Santa Monica College The Futility of Gender Neutral Parenting Questions You will need to respond meaningfully to TWO of your classmates’ discussion posts a

Santa Monica College The Futility of Gender Neutral Parenting Questions You will need to respond meaningfully to TWO of your classmates’ discussion posts and those responses should be at least 200 words.

A meaningful response to a classmate would not simply agree or disagree. You should try to do one of the following:

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–ask a thought-provoking question

–propose an alternative way of looking at the same issue or piece of evidence

–mention another moment in the text that either supports or helps you to raise a difference perspective on an idea your classmate mentioned

Discussion #1

1. A specific gender and work issue I that I have decided to focus upon in Essay 1 is Does having a balanced/gender neutral upbringing help women “grow up to be as competitive for STEM jobs as their male counterparts, and for sons to possess strong social and communication skills.”? ( Soh, pg.3 I was very interested in the topic of gender in general, so all the articles were great. The issue is forced gender roles or traditional gender norms. Would raising children in a neutral environment help them develop their own sense of what they like, how and what they choose to pursue as a job, and if that will lead to a traditionally male dominant job? After reading “The Futility of Gender-Neutral Parenting”, by Debra W. Soh, I wanted to understand more about labels, gender, and the imbalance of gender roles in society as a whole. I wanted to know how we can better all these issues. “Offering kids the opportunity to pursue what they’d like, freed from societal expectations, is an undeniably positive thing — whether it has to do with toys, clothing, or their future aspirations.” (Soh, pg.1) After thinking about gender targeted toys, clothes, etc. today, it is harder to find the defining line in the fashion industry or in the media. The “line” is fading, but that is only from a small perspective. When you enter a department store the sections define the line in a harsher manner. How can we erase the line? How can we let go expectations and allow an individual to express themselves in the way they want to (as long as they are not hurting anyone or themselves, of course).

2. “Another piece of evidence comes from studying girls who were exposed to high levels of testosterone prenatally, in the case of a genetic condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, or CAH. Girls with CAH tend to be gender nonconforming, and will prefer toys that are typical to boys, even when their parents offer more praise for playing with female-typical ones. ” (Soh, pg. 2) This study may show vital signs of influence in a girls life. It may develop their gender preferences and sex differences in behavior. I do not like that we have to force anything on anyone. Just being exposed to a ore diverse environment may help the issue. Being exposed to many different things or environments may help.

3. What is the “line”? Can we loose labels all together? Why must we define ourselves?

Discussion #2

For this essay, I did a bit of brainstorming and I am deciding to write about gender and its role in low-income communities of color. I drew inspiration from the book The Hate U Give and from powerful women such as Maya Angelou and Assata Shakur. I actually decided to go down this route because I felt like the readings we did for Unit 1 did not do enough justice for women. I wanted to focus on the strength of being a women of color and what it takes to endure the difficulties of such. Specifically, I wanted to write about what gender is like for young teenagers growing up in low-income areas. I specifically wanted to address toxic masculinity and women taking on masculine roles for survival. I think there’s a lot to say about how masculinity and gender roles in low-income areas has differed from different socio-economic groups and how it can affect mental health and the ability to process and display emotions and feelings. In the book The Hate U Give, the main character learns to stand up as a strong young woman in her neighborhood and speaks out. Maya Angelou talks a lot about what it was like for her growing up and how displayed her emotions. In her writing, she talks about how she didn’t discuss her current situation as much until later on in life.

The article that got me thinking about this was Debra Soh’s article, “The futility of gender-neutral parenting.” I actually disagree with a lot of what Soh says about how gender neutrality isn’t as productive or successful as it seems. She makes it out to be as if it’s a part of some liberal agenda. She says, “I hear from many well-meaning parents who raised their children in gender- neutral homes and were surprised to find that they nevertheless gravitated toward stereotypical interests and toys.” I actually disagree with her. In many cultural aspects, raising children with gendered stereotypes is what leads to behaviors in toxic masculinity and other detrimental behavioral and mental health issues.

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