President Roosevelt…in a dress?

Speaking of gender….

Ah, an ode to the “gender obsession” that has only recently been exhibited in much of the world. I remember once getting into my parents’ old photo box. My dad got super flustered and embarrassed when I pulled out a picture of him as a baby living in Iran. There he was in the garden with my grandma, sporting long curly locks & a big poofy dress. Haha, I find it hilarious how deeply the photo seems to disturb him. It’s definitely not considered “normal” anymore to grow a male child’s hair out and dress them in dresses.

If the baby has a penis, we gender them “boy” and immediately immerse them in their social training about what it means to be a boy. I recall a particularly amusing episode of Rugrats which commented on this phenomenon. In the episode “Clan of the Duck“, Chuckie and Phil notice that Betty (feminist mama extraordinaire, incase you didn’t catch that when you were 7) wears pants. With a swift kick of radical baby logic, they decide that it’s not fair that boys aren’t allowed to wear dresses. So, they cross dress. The commentary thickens as Chuckie and Phil embark on an adventure wherein they encounter other babies who think that they are girls. Oh mayn. I love Rugrats.

Boy baby training is pretty straight forward. From day 1: blues, greens, possibly yellows. Trucks, cars, action figures, and sports. Short hair. Pants or shorts & shirts. No flowers, no rainbows, no hearts and unicorns, no pink, no purple, no long hair, and for the love of jaysus…..NO DRESSES!!!1!!

A little later, our behavioral training starts. Keep the crying to a minimum (it’s wimpy), be tough, be strong, be brave. Aggression more permissible (boys will be boys). Activities more likely to include sports, cars, hunting, competition. Activities less likely to include baking, sewing, crafts, and dainty things.

All because you have a penis.

For fellow youtubers, this contrast has been perfectly illustrated in the last 2 videos uploaded by the “ShayTards”. In their most recent upload, “Sontard” and Shay (dad) work to saw a Pinewood Derby Car for an all-male competition they are in at church (this is a annual thing mormons do). Preceeding it, “Princesstard” and “Babytard” have a tea party with Katielette (mom).

51 thoughts on “President Roosevelt…in a dress?

  1. I think the Doctor perfectly summarizes all our reactions to this subject. :P

    Awesome Roosevelt picture though. It’s nice to know that social mores change, and that maybe, just maybe, we can in fact change things for the better.

    As a trans woman, however, I do find the whole thing about boys not being allowed to be into “girls’ things” pretty unsettling.

  2. I have a penis. I wear a dress (Scottish). I can cook, sew, and hit a home run in baseball. I got 2nd place in the state Archery competition in my youth. My hair’s been down to my Jaw a few times, but it isn’t good for my dandruff. Dark Purple, its looks awesome in metallic paint.

  3. I love this! My sister always tells me that I’m a guy I should love watching sports and that I should know everything about cars.

    • Yeah, and I’ve head women trying to justify their not knowing anything about the inner workings of their own house (like plumbing or electric wiring, even ridiculously basic things like changing light bulbs) by saying that they’re women. *rage*

      • And expect men around them to do these things (even things which normally don’t require any training to operate or deal with), ’cause they’re men. Fuck that.

  4. “Trucks, cars, action figures”

    Oh, donchta diss trucks, cars and action figures! Vroom! Bang! But yes, sports can go and fuck themselves.

    Setting aside the rest of your list of peeves, long hair and dresses (especially of the campy frilly type FDR has on, and that tasteless hat — yuck!) should be out for everyone — they’re impractical (6-7-year-old — or younger — is typically a walking mess, and the fewer dangling and sticking bits it has on, the less dirt, spit and food splatters it catches).

      • I don’t know whether you are saying that people should be given a choice. I.e. no one should do it; they just can if they want to.

        Or if you mean that people should not play sports.

        If it is the first, then yes, I didn’t mean people should be forced into it. Just that encouragement for boys and girls to play sports should be the same. If it’s the second then I just think it is silly.

  5. That reminds me of a field trip I had once in high school. It was this cultural thing and we all dressed up in some traditional attire, but there weren’t enough costumes for the boys so I decided to put on a dress with the girls. It was a fun day.

