute?
She probably also wouldn't ask him to go to work in a diaper or a onesy, yet those are perfectly OK for young humans.
Ask the husbands' male friends and you'll get a totally different answer.

Sorry, but just giving a male perspective, amongst all the female posters here.
FTR, I'm male and don't care either way. My DW was apparently worried about whether or not I'd care when the subject first came up of our DD wanting to dress like a boy sometimes or DS wanting to dress in some of his sister's old girly clothes (including dresses, tights, whatever). I didn't/don't.

iowajes

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2017, 07:28:40 AM »

I highly doubt the OP would ask her hubby to go to work in a dress. So why is it perfectly ok to dress the boy in a girls' outfit because a mothers group(?) thinks it's cute? Ask the husbands' male friends and you'll get a totally different answer.

Do you not see the difference in a dress and a snowsuit?   A snowsuit is an item of clothing both males and females wear. The issue is the pattern.
And the reasoning wasn't because they thought it was cute; it's because it was what they had on hand.

In 14 years time the Mom can say "I was thinking it's stupid to spend money on a new snowsuit, we saved for you to go to college instead"

And yes, my husband has worn a flowered pink winter hat to work when he couldn't find his and wore mine instead.  I wouldn't expect him to wear a dress, but I can't figure out why he would need to do that.

Because it's silly to buy something new when you have something perfectly good to use.

If she was asking if it is OK for her son to wear his sister's dresses to daycare; I'd say no until he picks them out himself. 

rockstache

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2017, 09:37:42 AM »
Our five year old son happily wears his older daughters hand me down short shorts, tshirts. And will dress up in her dresses when at home.


I'm confused by how your 5 year old son has an older daughter? :D

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2017, 05:17:46 PM »
A life lesson, albeit not useful in this circumstance, is to usually buy hats/snowsuits/jackets/shirts/etc in colours/designs that the culture finds gender neutral. I think we as a culture assign genders to too many things but we have to cope with the culture we are in.

Bingo.

I have older friends with a 16-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son who are both fans of a certain sport with expensive merchandise.

The parents buy polo shirts, etc, than can be passed down from daughter to son, rather than more female-oriented gear like strappy singlets.

gooki

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2017, 12:56:01 AM »
Our five year old son happily wears his older daughters hand me down short shorts, tshirts. And will dress up in her dresses when at home.


I'm confused by how your 5 year old son has an older daughter? :D

Fixed, thanks.

As for the culture thing, we teach our kids there are no boy or girl colours. People may have preferences, but you choose what you like.
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NeonPegasus

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2017, 08:43:56 AM »
So our first child is a girl, our second is a boy.  DD's old snowsuit fits DS perfectly, but the pattern is aggressively pink and purple.  DS and his daycare classmates are so young (18-30 months) that I don't think they'll really notice or care.  I'd love for him to keep wearing it because we'd be getting a third winter out of a high-quality snowsuit (and in it he does kind of look like DD at that age - nostalgia!)  But DH is concerned the other parents will think we are cheap for dressing him in a girl's snowsuit (because the social standard is that it's okay for girls to wear boys clothes, but not okay for boys to wear girls clothes).

More experienced parents, how much judgment is there, really, when you dress your son in girls clothes?  I'd like to try to reassure DH on this issue (though in the end, if he still feels strongly about it, I'll cave and buy a boys snowsuit for DS.  "Face-punching", telling him to not give a F, or complaining about the expense are all not effective avenues, but if it's no big deal and I can convince him of that, I'd be excited to save ourselves the expense.)  If relevant, we live in a multicultural neighbourhood with a wide variety of income levels.

TIA!

Your son's friends won't care. Your son's teachers will totally understand. Other parents will get it, too.

From your statement, your DH is worried about being perceived as cheap rather than his son being perceived as being a girl? I would correlate this to any other money conversation - i.e. do we buy a more expensive car because we're worried about others thinking we're cheap?

