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(Stuff.co.nz)   How would you respond if your eight year-old daughter said she wanted to grow a penis?   (stuff.co.nz) divider line 116
    More: Interesting, gender identity disorder, Tonka, gender reassignment  
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6798 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Mar 2014 at 6:24 AM (40 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



116 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-10 08:16:28 AM  
Eight-year-olds say goofy shiat all the time. Shrug it off and move on.
 
2014-03-10 08:16:48 AM  
"You like being popular with the boys?  Trust me, you'll be a lot more popular with the boys later if you don't have a penis."
 
2014-03-10 08:19:32 AM  
At some point maybe she should ask why her daughter wants a penis.  Maybe she wants to pee standing up.  Maybe she thinks it looks cool.  There are lots of answers besides "Because I'm an 8 year old transsexual".  When I was that age I wanted braces even though I had perfectly straight teeth because I thought they looked cool and the kids with braces got to miss school more often.  My brother wanted to be Godzilla so he'd cake mud on and let it dry to make scales, and he turned out to be pretty normal as an adult.  I don't disagree with her parenting style otherwise, but actually talk to her about these things instead of making a list of "Proof Ruby wants to be a boy."  I never said I wanted to grow a penis, but I did pretty much everything else on her list (except cutting my hair short although I would have if I could; long hair is a pain in the ass).  It had nothing to do with gender identity.  It was because to an 8 year old, it was just more fun.
 
2014-03-10 08:20:31 AM  
I'm glad everyone in the article isn't shutting the kid down. This often crops up while someone is young but doesn't usually get really strong until they hit puberty. Of course at age 8 she might have already hit puberty. That is a really bad time because it is when a lot of trans folks I've talked with started having serious problems as hormones made their bodies feel really alien to them.

A lot of trans kids never make it beyond puberty, they kill themselves because either they feel there is no one they can talk with or they find out the hard way that there is nobody they can safely talk with.

Glad this one isn't being shut down like that
 
2014-03-10 08:20:47 AM  
About the same as if my 8 year old son wanted to grow boobies.
 
2014-03-10 08:21:05 AM  
static2.stuff.co.nz
That's a rough looking eight years old.
 
2014-03-10 08:23:20 AM  
obviously the only thing to do is respect the decision of the 8 yr old and get surgery asap.
 
2014-03-10 08:24:02 AM  
"Well I've got a surprise for you, you're already getting one as soon as mom leaves for work."


/sorry
 
2014-03-10 08:24:02 AM  
"On more than one occasion, other parents have commented on my parenting. Once, a couple of mothers suggested I must have wanted a son because of the way encourage Ruby to dress and behave as she does. I was shocked. I ran away and got into my car shaking with anger. I'd never felt more judged. I've also never been more resolute about letting Ruby be herself."

Yeah, herself, sure.  I think I know why there is no mention of  "Ruby's" dad.  He stuck it in crazy a few too many times and got the fark out of dodge when shiat started hitting the fan.
 
2014-03-10 08:25:41 AM  
I'm not sure if I buy into these articles. I was a tomboy when I was a kid. Gender-wise, I always have identified more with being a boy. But my mother never made this huge drama out of it like this woman and similar parents.

I have a little trouble believing that a two or three year old refuses to wear either gender's clothing based solely on gender identity because they don't understand it yet. A three year old may not like to wear itchy frilly dresses but she can't tell the difference between a boy's polo shirt and a girl's.

A gender role switch also doesn't necessarily mean a desire to be the opposite sex. And an 8 year old asking to grow a penis might simply want to have all the freedoms she sees the boys enjoying.

Even at age six I could tell that most of the girls in my neighborhood were "house-kept".. I even used that phrase for them. They were like little china dolls, their mothers never let them go anywhere. Perhaps this girl has simply noticed her mother's sexist ideas of what is "for boys" and what is "for girls" and decided the boys get the better deal. I certainly did when I was that age.
 
2014-03-10 08:30:27 AM  
A penis in place of a taint would come in very handy for a girl.
 
