If there was ever a point where I am so flabbergasted by the idiocy of human beings that I have no idea what to type, this would be one of those times. Jessica, a writer on ImperfectParent, demonstrates her complete lack of trying to understand the complexities of society and the gender roles that Patriarchy enforces on children. Her article about a book called “My Princess Boy” is a classic example of people stifling the spirit of children. Not only is her post offensive but the comments in the article are equally offensive but first, let’s focus on the article.
Jessica starts off by titling her article “My Princess Boy: Must our children be burdened with this?” And this is where I facepalm myself really badly. The author is implying that the author of My Princess Boy is trying to torment the poor children by telling them that it is okay to be different. To wear a dress and because a boy is wearing a dress, that doesn’t mean that he deserves to be bullied for it. Same with little girls who are into “guy things.” There should be no double standards here. How hard a concept is that to understand?
Apparently for Jessica, it is very difficult. She cannot seem to understand for the life of her why a boy would want to wear a dress. Here in the following quote, she decides to go the “gender roles are natural” route and falls flat on her face in the process of reaching that conclusion.
The problem as I see it is this — gender roles are a NORMAL part of growing up. It’s a healthy distinction and children are who are not born with a gender identity issue or who are comfortable with their gender, as most people are, shouldn’t be made to feel that gender is interchangeable and something that is only imposed by big, bad people in a big, bad society.
I guess she must have a problem with women with short hair and *gasp* pants? I mean, that is what MEN wear! Men are naturally inclined to beat women to a pulp. Right? Right?!? No, Jessica, social constructs are not “natural.” You are confusing gender with sex. A girl wearing pants and t-shirt does not mean that she thinks that she is male. She is wearing clothes that are COMFORTABLE. The same with the boy wearing the dress or maybe because he likes wearing dresses? But, oh, that is impossible, isn’t it? How could children not always fall in line with Patriarchy? I mean, we are raising them to be the dead soldiers in our society, correct? Those little fags should be muscular and macho guys! Take off that dress! You are a boy, not a girl! *wags a scolding finger*
She also does not seem to understand that, yes, it IS society that is forcing gender roles on children. Unless she has living under a rock for the past century, you cannot go anywhere without some advertisement selling toys to specific children based on “gender.” (Barbies for girls. Trucks for boys, remember?). You cannot go anywhere without some asshole making a misogynistic or homophobic comment and people enabling it. These are not isolated incidents and it is also not “natural” for people to be total jackasses. These events plus many more are a symptom of a very screwed up society. A society built on the degradation and humiliation of the oppressed classes. We make excuses for why we oppress them and it is perfectly accepted and toted a “natural.” To say so, is excusing bad behavior and saying that it is completely okay to bully people. I guess it was perfectly “natural” for Neurotypical people to bully me because I am Autistic? That it is perfectly okay and that it is not the fault of the parents for not teaching their children to not bully other children?
She continues on her very short rant on those silly boys in dresses by stating that “gender roles are a complex idea for children.” Didn’t she say a while ago that gender roles are a “normal part of growing up”? If the concept of gender was so darn complex then why the claim that gender roles are a natural part of growing up?
That is a big, complex idea for children. While my heart goes out to this child and I hope he can find peace and understanding amongst the world of cruel children, however, if you’re going to test the boundaries and celebrate it, you can’t expect to have the world join you. Good, bad or indifferent, there will be emotional consequences as with most choices in life.
Here is something that will blow Jessica’s mind: children are not naturally cruel, they are not some separate alien race that just landed on this planet and decided to be nasty people. You want to know who taught them to be that way? I will give you a hint: It has nothing to do with “gender” and it is not incredibly complicated. Their parents taught them to be that way. Children do not just inherent awful ideas about people out of thin air, they learn some of their behavior from their parents and society. I am pretty sure the boy in the story is just asking the mean kids to, I don’t know, let him be himself? Let him to do what he wants? What? Granting children the same basic human rights is too much work for parents? I am also pretty certain that the boy is not asking the world to “join him.” Whatever the fuck that means. He is saying “I am here. I like dresses. I am no different from you. I am a human being and I deserve to be treated with respect.” I am also 100% certain that he is at peace with himself and other gender non-conforming children. Thank you very much. Is that such an awful burden on children? Doesn’t sound like it to me. Would you, also care to explain “emotional consequences”?
She finishes off her short rant with a phrase that would need a “no shit, Sherlock” button. Her claims that allowing a child of either sex to wear the clothing of their choosing is “politically correct” is nonsense. Her claim is attempting to erase the issue of bullying by blaming the victim for their suffering and not the people and the society that shaped those bullies in the first place. First off, asking children to be accepting of another child is not “putting a burden on them.” How hard could it be to teach children to be compassionate unless you are a walking cold stone yourself, it is not that hard to teach your kids the “golden rule.”
One thing that our children need to learn is not everybody is going to like them and accept them and that’s okay, however, my real issue with all of this is that we’ve come into such a politically correct society that everyone, every parent, thinks that their children’s “problems” need to be every child’s burden to bear and I don’t see how that’s helpful. The world does not revolve around any child. The world does not revolve around bullies, it doesn’t revolve around the child who gets everything she wants and it doesn’t revolve around a preschool boy who chooses to wear dresses.
Wearing clothing of the opposite sex does not equal wanting the world to revolve around them. Wearing is just that, wearing a dress. No hidden agenda or secret plot to turn the world into a gay mardi gras! The book is about a boy living his life as he chooses and his parents giving him the respect her deserves. This book is also about breaking away from the rules of society. If that message is too much for Jessica to handle then I have nothing else to tell her.