Do you remember the story of the parents who refused to tell people the name of their child because they didn't want society to put a bias on the child's desires because of gender bias?
I'm going to put this out there from the start; I think this idea is one of the silliest since new Coke and Sega dream system.
Let's talk about the idea of equality. What makes someone
equal to someone else? Are masculine females inherently more valuable than feminine
females? Are feminine males inherently more valuable than masculine males?
How about labels?
Are labels bad?
Well, oven cleaner comes in a container that looks a lot like Pam. Without the label, someone could think they were lubricating their pan, and instead of not burning dinner, they’re inciting their own death.
I have three daughters and one son. My son came last. I get upset when people say, “Oh! You finally got your boy!” I was happy having all girls. I’m happy having all girls and a boy.
Our issues with gender are more about us than they are about the gender. Too often, these issues seem to me, to be about forcing the opinion of a few on the rest. Here’s my question: Do you we really need to remove our child’s gender for them to have an appropriate self-identity? My daughters all dig in dirt, chase goats and dress in frilly stuff. I’ve taken them fishing, hunting and gotten their nails done.
What’s it matter?
How long should we keep the neutrality thing up? Should a boy be allowed to change in front of my daughters at school?
By making a big deal out of this, aren’t people perpetuating
the same problems to which they are reacting?
What about height bias? I’m short? Can we do away with that word too? From now on, I’d like to self-identify as tall.
We won’t let five year olds pick their own bed-time, but we want to let them…no, we want to force them to make really big decisions about how they are going to self-identify.
I get it. Parenting is tough. But there has to be a better
way to celebrate our children’s identity than through taking something away
that is core to who we are; namely our gender.
Yes, I hate the phrases that start out with “boys don’t…” or “girls don’t…” but going from one extreme to another is just as ridiculous in my opinion.
We need to celebrate our own story that our children are taking part in and the story of our children that we are partaking in with them. If one of my girls grows up to want to do something “girls don’t do” I promise you I will cheer her on. If my son grows up and wants to do something that “boys don’t do…” I promise the same thing. Of course, the real issue is what does it mean to be a boy or a girl. That’s for another day.