How to Piss Off a Mom by Gender Stereotyping

Gender Stereotyping has to stop! Gender Stereotyping 
Stop Gender Stereotyping!  Up until this point I have handled myself fairly decently. I have withheld my anger, I have watched my language and I have tried hard not to offend anyone. HOWEVER, this being my blog and a place for me to share what ever, when ever and how ever I want, I cannot hold back any longer.

Today my daughter G and I had an appointment with a new doctor. We were both going to be tested for allergies. G was excited to find out why she always has a “scratchy” throat and I wanted to see what was causing my breathing issues. I filled out the forms that they require you to do before you even get in the office and brought them with. As we are walking into the allergist building, G turns to me and says “They will probably think I’m a boy”. I told her they might and just more or less tried to change the subject so it isn’t on her sweet little mind.

I go to the front desk where I am greeted by two women. One was a little older than me and one was probably about 10+ years older than me. Not sure why that is relevant, but I’m sharing it. The woman looks down at the papers and asks for my drivers license and insurance card. I hand them over to her. While doing so, the older of the two says she wanted to weigh Gianna. Gianna stands up and proceeds to walk over to the woman. The woman looks at her and says, “Oh it’s a boy”, and I say, “No, SHE is a girl”. I am not sure what I was expecting next, perhaps an “I’m sorry”, but that isn’t what I received. Before I knew it, the woman behind the desk questioned her gender with an “Are you sure?”, am I WHAT??? “YES, I’m sure..she’s a girl. The older woman looks at G and said, “Nice hair cut, I like it”…as if that was going to erase everything that her and the other dumb ass just said to me with my daughter standing right next to me. And, as if that wasn’t enough, there was a little girl with her mom sitting right behind me and the little girls asks her mom, “is that a girl or boy”….and he mom shhh’d her.

At that point I was left standing there speechless. I froze. I had NO idea what to even say at that point. I was just standing there in a state of shock, paralyzed by their hurtful words. I didn’t want to make it more awkward for my daughter so I played it off as them just being stupid and with her already being seen, I didn’t want to walk out or bring more negative attention to G, so I sat there in silence. The doctor had and still has no idea what his staff said. It was something that I should have brought to his attention immediately, but I didn’t. In hindsight, I would have done things differently, but being caught in that moment, I really didn’t know what to do. I just wanted to protect my daughter from further embarrassment and I think I did that.

What bothers me most is that these two people & two of her teachers made gender assumptions based off of the looks of my daughter, even though they had her name and gender right there pretty much in front of them. Shame on that office staff for QUESTIONING me on her gender. I am really starting to feel my blood boil because it is starting to make her feel uncomfortable going out in public, going out to doctors offices, going out to the dentist, orthodontist, basically anywhere. And, it’s just because she has short hair and happens to wear a t-shirt with basketball shorts. If she had long hair and wore that, perhaps they’d think twice before calling her a him. If she wore a frilly dress with her short hair, perhaps they’d think twice before calling she a he. If she wore jewelry perhaps they wouldn’t mistaken her for a sir. If she put a flower in her hair, perhaps they’d think she was a girl. But why should she? Why is it that she has to prove herself to other people? Why is it that she just cannot be herself and why can’t others see what I see? Why are people so close minded? Why are people so mean? Why do people speak and then think? Why does this have to happen when ever we go out? Why can’t people just keep their mouth shut if they aren’t 110% sure who they are talking to or referring to? Why can’t she just wear what she wants without being questioned?

And, for the record, NO she does NOT want to be a boy…not now, not ever. She just wants to be COMFORTABLE!!!!
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9 thoughts on “How to Piss Off a Mom by Gender Stereotyping

  1. I am so sorry this happened to sweet Gianna. Not only did the staff have Gianna’s name, I’m sure they had her paperwork or records with her gender; usually the staff knows who is coming in the office. It was quite disgusting for the lady to question you! I am appalled by this “grownup” woman’s behavior, perhaps she needed her mother there to shhh her too.
    Big Hugs to you and Gianna!!

  2. People can be so dumb! But it doesn’t really matter what they think or say anyway. If your daughter wants to wear a basketball shirt and short hair, and you support her, that’s all that really matters her. Congrats for giving her the freedom to be herself! As long as she has your loving support, she will grow up with the confidence to accept and love herself.

    1. Yes!!! Thank you! I’ve always supported her and that’s why I think she’s developed such thick skin & doesn’t really care what other people think or say, but as a parent it annoys the crap out of me and I want to take away those comments for her….even though she doesn’t seem to be phased by them anymore.

  3. This makes me so sad. I understand where you are mad, but my heart hurts as if I were her.
    I agree… What happened to keeping your mouth shut? You don’t ask a woman if she is pregnant if you aren’t sure she is. You wouldn’t assume a bald person has cancer if you don’t know. It’s rude.
    I would send a letter to the office and I would address it to the doctors and nurses/front desk. I would tell them how hurtful it was and how you didn’t know how to reply at the time because of your shock. Let them know by verbally questioning you and G to your face that it made you uncomfortable. (I’m not sure I would be able to return to that office and look at their faces after an incident like that.) They should know to change their behavior for future patients.
    They could have looked at the chart. So stupid.
    I’m so sorry people are so inconsiderate.

    1. Sending a letter is a great idea. Sad part too is that I really liked the doctor, his office staff on the other hand not so much. What I’ve just now realized it isn’t the length of her hair that makes people question her gender, it’s the clothing. She had long hair, past her shoulders and cashiers and other would also call her a “he” and when I’d correct them, they were apologetic. Now if I can just get the clothing designers (see my other post, dear girls clothing designers) to stop making all shorts for girls “booty” shorts, and make some comfortable girls “sports” clothing, I bet the problems here wouldn’t be as great.

      Thanks again for your kind words, letter idea and support! We appreciate it!

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