Piercing Your Baby’s Ears Doesn’t Make Them a Girl

Growing up, not mine ear piercing often leaves me feeling like a weirdo. In Puerto Rican culture, many parents pierce their children’s ears shortly after they are born. It’s usually a passing ritual, and not having my own pair seems to confuse some people. I was often asked why my mother didn’t pierce my ears when I was a child, and I never had an exact answer for them; it was just a decision my mother made Not to make me. Sometimes, I turn the question over to them, asking why they chose to make that decision for their child. The most common answers were that parents didn’t want their daughter to be mistaken for a boy, or that it was simply tradition.

The (sometimes) literally devastatingThe recent gender reveal that is rocking the news cycle has got me back to thinking about the less offensive way some parents choose to let the world know their child is designated as female. at birth. “The enduring and compulsive combination of femininity and femininity is in part what led to ear piercing as a clear sign of feminism itself.” Sasha T. Goldberg, a doctoral candidate and research assistant in research circles at Indiana University Bloomington, told me. Feminine binding, or lack thereof, with an earring seems to me like a heavy expectation placed on a child who has no say in other decisions. Like Jessany Maldonado, an instructional professor and PhD student at Indiana University Bloomington who studies black sexuality, elaborates further: “If you’re trying to push a ‘gender agenda’. .. try to force other people to make your child A or B, then there is some insecurity inside [you] need to work. “

As my millennial friends and even younger Zers start to have kids of their own, some of us find ourselves having to analyze two potentially contradictory perspectives. . Many of us understand gender is a spectrum and not something that can always be precisely assigned at birth. Many of us also come from families where piercing babies’ ears, especially if they’re girls, is simply a tradition. Since it’s often part of our culture, we often look forward to continuing the trend when we become parents. Taylor Gibbons, 27, said: “Ear piercing as a woman of color is considered a traditional ritual in the Black community,” “It’s ingrained in older black women and men coming in.” when I don’t wear earrings in my ears. , I was called and scolded for it even as an adult. “

Piercing culture

This is a common theme shared by most of the people I interviewed for this article: Not only are there too specific cultural or religious reasons for getting babies’ ears pierced, their parents are also getting their ears pierced. weak because so is everyone they know. (It’s worth noting that the American Academy of Pediatrics says yes “small risk” associated with ear piercing, regardless of age.) “My parents pierced my ears when I was a child, but they never gave a specific reason why. When I asked, they said ‘because we did. ‘,” Justice McNeil, 21, said, noting that they didn’t do the same to her brother, who later chose to have his ears pierced when he was about nine or 10 years old.

Aarati Akkapeddi, 27, said: “It is quite common for Indians not to pierce their ears, especially for a girl. theory around Ayurvedic pressure points in the body. I’m sure my parents didn’t think about it in such detail, but getting your child’s ears pierced has certainly been normalized in their social circles. “

In history, cultural relations with piercing are common across cultures, even if they may not be the obvious reason many parents pierce their children’s ears today. For example, ear piercing, also known as karnavedha in hinduism, is one of 16 sanskar rituals that mark life stages and signify cultural heritage and upbringing. Usually, children will have their ears pierced after being born in a karnavedha ceremony celebrating this iconic practice. | Piercing Your Baby’s Ears Doesn’t Make Them a Girl


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