If your DH is digging in his heels, put the responsibility for resolving the situation on him. If he wants something different, let him bring your son to the store to get a new one or dye the existing one black or dark blue or go hunting on FB for someone who will trade, etc. If you don't care, why should you have to resolve the situation?  If he cares, he can do it. The fact that you're posting about this suggests that you're the default parent (see https://www.huffingtonpost.com/m-blazoned/the-default-parent_b_6031128.html) and he, therefore, is not and will not be interested in taking on the task of procuring a different snowsuit. If that's so, you will end up winning by attrition. Problem solved. ;)

tweezers

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2017, 09:48:42 AM »
Kids of that age don't care. But to interfering adults, I always replied with a bright smile and "oh, we don't color code our children".

This, exactly.  Color is for everyone.

marion10

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2017, 11:00:56 AM »
Two packets of navy blue rit dye will probably turn the snowsuit into a dark purple. I used a seam ripper to take off bows and other trim for my son and dyed a bunch of pink baby clothes. No sense in paying for anew snowsuit.

okits

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2017, 11:25:47 AM »
OP, here.  Thank you, everyone, for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

When we bought the pink and purple snowsuit, we were under a time crunch because we'd been caught unprepared by an early cold snap.  I remember looking at the racks of very-pink-and-flowery and very-blue-and-car-heavy snowsuits and being annoyed that there was no yellow option.  :)  Possibly we lack a variety of brands  in Canada, but in general, I find baby/kid clothing to fall very heavily into the glitter-and-pink-hearts or dinosaurs-and-construction-equipment pattern camps, with no in between. 

In our part of Canada (and depending on how robust you are!), you might be wearing your winter coat starting in October, through to early May. 

This has been an odd episode, in general.  DS has been wearing the pink and purple snowsuit jacket for almost two weeks, already.  DH has dressed him in it a dozen times without comment.  He dresses him in pink and frilly hand-me-downs at home (whatever is handy and clean!), ignores his parents' regular has hints that DS needs a haircut (they never did this with DD), and really liked the name we decided on (which is much more often used for a girl).  The frugality aspect is odd, too.  DH does plenty of stuff for practicality and frugality that is counter to the norms around him.  Strange that this mattered so much to him.

I am definitely the default parent and DH acknowledged that his request was additional work for me.  However, I'm at home, job-searching (both kids in daycare), and definitely not spending 40 30 20 hours every week on that, so it's fair that I'm doing more household and parenting work. The joys of having a stache.  :)

In the end, I asked a friend in my parenting community if she still had her son's old snowsuit, and she did (and it fits).  I'm going to insist on paying for it, because she would have otherwise sold it (and I'll try to sell it when we're done using it, so this will be mostly cost-neutral).  I had bought a snowsuit for DS on clearance in the spring, but he didn't grow nearly as much as I predicted over the summer.

I never even thought to dye it but it's a great suggestion!  I'll keep that in mind for DD's old clothes, going forward.

Thanks, everyone!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2017, 11:35:37 AM »
Congrats! Sometimes my husband gets hung up on stuff that's weird and seems random to me, and sometimes he's all over stuff that I thought he'd turn up nose up at. People gonna people.

relena

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2017, 10:31:33 PM »
Last month my 4 yr son wanted pink shoes (he picked pink converses) so I bought them for him for about $12 new. He wore them to school and told me this kid said pink is a girls color. My son said that his teacher had to talk to the kid. I am pretty sure that kind of attitude came from his parents.

FireLane

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2017, 05:02:29 AM »
If this comes up again, I'd tell your spouse, "Oh, did you know that pink was the boys' color and blue was the girls' color until the 1940s? These rules are so arbitrary, I just don't see the point in following them!"

That's what I'm planning to say if anyone thinks we're not dressing our son in sufficiently gendered clothing.

kayvent

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2017, 09:21:27 AM »
As a complete aside, children's clothing is bizarre. In my daughter's school district there is a dress code for the schools. Repeat, every school in a 100 kilometre diameter has this dress code. In the dress code, the one every kid in every school has to follow, there is a minimal length required for skirts, shorts, and kilts. Last spring I went shopping for shorts for my daughter to wear during soccer. I went to store after store after store after store and not one, not one, had even one "girl's" shorts that were appropriately long. Not one. Some of them wouldn't even cover a kid's buttocks fully. (My daughter is six!)

