May. 24th, 2011

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Does it sometimes seem that some parents are bending so far over backward to raise "gender-neutral" children that it gets a bit ridiculous?

Like so.

What happens if these parents get a princessy girl who really just wants to identify as a girl? I have the impression that that would be discouraged, despite what they're saying, although of course I don't know that. I wonder if they got a super-girly girl and a truck-loving, wrestler of a boy if they'd concede that sometimes people just are what they are, stereotypes included.

Honestly, aside from the annoyance of lacking a pronoun, the biggest detriment they're doing their children is likely the unschooling, which is another thing of which I'm dead curious to see the long-term effects. I don't think it does kids any favors to train them that they don't need to function inside the parameters of typical school or work, honestly, but some of that's under the assumption that they'll attend college, which they might not. And yes, I actually have told my kid that part of going to school is learning how and when to play along with (or change) the system, even if you think it's dumb. I never had a job where I didn't have to do that, and it's a valuable skill as part of the social contract. Sure it would be lovely to live in a happy place where we all pursue our interests and are Special, but I don't know too many people for whom that works.

So, I'm curious: at what point does it get ridiculous, if at all? Is it beneficial to raise these kids genderless? Is it fair, or does it put the burden of the parents' values on the kid? We're not talking about the J.Crew Toenail Scandal, which was too stupid to be borne, but a whole life built around deliberately avoiding gender stereotypes and pronouns. Doesn't this make a person's sex into an even bigger issue?

As a secondary concern, when did "gender" become synonymous with "sex"? To be correct, words have gender, people have a sex, but I imagine I'm probably grammatically nitpicking and we all must bow to the prevailing trend.
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We had a very exciting day.

Behind the cut. )


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