We’ve been spending a lot of time looking at media, blogs and products that eschew the heteronormative pregnancy experience. Nothing irks me more than gender-specific binaries enforced from before birth:
The stupid woman in the baby store: “How can I know what to buy for the shower if I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl?!”
The gender-enforcing parent/relative who throws a princess party for baby girl or a sports themed party for baby boy (infamous in my office for causing a flurry of discussion about this c0-workers’ experience with a themed event).
The baby doesn’t care what gender it is. You do. They (family, friends, relatives, nosey strangers) do. It has a sex and a gender. But the stereotypes are learned. Lay it on. Or, lay off.
I teach a short story in my class: “X: A Famous Child’s Story” about a child raised without explicit gendering, mirrored by baby Silver, a real-life social experiment. The kids love it and really, it puts into perspective that so much of what we load onto children, that messes them up, are the unquestioned assumptions about what defines them and the pressures to conform that are learned from the adults around them.
Be yourself. But be like this.
I sorta love this line of maternity clothing that Allia found: Butch Baby & Co.
They focus on gender fluid clothing for expectant baby-carriers. While I’m looking forward to flowy tops and feminine apparel, because it’s what I like, I can definitely get behind any product or concept that encourages people to be themself, authentically.
Also check out the article on Autostraddle: