"Girls will be boys and boys will be girls; it's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world….” In 1970, this was just a song lyric. In 2015, though, it increasingly is part of school curricula. And the latest news on this front is a shocking story about a taxpayer-funded elementary-school program that involves having children dress as the opposite sex in order to combat so-called “gender stereotypes.” Moreover, it’s reported that school officials tried to keep the program secret from parents.
The scene of this trespass is the northern Italian city of Trieste, where the cross-dressing exercise — called “the game of respect” — is said to reflect European standards on sex education, which themselves reportedly are the handiwork of the World Health Organization. Breitbart news provides more details:
The so-called “game of respect” consists in [sic] a box containing several cards, presenting the figures of different working roles: male and female housewives and husbands, male and female plumbers and firefighters, with the figures represented in exactly the same way to show that males and females are completely interchangeable.
There is also a card with a game called “If he were she and she were he,” where boys and girls are expected to exchange the clothes they are wearing: the boy dresses as a girl and the girl as a boy, and they discuss how they feel in that new “role.”
Breitbart also reports that in addition there is
a sex education program for kindergarten students intended to highlight the similarities and differences between boys’ and girls’ bodies. The program involves one child lying down and the others placing their hand first on the child’s heart to feel how it beats, then on the diaphragm to feel it rise and fall. The text reads that “obviously in the genital area children can see that they are made differently from one another.” Though the text does not specifically state that the children are to touch each other in the genital area, parents are complaining that it is “understood.”
Unfortunately, the agenda reflected here — which seeks to blur the distinctions between the sexes and advance the notion that your “gender” can be whatever you desire — is operative throughout the Western world. For example, as I wrote at The New American last year:
Newly uncovered middle-school training documents in Lincoln, Nebraska, counsel teachers to avoid “gendered expressions” as part of an effort to alter the traditional understanding that mankind is divided into two sexes. The materials, revealed by Nebraska Watchdog, advise teachers not to call “students ‘boys and girls’ or ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ but to instead use more generic expressions like campers, readers, athletes or even purple penguins to be more ‘gender inclusive,’” reports the organization at its website. The social-engineering documents are entitled “12 easy steps on the way to gender inclusiveness...”
One of these steps was, “Point out and inquire when you hear others referencing gender in a binary manner.… Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender.” But the reality is that the teachers themselves haven’t thought very expansively — in the sense of thinking thoroughly — about “gender” at all.
It should first be noted that not long ago the term “gender” was generally applied only to words, not people; it was defined as it is in my seventh printing, 1975 American Heritage School Dictionary, which states, “In grammar, one of a number of categories, such as masculine, feminine, and neuter, into which words are divided.” So why was it redefined by those with an agenda?
The fact that Facebook offers 58 different “gender” options (at last count) provides a clue. Understand that the word was never meant to be synonymous with “sex”; rather, the social engineers use it to refer not to objective reality, but to a person’s perception of what he is. And since man’s imagination knows no bounds, the number of “genders” grows continually.
But since this idea that sexual self-image is reality is being taught to children, surely it must be based on sound science, right? Well, just consider what’s necessary for a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” (used to justify so-called “gender-reassignment surgery”), the condition wherein a person’s external appearance doesn’t match his perception of what he is — which is not to be questioned.
He must be experiencing strong and persistent “gender” dysphoric feelings that have been present for more than a year.
There is no genetic test.
No brain scan.
No blood test.
There’s no medical test at all.
It’s akin to performing bypass surgery simply because a patient says he has strong, persistent, and longstanding feelings that he has heart disease. Yet this unscientific “gender” ideology is now the basis for curricula and for the allowing of young children to live as members of the opposite sex.
As to the question of “sex (gender) stereotypes,” there’s a possibility that never occurs to the “expansive” thinkers: that they may actually be a good thing. As I also wrote last year:
While some complain about pigeonholing boys and girls, raising children is all about categorizing, molding, and limiting. And it isn’t just the so-called “gender straitjacket” that supposedly violates a child’s right to choose his own “gender.”... Just as psychologists define “gender dysphoria[,]”…they also define “clinical lycanthropy,” the sense that you’re really an animal. Texas girl Sarah Rodriguez, for instance, insists she’s a “canine” and goes by the name Wolfie Blackheart. Despite this, we still pigeonhole children by putting them in clothing, and teaching them language, manners, and the whole range of human norms. We don’t refrain from limiting a child with a “species straitjacket” because he may one day conclude he’s a ferret.
A truly open mind would consider that, just as we offer musical training to a music prodigy to exploit his potential, sex stereotyping could simply be the providing of sex-specific training to boys and girls to help them develop their masculine and feminine gifts to their fullest.
Instead, we have the narrowness of open minds unmoored from Truth, the eternal, and married to the ephemeral. As G.K. Chesterton once wrote:
The trouble in too many of our modern schools is that the State, being controlled so specially by the few, allows cranks and experiments to go straight to the schoolroom when they have never passed through the Parliament, the public house, the private house, the church, or the marketplace.
Obviously it ought to be the oldest things that are taught to the youngest people; the assured and experienced truths that are put first to the baby. But in a school today the baby has to submit to a system that is younger than himself. The flopping infant of four actually has more experience and has weathered the world longer than the dogma to which he is made to submit.
Note that not long ago the dogma was “gender neutrality” theory, the notion that children are a tabula rasa, a “blank slate,” and will be happy being whatever “gender” you raise them to be. Now the fashion is believing that their “gender” can be whatever they feel it is. The only constant is that the kids are guinea pigs, twisting in the wind and being twisted as the educators play at being educated.