    Anyway, I have discussed with people before about this sort of “how to raise/treat children” thing. I usually argue a bit of the opposite though, which is that you should raise girls more like they are boys.

    Or rather, just raise them like they are boys. (This is because I think that a lot of people seem to just assume their girls are going to marry off/be useless when… it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s only true because you failed them as a parent.)

    Minus the whole telling them that sewing, cooking, etc. is women’s work. Frankly, I think I am a bit of a manly man, but I still do all of these things for myself. I have guy friends who sometimes try to justify it by saying that they just don’t know how to do these things, which always makes me think less of them. Not being able to take care of yourself isn’t manly, it’s stupid. Requiring a mother to feed you is weak.

    And raising your children, boys or girls, to be dependant is bad parenting I think.

    But, whatever. The hell do I know? I’m pretty young and stupidz. These are just my thoughts. I don’t think I am in any position to tell people how to raise their children.
    My PhD is a mystery.

  6. One time, our kitchen sink was clogged and I asked my boyfriend to come help me fix it (drain cleaners weren’t working) but he was busy playing video games with his friends online and said he would get to it in a few hours. I wasn’t waiting, so I got under the sink and fixed it myself. I then flaunted it all night about breaking the gender stereotypes

  7. I was brought up a Christian, and when we get baptized as a baby, we all wear white dresses (people who watched Scrubs might recall something like that). Most baby outfits are also pretty gender neutral and have happy baby colors. This also ensures that when ‘the next one’ is not a boy/girl, you can still use the same stuff… =P

    I was raised alongside my older sister. Because of this, I didn’t mind playing with dolls. And my sister didn’t mind to play with me when I build a working windmill out of Legos (I am a proud Dutch). I’ve noticed that IF you give children freedom, they will explore their options and build up their own identity.

    When my mom died when I was 9 and my dad remarried my awesome stepmother, I got 2 new older brothers. I entered into a new world so to speak. I now had older brothers, who I could play rough with and do other fun stuff with that I couldn’t do with my sis. Not because we really couldn’t, but because we just didn’t.

    I’ve been always interested in child development, and what I’ve learned is that kids grow up pretty much on their own. They need a parent of course, but if you give children the chance to explore their options, they will tell you what they like. Before this more complex formation of the self, I don’t think exposing your kid to only dresses or only firetrucks, make a difference. As a trusty Shaytards viewer myself, I’ve seen this behavior in Sontard. He has been brought up as manly man, but he prefers to read and pays tons of attention to taking care of his 3 younger siblings. This is something he chose, and his parents let him be free in this. Same goes for Princesstard, she’s doing karate and doing all this crazy ‘manly’ stuff with her bro and dad, because she wants to. Sure they still make derby cars and have tea parties, but those things aren’t so tightly linked to gender for no reason at all, in general that’s what boys and girls like.

    The important thing, I think, I giving children the freedom to develop themselves. Giving them the freedom to explore playing with dolls ánd playing with Lego. Chances are they will like both (if you don’t tell them otherwise). When they turn going-to-school age, they will be influenced by so much more than solely you, that all you can do then, is stand behind your child. Making sure that they will always be supported at home, no matter what other people say or think.

      • =D Of course, all the time, with wooden shoes and everything! (those are in fact pretty awesome though…).

        OT: I do recall myself walking outside trying to make ‘perfume’ from blossoms I found… And I had a Dutch Hyacinth on water when growing up, that I had to take care of. It was really cool, because you could see all the roots grow and stuff…

    • I think you’ve made a good point – the best way is to expose them to everything and let them choose.

      I am a female with 3 older brothers. I played with lego and trucks because they were hand-me-downs. I even wore their old clothes. My mum is not a girly girl but somehow I still managed to figure out make-up and all that fun stuff
      Now I have many male friends and almost as many female friends. I love playing sports, computer games, hanging with guys and girls, spending too much money on make-up/skin care…

      I’m not really sure where I was going with that – but the point it is children can decide what they want when you give them options. You made a good point.

