Monday, May 23, 2011


I posted this on facebook this morning...

One of the required readings for one of my Sociology classes in college was X: A Fabulous Child's Story. I had never heard anything like that before, but I found the idea fascinating and revolutionary. X is genderless... Meaning, X's parents will not tell any of X's teachers, friends, relatives, neighbors what X's gender is. Everyone gets really upset. An Xpert is called in to interview X.

In the end, X is said to be one of the most well-adjusted child the Xpert had ever seen, and when gender is important, X will know what to do...

These parents who are trying to do what X's parents did are fascinating to me.
Is it the "right" thing to do? I don't know. Those kids ARE going to be teased a lot. The parents seem aware of that, and are trying to be there for their kids.

I imagine that eventually those kids will want the approval of friends... so they won't always be so free... but what better time to be free than when you're five? And besides WHO decided that dresses were for girls? Or boys couldn't wear pink? I'm pretty sure that at one point in this country, it was considered immoral for a girl to wear pants.

Is it possible to live in a world where we just accept everyone just as they are?


  1. Teasing is such a ridiculous reason not to do something you think is right. You can be teased for ANYTHING. Maybe if we stopped saying things like "kids are so cruel," taking it for granted that children will be awful to each other, maybe when we stop telling them that it is part of their nature as minors to be horrible, maybe if we stand up for each little bit of teasing and say "NO, this behavior is NOT acceptable!" children could be safe to be whoever and whatever they want. But no, people insist on enabling the abusers by telling them that they can't help it, kids are cruel, you should just go with the flow and stop doing whatever it is that makes them tease you. Urgh. I hate that my parents and family said such things to me when I was younger. They made me believe I deserved to be abused.

  2. True.
    My problem with gender is that my 4 year old is eating up the pink pretty princess thing. I thought I'd have more control over how gender is seen. It really bothers me to see her gender police me and other kids. Yeah, we talk about it, but I wish there didn't have to be any censoring.

    And I hear Macha's point about teaching kids they deserve to be abused. How many times do we hear that bullies are just poor insecure people without any friends? That it was more important to befriend the bully than stop the nasty behaviour?

    Good thing some of us can grow up :)

  3. Macha - Agreed! I don't think kids are cruel at all. Adults are cruel. Adults have all these rules that everyone else must live by. And THEY teach children to be cruel. By saying it, expecting it, teaching it.
    I had a friend comment on facebook saying that "I"m just saying that letting your son dress in a freakin tutu is disgusting." It makes me sad and angry...

    I have a good friend who is a cross-dresser. There are only three people in the world that know this about him. He'll see that and feel awful. I hope he also sees the other comments about how its okay and they could accept him.

    Prairienymph - I think I would SO cry if I had a pink princess as a daughter... I mean... I want to be totally accepting of everyone, but I think would be more difficult for me to handle than anything.

    And yes, I've heard that about bullies. Thought it was my job to rescue them... Guess what? That might be the reason SOME people are bullies, but I'd actually say that's the minority.

  4. @prairienymph (and Jen, a little): Your issue seems to really just boil down to personality. You want your daughter to be able to ignore gender, but with some people gender is a defining aspect of their personality. Because personality is so deeply entwined in biology, to cut gender out of her life would be to force her to deny a big part of who she is. This doesn't mean you need to accept the gender policing. Just find a gentle way of getting her to see diversity while allowing her to be a princess, for the time being.

  5. Tombs - I feel like I've been rebuked, not because you rebuked me, but because I needed it a little... I want to be open-minded, and let people be who they are, which I think was the point of this whole gender article... But... if who a little girl is happens to be a pretty princess, then I have a hard time accepting that. (A boy in a dress is easier for me to accept than a girl in a dress... go figure.)

    Gender policing is trying to control other people... Which is very different than accepting one's self. And that is my REAL problem with the princess thing... I've seen how women who believe in princesses treat other people, or believe they are not complete without a man, or they need someone to rescue them. Its not the dress I have a problem with...

    Thanks for your thoughts Tombs! I'm going back to thinking on this some more...