Boy? Girl? Confusion

Christina - posted on 03/15/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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Ok so maybe it's just me and I've seen people do this before but since I've had my own child it seems more noticable to me.
Everytime I go to the store or in any public place with Mycah (boy) people look at him and say..."what a cute little girl" He's always dressed in noticably boy clothes with blue or green blankets and yet every time he's identified as a girl. And I just politely correct people and they say it's his eye lashes that cause the mistake. This happens probably about 3-5 times we go out.
Anyone else have this problem? It doesn't bother me really but I wonder how often this occurs to other people?

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It happened with both of my girls.  They didn't have a lot of hair, but I would always dress them in all pink with flowers and even headbands and people would still say what a handsome little boy you have.  I started just saying I know isn't he cute!  My poor little girls!!  My 2nd daughter was mistaken for a boy until she was almost 2 years old. 

Charmaine - posted on 03/16/2009

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That happens to me all the time and it can get annoying especially when you have them dressed in a pretty pink outfit. It's like 'hello! I'd have to be a pretty cruel mum to dress a boy in a this outfit!'. Believe it or not I actually had one Pakistani shop assistant flat out rudely tell me she looks like a boy which really annoyed me and I found quite racist because I know she was trying to say that all Caucasian babies who don't have much hair look like boys. I was very offended at that particular time. She looks nothing like a boy and was even wearing a pink outfit. I don't like to dress her in pink all the time and when I dress her in a nice pastel blue or green I can guarantee someone will walk passed and say what a cute little boy. Sometimes you wish people wouldn't say anything if they don't know, or at least think about what they are saying beforehand. I am not about to put her through the pain of piercing her ears just so people don't have to think about their comments. Most times I politely correct them but then there are other times when it can be offensive.

Bev - posted on 03/15/2009

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I get it all the time...with both my girls and my son. They were always mixed up. I was out the other day with my baby and she had a pink hat on with a pink blanket and the guy said cute little boy you have there. Come on...as if I would put my son in pink or my hubby would let me! Some people don't notice at all. As for the dress comment I totally agree with Erin. Run fast! LOL!!

Erin - posted on 03/15/2009

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Run, fast, run really really fast!

LOL that is a strange thing to say. Im all for dress up fun, but Im not about to dress "my pretty little boy" in dresses!

Linda - posted on 03/15/2009

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That used to happen to me with my first daughter! I had her ears pierced to "help" others figure out what she was LOL! Good luck.. You just have a good looking baby I guess :)

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Teressa - posted on 03/30/2009

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 Yes! What is that about?! My little girl has a pink toy flower strapped to her carseat, is dressed in some sort of feminine color, and STILL gets, "Aw, a little boy!" Its like, "Do you have eyes? Are you looking at the same baby I'm carrying?" Oy, its so strange.

Summer - posted on 03/29/2009

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Yes just the other day my daughter Gail was mistaken for a boy. She was dressed in pink and has earrings even. My husband gets mad at them. Which is one of the reasons he allowed me to get her ears pirced

Heather - posted on 03/24/2009

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This happens to me all the time!  My son (Holden) is constantly mistaken for a girl, and often, even after I correct people, they continue to use the 'she' pronoun.  I've been told it's his eyelashes too, and it boggles my mind when he's dressed head to toe in little boy clothes (both colour and style).  I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!

Natalie - posted on 03/24/2009

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This happened with my daughter. Dressed up all in pink at costco one day and a little old granny walks up to me and says " my what a cute boy you have". so i told her it was a girl!!! are people colour blind?? or just plain dumb, i ask. after Madison had her 3 month shot, my hubby and i took her to get her ears pierced. no confusion after that!

Lynne - posted on 03/24/2009

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I get this too - sometimes people say "oh what a cute baby - what's your name?" i think trying to find out what sex she is before saying anything.  I used to say "Hayden" but as it is a name for both sexes, I now say "HER name is Hayden".  Even my health visitor once called her a boy.  This was while she was naked being weighed.  When I pointed out that she was in fact a girl, I got told "well, HE has a boys name".  I said "HER name is Hayden and it is like Sam, Alex, Chris, Toni etc and alot of other names that can be for either sex".  The Health visitor still called her a boy after that, so I decided she was just being pathetic and didn't say another word to her. 



I do think in this day of ambiguous names and clothes that aren't obviously girly, it can easily happen. 