  8. I remember when I grew up I inheritated my older brothers dolls and acessories. I also inherited my brother’s clothes. In kindergarten the girls and the boys usually played the same games in the same way. It’s only been 10 years since then, but now most of the girls wear pink. When they enter elementary school they use pink backpacks with Disney themes. I remember in 5th grade I refused to wear my brothers clothes because I had been mistaken for a boy, but I still use inherited clothes while camping, sleeping or working outside.
    Things may be different regarding culture (I live in Norway) , but it was common to inherit things from older siblings and friends.

  9. I thought that generally boys usually pick up blue trucks and pink girls pick up dolls because that’s how their brains are evolved to play and they found monkeys do the same thing

  10. My mother and father are pretty flexible when it comes down to who my siblings and I want to be. Mom may pull the occasional “boys don’t cry” on my brother but it’s usually pretty neutral. My mother wanted to be an engineer when she graduated from college, but her father (who was a very good person) told her that he didn’t want her to go into the field because he thought it was more of a “man’s job”. Drrrrr….makes me want to flip a table -___-

    • I can relate. It always wants to make me headdesk when I speak to older people who I really like that have such retarded notions without even really realizing it. Usually it’s racism, or sexism, or something, and they literally don’t get it.

  11. So,
    You want parents not to encourage any type of behavior but let the child decide for themselves if they are male or female?
    Interesting notion. I do not believe in emotionally limiting anyone. My parents encouraged me in the activities that they enjoyed. Some I liked some I didn’t. I also picked up others. But the whole gender neutral thing is a more than a little ridiculous to me for a child of seven to ten. I would not tell them they could not do something because a boy/girl didn’t do those kind of things.
    I would however seriously question their ability to make what people call trans-gender decision before reaching a certain age. Children are too impressionable. I think the best a parent can do is share their experiences of what they liked as a child and encourage a child to explore.

    • I’m not saying kids should make their mind up about it, but they should have the chance to explore. Only in rare cases do children fully realize that they identify themselves as a boy or girl (when their sex says otherwise). And let’s not forget that more people than you’d think have ambiguous genitalia. This sometimes gives the parents the choice of how to raise their child (boy or girl wise). Which basically gives you a 50-50 shot of getting it dead wrong. Bringing your kid up in a more gender neutral way, prevents the child from having a hard time in the future, when he/she realizes what he/she truly identifies with.

      • @ Rubz. Fewer people than you think have ambiguous genitalia. Current research indicates that about 0.018 % of live births result in children whose chromosome identity do not match their genitalia or whose genitalia are unclassifiable as male or female. That’s 18 one thousandths of one percent. In case you’re also confused about numbers, this translates to 18 children with ambiguous genitalia for every 99,982 children with very clear genitalia. Pretty low.

        Sax, Leonard (2002). “How common is intersex? a response to Anne Fausto-Sterling.”. Journal of Sex Research 39 (3): 174–178.

  12. Agreed… I was thinking about that while babysitting the other day, the difference in the paint colors and toys.. quite strange, quite strange..

    • I agree. To an extent anyway. Since we’re being non-specific.

      Which is why I said what I said.

      Or in other words.

      Just raise your children to be adults. Regardless of gender the same things are going to be important.

      Hell, even sex education should be the same. Both boys and girls should learn to understand boys and girls (and as Laci rightly points out, everyone in between.)

      But again, just some of my thoughts.

  13. Something really enraging happened to me or, more precisely, in front of me the other day.

    On the other side of the street I was walking on at 8 pm, on my way home, this girl gave a high pitched scream. I look over and this man dressed in runner’s clothing was hurrying in front of her, trying to get away while she looked in shock. I looked closely at him, to memorize his face and clothes if I had to identify him later, because I thought he’s stolen his purse. I really should have shouted at him, but I wasn’t sure what had happened..

    The poor girl admitted that he threatened to cut her if she would scream and then put his hand up her skirt. What a freaking douche bag human being. I comforted her as best I could.

    Is it really worth it for them? Ruining everything for someone else like that just so they can what? Geezuz. The selfishness is baffling.

    • I always think of myself as the kind of person who would run after someone and kick someones ass (I’m capable…), but I’ve only been in a situation where something criminal happened in front of me… It was a clearly homeless guy, stealing a bread while buying (and paying for) a bag of candy. I mean, there’s the law, and then there’s what I think is moral… =P

      I think you did great by comforting her. I hope she dares to get the right help if she needs it. This world is a wicked place, and I doubt that will ever change =(

      • I always think of myself as the kind of person who would run after someone and kick someones ass ” no you look like a skinny dork.

