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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 34
    More: Interesting, gender identity disorder, Tonka, gender reassignment  
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6852 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Mar 2014 at 6:24 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2014-03-10 07:34:37 AM  
9 votes:
While it's expected that so many penis jokes have taken over this thread,  this is a real thing.  I've known people who go through it, and it can be rough.  From the article I think the 8 year old's school principal deserves an award for being proactive and teaching the mother about gender identity issues instead of judging the child or the parent in this case.

Assuming this whole article wasn't just a well written keyword article farming for a specific demographic or hoping to go viral on facebook.
2014-03-10 05:41:43 AM  
6 votes:
Well honey, it's impossible now, but other animals can do it. Here's a book on them. Here's another book on molecular biology. And here's some periodicals and a lab coat.

Also your father wants regeneration.
2014-03-10 07:58:26 AM  
5 votes:
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

[1] My then 7-year old once happily told me he didn't have to worry about the n-word because he wasn't black.  When I tried to explain that yes, he was half black he told me he was brown and that I was black since I was wearing black clothes.
2014-03-10 08:25:41 AM  
4 votes:
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 08:19:32 AM  
4 votes:
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 07:37:24 AM  
4 votes:
I think a lot of little girls say that they want a penis. I'm sorry, but I don't see how taking it seriously at age 8 can be anything but detrimental.
2014-03-10 07:20:21 AM  
4 votes:
Oh great, a TG thread on Fark, sure to be a haven of compassion, sensitivity, and reason...

www.thehiredguns.com
2014-03-10 06:54:06 AM  
4 votes:
For starters, I wouldn't publish details about the situation for all the world to see.
2014-03-10 05:21:49 AM  
4 votes:
"If you keep yourself clean and healthy, you can have all the penises you want when you get bigger."
2014-03-10 08:20:31 AM  
3 votes:
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 12:29:46 PM  
2 votes:

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 10:38:24 AM  
2 votes:
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 08:58:01 AM  
2 votes:
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 07:09:21 AM  
2 votes:
photos.geni.com

"grow a penis" is an anagram for "Spiro Agnew"
2014-03-10 08:41:34 PM  
1 votes:

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.


Orrrrrrr realize that 8 year olds say goofy shiat all the time and maybe 5% of kids who say "I want to grow a penis" actually are trans.

If she seriously means it, she'll bring it up again, probably a bunch of times, in different ways. If she doesn't, then next week she'll say "I'm going to go live on Mars", and you won't automatically assume with 100% certainty that she will be an astronaut... Or will you?
2014-03-10 04:41:52 PM  
1 votes:
I seriously wonder what would have happened if the Transgender thing had been "understood" when I was a kid.

As a pre-schooler, I preferred cars and trucks and lLEGOs, never dolls and dress-up. Playdates never happened more than once for that reason.
In grade school, I always wore pants if I was allowed, hated dresses and all frilly things. I didn't make many female friends for that reason.
As a teen, I felt like a gay man in a woman's body. I got a lot of action, and didn't have any female friends, mostly for that reason.
My career aspirations have always been stereotypically male, and contrary to what you might think, being female has been a HUGE liability.

Now, I'm happy. I have a life mate and two beautiful children (from my womb). Sometimes I even wear dresses on the weekend just because I can. I'm content being female and even feminine sometimes. I'm getting used to forming working relationships with other women. Learning to navigate female social circles is not easy, but I'm making progress. It's nice to meet other women who have the same issues (they're usually lesbians).

EVERYTHING would have been different if I had been tagged as trans as a kid. My parents would have been thrilled beyond measure with the situation. My dad, because he wanted a son and heir, my mom because she loved political/progressive drama. It is unlikely that I would have backed out of transitioning. I see no reason why I wouldn't have been happy as a man, but I sure as heck wouldn't have the beautiful life I have. That's weird to think about. (That, and the no-penis thing would have made romance a bit difficult, needlessly awkward.)
2014-03-10 04:16:03 PM  
1 votes:

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.
2014-03-10 02:05:33 PM  
1 votes:

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 12:07:55 PM  
1 votes:

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 11:44:02 AM  
1 votes:

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 11:09:09 AM  
1 votes:

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 09:32:29 AM  
1 votes:

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 08:57:45 AM  
1 votes:

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 08:53:12 AM  
1 votes:

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 08:24:02 AM  
1 votes:
"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 08:20:47 AM  
1 votes:
About the same as if my 8 year old son wanted to grow boobies.
2014-03-10 08:16:28 AM  
1 votes:
Eight-year-olds say goofy shiat all the time. Shrug it off and move on.
2014-03-10 08:02:50 AM  
1 votes:
Yeah, but are you gonna take care of it? Those things require daily excercise, and usually you're on your own with that. And sometimes it just wakes up in the middle of the night and just stares at you, very creepy, you don't want that.
2014-03-10 07:58:27 AM  
1 votes:
Everyone deserves a penis.

/obscure?
2014-03-10 07:01:37 AM  
1 votes:
Tell her to stay off /d/ that is daddy's special site.
2014-03-10 06:51:30 AM  
1 votes:
There ought to be a book called 'How catering to every whim and fancy will ruin your kid'.
2014-03-10 06:50:45 AM  
1 votes:
"You can make a penis grow by putting it in your mouth."
2014-03-10 06:47:05 AM  
1 votes:
Have a discussion about physical gender, and stereotypical gender roles and see how she feels about that.
2014-03-10 06:27:20 AM  
1 votes:
We'll sweety, you can't grow them in a pot like that marigold I helped you grow. Have some sea monkeys.
 
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