16 Jun Mainstreaming Gender Confusion
Everybody I know finds it very easy to mark “Male” or “Female” in the appropriate box. So, a few years ago when I was at the United Nations and I was told that there are actually seven genders, I was dumbfounded if not irritated. At the time, I was fully aware of the trickle down effect of issues from the UN into national and local policy. Not this one I thought confidently–surely not gender! Sadly, in our society we can never say never for today “Gender” seems to be big news.
Consider these recent stories and events
1. Canadian parents Kathy Witterick, 38, and David Stocker, 39, are intent on rearing their children in a world that’s “unconstrained by social norms about males and females.” How are they going to accomplish this? By refusing to tell people whether their third child, Storm, is a boy or a girl. The plan is to let Storm grow up into his/her own person and discover what his/her sex is – unhindered by what society might project upon him/her. The story has ignited a firestorm of opinion as to whether this approach constitutes parental abuse of a child or savvy parents who are riding the crest of the wave for the creation of a progressive, socially just and inclusive world. Two years ago, a similar story came out of Sweden with no word on how this couple’s experiment in raising a “genderless” child is progressing.
2. Chaz Bono just released his new book: “Becoming Chaz.” and is enjoying the media spotlight. You might recognize the author by another name – Chastity Bono – the cute little daughter of Sonny and Cher who became a fixture on the 1970’s variety show “The Sonny and Cher Hour.” Years ago, Chastity/Chaz announced that she was a lesbian and this new book chronicles the journey (and the surgeries) for Chaz Bono to emerge as his authentic self – a transgendered male.
3. Now enter another famous couple and their child: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and their young daughter, Shiloh. Seems that almost five-year-old Shiloh prefers to dress in boy clothes, wears very short hair and spends her day with toys usually associated with boys. That has people continually discussing Shiloh’s sexuality and raising the question of a “gender crisis.” Chaz Bono is quoted as saying that he would like to “talk to them [Jolie and Pitt] at some point…to at least let them know we have this resource for them if they ever need it.” The famous parents were not pleased and asked people to “leave Shiloh alone.” Jolie added that she sees nothing wrong with a little girl behaving as a “tomboy” noting that she, too, was a tomboy while growing up. But this story, too, has generated volumes of discussion on the topic of gender-identity.
4. Perhaps you missed the headlines about the retailer J. Crew and the “pink toenails” controversy. J. Crew’s ad showing a mother painting her young son’s toenails pink brought yet another round of gender identity discussion on what is and what isn’t propaganda.
Each of these stories and incidents are part and parcel of a broader movement towards the creation of a “gender neutral” society- one that views a “binary construct” (male/female, man/woman) as archaic and even dangerous. It is an effort to mainstream every type of gender confusion and sexual behavior – no matter how dysfunctional and destructive – by convincing the general population that these deviations are just a variation of “normal.”
A New Vocabulary
The movement to redefine gender- solidly grounded in liberal academia – has generated a new set of terms and definitions:
Birth sex – your genitals
Gender identity – who you are
Sexual orientation – who you are romantically and sexually attracted to
Gender expression – what you do, what you wear and how you act
Gender Variant – when you run into resistance because you don’t fit the expectations of others
Transgender or Trans – an umbrella term used to describe those who challenge social gender norms
Sex vs. Gender
* Sex is a biologic concept referring to the biologically based presumption of reproductive capability. Sex is assigned at birth based upon the visual assessment of the baby’s genitalia.
* Gender is the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. Gender is a social construct that varies over time, ethnicity, and culture.
* There is a continuum for gender (evidenced by the transgender population)
* The binary understanding says that there are men on one side of the continuum and women at the other end. Yet there is a broad middle space on the continuum between male and female that is filled with unimaginable diversity! [emphasis not ours]
Gender-creative children – children, which includes the transgendered, who feel born in the wrong bodies, and gender hybrids, who feel they are part girl and part boy and gender “smoothies,” who have a blended sense of gender that is purely “them.”
Social transition – the outward change in appearance and/or presentation that one may undergo in order to express their gender identity. This may include dress, hairstyle, name change and pronoun changes.
Medical Transition – Undergoing medical intervention(s) to alter physical/sexual characteristics of one’s body in order to affirm gender identity. This includes Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and surgery.
What’s being taught at your child’s school?
Perhaps you’re thinking that we picked up the above definitions out of some kooky book, off the internet, or maybe at a UN event. Nope. This is a list that a parent in the United Families Arizona chapter picked up at a faculty training event at a local high school.
In May, the children at Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, California, received lessons on gender identity and expression with a curriculum developed by an activist group, Gender Spectrum, and funded by a grant from the California Teachers Association. School children were taught, among other things, that they can decide whether they are a boy, a girl, or both. Anxious parents and other critics insisted that the elementary school children were not being taught diversity, but instead were being taught gender confusion. With the California Teachers Association behind this program, we can assume that it will be rolled out to other elementary schools in California.
As of next September, 11th-grade students in France, in order to receive the nation’s secondary-school diploma, will be required to participate in the new official French science curriculum. Making up about one-third of the new curriculum are lessons falling under two categories: “Feminine-Masculine” and “Taking charge of your sexual life together and responsibly.” Once again, we see a curriculum that seeks to minimize the difference between men and women, promotes gender fluidity, and seeks to re-educate students on the traditional understanding of sex and gender.
United Families International’s intention in informing you of this quite disturbing trend is to make you aware of efforts to redefine gender so you can watch for it in your schools and in your community, to encourage you to share and reinforce your beliefs regarding sex/gender with your children, and to not be blindsided or caught off guard as GLBTQI advocates try to push society head long into their brave new world – a fantasy world that denies biological reality.
In addition to the indoctrination occurring in the education system, some of the obvious public policy thrusts are efforts to put in place gender-neutral bathrooms, gender-neutral housing on campuses, as well as legislative efforts to add sexual orientation and gender-identity to non-discrimination policies. While we stand against those who would bully or unfairly treat others, the ramifications of granting special rights to the gender confused are profound. As Dale O’Leary, an expert in gender-identity issues, points out:
Granting special rights to the [gender confused] would mean that the refusal to change a license or other documents of male (with or without surgery) to female would be a human rights abuse. Using the biologically correct pronouns would be discrimination. Men dressed as women could demand the right to use women’s facilities. Health plans could be forced to pay for expensive surgical alterations. Schools would be forced to teach a pro-transgendered agenda and accept transsexual teachers.
Treatment of children with GID [Gender Identity Disorder] would be banned, even though it can successfully prevent a transsexual outcome. Contrary views would be considered hate speech. Freedom of religion and speech would be undermined. Compassion for those with psychological disorders does not require society to protect disorder.
Being compassionate yet wise requires that we also be educated and aware. Hopefully the awareness we here provide will be a springboard of protection for the males and females in your family.
President, United Families International