I wondered how so many retailers thought it would be a good idea to stock items that their clientele couldn't send their kids to school with. In the end, I got a pair of black "boy's" shorts for my child.

farmerj

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2017, 12:19:01 PM »

"Oh, did you know that pink was the boys' color and blue was the girls' color until the 1940s?"

Nope. This was the Hot Trivia Tidbit for a while, but pink=boy, blue=girl may never have been the case in the US.

Summary of Del Giudice's recent research here. There are some problems, but the problems may be mostly on the side of pink/blue parity (periodical data seems to be rather thin).

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2017/07/02/boys-wear-pink-revisited/#.Wg8y3GhSw2w


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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2017, 12:53:46 PM »
My "child" is only a 3 month old fetus at this point and this is already a topic of discussion in my extended household.

My mother is buying a bunch of used baby clothes, some more traditionally boy clothes and some more traditionally girl clothes.  Some of them I would consider more "gender neutral" ie a navy onesie with yellow and light red small tool pattern on it. In making these comments I've really thrown off my mom and my MIL, but hey it is a free (to me) onesie!! I'll take it!

And who knows, maybe in 15 years from now, clothing/style etc. will become even more gender neutral (which is the trend direction) so our kids wouldn't even bat an eye at being in the "wrong colour" baby clothes in photos.

marion10

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2017, 01:39:17 PM »
I am old enough to remember when people did not routinely know the sex of their unborn children and gender neutral (usually a mix of pastels) or yellow or green was the norm for infant clothes. The late sixties to mid eighties in the US were the free to be you and me era. There were not girl legos or boy and girl versions of most toys. There was a lot more gender neutral stuff. There was no such thing as a "girl" stroller or carseat.  People expected to use things from one baby to the next regardless. A colleague of mine who had his first girl after two boys sold the infant carseat and stroller and highchair because they needed "girl" patterns. Crazy to me.

Kitsunegari

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2017, 12:51:33 PM »
A colleague of mine who had his first girl after two boys sold the infant carseat and stroller and highchair because they needed "girl" patterns. Crazy to me.

That's so silly I hope the wast majority of people would also find it silly. You don't need to be mustachian to see how silly it is, right?

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2017, 01:09:28 PM »
I know that trying to add a gender to stuff like colour is ridiculous.  I hate the fact that children's toys are almost all split into pink plastic princess crap with sparkles for girls and red/blue trucks for boys.  At the same time, I remember how miserable my life was in elementary school when I didn't fit in.  At 3 years old, there's probably no judgement or issue from other children wearing 'girl' typical clothing.  At 6 or older, I'd be concerned that I might be setting my son up for problems that he could otherwise avoid.  Is that crazy, or have elementary schools and children totally changed in the last 30 years?

robartsd

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2017, 01:54:04 PM »
If this comes up again, I'd tell your spouse, "Oh, did you know that pink was the boys' color and blue was the girls' color until the 1940s? These rules are so arbitrary, I just don't see the point in following them!"

That's what I'm planning to say if anyone thinks we're not dressing our son in sufficiently gendered clothing.

From the linked article:
Quote
Manufacturers pushed the fad too after realizing affluent parents would buy a whole new set of baby products once they found out Junior was expecting a little sister.

Kitsunegari

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2017, 06:38:52 AM »
I remember how miserable my life was in elementary school when I didn't fit in.  At 3 years old, there's probably no judgement or issue from other children wearing 'girl' typical clothing.  At 6 or older, I'd be concerned that I might be setting my son up for problems that he could otherwise avoid.  Is that crazy, or have elementary schools and children totally changed in the last 30 years?

I think this has more to do with personality. In elementary school I didn't care about "fitting in" (I was fitting just well with my load of cousins, thank you very much), in middle school I was desperate for fitting in, in high school it was clear I wasn't going to fit anywhere anytime soon and it made me almost immune to peer pressure.
Also, children that feel safe and secure are rarely made fun of. They set the new standards. If the cool boy in the class comes to school with red nailpolish, red nailpolish is the new fad.
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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2017, 12:37:19 PM »
My son and daughter are the same age.  Until they were 3, they wore each others clothing.  After 3, it mattered where the zippers and snaps were for potty training, but even then, they wore each others shirts.  They didn't care.  It helped me b/c I could just throw stuff in a drawer and pick up what was on top.  Plus I bought maybe half as much clothing.