    • Those situations can really suck. And what can make it even worse is how differently some people react. Some people don’t realize you’re trying to intervene in order to help them (they just think your another asshole). Some people get proud and don’t want your help. And so on.

      And sometimes it’s hard to tell if a crime is being committed or not. Am I about to break up a fight or are those two friends tickling each other? It’s a bit late to ask once I’ve already punched someone in the head.

      I’ve found that my most recent problem has been that women (and men, but less often) scream bloody murder for… well, anything. At least in this city.

      So, that includes bloody murder, but most of the time I hear a scream which says to me, “SOMEONES DYING-[dial police]-LOOK THE FOR SOURCE” and then I pop round the bend to find some friends shooting each other with silly string or water guns or very commonly they are just tickling each other.

      I’ve never said a thing, because I would rather be wrong than right when I think I am hearing someone in danger, but I wish they wouldn’t scream like that unless it was danger. I recall talking to a friend about it when I first started living in this city and he just said that “you get used to it and either ignore it or don’t notice it anymore”.

      I don’t like that at all. I don’t want to get into some stupid habit of ignoring other human beings because I live in an area with a high population density. Anyway, it’s complicated, but I don’t want to become some kind of bystander douche bag who ignores other human beings because he can’t survive being 5 minutes late to the pub.

  14. I’m a guy (the “name” tag references an old anonymizer password I used to use) who CAN clean (learned THAT in the Army…), sew, cook, fix cars, Lift Heavy Things, throw a ball, murder a batallion, et cetera … But I dislike fixing cars and sewing equally. The task (and/or the outfit) Is What It Is. Being unwilling to cope with “wrong” gender roles makes you Weaker. And Less.

    And I don’t care who you are, if you aspire to be Less, you need your head examined.

  15. As much as I love the Shaytards, they do promote gender roles a little too much. Shay is always talking about doing “manly” things with Sontard and he talks higher pitched with the girls and promotes girly things for them. Shay and Collette grew up as traditional mormons so I understand where it comes from.

  16. I love idea of gender-neutrality. Even from a young age, I didn’t like the pressures to play with cars, action figures, etc. I read, I was thoughtful, and I definitely cried. Forcing boys to be separated from girls through activities is wrong. “Be yourself” says I. Play house. Have tea parties. Hopscotch til your legs fall off!
    Be yourself,

  17. Doctor Who, Rugrats, and gender all in one post?

    Maybe if more people knew/understood that boys used to wear dresses and pink(with girls wearing blue), they’d be able to realized just how pointless all this gendering(is that a proper term?)is.

  18. I remember that training and found it boring. I always got into my mother’s clothes instead, played pretend, and spent time with other girls. It’s not easy being a transgendered, and I certainly agree we need to throw out the gender system and just let people be people.

  19. My friend really wanted to dress up as this male character from an anime she loves to watch, but my school gave us some pretty stupid guidelines for our Halloween costumes. One of them was, “Absolutely no cross dressing.” and I was like hold it what the hell what’s wrong with people being a character of the opposite sex for Halloween? I’m really disappointed in my school officials I really expected them to be more open minded. :(

  20. I think my mother did a very good job at inserting a very understanding and open belief on sexuality with me. Interestingly since I was raised Mormon. My dad would let me help me fix the truck, haul the firewood, and do the ‘guy things’ and my mom would have my brother help with baking, cleaning and many ‘female roles’. I felt I was raised fairly gender neutrally and I feel that it made figuring out my sexual identity fairly straight forward. I think there would be a lot less confusion if everyone was raised where there weren’t girl roles and boy roles within the family home (of course in my case community wise it was different for me but at home fairly neutral).