2014-03-10 08:30:53 AM  

the_rhino: "At least she isn't dating a black guy"

 Maori

They live in NZ
 
2014-03-10 08:32:10 AM  

Muta: "You can make a penis grow by putting it in your mouth."


This is great advice for 8 year olds.
 
2014-03-10 08:34:52 AM  

Bareefer Obonghit: "Well I've got a surprise for you, you're already getting one as soon as mom leaves for work."


/sorry


Alrighty then.
 
2014-03-10 08:53:12 AM  

Big_Fat_Liar: "On more than one occasion, other parents have commented on my parenting. Once, a couple of mothers suggested I must have wanted a son because of the way encourage Ruby to dress and behave as she does. I was shocked. I ran away and got into my car shaking with anger. I'd never felt more judged. I've also never been more resolute about letting Ruby be herself."

Yeah, herself, sure.  I think I know why there is no mention of  "Ruby's" dad.  He stuck it in crazy a few too many times and got the fark out of dodge when shiat started hitting the fan.



My problem with her story is that her reaction was to go into a shaking fit of rage.  Yet she said that she herself did not understand her own child's preferences until the child eventually threw an epic tantrum.  A child she presumably lives with full time.  Yet other people are just supposed to understand implicitly and completely after a moment of casual observation from afar?  This attitude of hers is dangerous and stupid.  If that puts you into a fit of rage, then it is your problem and no one else's.  A little tolerance and reasonable understanding might be in order on your part.
 
2014-03-10 08:57:45 AM  

Mr_Fabulous: Eight-year-olds say goofy shiat all the time. Shrug it off and move on.


You're a great parent if you shrug off everything your kid says, instead of listening and talking about it. Builds lots of trust.

How hard is it to ask "why?" and go from there?
 
2014-03-10 08:58:01 AM  
Totally fake article.This is most likely a propaganda piece by the author because there's no way everyone involved would respond in such a rational manner. I mean c'mon...they didn't expel the girl for wearing inappropriate clothing and refusing to obey the rules? The principal was actually aware of gender identity issues and suggested a rational course of action? The mom actually listened and is being sane and reasonable about this? Bullpuckey.
 
2014-03-10 09:05:24 AM  
"That makes sense, your mother comes from a long line of passionate meat harvesters."
 
2014-03-10 09:12:58 AM  

MechaPyx: Totally fake article.This is most likely a propaganda piece by the author because there's no way everyone involved would respond in such a rational manner. I mean c'mon...they didn't expel the girl for wearing inappropriate clothing and refusing to obey the rules? The principal was actually aware of gender identity issues and suggested a rational course of action? The mom actually listened and is being sane and reasonable about this? Bullpuckey.


Yeah... I too find it shocking when the grownups in a story like this actually act like grownups.
 
2014-03-10 09:32:29 AM  

Cerebral Ballsy: I'm not sure if I buy into these articles. I was a tomboy when I was a kid. Gender-wise, I always have identified more with being a boy. But my mother never made this huge drama out of it like this woman and similar parents.

I have a little trouble believing that a two or three year old refuses to wear either gender's clothing based solely on gender identity because they don't understand it yet. A three year old may not like to wear itchy frilly dresses but she can't tell the difference between a boy's polo shirt and a girl's.

A gender role switch also doesn't necessarily mean a desire to be the opposite sex. And an 8 year old asking to grow a penis might simply want to have all the freedoms she sees the boys enjoying.

Even at age six I could tell that most of the girls in my neighborhood were "house-kept".. I even used that phrase for them. They were like little china dolls, their mothers never let them go anywhere. Perhaps this girl has simply noticed her mother's sexist ideas of what is "for boys" and what is "for girls" and decided the boys get the better deal. I certainly did when I was that age.



I hated being stuck with Barbie dolls at gift time, wanted to be Speed Racer, and thought of dresses as punishment.  Now, I feel sorry for my male kids, because they constantly get hassled for being boys.  Girls are still expected to sit nicely, play cooperatively, and boys get meds to act more like girls, instead of getting more PE and shop classes.
 
2014-03-10 09:34:59 AM  
I wonder where she got that idea from.  And can she describe any distinguishing identifying features.
 
