Attachment Parenting

Playgroup issue-WWYD?

I have been fortunate enough to have found a mommy group that I really love. There are a whole bunch of babies all within a few months of each other and their moms are super nice! A few of us have formed some good friendships already and host lunches at our houses, walks in the local park etc.

But there is this one girl....

She says things to her son like "Stop crying...only fags cry. Don't be a fag, be a man. Don't be a wuss." (Not that it matters, but her son is only 4.5 months old) The first time I heard it, I thought I misheard her! She says it a lot though! It makes me VERY uncomfortable and really disgusts me. Yesterday when she said it (again) I looked at Henry and said (loud enough for her to hear) "There is nothing wrong with crying-boys can cry and that's okay." I know Henry is too little to understand, but I don't want him hearing that- I don't want to hear that either!

Would you say something?  I always struggle with stuff like this...when someone tells a "joke" that is offensive I feel like it's just as bad to ignore it and not say something as it is to laugh.



Hatching the Hawks
Hatching the Hawks
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Re: Playgroup issue-WWYD?

  • Wow, that's pretty bad. Honestly, I would probably try to bring it up to some of the other moms and see if they have any thoughts/suggestions. Is it a formal playgroup with rules? Maybe she could get booted.
  • jshfjshf member

    That is a tough situation.  I wouldn't want my son to be around a mom like that.  I have friends that are gay and I wouldn't want someone to speak like that.  Maybe you can ask her to not say those kinds of things in  front of your son.  Or you can say your cousin or close friend is gay and find that offensive and would appreciate her not using that language.  

    My in-laws are pretty racist and it's upsetting to me cause they say stuff in front of me all the time.  I used to ignore it, but now with DS (he's biracial), I can't tolerate it.  So I gently try to educate them, but I'm not sure how much registers in their brains.  : (

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  • I would say something, but I tend to be direct.  Honest questions, simply stated tend to get fewer defensive responses.

    "You seem oddly concerned with your infant son's sexuality, what's up?"

  • It's offensive language and definitely something I wouldn't want my kid around. I would probably choose to be direct - there's less chance of her not getting what you're saying. Just say that you'd prefer if she didn't use language like that around the kids. Saying fag is just like saying f*** or any other curse word to me and we don't use those words around our kid. That way it isn't about sexuality or anything and you don't have to get into some big debate, it's just about what is appropriate language in front of a bunch of infants.

  • If you're comfortable being direct, I thinkt that's the way to go.  Maybe you could put it on you to make her less defensive about it.  Like "Maybe I'm being sensitive but I really don't want DS to learn those words."  (But I really don't think you're being sensitive. I'd be completely offended if I heard someone say something like that. The fact that her LO is so young and that she's saying it in front of other people's kids only makes it worse!) 

    Have you talked to any of the other moms about it?  Can you tell from their reactions to it whether they're okay with it?  If saying something to her doesn't work (or if you're too uncomfortable to confront her) and if the other moms are on the same page as you, you could just stop inviting her. 

  • I would say "What do you mean by that?"

    You should not feel uncomfortable. She's in the wrong here.  The language isn't appropriate.  Using that language in front of and about her son is doubly wrong.  

    I'd phrase my comments as a question and ask her to justify herself.

    What do you mean by that?

    Why would you say that?

     Let her flounder for a bit. 

  • imageBostonGayGal:

    I would say something, but I tend to be direct.  Honest questions, simply stated tend to get fewer defensive responses.

    "You seem oddly concerned with your infant son's sexuality, what's up?"

    BGG is wise.  This is being direct, but I don't think she will be defensive.  It sounds like she may be quite uneducated (if she's using a word that, IMHO, ranks right up there with the "n" word), and I'd be curious to see what her reponse to this question is.  See if she gets defensive to this and go from there.  If she freaks out, then I would quit inviting her.  If she acts like she had no idea it was offensive, maybe you just saying, "I'm not comfortable with that word being used in front of my child," will be enough to make it stop.  I also agree with Fred that her comment really bothers me on a number of levels.  Saying boys don't cry to an infant is inappropriate, but at some point you can only ask a parent to change their parenting style if it is offensive to you and your child (like using the word fag).  So the boys don't cry thing (without the f word) is not something I would get too, too upset over, though I would never say such a thing to my child.

    Of course personally, I would not want to be friends with this person.  If she's saying these types of things in front of strangers, it makes me wonder what types of racisit/stereotypical/inappropriate things she says behind closed doors.  Definately not someone I'd want to be associating with, but that's just me.

     GL, and good for you for standing up and letting her know that she's wrong.

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  • That's terrible.  I would not expose my daughter to language like that.  I'd talk to the other moms.  Surely they're just as offended.  If they don't see a problem with it, they're also not the kind of people you want around your daughter.  I wouldn't like the gender roles thing (boys don't cry) but there's room for differences of opinion there.  But it absolutely not appropriate to use that word around children. 


  • Wow! That is really disgusting.

    I would probably take the indirect route and plan get togethers and not tell her about them :)

    Seriously, I would not want to be around this person at all.

  • imageBostonGayGal:

    I would say something, but I tend to be direct.  Honest questions, simply stated tend to get fewer defensive responses.

    "You seem oddly concerned with your infant son's sexuality, what's up?"


    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • I'd be direct. She's in the wrong on many levels as pps have said. There's no need to beat around the bush really. I'm incredulous that she even says stuff like that - her poor kid!
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  • I would have beef with her saying "fag", that's inappropriate language, but I will playfully say to my son that he is being sucky, etc, if he is being whiny. I don't know how long I will keep that up, but a lot of time its tongue in cheek, and he doesn't really understand yet. Of course, I don't think girls should be sucks either, so at least I am gender-neutral about it.

    When it comes to hate speech, I'm of a mind to call people out in public, shame them. Its hard to do, but even in a bad situation (I called out my aunts friend on some anti-semitism at a family dinner) I still felt good about myself about it, even though it got reeeeal uncomfortable. 

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