Why I’m raising my kids to know their sex, not their gender

Children need to learn about their bodies, not which toys they are “supposed” to play with.

In January 2017, the BBC aired a controversial documentary called, “Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?” which explored the doctrine that children know best when it comes to their “gender identity,” and that we should accept their beliefs without question. Following the airing of this documentary, the BBC came under fire from trans activists, who claimed the documentary would spark prejudice and lead to the social rejection of “trans kids.”

As the mother of a four-year-old girl and a 10-month-old girl, and step-mother to a four-year-old boy, I find the limited discourse around “trans kids” troubling. As I watch my children growing, learning, changing, and exploring, the idea of allowing them to make such a life-changing choice, so young, without question, is abhorrent.

While, in recent decades, progressive parents may have told their boys it’s ok to play with dolls and wear pink, and told their girls it’s ok to play sports and get dirty, the concept of gender identity has confused people. And this confusion has potentially dangerous consequences.

I have watched my little boy dancing around in a Princess Elsa dress to “Let It Go,” and I have watched my little girl crashing around a playground in her Liverpool football shirt, often being mistaken for a boy. It has never occurred to myself or my partner to suggest to either of them that they are doing something wrong by not conforming to the gender stereotypes of their sexes. I want them to be themselves — not what society says a boy or girl “should” be.

This is why I’m raising my children to know their sex, not their gender.

I’ll explain why: Their sex is what they are. The girls have vaginas and XX chromosomes and the boy has a penis and XY chromosomes. Obviously there are other physiological differences but those are the basics.

Gender, on the other hand, is what each sex is supposed to be. It is what males and females are supposed to be interested in, how they are expected to behave, what they are presumed to be capable of, and what they are assumed to think and feel. It’s the “boys like pirates, girls like princesses/boys like football, girls like ballet” school of thought. A campaign called Let Toys Be Toys explains how this kind of gendered socialization impacts kids’ lives:

“Children don’t pop out of the womb with expectations about their future careers, or beliefs about what their work is worth, but the stereotypes we see in toy marketing connect with the inequalities we see in adult life. By late primary age, research by Welsh organisation Chwarae Teg shows that children already have very clear ideas about the jobs that are suitable for boys and girls; ideas that are very hard to shake later on.”

My oldest daughter has always liked her hair short and never showed interest in “princess culture.” She loves Spiderman and football, but she also loves My Little Pony and tutus. Recently she came home with a bloody nose because a little boy in her class had pushed her down and laughed at her for “being a boy.” She was devastated and confused. She had always proudly worn her Spiderman backpack to school, and now was wondering if it meant something was wrong with her — something she has never had cause to question before. I told her there is nothing wrong with her, that she is a girl and liking Spiderman doesn’t change that because Spiderman is for everyone. To have said otherwise would surely have been cruel and sexist.

Kids need to know their sex. Not least in part for medical reasons. They need to know their body parts in order to describe any pain or discomfort they might be feeling, and to explain the source of that pain or discomfort. They need to understand the changes they will experience, physically, when they go through puberty — changes that are specific to sex.

Girls need to learn about periods — how to use tampons or pads, what pain relief works best. They also need to learn about things like yeast infections, the importance of cervical screening tests, as well as, of course, contraceptives and pregnancy. Boys need to learn about erections, testicular pain, about their voices dropping, the importance of prostate cancer examinations, and about wearing condoms and taking responsibility for their own role in reproduction and sexual health. These are basic biological realities that will manifest as my children grow and experience life.

Understanding their own biology is pivotal, but teaching them about gender is unnecessary. And in some cases it is harmful.

Nothing that children play with, watch, or wear is restricted to their sex. There is no reason boys can’t play with Barbies, wear dresses, or watch princess movies. There is no reason girls can’t play with dinosaurs, wear football kits, or watch superhero movies. Telling children otherwise is what creates problems.

I recently had a conversation with someone online who told me she is raising her little boy as girl. I assume this doesn’t mean teaching her child about the biologically female things he won’t experience. I don’t suppose she’ll be teaching him about period cramps and how to get blood stains out of knickers. What she means is that she will be raising him socially as a girl, in the gendered way that female children are typically raised in a sexist society.

She tweeted that every birthday and Christmas he asked for dolls, and every year he cried when he was bought trucks. I asked why she couldn’t just let him play with dolls? Why not let the kid choose what he wanted to play with? She said he was teased, made fun of, and laughed at for liking girls’ toys.

In other words, this woman taught her son that the bullies were right and that he was wrong. She changed him, not the bullies.

This boy is now on a path. He’s being raised as a “girl.” He’s on a path that leads to puberty blockers, a lifetime of medication, hormone therapy, and surgery. As is sometimes the case for other children who have been deemed “transgender,” like Florida teen Jazz Jennings, he might find, after being put on puberty blockers, his development is so damaged that he is unsuitable for sex reassignment surgery. A doctor on Jenning’s TV show, I Am Jazz, explains:

“We’re just now getting children who have been on puberty blocking hormones. When it comes to the surgery, we don’t have the raw materials we need.”


