Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The reason it took me so long to accept the necessity of the first haircut rests on gender. (Note that "so long" is a relative idea. He's not even six months old yet. But he's a hairy little monkey.)

The color of his clothes aside, cutting his hair was the first step into the world of boy vs. girl, instead of just "child."

If he had been born a girl, we would've solved the problem with headbands and barrettes and colorful little pigtail bands.

Instead, he's nice and trim and, suddenly, boyish. I didn't realize it until it was gone -- for the first five months of his life, he was genderless in my eyes. I didn't really see a boy. I just saw my baby.

Now I'm thinking more about sociology than I have since my second year in college. There are a lot of "what ifs" in the raising of this baby -- this new, fresh person who has so much shaping and learning yet to do -- but mostly I'm wondering if a person could stay without gender association even into adulthood. The society that would allow this, that would not have differences in the treatment and expectations (or even recognition) of either gender, is probably impossible. But I am beginning to think that gender is wholly created, not inherent in any way, which has an endless number of implications that I may not be ready to delve into.

In related news, the Paycheck Fairness Act was just blocked in the Senate. I haven't yet found a reason why.

I can't erase gender, but I hope I can instill a sense of equality.

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