Raising My Rainbow

February 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

The blog that I’ve been following is called, Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son. Being a nanny and adoring children, I am always interested on the different upbringing and influences that different gendered children have. This blog touches on the different sensitive subjects that mothers are faced with when children want to do something out of their gender norm.

http://raisingmyrainbow.com/

The blog is written by a mother of two boys with two completely different outlooks on life and different interests. She shares her daily struggles and challenges that she faces while raising her son, C.J. C.J. loves to dance, wear girl clothes and partake in nontraditional boy activities. The tone of the blog is very lighthearted and joyful. The bright color scheme and humorous dialog can bring a smile to anyone’s face. C.J.’s mother uses the blog as an outlet to express her feelings about different challenges faced with her son. Examples of a few are: birthday party themes, the girls dance class, clothing choices, Halloween costumes, Christmas lists, and faith struggles. She reaches out to others sharing her own experiences. She also provides other blogs and articles she finds that relate to this subject.

Another topic the mother shares about is their family and relatives. She shares the different struggles and topics that they must face with different families members. Some members in their family find it hard and confusing to deal with C.J. Others have flat-out said that it was wrong and they should not be supporting and encouraging him. It was great reading and finding new posts about an update of a family member’s acceptance of C.J.

I am constantly going back and forth on how a child’s gender is formed. Is it nature or nurture? I had a lot of influence over my younger brother, he adored me while growing up and we are still very close. But yet he plays and follows every sport out there and is definitely a manly guy. I’m sure this was somewhat influenced from my father and the direction they pushed him. I too was pushed towards sports, but eventually found my love for dance. I’m not the stereotypical girly girl but I do love my purples and pinks. Another example of this older sister, younger brother is the two little ones that I nanny for. I’ve watched them since Jackson was 3 months old. His sister’s toys have always been around him and he is always wanted to play with what she is playing with; Barbies, dolls, kitchenette, beauty shop. He is constantly around these items but now going on two years old, he is drawn to his trucks and tools. At times he has definitely picked a truck over a doll. Did he pick that truck from natural interest or from subliminal influence? I think this question will be an ongoing battle that never will truly be answered. Some way or another, a child is going to be influenced towards their gender.  But then situations like C.J.’s come about. This mother has two sons, which I’m assuming were raised pretty much the same. So why is one a stereotypical boy and the other interested in nontraditional activities? This is when I feel nature takes over. If both were in the same atmosphere, their natural instincts and interests would come out.

I really like this blog. It’s great hearing the whimsical stories of their lives and being able to learn from their experiences of facing gender in today’s society.

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§ 2 Responses to Raising My Rainbow

  • Thanks for the praise! Muah, C.J.’s Mom

    • I think its fantastic that CJ’s Mom has seen your review, Ashley. I wonder how she would answer your “nature/nurture” question. I taught pre-school for five years and have two sons of my own, so I have seen lots of children form their sense of gender. I see social construction, which some would call “nurture,” as the primary driving force. Each individual child is attracted to lots of different kinds of toys, clothing, mannerisms, and pretend identities. But at a very young age, sometimes younger than two, you see children start to learn their gender assignment. How the adults respond to and value (or devalue) the choices that a child makes can determine whether the child wishes to conform to their expected gender roles or not.

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