This woman’s little boy is facing an adulthood with a completely underdeveloped body, an infant-sized penis, and impeded brain, bone, and muscle development.

Yet no one is questioning it or offering him other options.

All because he wanted a Barbie.

When we impose gender stereotypes on children, it starts them on their journey to adulthood in a way that is not healthy. Fifty years ago, it meant little girls grew up to be housewives. They were taught to play with makeup sets, ironing boards, and dolls in order to groom them for a life of servitude, beauty, and motherhood. Little boys were taught to play with cars, blocks, and weapons, preparing them for a life of adventure, independence, money-making, and dominance.

We had begun to leave that behind. Campaigns like Let Toys Be Toys argued that any child can play with any toy. In 1972, Marlo Thomas and the Ms. Foundation For Women launched “Free To Be… You And Me,” which, through songs and poetry, taught children to embrace post-1960s gender neutrality and not be restricted by their sex. We had become more accepting of little girls who like adventure and little boys who like domesticity. We had begun moving towards embracing personalities, not stereotypes.

But with the rise of gender identity ideology, being “tolerant” of and “celebrating differences” has come to mean being intolerant of those who are different.

Today, being “tolerant” means believing that a little boy who likes Barbie is really a girl. It means that a little girl who likes her hair short and doesn’t like pink is really a boy.

Gender stereotyping is experiencing a resurgence in popularity under the label of gender identity, and those who strictly conform to it to the point of medicating their children are being celebrated as the truly open-minded and progressive.

But my children will be raised to know their sex. They will be raised to know their bodies, to understand what their bodies do and how they work, and to be aware of how their bodies will change and how to keep them healthy. They will be taught to love, respect, and nurture their bodies.

My children will not be taught their gender. They will never hear, “That’s a girl’s toy” or “Only boys wear that.” And if they hear it from others, they will swiftly be reassured that it is not true — that they can play with or wear anything they like, and that they are perfect they way they are. If they are teased for their differences, I’ll never side with their bullies. It’s not ok to tell them their biology should limit their behaviour, hobbies, or feelings.

As a truly feminist, progressive parent, I’m raising my children to know their sex, not their gender.

J.J. Barnes writes about politics with a focus on women’s issues, feminism, and parenting, and is the author of “The Lilly Prospero Series for Siren Stories.” Follow her on Twitter @judieannrose.

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  • Meghan Murphy

    I think they’ll just ignore it and move on with their lives, pretending as though they didn’t have a hand in this bullshit.

    • Notmethisonetime

      They will certainly do their best to ignore it. If they do have to face it, they’ll downplay detransitioning or suicides or other tragedies as rare, unforeseeable outcomes, caused by “society” or unrelated mental illness. If anything, they’ll blame the kids, insist they knew what they were getting into, and it’s all very sad if they’ve changed their minds or aren’t happy now but the adults were simply brave pioneers making the best of a difficult situation.

  • Alienigena

    Class action suits, possibly. Against governments (e.g. child welfare agencies), medical professionals, medical associations, school systems. Maybe even criminal cases against parents (for child abuse), individual physicians, trans activists (and their funders), etc.

    What is happening potentially impacts all gender non-conforming kids with parents too weak-willed, and/or ill-informed to object to having their children’s non-conforming behaviour treated as a pathology.

  • Gundog

    Same here. Despite a small business conservative father (when my brother and I were baptized we wore tiny suits because “no son of his was being baptized in a dress!”), however, he really didn’t care about anything else once were growing – She-Ra, Xena, my affinity for sewing, painting my nails in study hall, etc. Then again, I also was a good shot and played sportsball and wore a lot of camouflage and flannel so I wasn’t real far out there.

  • Notmethisonetime

    I’m of that generation of children. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have experienced it, but also pained by the knowledge of what my children are missing out on. I can say and model and do the right things to try to recreate it, but it is not part of something larger and organic. I battle loving grandparents who buy novels for a boy and books about Disney/Barbie/Princess movies for a girl, and the dance studio where all the other parents look at me sideways when I make a fuss about prepubescent girls being told that false eyelashes are required for performances. I can usually pester their father into backing me up, or maybe rally others for support, but more than once it’s been pointed out to me that I’m the only one who seems to have an issue and maybe I should just let the kids enjoy themselves.

    We, women, society…we were getting there. Now it seems so distant, maybe beyond reach.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh yeah. Capitalism very much benefits from gender, in general… Now, it benefits from transgender also.

  • Morag999

    No kidding, eh. All small children are interested in dolls. All children are enchanted, at least for a time, with human and animal figures as toys. ALL of them.

  • Morag999

    Yup. That’s already happening.