2014-03-10 09:52:48 AM  

MechaPyx: Totally fake article.This is most likely a propaganda piece by the author because there's no way everyone involved would respond in such a rational manner. I mean c'mon...they didn't expel the girl for wearing inappropriate clothing and refusing to obey the rules? The principal was actually aware of gender identity issues and suggested a rational course of action? The mom actually listened and is being sane and reasonable about this? Bullpuckey.


The mother is talking about pumping her kid full of hormones to keep her daughter sexually undeveloped until such a time as she can undergo surgery.

I'm gonna say "reasonable" is a little generous.
 
2014-03-10 10:11:42 AM  
"Honey, you ain't got the balls to grow a penis!"
 
2014-03-10 10:25:06 AM  
I would think Cher has better things to do than to write articles for some hack website.
 
2014-03-10 10:38:24 AM  
Trans kid is trans. I hope he grows up loved and allowed to be himself. Whe he enters adulthood, hopefully he'll be a well adjusted, happy trans guy. Good for him and good for parent.

And all the others that stand on the sidelines and snipe? Go read, ask about trans issues and learn. Or go to hell for trying to make people unhappy to fit in with your narrow gender norms. Whichever works.
 
2014-03-10 10:44:43 AM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: My problem with her story is that her reaction was to go into a shaking fit of rage.


That was her reaction to being told by other parents that she was a bad mother:

On more than one occasion, other parents have commented on my parenting. Once, a couple of mothers suggested I must have wanted a son because of the way  I encourage Ruby to dress and behave as she does. I was shocked. I ran away and got into my car shaking with anger. I'd never felt more judged. I've also never been more resolute about letting Ruby be herself.

Her reaction to her daughter saying that she wanted a penis was rather more muted

I was driving along in the car recently when my daughter, Ruby*, asked if she could go to the doctor's and get a penis. She's eight. My breath caught in my throat, and without taking my eyes off the road, I said I'd have to Google it when I got home.
 
2014-03-10 11:09:09 AM  

Laobaojun: How would I respond?  I sure as hell wouldn't start attention-wh0ring on the internet about it.

/"Well honey, we can't do anything about it now.  How about playing softball this spring? "
//"Well honey, we could look at Corvettes, really big watches, and .44 magnum handguns.  That is usually pretty close."


She's not attention-whoring, she's talking about being supportive of her trans son, because a lot of parents  aren't, and will seriously hurt their children. That's a good thing. Admittedly, she could use a few remedial English classes, and a basic course in how to tell a story, but she's doing the right thing here, and good for her.

/Though I'm not sure I'd give a son the fake name of 'Ruby'...
 
2014-03-10 11:34:29 AM  
24.media.tumblr.com

/Wait, what?!?!
 
2014-03-10 11:41:38 AM  
Mr(s). Garrison unavailable for comment.
 
2014-03-10 11:42:04 AM  
"Eat your broccoli, it's good for helping to grow a penis."
 
2014-03-10 11:44:02 AM  

Cerebral Ballsy: I have a little trouble believing that a two or three year old refuses to wear either gender's clothing based solely on gender identity because they don't understand it yet. A three year old may not like to wear itchy frilly dresses but she can't tell the difference between a boy's polo shirt and a girl's.


Hi, you're wrong.

Children are wonderfully skilled in using these cues to form
expectations about other people and to develop personal standards for
behavior, and they learn to do this very quickly and often with little
direct training. By the age of 5, children develop an impressive
constellation of stereotypes about gender (often amusing and
incorrect) that they apply to themselves and others...

... These studies suggest that by the time children
can talk, they have in place perceptual categories that distinguish
''male'' from ''female'' (for a review, see Martin et al., 2002).
 
2014-03-10 11:56:59 AM  

Spuddy345: Trans kid is trans. I hope he grows up loved and allowed to be himself. Whe he enters adulthood, hopefully he'll be a well adjusted, happy trans guy. Good for him and good for parent.

And all the others that stand on the sidelines and snipe? Go read, ask about trans issues and learn. Or go to hell for trying to make people unhappy to fit in with your narrow gender norms. Whichever works.


