I heard a short piece on radio today, and while I certainly will misquote it and the speakers bias is not important - here is the gist.
A boy of 4 years old was doing things that were considered very girly. His parents assumed that his sexual development and orientation were not in congruence and are raising him as a her.
There are a number of discussions on AOM about what is manly and what is not. I also just read these articles about men who are problems to themselves and others because they are overly stuck in "manly" orientation.
It got me wondering if instead of changing gender, effeminate men need to stay in the circle of men and balance out the high level of testosterone that leads to so much violence in our world.
funny how some voices out there defend transgender changes and at the same time criticize the violent things men do. Men who are born men are men, no matter how they act, say I.
these are just developing thoughts from a heterosexual married guy - so I thought I'd toss it out there.
I don't agree that high testosterone levels lead to "so much violence." The links are to issues of sexism, which aren't manliness or testosterone. I think to get something useful out if this, we have to separate out things that are separate.
I look forward to seeing that.
Meanwhile, I can point out that if I had a son who was doing things I considered girly, I wouldn't respond by trying to confuse him about what he is. I would be more likely to shrug off my definitions of "girly." It's a fair bet that these girly behaviors were things like wearing pink or liking Cinderella, that is, things that are only girly in the minds of adults.
I think that the fact that the boy is only four years old needs to be taken into account. At young ages children don't really care if something is considered girly or not. If it's fun to them then they enjoy doing it. More than likely that young boy will grow out of liking to do the "girly" things and will enjoy being around how friends doing "boyish" things.
Gender roles have always been very societal based. What we may see that as rigid and oppressive expectations I believe started to help a tribe adapt, survive and prosper. Therefore these roles were seen more as a duty to fulfill than an obligation to be. Get married and if you have more than 2 kids, the chances are better that someone will wipe your ass when you no longer can.
Gender roles today are more than duty but have become a lifestyle/identity. On top of that, all of the prefixed sexualities can congregate to find like-spirited people. This can be healthy or become a ghetto like any group. The problem of such clustering is that the natural diversity of a traditional group decreases. Such groups would include a diverse array of members, including single male and females (whether widowed or gay) who could take a mentoring and healing role for the tribe to prosper.
In other words, the idea of raising kids to fit--or not fit--a relatively rigid gender role and identity (vs duty) is modern construct which I consider forced and not particularly healthy. Speaking as straight single dad, I'm not pleased when I see that my 12 year old's toenails are painted (obviously with help from his mom). Im less concerned if that is a sign of his orientation as I am about the social impact he may face since kids can be brutal. But as long as it's winter and he has his socks on I have more pressing concerns and let it go.
Let our kids be kids. Let us men be men and sexual without demographic fragmentation. We love and love alone is sufficient.
This boy's parents are idiots. All boys try some things that are girly. All girly try some things that are boyish. That doesn't change anatomy. The boy's father needs to step in and teach the kid how to be a boy. That doesn't mean he can't like cooking. You can be a man and cook. You just cook like a man and not a woman.
This whole sexual identity thing is nonsense. You don't see white people running around saying "I self-identify as an aborigine" and painting their skin deep brown. Enough is enough.
I doubt that she really self-identified as black. It was entirely self-serving.
Either way, in a world of 7 billion, allowing extreme examples to influence our everyday thoughts is silly.
I agree, Todd. Unfortunately, more often lately extreme examples wind up becoming the central focus (cf. North Carolina bathrooms) and get blown out of proportion due to IMO what can be a misguided desire for inclusion.
That said, I used to work with someone who was "intersex" at birth but she hasn't had an easy road. So I do not discount the fact of sexual confusion in people entirely -- but again, I believe it's the rarity not the norm.
It is a rarity, but this is a big country. I have seen statistics as high as 1 in 5000 births having some degree if intersex biology, and while we do not have good data for how that might correlate to brain/body mismatch, that still represents a lot of people this can potentially impact.
Gender is different than anatomical sex.
Valid point. It is also on a scale.
Gender is also different then sexual preference.
You're right, gender doesn't exist.
You make a very interesting point.
I think having a wider breadth of stereotypes for men is a good thing. I think remembering there was a time when men could hold hands as friends and it would not be construed as romantic interest would be a good thing.
That said I have a friend who is in the process of transition they have wanted this for a long time. I respect what they are doing even if I don't understand and am not completely comfortable with what they are doing, much like a tattoo.
I think that its tough to be transgender. I think it is tough to be a kid. The kids that make that choice face a really hard road. I have to think its not lightly taken. But I wonder if society provides a stereotype fit rather then more options for boys.
Perhaps we need a stereotype of a flaming - straight male? But I'm really not sure. I tend to think of those as "Dapper Gentlemen". The well appointed male that is over the top in focus on fashion and style.