Tina - posted on 03/23/2009

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I get that all the time. My baby girl has high hairline and sort boyish hair and people mistake her for a boy even with her earings on :) But it doesn't bother me so much. I just make sure to dress her up in pretty dresses or rompers and put on headband or a nice girly hat whenever we go out. Thank goodness I am not alone in this dilemma!!! :)

Julie - posted on 03/20/2009

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This happens to me too, I dress my daughter in pink even and they mistake her for a boy!!  i always thought it was because people always assume boy first, guess I was wrong on that!  The other thing too is my daughter looks really cute in blue and I love blue, well, I got some comments and nasty looks when I corrected them and she was wearing blue!!!  needless to say I just stopped correcting them unless they ask her name and I haven't bought any more blue outfits unless they were obviously girl!!

KEALA - posted on 03/20/2009

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This has happened to me with both my boys. they have really light hair and had big eyes. My 2nd has long eyelashes too and i always had them in boys clothes but that happened all the time. eventually as they got bigger people would question and then after they hit 1 and grew longer hair it was easier to tell. but its really no big deal

Cindy - posted on 03/19/2009

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ok good.  As Long as nobody is offended. 



I take the blame for confusion, because my friend's and I are such Rebels.

Alycia - posted on 03/19/2009

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Yes I understand, I suppose I just don't entirely see it that way. Obviously not all cultures are like ours and ofcourse that affects their interpretations of what gender specifications are in N.A. versus many other places...I too have been guilty of thinking a gender and inquiring only to discover the opposite...like you said more or less because we've established such distinct forms of gender. I find it fascinating in all honesty! Much like Christina I have also found it to be people in general, I'm not trying to put down the town I live in but I came from a big city and live in a small town now and there's not much diversity here in culture so the "mistake" of gender has been made not by people of other ethnic or cultural backgrounds.



It's all just very interesting to me! But once again...I don't usually mind the mix up but I do find it more rude to make outloud comments before inquiring because ya just never do know these days!



Thanks though, I do completely get where you're coming from

Christina - posted on 03/19/2009

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I understand where you are coming from.  However,  in my experience it isn't just people from certain backgrounds.  It just tends to be everyone. lol It's all his dad's fault for giving him those eyelashes! lol

Cindy - posted on 03/19/2009

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ok. I will try to elaborate Alycia.  I blame my friends and I for constantly dressing our boys and girls in nongender specific clothes (white/yellow/greens. No dresses or no frilly things on the Girls)  Because in other cultures that I know/work/associate with little Boys have short Hair, girls have long hair, boys are dressed in blue, girls are in dresses, pink and frilly things.  I am not racist or being nasty, this is fact. 



MY Friends and I created the confusion by not sticking to the "rules"  Thanks to us rebels, when todays generation dress their kids normal, it is hard to tell now which babies are boys and which are girls.  You really don't know anymore. 



And the names we choose don't help.  Gone are the days of John and Mary, now we have Apple and COCO etc.  We are also a generation who is very easily insulted or even rude when minor errors are made.  My 36 year old Brother is constantly being invited out to girls only functions at his work place and being Paged on the intercom as ms Robin *******.  The Female spelling of ROBIN is ROBYN.  So I know the frustration with your son Gabriel.  My Son's name is Cameron, he has long eyelashes, he didn't get hair until he was 2.  If it wasn't for the toys he played with you'd swear he was a girl.  But now he's all boy.



IF we all read former comments carefully we see the errors are made from persons from mediterranean or middle eastern type cultures (ie Pakistani). 



I also know a large number of Chinese couples, they love color. I have witnessed their boys dressed in GIRLS coats.  Not just one couple, I'm talking 20 different families.  With a love of color how can we judge who is a girl now and who is a boy just by clothing, we can't.  I guess we could Tatoo the gender on their forheads, but that's just silly. 



Did I cloud the matter or clear it up?

Alycia - posted on 03/19/2009

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I sort of get what you're saying but I'm not entirely there yet?! Just wondering if you could elaborate further, I'm feeling the ambiguities of what you're saying but not the specifics.



I dress my son often times in "non gender specific " clothing, I understand how people have to guess most times because sometimes I'm in the same boat with babies...I think it's just about the difference or respectable difference between "guessing" and "inquiring"!



