Gender training and mass transit….

Opinion

Last summer, a friend—we’ll call him Julian since that’s his name—went to Texas to visit his dad. His mom and dad got divorced eight years ago. Mom lives here; dad lives there. Dad got remarried and had more children; mom’s still single.

One night Julian and I were chatting on Facebook when he started using foul language, specifically in relation to his dad. One of Julian’s half sisters was playing with her brother’s army toys.

Dad admonished her for playing with boys’ toys. Julian was having a fit, believing that children should be able to play with anything they want to play with, as long as the toys were age-appropriate and safe.

Dad, on the other hand, admonished Julian for not understanding, and not believing in, “gender training.” Dad believes that if parents don’t train their children for the proper gender, those children will grow up confused, perhaps even gay. Dad said, “You’ll understand when you have children.”

I don’t have children. I never wanted children. So I’m not the best person to ask about gender training. I’m going to give it to you anyway: Dad’s full of crap.

I have no problem dressing a baby girl in pink and a baby boy in blue. That helps the public know the gender of your child, not that it’s really the public’s business. Nonetheless….

When the child is old enough to choose which toys to play with, which clothes to wear (as seen recently on the Internet), I’m all for letting the children experiment. The only harm I can see is from the ignorant public. Fortunately, there are parents out there who want their children to be happy, and they don’t mind educating the ignorant public at the same time.

Recently I was in La Jolla, bastion of the overly rich (and mostly conservative Republicans) and found this at a bus stop:

img_0216 bus stop public art la jolla stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Those two figures have depth, enough depth so that children can stand in them. The little sign between the two figures says “Play at your own risk.” How interesting that the city installed these on a street corner at the intersection of two heavily trafficked streets for children to play in and then refuses to take responsibility for the risk that they provide.

There were three children playing in them when I was there, running around, laughing, and generally not paying attention to all the traffic zipping by. One little girl finally tripped and fell. Mommy, who was sitting on the bus bench about ten feet away, came and got all three children when the crying started. I was able to take a picture after she rounded up her three children.

Look at the gender training: girls wear dresses, boys wear pants, boys are taller than girls. (And the boy is a little crooked…. too much to drink?)

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering all I know about La Jolla, but I also think that if a really bad accident happened to a child of someone who lived in La Jolla, that someone would be the first person to sue the city.

Wait. Nevermind. People who live in La Jolla would never be caught using public transportation. Mass transit is provided so their servants can get to work….

la jolla map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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21 thoughts on “Gender training and mass transit….

  1. Dan Antion

    It’s unfortunate that people persist in gender training, discrimination training, bias training, hatred training and training in all the other human traits that should have died off way before now.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I think most of it starts in churches. I wonder what might happen to churches if indoctrinating children was forbidden, if churches were only allowed to approach adults of legal age.

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      1. Dan Antion

        I’m sure that’s the case for some churches but not all. The church I grew up in emphasized loving others, and really didn’t work to categorize “others” – everyone was welcome. When they had a minister who didn’t agree with that philosophy, they got rid of him.

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        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          I’d actually say that it’s the case for “most churches” rather than “some churches.” When I came out, I spent 11 months, 18/7, on the beaches of San Diego exploring the world’s great, and not so great, religions. I decided there wasn’t a single religion that was accepting of me, just some churches here and there.

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  2. Colltales

    I feel a greater respect for Julian with this story you tells us, knowing the difficult position he found himself in and still wanting to make sure he’d express his compassionate view on the issue. Unfortunately, and forgive me the good Texans reading this, the state has become a hot bed of conservatism and, on top of that, it’s his Dad’s house, so he holds little sway there. Still I’m glad you brought it up and hopefully it’ll help him deal with the issue from a stronger standpoint. Thanks Rusell.

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      1. Colltales

        What, no school on the horizon? It’s always a struggle being young and having a hard time sorting out priorities on their own. Time runs so fast then. All I can wish him is luck. Thanks

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  3. insearchofitall

    That will not change in some parts of the country for many years to come and in some parts of the world in many lifetimes. I’m happy with every progressive movement that is made. My sister was given a set of toy pistols in a holster when she was 2. She got balls and boy toys while being put in dress that she absolutely hated. That was 60 years ago. We’ve come a long way but still so far to go. One day we will realize we should not identify so much with gender as with character.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Considering that we’re still fighting for civil rights, as well as women’s rights, I suspect it will be the next millennium, or just after World War III, when people finally realize that we’re all in this together and there’s not some invisible magical guy (or gal) in the sky who’s going to make everything all right.

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  4. Bupe Rose

    Society puts children in these boxes: boys wear blue, girls wear pink; boys toys vs girls toys. It’s really up to parents to create a safe environment where they can express themselves and creatively explore the world around them. History also tells us that these trends are cyclical and/or change with each generation.

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      1. Bupe Rose

        Hmm, could you please elaborate? Wouldn’t access to more information make people more “trendy” and “seasonal?” IMHO, I think it was easier to conform to your environment when the world wasn’t constantly. I watching.

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