It's not that cut and dried. There's a possibility of harm doing nothing, and doing something. It's possible that teenhood and puberty will alleviate some underlying problem that she's fixated on being a boy to solve - freedom and masculine interests most likely, which aren't proscribed for women anymore, or possibly prepubescent lesbian attraction. Or it might make the pressure to be a man that much worse.

This is for specialists to determine, not parents and certainly not Farkers (especially the lazy ones who simply responded to the headline). There are psych tests that can help expose the reasoning behind the desire, and brain scans & DNA tests can sometimes point to genetic abnormalities where someone legitimately should have been the other sex all along anyway.
 
2014-03-10 12:07:55 PM  

mike_d85: MechaPyx: Totally fake article.This is most likely a propaganda piece by the author because there's no way everyone involved would respond in such a rational manner. I mean c'mon...they didn't expel the girl for wearing inappropriate clothing and refusing to obey the rules? The principal was actually aware of gender identity issues and suggested a rational course of action? The mom actually listened and is being sane and reasonable about this? Bullpuckey.

The mother is talking about pumping her kid full of hormones to keep her daughter sexually undeveloped until such a time as she can undergo surgery.

I'm gonna say "reasonable" is a little generous.


What's wrong with delaying puberty until such time as the kid can figure out what they really want?
 Delaying things for a couple years isn't going to cause any lasting harm however if this kid does decide to go through with it and they've been subjected to estrogen it will make things a lot more complicated because now we're talking double mastectomy, etc. The consequences for male to female trans people are even harsher because you can't undo the changes to bone structure or vocal cords caused by testosterone(not to mention trying to get facial and body hair under control). Delaying things for a bit now until they can make a decision will potentially save them a LOT of hassle later on. If they decide not to go through with it then no harm, no foul.


This is something that is absolutely done with the best interests of the patient in mind.
 
2014-03-10 12:15:27 PM  

No Such Agency: Oh great, a TG thread on Fark, sure to be a haven of compassion, sensitivity, and reason...

[www.thehiredguns.com image 500x328]


It's almost refreshing to see that the hatred of trans people appears to apply equally to trans men as well as trans women.  Usually in these threads it's transwomen who are getting crapped all over.
 
2014-03-10 12:29:46 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: Umm, she's 8.  Kid's understanding of race, gender and the rest are still developing- 7 to 8 year olds are still working on understanding that these things are permanent.[1]  How about letting her dress the way she wants and skateboard with the boys if it makes her happy and not stressing about it too much.

If she's still feeling like that at 12-14, then you might need some more help.


On the contrary, self-identity as a boy or a girl usually sets in before age three.  If an 8-year-old is talking about being a boy and wanting to have a penis, it's extremely unlikely that need (or desire or delusion or whatever you call it) will ever stop or go away.  What might stop is her* talking about it, which might fool a lot of parents into thinking that it was a phase that had passed.

All other things being equal, waiting until the kid is 12 or 14 seems prudent, but quite apart from the psychological reasons why one should or should not wait, once puberty begins (which can start as early as 8), the body begins to feminize or masculinize, which is going to make everything a lot more difficult physically down the road if a decision IS made to switch later.

So while I certainly understand the reasons why one might want to wait, there are serious problems with waiting too long.  Again, I understand why you'd want to wait and I don't blame you for it: it's a difficult choice.  But "wait and see" is not as neutral or safe an option as one might think.

*Arguably one should use "he" instead of "she" but let's not worry about it right this instant.
 
2014-03-10 12:47:46 PM  

ciberido: No Such Agency: Oh great, a TG thread on Fark, sure to be a haven of compassion, sensitivity, and reason...

[www.thehiredguns.com image 500x328]

It's almost refreshing to see that the hatred of trans people appears to apply equally to trans men as well as trans women.  Usually in these threads it's transwomen who are getting crapped all over.


