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:
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….
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