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NYT on “Gender-Creative” Children (Ithaca kid 'chooses' own gender at 8)
© National Review Online 2012. All Rights Reserved. ^ | 08/14/12 | By Nancy French

Posted on 08/16/2012 6:59:20 AM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines

One afternoon in Ithaca, N.Y., my kids were playing on the swing sets in the park when a little tike wearing a football jersey ran into my daughter’s path. I lunged for the swing — I jerked the chain so abruptly that I feared whiplash — and shared a “wow, that was close” exchange with the kid’s mom.

“How old is he?” I asked. The lady looked at me as she placed her kid on the swing and said with no trace of irony, “His name is Jill, and she’s three.”

As I tried to match the pronouns and antecedents, she explained that she belonged to a group of parents who rebelled against gender stereotypes, allowing their children to decide their genders after they’d been exposed to both options. I’d learned of this in a philosophy class at NYU. My professor argued that children are born with “sex” but taught “gender.” The claim is that children unwittingly learn certain gender signifiers that dictate their behavior. Little boys don’t naturally want to play with trucks, and little girls aren’t naturally drawn to dolls, if unsullied by eager parents who try to indoctrinate their children with heterosexist ideas about “gender.” According to my professor, gender roles cause people to live according to the very limited ideas of others. The ultimate goal, of course, is androgyny, where no differences between males and females exist.

“I’m going to raise her as gender-neutrally as possible and let him decide which gender she prefers at the age of eight.” (Oh, eight; that’s the age at which my son dug up our Tennessee yard one square foot at a time, because he was convinced pirates had buried treasure there.)

Whenever I write about Ithaca (as I did in one of my memoirs), I invariably get e-mails asking, “Really?”

Understandably, people can’t quite believe that there are parents like this in America. However, a recent New York Times article called, “What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?” attempts to further push the normalization of gender-confused children into the mainstream. It includes a very similar playground anecdote....

The article, by Ruth Padawer, a professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism, examines how various parents deal with children when they don’t seem to fit into traditional gender roles. Padawer — and psychologists — describe this “condition” in the following flowery terms: gender-atypical, gender-fluid, gender-variant, gender-creative.

Parents Susan and Rob have one of these “gender creative” youngsters. Consequently, they sent an e-mail to the parents of their son’s classmates explaining their child will sometimes be wearing a dress to preschool. They explained that their son “has been gender-fluid for as long as we can remember, and at the moment he is equally passionate about and identified with soccer players and princesses, superheroes and ballerinas (not to mention lava and unicorns, dinosaurs and glitter rainbows). . . . The important thing was to teach him not to be ashamed of who he feels he is.” When Susan let her son wear dresses around town, however, her son was upset when strangers assumed he was a girl. He said, “I just hate being misunderstood.”

Other parents have paid for a half-day of gender-diversity training for the staff their kid’s school, though it doesn’t stop teasing during recess.

Padawer goes to great lengths to make sure her readers accept the “‘middle space’ between traditional boyhood and traditional girlhood.” She writes, “But the parents of the boys in the middle space argue that gender is a spectrum rather than two opposing categories, neither of which any real man or woman precisely fits.” Padawer then goes on to write that this “middle space” is more acceptable these days in the form of the transgendered. The “visibility of transgender people — be it running for office or tangoing on Dancing With the Stars — has provided an opening for those who fall between genders.”

The most astonishing quote of the article was from Edgardo Menvielle, head of a program for gender-nonconforming youth at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington. He said, “I would argue it’s not even ethical to say to a child, ‘This is the gender you must be.’ ”

The author helpfully explains what we already know about the political persuasion of the parents of these children, “Many of the parents who allow their children to occupy that ‘middle space’ were socially liberal even before they had a pink boy, quick to defend gay rights and women’s equality and to question the confines of traditional masculinity and femininity.”

In other words, I wasn’t exaggerating about what my professors at NYU taught about gender and sexuality, and I wasn’t exaggerating about what I saw on the playground in Ithaca.