I tend to think most people feel bad for TG people, thinking they are whack jobs, drama queens, or people who like to get their funk on.  Or they think the transgendered are actually people who were miswired at birth.  I've never heard anyone express hate in real life or read it here.  Fark has some conspiracy theorists and people might think they tend to be a little loopy at times, but that doesn't mean anyone hates them.  I suppose a person living in their own alternate reality might see disagreement as hatred, but more likely they are using the hate allegation in place of any kind of actual argument.  And if you disagree with that, you're racist.
 
2014-03-10 01:09:26 PM  
MechaPyx: ...Delaying things for a bit now until they can make a decision will potentially save them a LOT of hassle later on. If they decide not to go through with it then no harm, no foul.


This is something that is absolutely done with the best interests of the patient in mind.


I'm not ignoring all the physiology you mentioned, just shortening things a bit.  While I recognize that physical changes from puberty would need to be un-done:

1 - I fail to recognize how stopping the development prevents it from happening ever. If the chromosomes are there, I would assume the body would pump out hormones to develop into a woman (widened pelvis, mammary development, etc) at some point.  At best, you would be drowning the body in hormones to overwhelm those naturally occurring hormones and I refuse to accept that that isn't going to have some kind of negative ramifications.  At the very least one extraordinarily unstable individual until the medically subscribed puberty is over.

2 - Socially, this is going to cause some hard-core damage.  The a-sexual kid who is trying to select gender may start off OK, but when they fail to physically develop (I assume growth is delayed as well) until a decision is made they are going to be outcast especially as boys start establishing dominance physically (i.e. sports competitions) and taking advantage of that testosterone pumping through them.

3 - I'm pretty sure some sort of sexual identity needs to be worked out in some way before a gender swap can be undertaken in a healthy way.  Even if it is a sense of self, a swap can change the gender you are attracted to.  i.e. a lesbian can become a homosexual man and a straight man become heterosexual woman.

4 - I still maintain that "gender identity" is a fixation that society has created itself.  If the plumbing is affecting much more than the position you urinate in and the point of contact you derive sexual pleasure from you're doing it wrong.  A woman wants to surf and skateboard?  Awesome, it probably increases the odds of getting a sponsorship.  A woman wants to have sex with women?  Awesome, high fives for the vajayjay.  A woman wants to call herself "Earl", wear a suit, cut her hair short, and grab secretary's asses.  Knock yourself on out.
 
2014-03-10 01:18:19 PM  
How old is the mom in that picture? Maybe the kid counts to potato because mom was old when she conceived.
 
2014-03-10 01:30:52 PM  

PsiChick: Laoblook at ojun: How would I respond?  I sure as hell wouldn't start attention-wh0ring on the internet about it.

/"Well honey, we can't do anything about it now.  How about playing softball this spring? "
//"Well honey, we could look at Corvettes, really big watches, and .44 magnum handguns.  That is usually pretty close."

She's not attention-whoring, she's talking about being supportive of her trans son, because a lot of parents  aren't, and will seriously hurt their children. That's a good thing. Admittedly, she could use a few remedial English classes, and a basic course in how to tell a story, but she's doing the right thing here, and good for her.

/Though I'm not sure I'd give a son the fake name of 'Ruby'...


Taking an eight year old's exploration of the world and testing of limits this seriously, then publishing this blather?  No, I will stick with attention whore, thank you very much.

Seriously,  this is Jenny McCarthy level "look at me!"  If an eight year old is this determined to act like a boy, the girl is doing things that mommy rewards one way or another, basically responding to parental cues.  She is an 11 on the "special little snowflake" dial.  Or she might just be a misunderstood Indigo child.

Now if there is a genetic test that shows that she is an XXY or some other unusual genotype, that is a whole different issue, and in a few years the child will need to have her special concerns explained to her while her mother is sedated.
 
2014-03-10 01:32:20 PM  
I suppose enroll her in a Jr Rugby League?
 
2014-03-10 01:35:22 PM  
Local porn shop should have a wide selection. Just need to ask her if she wants white or black.
 
2014-03-10 01:44:24 PM  

ciberido: No Such Agency: Oh great, a TG thread on Fark, sure to be a haven of compassion, sensitivity, and reason...