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2017, 01:22:58 PM »
The "boys" and "girls" clothing and toys is about the biggest scam I have found.  Aside from "women" and "men" razors/shaving cream etc.  This is a ploy to play on insecurities that society has created that men cannot be feminine and women should not be "butch".  It is a marking ploy that costs many dollars a year.  Why should me and my spouse use one shaving cream, if whatever company can sell two, and then they typically mark up the "woman's" 30% higher or more. 

They market it that there are more/different ingredients in each, but there is not.

I am very impressed with the responses on this forum.  I suspect the general public would be not as liberal with their responses.

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2017, 06:13:49 PM »
We use cloth diapers for our son. We got most of them used. Several of them are bright pink, and visible over the top of his pants at times. We don't care, he wears them just the same as anything else. I wouldn't go out of my way to get him more pink stuff, but if more fell into our laps we definitely wouldn't hesitate to use it.
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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2017, 06:23:55 PM »
I'm another person that opposes gendered consumer goods.

I live in a mostly mainstream city and my son LOVED pink and purple and glitter when he was young. He also loved dancing and performing. Did I hear a whole lot of judgy suburb mom comments? Oh hell yes. Including one mom telling her 3 year old son it was sick and wrong that he wanted fingernail polish like my kid's and watching him break down crying that he wanted "colow nails like my sistow".

My son also wore leggings as a toddler, because SO MUCH EASIER than dumb jeans!

When he started school we had a conversation about how Target tells most kids what to wear and their parents make them. If he chose to wear his favorite clothes some kids might have questions or might make comments. His response was along the lines of "Well that's ok. They don't have to like my clothes they only have to like their clothes." 

It was one of our first of many discussions about consumerism and how our culture is brainwashed by companies looking to make a buck.

His tastes slowly changed over the years and now he's a skinny jeans button up guy like most of his fellow college students. He still has an affinity for lively color: his girlfriend consulted him for color advice when prom shopping throughout high school, and he still looks damn fine in lavender :)

I'm glad you guys worked it out! I think this is something for a lot of families where you just have to gauge your personal views versus the stress brought on by dealing with others' views. For me and my son's dad the latter wasn't something that bothered us. For my best friend who received a very expensive purple snowsuit for her baby boy, her partner adamantly refused to let it touch their son even after much discussion, so it was passed on.

It's all about what works for you, like all parenting choices, really :)

kayvent

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2017, 09:08:50 PM »
Your story katscratch reminds me of a friend's daughter. Day before kindergarten, the friend asked her daughter what type of haircut she wanted. Daughter says she'd like a buzzcut. (She had beautiful, long blond hair). My friend said yes. Next day, she asks who daughter what she'd like to wear for the first day of school. Ugly, yellow rubber boots. Years later, she's now an intelligent university student and looks like a realistic Barbie (I mean this as a compliment). If the friend's daughter ever has a child, I'm sure she'd be equally open in letting them decide their style at a young age.

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2017, 02:13:20 AM »
I would mildly discourage a son from wearing skirts and makeup, on the basis that I would probably be the first line of defence between him and the world and therefore the one who would have to let him know that other people would give him a lot of stick for it, but if he understood and still wanted to then hey, it's just clothes. My husband was a very dapper dresser when I met him with a large collection of pink shirts and an ostentatious floppy haircut who would never say no to a bit of dressing up, but he has now managed to assert his masculinity sufficiently to get married and father a child. :)

I think you did it perfectly, katscratch.

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2017, 08:00:23 AM »
Day before kindergarten, the friend asked her daughter what type of haircut she wanted. Daughter says she'd like a buzzcut. (She had beautiful, long blond hair). My friend said yes. Next day, she asks who daughter what she'd like to wear for the first day of school. Ugly, yellow rubber boots. Years later, she's now an intelligent university student and looks like a realistic Barbie (I mean this as a compliment).

