A mother has shared her anguish over a stranger calling her daughter a boy in a local shop and is wondering how she should handle the aftereffects.
Going Through Personal Difficulties
The mother, who we’ll call ‘Sadie’ said, “My daughter is nine years old and she is going through some things. She refused to take care of her long hair. She wouldn’t brush it. She wouldn’t wash it. It was a daily battle for her to allow me to help her. Eventually we both agreed cutting her hair short was the answer.
Getting The Hair Cut
“We took her to a salon where they fixed her hair really pretty. It’s a little above her shoulders in a layered Bob like cut and really adorable. I loved it and every time I saw her I smiled.”
Going Out With The Family
“Today I went with her to a shop with my mom and husband,” Sadie said. “My daughter was sporting a casual look. T shirt and bicycle shorts and crocs. My husband noticed the sun was bothering her so he also gave her his baseball cap. So admittedly yeah she was a little androgynous looking. But she’s a child, so who cares?!”
Getting A Comment From A Stranger
When they were in line to pay, a woman who was right behind them said, “hey momma, his eyes are gorgeous.” To which Sadie replied, “thank you, but she’s a girl.”
“Now any rational person would apologize and move on right?” Sadie continued. “Instead this woman goes “What?! No, that’s a boy. Bless him” and goes over to put her hand over my daughter’s head! I reactively grabbed my daughter and pulled her away from the stranger before she could come closer towards me.” Sadie replied to the stranger and said, “I said she’s a girl and don’t touch her.” She then walked out with her daughter. Sadie’s mom witnessed the interaction and took Sadie’s items and paid them for her.
Sadie shared that she used to love seeing her daughter’s cute hair, but since the incident, she is reminded of the stranger whenever she looks at her child’s hair. She is now second-guessing herself and wondering if her daughter really does look like a boy. She also noted that the worst part is that her daughter started asking her if she really does look like a boy after that interaction. “In one swoop that woman demolished my daughters confidence in her looks.”
Others Share Their Opinion
One person said, “I think you need to take this less personally and focus on your kid’s reaction. Help her realize that even if she does look androgynous, which she doesn’t, that’s not an insult or a bad thing. Why would it matter?”
Another said that she should act neutral so that her daughter doesn’t get offended in the future. “If you behave offended by accidental misgendering, your child will be hurt when misgendered in a future. If you just correct it and act neutral, they won’t have a problem with it.”
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