Though, believe me. I wish I had been.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: New York
KEYWORDS: cityofevil; gender; ithaca
Whenever I write about Ithaca (as I did in one of my memoirs), I invariably get e-mails asking, “Really?”

Really.

Because Ithaca is the City of Evil.


1 posted on 08/16/2012 6:59:27 AM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

child abuse!


2 posted on 08/16/2012 7:00:34 AM PDT by Doogle ((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: Hieronymus; VampireStateNY; governsleastgovernsbest; gaspar; NativeNewYorker; drjimmy; Atticus; ...
City of Evil and "Discussion of health, education, welfare, drugs, abortion, environment, housing, unions, employment, social security, religion, arts, humanity, sports, and other cultural and societal issues" ping:


3 posted on 08/16/2012 7:02:27 AM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

I can imagine someone getting sued in the future.
Hint: Mommy, Daddy and maybe even a doctor.


4 posted on 08/16/2012 7:06:17 AM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (0bama's agenda—Divide and conquer. FREEDOM OR FREE STUFF YOU GET ONE CHOICE CHOOSE WISELY)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
Little boys don’t naturally want to play with trucks, and little girls aren’t naturally drawn to dolls

Obviously a philosophy developed by someone who has never had children nor been around them very much.

5 posted on 08/16/2012 7:06:39 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

So many liberties under attack ... but apparently not the freedom to irreparably and irrevocably scar your child.

Good grief, that’s gonna be one warped kid.

SnakeDoc


6 posted on 08/16/2012 7:07:59 AM PDT by SnakeDoctor ("I've shot people I like more for less." -- Raylan Givens, Justified)
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To: TribalPrincess2U

Nah. Growing up in Ithaca that kid will be so brainwashed [s]he will think [s]he’s normal. The lawsuit will come against whatever poor corporation hires the kid when [s]he’s all grown up.


7 posted on 08/16/2012 7:11:40 AM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
My first instinct was to say how frightfully sad this was, as both my sons exhibited very male characteristics after infancy, and I can't imagine them "exploring" female gender characteristics at all. But after thinking about it a bit, I imagined a scenario where this wasn't the case: where, after infancy, a child exhibits male and female characteristics in equal measure.

How does the non-liberal parent deal with that kind of thing? I have tremendous empathy for someone in that situation. I mean, what the hell do you do if you have a "Pat" on your hands?

8 posted on 08/16/2012 7:12:01 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

I would like to know where this idiot ‘parent’ was educated

My daughters shocked me with surprisingly feminine characteristics at an early age

For example- I was clothing shopping with my 4 year old (who could barely talk) and pointed to a mannequin and asked if she liked the dress, and she said “yeah- and just look at those SHOES” - I barely noticed it had shoes

All my girls have a thing for shoes and jewelry at an early age

I had to get my sister in law to help me when I went shopping for christmas present so they didnt always end up with remote control trucks and stuff- she suggested stuff I never would have thought of and my girls usually loved it


9 posted on 08/16/2012 7:30:59 AM PDT by Mr. K ("The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum [of good]")
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

How do you say: “Mom and dad are crazy, thanks for ruining my life, in 8 year old speech”?


10 posted on 08/16/2012 8:49:54 AM PDT by JSDude1
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To: Mr. K
My daughters shocked me with surprisingly feminine characteristics at an early age All my girls have a thing for shoes and jewelry at an early age

Gee..... maybe all your girls have something in common .

11 posted on 08/16/2012 8:52:21 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post): Sorry, I want it in cursive.)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

What do you do? Well, what do you do if your child likes to play with fire, or kick dogs, or pull the neighbor girl’s pigtail? Isn’t that a big part of parenting, teaching your kid that some behavior is inappropriate, and that they can’t do it even if they feel like they want to?


12 posted on 08/16/2012 9:20:56 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
”I imagined a scenario where this wasn't the case: where, after infancy, a child exhibits male and female characteristics in equal measure.

How does the non-liberal parent deal with that kind of thing?”