So what you're saying is, it's OK.  No matter what they want as a young kid, they'll fully assimilate and become a gender stereotype by the time they grow up?  :P

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2017, 10:40:41 AM »
Day before kindergarten, the friend asked her daughter what type of haircut she wanted. Daughter says she'd like a buzzcut. (She had beautiful, long blond hair). My friend said yes. Next day, she asks who daughter what she'd like to wear for the first day of school. Ugly, yellow rubber boots. Years later, she's now an intelligent university student and looks like a realistic Barbie (I mean this as a compliment).

So what you're saying is, it's OK.  No matter what they want as a young kid, they'll fully assimilate and become a gender stereotype by the time they grow up?  :P

Isn't that the whole goal of education, having them assimilated to society? As parents, our duty is to make sure they'll fit in the right box!
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robartsd

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2017, 11:27:26 AM »
Day before kindergarten, the friend asked her daughter what type of haircut she wanted. Daughter says she'd like a buzzcut. (She had beautiful, long blond hair). My friend said yes. Next day, she asks who daughter what she'd like to wear for the first day of school. Ugly, yellow rubber boots. Years later, she's now an intelligent university student and looks like a realistic Barbie (I mean this as a compliment).

So what you're saying is, it's OK.  No matter what they want as a young kid, they'll fully assimilate and become a gender stereotype by the time they grow up?  :P

I wonder if forcing young kids to assimilate increases the chances of rebellion later.

dycker1978

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2017, 12:39:59 PM »
Day before kindergarten, the friend asked her daughter what type of haircut she wanted. Daughter says she'd like a buzzcut. (She had beautiful, long blond hair). My friend said yes. Next day, she asks who daughter what she'd like to wear for the first day of school. Ugly, yellow rubber boots. Years later, she's now an intelligent university student and looks like a realistic Barbie (I mean this as a compliment).

So what you're saying is, it's OK.  No matter what they want as a young kid, they'll fully assimilate and become a gender stereotype by the time they grow up?  :P

I wonder if forcing young kids to assimilate increases the chances of rebellion later.

I cant answer that but it does lead gender diverse teens to a self harm rate that approaches 60% here in Saskatchewan.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2017, 01:19:41 PM »
Maybe someone will pity you and give you a bag of boys(and girls) clothes. Happens to us all the time.

kayvent

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2017, 10:31:00 AM »
Day before kindergarten, the friend asked her daughter what type of haircut she wanted. Daughter says she'd like a buzzcut. (She had beautiful, long blond hair). My friend said yes. Next day, she asks who daughter what she'd like to wear for the first day of school. Ugly, yellow rubber boots. Years later, she's now an intelligent university student and looks like a realistic Barbie (I mean this as a compliment).

So what you're saying is, it's OK.  No matter what they want as a young kid, they'll fully assimilate and become a gender stereotype by the time they grow up?  :P

My point, as I continued on, was that we read too much into and stress over such inconsequential matters. Kids have a fancy that will come out of nowhere and whether we allow them to indulge them or not is mostly irrelevant to the final outcome.

What was the reoccurring late 90's sitcom joke when a character revealed to their parents that they had same-sex attraction? The father screaming at the mother for letting the boy wear <insert something pink> fifteen years ago once? (The joke being the father is totally wrong about that small, one time event having life changing ripples.)

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Re: Boys wearing "girls" clothing - how much judgment is there, really?
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2017, 11:17:55 AM »
I had my kids (boy and girl) in the 1990s, and kept things as gender neutral as possible. Society got in the way.

From the start, I bought as much gender neutral clothing as possible, especially the expensive coats, snowsuits, etc. My daughter got her first "girl's coat" at 11.

When my daughter was a tiny baby, I dressed her in a blue, green and peach coverall. I got comments that I should not dress a girl in boy clothing. Peach???

At 3, my son's favorite sweater was a very soft one I knit for his sister. He wore it everywhere ... it was pale pink.

At 10, my son decided he wanted to grow his hair long. We talked about it, that many people would think he was a girl (he's small with a delicate face). He understood and didn't care. For 6 years he kept a count of how many people mistook him for a girl ... my favorite was when he was 15, a shopping mall clerk asked "How are you ladies today?" and he replied in a baritone voice "I'm not a lady." The store? The Art of Shaving, and we went there to see about getting him a straight razor. [No, they did not make a sale.]

My kids are grown now, and very secure in their gender identities. They do stick to gender-based clothing ... mostly.
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