[www.thehiredguns.com image 500x328]

It's almost refreshing to see that the hatred of trans people appears to apply equally to trans men as well as trans women.  Usually in these threads it's transwomen who are getting crapped all over.


Both can be very threatening to the weak-minded, I expect. Trans women = "traps" = omg I a DUDE!!11!! Trans men = your bro may not actually have a dick despite being masculine as all fark, therefore zomg confusion!!!!1!
 
2014-03-10 01:53:01 PM  

mike_d85: 4 - I still maintain that "gender identity" is a fixation that society has created itself.


Yes, and? It's a lot easier to change one person than it is to change an entire society.
 
2014-03-10 01:58:19 PM  
Someone forgot to put the stem on the apple.

/pudding pops
 
2014-03-10 02:05:33 PM  

Laobaojun: PsiChick: Laoblook at ojun: How would I respond?  I sure as hell wouldn't start attention-wh0ring on the internet about it.

/"Well honey, we can't do anything about it now.  How about playing softball this spring? "
//"Well honey, we could look at Corvettes, really big watches, and .44 magnum handguns.  That is usually pretty close."

She's not attention-whoring, she's talking about being supportive of her trans son, because a lot of parents  aren't, and will seriously hurt their children. That's a good thing. Admittedly, she could use a few remedial English classes, and a basic course in how to tell a story, but she's doing the right thing here, and good for her.

/Though I'm not sure I'd give a son the fake name of 'Ruby'...

Taking an eight year old's exploration of the world and testing of limits this seriously, then publishing this blather?  No, I will stick with attention whore, thank you very much.

Seriously,  this is Jenny McCarthy level "look at me!"  If an eight year old is this determined to act like a boy, the girl is doing things that mommy rewards one way or another, basically responding to parental cues.  She is an 11 on the "special little snowflake" dial.  Or she might just be a misunderstood Indigo child.

Now if there is a genetic test that shows that she is an XXY or some other unusual genotype, that is a whole different issue, and in a few years the child will need to have her special concerns explained to her while her mother is sedated.


Actually, you'll notice the child is past middle school and was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, the official name for being trans. The story's just told in a shiatty point of view with no good time reference.
 
2014-03-10 02:10:45 PM  

PsiChick: Actually, you'll notice the child is past middle school


Respectfully, I believe you're misreading the article:
Now she's in primary school, Ruby wants to be called "Jack Black" (even though she's never laid eyes on the actor)...  At eight years of age, Ruby is still so young, and I have no idea what the next few years will bring.

Primary school is before middle school. He's 8, so around 2nd-3rd grade.
 
2014-03-10 02:18:14 PM  
does TFA say what she wanted to grow it on?
 
2014-03-10 02:24:08 PM  

Theaetetus: PsiChick: Actually, you'll notice the child is past middle school

Respectfully, I believe you're misreading the article:
Now she's in primary school, Ruby wants to be called "Jack Black" (even though she's never laid eyes on the actor)...  At eight years of age, Ruby is still so young, and I have no idea what the next few years will bring.

Primary school is before middle school. He's 8, so around 2nd-3rd grade.


...You're right, I did misread this. Thank you for pointing it out.
 
2014-03-10 03:48:58 PM  
My question is how does a child see that one gender is better then being another? And exactly what does feeling like a girl feel like? I am a female and I don't feel like wearing dresses or makeup? Is this more about wearing jeans and playing with trucks ? And why wasn't she taught that a girl can do that as well.
 
2014-03-10 04:16:03 PM  

Anthracite: My question is how does a child see that one gender is better then being another? And exactly what does feeling like a girl feel like? I am a female and I don't feel like wearing dresses or makeup? Is this more about wearing jeans and playing with trucks ? And why wasn't she taught that a girl can do that as well.


Exactly. I had no idea what `feeling like a boy` was like as a kid. At that age if you told me girls got ice cream every day I would have told you I was a girl dammit. I want my ice cream!

I would have worn dresses and said "I just feel like a girl (because girls get something boys don`t that I want)" to anybody that asked for as long as there was ice cream and I wanted it.

Hell I`d still wear a dress for free ice cream. It doesn`t mean anything.
 
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