So just wondering if you coudl elaborate Cindy?! Thanks

Cindy - posted on 03/19/2009

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Wow for once I actually have some hard info you you guys.



In some cultures they SHAVE THE HEADS of their baby boys.  Hence the ONLY BOYS have short HAIR. And in those cultures - Genetically they have LOTS of hair at birth.  So it's pretty much a culturally honest mistake.



Now us wonderful North American's have a love of "non gender specific clothing."  I am guilty of dressing my son in WHITE.  I mean TOTALLY white clothing.  And then yellows and light greens, I found a very nice dark purple sleeper.  Do we see where I am going with this?yes? no?



So it's strange people like me that confuse other people becuase "I dress my boys in non gender clothes" that confuses other cultures and makes them think they have to "Guess" all the time.  I even have a friend who will not dress her Girl in Pink, or in dresses. 



If it wasn't for the long beautiful hair on this munchkin you would not know it's a girl.  This little girl can out play any little boy with little boy toys, then turn right around and have a tea party with her barbies.



So everybody who's child is accidentally misidentified even when wearing gender specific clothing can BLAME ME and my fun Friends.



We are sorry.



There feel better now?  Have a nice day everyone.

Shayna - posted on 03/19/2009

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I learned a looong time ago not to pay attention to what people say.    I wasn't born in US, so I have an accent and you wouldn't believe the things people have said and the questions they have asked over the years.  And of course, when you are pregnant, somehow your body becomes an open forum for discussions.   The only thing I don't let people do, is to stcik their heads into a stroller or try to touch my son.  But if they want to make fools of themselves by saying stupid things, who am I to stop them.



P.S.  LOVED that "SHE has a penis" comment.  So funny!!! Good for you.

Christie - posted on 03/18/2009

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Oh that happened to me ALL the time with my daughter. She was a baldy until she was 2yrs old, so that didn't help. She had pierced ears since she was 10wks old, would have a pink or flowery outfit on and we still got the "Look how cute he is". Sometimes we would correct them, sometimes we didn't even bother.

Alycia - posted on 03/16/2009

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I have come to realize that so many people honestly just don't care...I personally feel like there is a huge lack of respect in so many societies. Some people just don't care if what they say is hurtful to someone. I had a lady ask me if he was a girl once and i was polite because she was polite and then she apologized and explained that he had feminine eyes...which I can't deny the child has my exact eyes completely. So, when it's slightly offensive but in a polite way (that barely makes sense just how I see it) then I don't mind entirely.



That lady was quite rude Charmaine...I admire that you didn't you lose your cool! Some people...oh some people!!

Charmaine - posted on 03/16/2009

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I am like you Alycia, if someone asks before they make a comment I am fine but the Pakistani shop assistant was just rude. After saying what is my son's name I calmly corrected her and said that HER name was Katharina. It was her rude comment afterwards that really made me angry because she actually had the guts to then say "well she looks like a boy" and started to laugh. I thought that was so rude and my husband had to drag me out of the shopping center before I said something else. Some people should just think before they say anything at all.

Alycia - posted on 03/16/2009

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I am jealous that it doesn't bother you! It happens to me all the time and even my doctor forgets and calls Gabriel , Gabrielle all the time. Just yesterday I was at the store and these women behind us were saying "how cute she is" well I was kinda tired and cranky so I casually turned around and said "well she has a penis" and yeah I got the eyelash comment too. I try to be nice about it, but to me he looks like a boy. I am far less offended by people who ask just to make sure before they make a comment, I just can't stand when people assume the sex and they're wrong!

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I think it can have a lot to do with how much hair your baby has! This has happened a lot with my daughter, no matter how much pink she wears!  I do find it is mostly old men who calll her a boy and I think this is because they associate pants with boys and dresses with girls.  Also, people from other countries (with accents) which makes me think that maybe in other cultures the boys wear pink??

Christina - posted on 03/15/2009

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I agree.  I try not to guess.  Although it was kind of odd and wierd the other day someone said "oh well he's so cute you should just put him in dresses"



I didn't know how to respond to that!

Erin - posted on 03/15/2009

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All the time, lol

But you know, if we dressed them in PINK they would more than likely be mistaken for boys....

Thats why I never try to guess, I always say " what beautiful eyes" or "that is a cute hat" or "what a nice outfit".... leaves it open for the mom/ dad to reply...Yes he/she, blah blah blah... you know?

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