I’m not a parent so maybe my opinion doesn’t count for much, but I have an opinion on this. I see very little harm in allowing both sexes to explore what may be considered typical gender roles of the other. That is, let girls take apart their toys and play with trucks. Don’t worry about teaching boys how to cook or sew or play with the doll house.

I do feel the line must be drawn at physical appearance. Letting your little one dress like a transvestite will only lead to problems. If they look like a freak then they will be treated like a freak and grow up thinking they are a freak. Simply trying to tell society to not pick on the freak is not a viable solution. Bullying and such is part of the way we establish social hierarchy and something that goes to the primal core of behavior and can’t simply be stopped because we pass some kind of bully law.

In other words, I don’t think there is anything wrong with letting little boys and girls do things that are considered boy or girl activities. At worst, each may learn a new and useful skill. BUT, it’s wrong IMO to let a little boy dress and play like a girl and then reinforce the idea that they are a girl in a boy’s body.

It seems to me that there is a hidden agenda to blur the lines between genders to force confusion of sexual identity. That is, if you can get a boys gender shifted far enough towards the female side then you can convince him his sexual orientation must follow (the inverse for girls, but this seems to be less of an issue). Therein lays the deception and peril insofar as gender blending is concerned.
13 posted on 08/16/2012 9:21:39 AM PDT by chaos_5
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To: Boogieman
What do you do? Well, what do you do if your child likes to play with fire, or kick dogs, or pull the neighbor girl’s pigtail? Isn’t that a big part of parenting, teaching your kid that some behavior is inappropriate, and that they can’t do it even if they feel like they want to?

Hmm.

I'm talking about innocuous behavior, like playing with trucks, playing with Barbies, liking movies about Lego Ninjas, liking movies about princesses . . . that sort of thing. Your examples are ones of anti-social behavior, which you would correct as inappropriate because it may cause physical harm.

There's nothing inherently wrong about a little boy liking a princess movie, other than the fact that it's kind of light in the loafers.

14 posted on 08/16/2012 9:40:16 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: chaos_5
BUT, it’s wrong IMO to let a little boy dress and play like a girl and then reinforce the idea that they are a girl in a boy’s body.

Bingo, and

It seems to me that there is a hidden agenda to blur the lines between genders to force confusion of sexual identity.

Bingo.

I have empathy for Joe Lunchpail parents who may find themselves in this situation, but I have no empathy at all, and perhaps even some contempt, for parents who deliberately set this agenda and create this environment for their kids. It's wholly against nature. I've seen very liberal parents very chagrinned when they tried to get their boys to play with, say, Barbies - and the boys ended up ripping the heads off of the dolls and then using the headless bodies as weapons.

Nature, it seems, knows what the Hell She's doing.

15 posted on 08/16/2012 9:46:15 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

Maybe not, but as soon as it reaches the point where the little boy says “I want to wear a dress”, it IS antisocial behavior.


16 posted on 08/16/2012 10:10:29 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
feh... we'll see this kid's name in the paper some day
17 posted on 08/16/2012 2:42:50 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
The claim is that children unwittingly learn certain gender signifiers that dictate their behavior. Little boys don’t naturally want to play with trucks, and little girls aren’t naturally drawn to dolls, if unsullied by eager parents who try to indoctrinate their children with heterosexist ideas about “gender.”

Biggest load of crap I ever heard. People who said that never had one of each.

Kids are hard wired. When my son was not even a year old, one of his first six words was *vroom*. He was obsessed with his older sister's toy car which she virtually ignored.

18 posted on 08/16/2012 4:23:14 PM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Chode
feh... we'll see this kid's name in the paper some day

Which name?

19 posted on 08/16/2012 6:54:08 PM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
what ever name it goes by when it grows up...
20 posted on 08/16/2012 7:53:36 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Ah, fall semester starting soon. The loons are returning to Ithaca.
Gender nuetrality is really about emasculating boys.


21 posted on 08/17/2012 2:58:54 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine's brother (Near term Obamacare 'Unit")
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

the grown ups who do that are mentally retarded in my opinion, spreading their mental problems to the kids


22 posted on 08/17/2012 11:36:17 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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