“Gender Creative” Kids and Their Parents: A Lament

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.”  [Read more...]

Harvard BGLTQ Community: Rejecting Pronouns, Common Sense & Journalistic Standards

Who doesn’t need a little Harvard humor now and then?  [Read more...]

Sex, Gender, and Gravity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 with no trace of irony as she placed her kid on the swing and said, “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.” They claimed children unwittingly learn certain gender signifiers that dictate their behavior. Little boys, they claim, 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 when my son dug up our yard one square foot at a time, because he was convinced he’d find buried treasure.)

Read the rest here, if you can stomach it.

You Can’t Win for Losing

Many of you saw the article I wrote for National Review titled “The NYT Wants Men to be Women” in which I discuss how mothers of young (presumably nursing) children just physically cannot easily leave their kids at home to pursue careers.

We give birth and have breasts that nourish, and it’s not men’s fault.  Anyway, I got a lot of hate mail over that one, from women who work who seem to think I was saying that women should never work. (This, in spite of the fact that I am a professional writer.  I know, I know, it’s not nine to five but — believe me — it’s work.)

So today I was surprised to get an e-mail from someone who found me through the recent Politico article.

Nancy, Unless your children are young adults (like my 23 year old son) you left them to go to live in Alaska for a month. I am a liberal woman, and I never never never would have left my son, and I do have a husband/father of said son. NEVER NEVER NEVER would I put work ahead of my child. You did and shame on you.

A friend who saw this note e-mailed me, “Well, you can’t win for losing.”

Men, Go Ahead and Buy an Apron and a Purse

Because the New York Times asks why can’t you be women:

Last week, the New York Times ran a symposium titled “How Can We Get Men to Do More at Home?” The series was prompted because of a recent study showing that German and other European women are making strides in education and in the workplace, but their careers stall once they have children. Why? The Times cites “child care” and “hard-to-quantify traditional ideas about parenting,” among other reasons. They ask, “If greater equality between men and women in the work force has not led to greater equality in child-rearing and other domestic responsibilities, what will?”

Seven experts weigh in on this supposed “problem,” but the very question obscures the reality of the role of women and men in two ways.

Read what they are here.


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