It’s a Boy! It’s a Girl! Who Cares?

3 Mar

© amandalyn, Flickr Creative Commons

“What? You’re not going to find out the baby’s sex? I couldn’t do it!”

That is the single most common response I get when people ask me what I’m having.

So let me clarify: It’s not that I don’t want to know. I don’t want others to know. At least not yet.

From the moment someone’s expecting, “It’s a Boy! It’s a Girl!” is the slogan du jour—on invites, balloons, cards, baby shower decorations, onesies, you name it.

The sexy topic of pregnancy is, well, sex (or gender to be more precise).

“I needed to find out for the nursery.” “My family just wouldn’t let me get away without not knowing.” “How else would I know what to register for?”  “I couldn’t get as attached without knowing the sex.”

Really? Does gender—or rather our stereotypes of gender—make that much difference in how we prepare? And how does that truly stack up against giving a fresh soul the freedom to be the infinitely unique human that he or she has the potential to be?

Don’t other parents consider that their daughters won’t like pink and princesses? That their son won’t like blue and sports? Isn’t it possible that, at some point, boys and girls feel they must like what their community, and particularly their parents, have shown them we obviously value in a boy or a girl?

So, yes, I did not find out. And there was absolutely nothing difficult about making that decision. I only wish that the world wasn’t so keen on making decisions about our kids before they’re even in it.

I know I’m in the minority on this. Feel free to disagree in the comments. I may be rather vocally opinionated on the issue (frankly, a rarity for me), but this blog is not a dictatorship. It’s a conversation, and I welcome your thoughts.

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3 Responses to “It’s a Boy! It’s a Girl! Who Cares?”

  1. Martha Fier March 3, 2014 at 6:20 am #

    Dear Angela,
    I totally agree with you! It’s such a thrill, a baby on the way, (A BABY) but add to that the unknown gender, and it’s even more exciting. Everything doesn’t need to be blue and pink, or black and white, for that matter. Green, brown, dark yellow, let’s change it up a little. I think of you often, and can’t wait for the news of your addition to your family.

    Lots of hugs,
    Martha

  2. Leslie March 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    We found out… and I’m happy we did. Personally, I liked knowing the gender so that I could buy dresses for the girls (not necessarily in pink) and start narrowing down our list of potential names… even with knowing the gender, it always took us until the day we left the hospital to decide on a name.

    However I agree with your dislike for the inundation of colors and gender stereotypes. With our first, even though we knew we were going to have a daughter, we initially bought gender neutral gear and tried to stay away from excessive amounts of pink…(sadly, though, I find that as she got older, we unintentionally started buying more and more pink.) Fast forward a handful of years and I now find myself correcting her when she refers to girl colors and boy colors. “…There are no such thing as girl colors and boy colors. Boys can like pink and girls can like blue…and if there was such a thing, which gender gets red and purple or green and orange?”

    Fun fact: I believe historically most babies, regardless of gender were dressed in white dresses. As color was slowly introduced, one approach was that boys should be dressed in pink (seen as the stronger of the colors) and girls in blue (the calmer of the colors).

  3. carey vineis March 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    I agree; we didn’t find out for all three pregnancies and I wouldn’t again (if another were to ever happen). It’a a beautiful time in your life, enjoy every moment.

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