WGST 1F90 Chapter Notes - Chapter Critical Terrain Readings, pages 173-180: Nail Polish, Nonconformist, Femininity
DepartmentWomen's and Gender Studies
Course CodeWGST 1F90
ChapterCritical Terrain Readings, pages 173-180
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Week Seven Reading
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“No Way My Boys Are Going to Be Like That!”
Parents’ Responses to Children’s Gender Nonconformity
Emily W. Kane
Parents begin gendering often before birth or while awaiting adoption.
Many parents make efforts to expand normative conceptions of gender.
More conscious attention with sons.
“Heterosexual fathers play a particularly central role in accomplishing their sons’ mascu-
linity and, in the process, reinforce their own as well.”
Responses to Gender Nonconformity
Pattern evident in responses towards sons.
“Parents of young girls resist gender stereotypes for their daughters but that “time to re-
ally worry is early adolescence.””
Girls are given more gender leeway than boys in early years.
The “leeway” begins to tighten as girls approach adolescence and move into the Hetero-
sexualized gender system of teens and adults.
Domestic Skill, Nurturance, and Empathy
Parents accepted and often even celebrated their sons’ acquisition of domestic abilities
and an orientation toward nurturance and empathy.
Parents are increasingly coding kitchens and dolls as neutral rather than exclusively femi-
nine (Wood, Desmarais and Gugula 2002).
o Caution or lack of enthusiasm more evident among fathers.
Icons of Femininity
“”Notion of anti-femininity lies at the heart of contemporary and historical constructions
Evident among parents of very young children.
Negative responses to sons:
o Wearing pink or frilly clothing.
o Wearing skirts.
o Wearing dresses.
o Wearing tights.
o Playing dress up in any kind of feminine attire.
o Nail polish.
o (Page 176) Dance, especially ballet.
o Barbie Dolls.
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