One of my favorite stories from my mom’s early teaching career was of a little girl whose mother would drop her off at school each day with these simple words: “You be sweet!”
That stuck with me. So much so, that as I wave goodbye to my own toddler daughter each day, I tell her the very same thing. And I’ll tell my son—who we will welcome in just a few short weeks—the same thing.
Parenting is a tough gig (and I’m just getting started … gulp). But those three words—a version of the age-old golden rule—are the crux of what our job as parents is. We’re supposed to raise selfless and kind boys and girls who will go on to be selfless and kind men and women.
“How do I shape my son into a man who respects women and treats them as equals? Is it possible for him to breathe society’s misogynistic air every day without succumbing? How do I instill in my daughter the confidence, resolve, and resilience to thrive in a culture that will incessantly push her down?”
Bear in mind that this is someone who—in the same breath as she berates parents for differentiating between the genders—sees nothing BUT gender.
Explain how that’s not going to eventually cause a problem for these little minds.
After all, you’re forcing your children—whose entire world is YOU, and whose little brains are just learning to grasp the concept of not wetting their pants and not launching pancakes across the table when they’re angry—that there are no difference between the genders (when there clearly are). You’re also teaching them that, despite there being “no difference” between the genders, boys are inherently oppressors and girls are inherently oppressed, simply because of their genetics.
What a tragically dark way to raise your children.
Be that as it may, here’s how Ms. Moyer boils it down:
- We constantly point out gender, and it’ll force children to draw conclusions about gender.
“We use gendered nouns all the time: ‘Good morning, boys and girls,’ ‘What a good girl,’ ‘The man is at the corner,’ ‘Ask that lady,’… and that tells kids that gender is really important—because otherwise, why do you label it hundreds of times a day?”
It’s so funny that people who often want us to draw lines ad nauseum between the races (read this) are the very same crowd that tells us we shouldn’t call someone by what their DNA makes them.
For as much as liberals love to talk about how conservatives are consummate science deniers because most of us don’t blindly buy into man-made climate change, they certainly love to deny science when it comes to gender.
There are biologically two genders. That’s a demonstrably true scientific fact. What’s also demonstrably true is that males and females—apart from distinct anatomy and distinct biological functions—are emotionally and mentally wired differently. For example, that’s largely what drives men and women into different careers. As I wrote in a past piece, it’s a little challenging to see more females in corporate and political leadership roles if we women are routinely (and of our own free will) not choosing those career paths.
So, back to the author’s issue with gendered pronouns, tell me: how am I screwing up my children by referring to a woman as a woman, and a man as a man? To pretend—for the sake of their “development”—that males and females are indistinct from one another is approximately as useful as telling my children there’s no difference between anything at all.
- Buying “gender specific” toys or clothes will negatively shape their behavior.
Apparently, buying a dolly for my daughter (who has the biological ability to actually carry a child someday herself) is, in fact, sowing the seeds of inferiority in my daughter’s little mind.
(Shoot, remind me to return that baby doll I just bought my daughter; the one we’re going to give to her when her brother is born so she has a baby just like mommy does—and subsequently feels special, too. But I’ve digressed.)
The author writers: “Most of it is [that] kids are playing with what their parents buy them … The more ingrained kids’ gender stereotypes become, the more easily they conclude that girls are inferior to boys—that boys have higher status because they biologically deserve it.”
Read: play kitchens teach subservience and G.I. Joe teaches misogynistic dominance over women.
No… those are toys. Toys are not responsible for hard-wiring a sociological worldview into a child’s brain. That’s where mommy and daddy—and what they say and do around their children—come in. It’s not unlike the night that Donald Trump got elected and countless media figures were lamenting about what to say to their young children when they saw that horrible man on the TV. Here’s the deal: your young children shouldn’t be watching the news at all. If they’re faced with subject matter that’s far too advanced for their young minds, that’s kind of on you, my friends.
- Pink ruffles will get your daughter raped and turn your son into a sex-crazed predator.
“Then, when these stereotypes morph during adolescence, they lead to something even more sinister: The idea that girls are sex objects and that boys are sex-obsessed, that it’s OK for guys to cross sexual boundaries because that’s just how guys are… So, yeah: Dressing your baby girl in pink ruffles might be cute, but it may also feed a dangerous societal monster.”
Yeah, there are sexists and misogynists in the world, and yeah—some of them are raising children.
If Ms. Moyer was serious about combating sexism and predatory sexual behavior, she might consider focusing on the ACTUAL problem.
And like it or not, that comes from rejecting any kind of moral code (yes, God).
Take this, for example. As a society, we worship (yes, worship) pop culture; the very same pop culture that oozes the predatory, routine, awful sexual abuse that Ms. Moyer is concerned about.
This is the same pop culture that tells us to be whatever we want, do whatever we want to do, feel however we want—and most importantly, that there are no absolutes. And yet somehow we’re all shocked and appalled when Harvey Weinstein whips out his genitalia in front of a woman (actually dozens), or Kevin Spacey shoves his hands down a teenager’s pants.
And instead of facing the fact that we worship a culture that says that there are no absolutes and that anything goes, we’re supposed to believe that sexism and sexual abuse a la Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, et al, is a result of dressing our daughters in pink and buying our sons Tonka trucks?
That is one of the single laziest things I’ve ever heard … and one of the best cop-outs.
Why is it a cop-out? Because it means I—the adult—can continue to binge-watch Hollywood’s trash so long as I paint my nursery sterile white and make sure that I refer to my children each as “it” and do the same to any people they happen to interact with. It means I can continue to listen to Beyoncé (whose lyrics, unlike pink ruffles on a onesie, actually do paint women as sexual objects) so long as I berate my son for wanting to be friends with other boys instead of girls.
Here’s what I want you to walk away with: raising good children is hard, but it’s not rocket science. And it should NOT involve imposing adults’ self-inflicted struggles about gender and gender definitions onto our much-too-young children.
Instead, teach them that there are absolutes; that there are differences between right and wrong … and heaven forbid, maybe shoot a glance at the Ten Commandments. After all, is a society full of children being raised to love the God that created them, respect their parents, respect their marriages, and respect their neighbors really such an awful goal to aspire to?
Give it a try.
You might be surprised.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show Worldwide. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree