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Non gender fear of faux pas

(51 Posts)
GlamM Sun 15-Sep-19 19:02:23

Evening GN

I wondered if anyone else has had the ‘ fear ‘ when congratulating new parents on the arrival of their little bundle of joy.

Despite rehearsing ‘ they’ I still put my bloody foot in it and said ‘ he ‘ it was not intentional but every time I got enthused about said littleone I messed up. I ended up slinking off mortified and dreading that I had deeply offended the parents.

Anyone else had a ‘ I wish the earth would swallow me up ‘ moment.

phoenix Sun 15-Sep-19 19:06:31

You could try " what a gorgeous baby, and the name is? "

Of course, certain names might not give you a clue!wink

MissAdventure Sun 15-Sep-19 19:07:43

Well, if its a boy I would say "he".
Are we not supposed to, now?

EllanVannin Sun 15-Sep-19 19:14:10

I do, regardless of what people say MissAdventure. Sounds better than " it ".

Nico97 Sun 15-Sep-19 19:20:03

"And what's this beautiful little bundle called?" usually does the trick smile

NanaandGrampy Sun 15-Sep-19 21:44:24

Why would you say ‘they’ for a baby?

It’s either a boy or a girl - it’s not old enough to make an alternative choice.

I’m sorry but it’s a load of tosh!

Drum1234 Sun 15-Sep-19 21:47:34

Tell the parents they have a boy whether they like it or not. Biology cannot be ignored.

GagaJo Sun 15-Sep-19 21:53:07

'Tell the parents' - hmmm, no more invitations coming following that.

Parents get to make choices for their children. Not grandparents / friends / strangers.

lemongrove Sun 15-Sep-19 21:54:29

Is this a spoof post?
A baby is either a girl or a boy.

GagaJo Sun 15-Sep-19 22:02:45

Actually, a fair proportion of humans do not fit into the male/female dichotomy. Somewhere between 1 & 10% of humans are not solely male or female.

paddyann Sun 15-Sep-19 22:34:15

I dont know anyone who would be offended by you saying "he or she".Just ask if they're being coy about it... no harm n asking what variety of little human they had delivered.That is exactly what my DIL's little brother said last week when he came to see our new baby .Now he has decided she;s His little human girl .He's 8

grannyticktock Sun 15-Sep-19 22:51:04

I think the problem for the OP was seeing friends with a new baby and not being able to spot whether it's a girl or a boy, so you don't know how to refer to the child or ask what its name is. Obviously if you already know, or if it's dressed in a way that makes it clear, there's no problem.

annodomini Sun 15-Sep-19 23:12:23

When DS2 was a baby in his big pram, umpteen people came up to me and asked, 'What's her name?' I thought he looked quite boyish, but evidently some people were convinced he was pretty enough to be a girl! I wasn't offended. I had a good laugh with them.

annodomini Sun 15-Sep-19 23:13:01

Whoops! that was DS1.

crazyH Sun 15-Sep-19 23:25:44

Now, now Anno, aren't you glad your sons are not on this thread 😂

janeainsworth Sun 15-Sep-19 23:33:37

Glam ‘they’ is a personal pronoun which is used in two situations.
When it’s used as the third person plural, it means you’re talking about more than one person.
When it’s used as the third person singular, it refers to someone who is transgender or non-binary in their gender orientation.

Clearly neither of these situations would apply to a new-born baby, unless of course it is now a ‘thing’ for parents to decree that their child is non-binary.

So it is perfectly socially acceptable in my opinion to ask whether the baby is a boy or a girl, and then you will know whether to refer to it as ‘he’ or ‘she’.
Hope that helps.

eazybee Mon 16-Sep-19 09:37:02

'They ' has recently been adopted by a small section of the community to refer to someone who is transgender or non-binary in their gender orientation. How official its adoption is I have no idea, and I hope it does not become common usage. Recently I listened to a woman talking on the radio about her daughter's child who is apparently transgender, but it was only at the end of the conversation that I realised she was not referring to twins as she used 'they' throughout.

This adoption of a word used for centuries to describe more than one person does not clarify the situation; another term needs to be invented, but one more pronounceable than the dreadful 'ms'.

sunseeker Mon 16-Sep-19 09:39:34

There is a couple locally who are raising their baby as gender neutral, to avoid gender bias and allow the child to choose it's own sex when it is old enough. The name of the child is such that it is impossible to guess - only close family have been told it's biological sex

I have no problem with how anyone wishes to identify themselves (there are now officially 6 genders) but I do wonder how other children will treat it when starting school. No matter how caring and understanding teachers are, children are very blunt and can be cruel. At what age will the parents consider it old enough to decide?

Bathsheba Mon 16-Sep-19 09:48:13

I really don't understand the OP at all. It reads as if referring to one particular baby: every time I got enthused about said littleone and Despite rehearsing ‘ they’ I still put my bloody foot in it and said ‘ he ‘.

So is this baby known to be a boy, but the parents are choosing to present him as gender neutral?

Bathsheba Mon 16-Sep-19 09:48:47

Which is bloody peculiar if you ask me.

annsixty Mon 16-Sep-19 09:54:26

This child is only likely to be confused.
If it is a normal healthy ,happy child with all the appropriate bits for it’s gender they should be very happy.
As they have forward thing ideas I assume they will not be locking the child out of the bedroom or the bathroom.
The child will identify with one or the other.Will they then say “ oh you are not like us you are can be whichever you like”
Well actually no it can’t because it is one or the other.
Poor child.

annsixty Mon 16-Sep-19 09:56:04

That was in regard to Sunseeker’s post.

sunseeker Mon 16-Sep-19 10:05:52

That is my thinking annsixty. Why not raise it (hate referring to a child as "it") as it's biological sex whilst not restricting it to boys toys or girls toys (as I think most parents do these days) and when it starts asking questions being open about different genders. I don't think very young children are aware of their gender.

As a child I was something of a tomboy, climbing trees etc. and I wonder whether today I would have been classed as possibly transgender.

Witzend Mon 16-Sep-19 10:06:26

Goodness, I'm glad I don't know anyone whose baby, despite clearly being one or the other, is 'gender-neutral'!
I think I'd probably be tempted to call him or her 'it'.

A case of carrying the 'woke' bit way too far, IMO, though having said that, I've never understood the mania for buying absolutely everything in pink (so often ghastly garish pink too) or blue. Even prams and pushchairs, FGS.

People often thought my dd1 when a young baby was a boy, since I often dressed her in navy or red babygros. I was never a 'pink' person even as a child, though having said that I do like Gdd in delicate pale pink - just not the garish, in-your-face variety.

Beckett Mon 16-Sep-19 10:18:13

I ask myself why the parents feel the need to broadcast the fact they are raising their child as gender neutral. Are they using the child to parade their own oh so liberal credentials?

I can't help thinking this child will become somewhat confused - what if the child's friends parents refer to their children as him or her, will it not wonder why it is not referred to in those terms.