  21. I remember as a little kid, my dad would always get me these baby dolls. I had a carrier for one that I took absolutely everywhere.
    And now that I think of it, I hated baby dolls. I remember even then that as soon as I was alone and able to play as I liked, I’d throw the baby doll somewhere and start playing with my other toys. What I really liked to do was take my mom’s jewelry and use those as dolls to act out long complicated stories, which may or may not have included war and one or more times.
    But my dad encouraged me to play with the baby dolls. So I carried it around everywhere on my back and hated it, but figured then I would be ‘okay’. He got me fake/toy high heels, play make up, and encouraged anything feminine that I liked. When I was bad at arcade games as a kid, he told me that it was okay because I was a girl. So I followed his advice, and stopped liking them. The same thing came with my brother’s video games, which I adored. He told me things along the lines of, of course you can’t play well you’re a girl. So I resigned myself to simply watching my brother play for a lot of them. To be fair, he did encourage me to rock-climb and encouraged my attempts to climb up trees and on top of the house. But I always feel like that was because he wanted me to lose weight.
    My mom encouraged my love of reading, and, more often then not, took away toys my dad gave me because they annoyed her. She took away the fake high heels because I tripped in them. Took away the fake makeup because it looked garish and gross, and was just bad stuff. She gave me an easy bake oven because I asked, but also made my brother let me play his games and assured me that I was only bad because I was five years younger and had less practice.
    When I took an interest in chess, and was beaten in literally three moves the assumption I accepted from my dad was that it was okay, chess was a boy thing anyways. My mom laughed and said I sucked because my dad didn’t start me playing chess at four like he had my brother.
    My dad, and his side of the family, thought it was really weird that my sister was neither married nor pregnant at 20, and was going through college. They assumed that she was a lesbian, citing her intelligence and her interest in science along with the lack of babies/marriages.
    Why the fuck did I ever listen to those assholes? You know what, I’m gonna finally figure out how to play chess at least adequately.


    • thought it was really weird that my sister was neither married nor pregnant at 20″

      She is and she”ll end up a lonely with a dead womb.

  22. How shallow people are, the Atlantic Ocean would be 1 millimeter deep if it were as shallow as most people. It also shows how uninformed people are, all the books in libraries would feature only blank pages if they were as impoverished of information as people are. People don’t even know recent, modern history! JC Penney fired a woman for wearing pants to work in 1993. In the US, women struggled for literally six generations (120 years) to have the right to wear pants without being slandered as “cross-dressers.” Nothing freed women to wear pants until the World War 2 factory work put 18 million USA women into pants. Meantime, men all over the world wore skirts as men for 1,000s of years, see National Geographic Magazine, 1888 to current, the Greek army still has men in skirts, the 1988 Democrat Presidential contender Dukakis wore a skirt as a Greek boy, South Seas men wear skirts. Just which false genius decided that anything other than bras and athletic supporters are actually sex differences? Men are supposed to wear a male garment of differentiation from women—facial hair. The mental health movement is composed of absolute zero operator know nothings, their ravings about sex typed apparel is one of numerous proofs of that! Rome sent men in pants into exile in AD393 and pants are named for a 16th century Italian clown (Pantalone)—pants on men became so widespread due to riding horseback. How many of you men are using a horse for daily transportation today? Are women hermaphrodites that they can wear all styles without “cross-dressing?” See how foolish these “clinically normative mental health professionals” are? They would have tossed the wood onto the fire when Joan of Arc was burned alive in 1431AD for wearing pants (at that time, military horseback riding costume).

  23. “people just have to know the sex” Yes, developing a child to not be confused to what sex they’re is important for child development. I understand how it’s not for leftist psychos.

  24. People try to keep their sons away from “girly things” because it’s been drummed into their heads that anything like flowers and dolls might make the boy lean towards gay behaviour later in life, something our culture has been (wrongly) scared of for a long time. I am a girl, I have two older brothers and all through childhood was wrestling and climbing trees and taking the wagon down the hill at 50 MPH and getting into mud fights. I love cars and motorcycles and airsofting (not into sports though). My brothers know how to sew and cook, like chick flicks and have very good manners and both are as straight as can be. You have to raise your children with an open mind and get rid of all the “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” crap. And Charles, I agree with everything you’ve said. I’m studying Sociology, Archeology and Anthropology, so have naturally been immersed in history books for the past year or so.

  25. Actually the Pinewood Derby is a Boy Scouts thing not a Mormon thing…not that that’s any better lol but still!!!

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