  • Julie Katz

    I feel so sad for these kids. It’s absolute insanity what’s being done to their perfect little bodies. It’s medicalized genital mutilation done in the cause of misogyny and how the western patriarchy now expresses just how unacceptable it is for its men to display “femininity”. It’s the “liberal” way to enforce the masculation of boys too and ensure boys become indoctrinated into violence, and to enforce feminization of girls and indoctrination into submission. The toys and games the boys labeled trans are rejecting are the ones that are supposed teach them how to be dominant men, the girls are rejecting submission, and for this they are punished with sterilization, genital mutilation, and lifetime stigma, not to mention the inevitable emotional costs and distortions of personality they will suffer.

    I’m sure also that other kids are getting the message loud and clear: if you like the wrong things, you’re trans and will suffer being the “most bullied, most likely to suicide, most discriminated against”, as well as medical abuse, which likely results in internalized suppression of gender-forbidden interests and opinions, as well as increased external gender policing among peers and adults. Imagine being an 8 year-old boy who happens to like playing house watching a show about Jazz.

    I think at some point, when enough of the trans-ed kids have reached their 20s and start realizing how badly they were abused, there will be a reckoning. The medical-psychiatric community will yet again be reminded of lobotomy, will probably pay out a lot of money in law suits, and may wring their hands for a while but will not learn the long overdue lesson about hubris. The psychology-psychiatric community will get a free pass, since they’re never held accountable for their theories of mental illness and how they translate them into various types of mind-fuckery, no matter what damage it causes (they don’t even report adverse response to treatment in their research, which at least medicine has to do). The parents will be the primary target of blame–though I expect mothers will be blamed more than fathers–and will be labeled Munchausen by proxy or something (by the psychs) that makes them responsible through some individual pathology, and perhaps some legislation will protect children from having certain kinds of procedures done to them.

    However, the issue of how all of this grows from fucked up ideas of what females and males are and how they should behave will never enter into the conversation. Feminists won’t be credited with seeing this and calling it out all along. Nothing will change in the treatment of adult trans either. I have just the slightest glimmer of hope that around the time the trans-ed kids start understanding what’s been done to them, the gender queer kids will come to the realization that they can reject gender constraints without denying their biological sex or making the world call them “they”. I also have the slightest glimmer of hope that the English speaking world, simply on grammatical grounds, will also reject using plural pronouns to refer to individuals, and in especially delirious moments I wonder if in the end we might adopt a convention of using a gender-neutral pronoun when the sex of the person being referenced is irrelevant.

  • Topazthecat

    Yes and before world war two,people used to dress baby girls in blue because it was described as a delicate ”feminine” color,and boys were dressed in pink because it was described as a light red strong ”masculine” color and then they totally reversed this,which just further demonstrates how totally artificially socially constructed all of this gender bullsh*t really is!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right! Not only do third wavers not understand feminist analysis/politics/history/theory, they aren’t socialists and don’t understand class analysis.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’ve started to buy a lot of men’s clothing (and men’s deodorant too), and people titter away when I tell them. It’s weird. Men’s clothing is often more comfortable and of higher quality. Women’s underwear, for example, is the WORST. It is super uncomfortable, often is made out of shitty synthetic fabric, and falls apart in the wash.

  • carolyn

    “This woman’s little boy is facing an adulthood with a completely underdeveloped body, an infant-sized penis, and impeded brain, bone, and muscle development. Yet no one is questioning it or offering him other options. All because he wanted a Barbie.” Did you miss the point that Jazz lives as a girl and does not want to be a boy? Is never going to go back to living as a boy? You are talking like her life as a boy is ruined, BUT SHE (NOT HE AS YOU SO RUDELY KEEP SAYING) DOES NOT WANT TO BE MALE. Without the blockers her body would be masculinised and you are yours would be saying your usual charming stuff like “It is just a man in a dress” I am sure that as time progresses, they will find ways of improving the outcomes. Having a body that is not masculinized, a deep voice and a beard, is already a good outcome. It did not seem to be putting Jazz off, but you ignore this childs view and say she is a ruined boy. Disgusting.

    • Tired feminist

      Too bad. Jazz Jennings is male whether or not he wants to be. Sex is not a choice.

      I understand this might sound “rude” to you, but it’s better for him to face this than to keep forever in denial, believing he can somehow change his sex.

    • Cassandra

      You are the one who is disgusting, supporting the medical abuse of children. Absolutely reprehensible.

    • DeepestDerp

      Yeah, so being a parent means that you are both legally and morally obligated to make many, many choices for your child. These are HUGE decisions, which absolutely could result in a “ruined” life for a multitude of reasons. There are reasons why mental health professionals are involved. The science is incredibly weak and varied on this. So, as a parent, you make what you believe to be the right choice, based on science and personal values. And yes, taking your child’s wishes into consideration is part of that as well. But the child’s view, well that’s the view OF A CHILD.

      • carolyn

        The science on this is not weak. Children are being allowed to live in role of the opposite gender as this is what is right for them. Not doing this results in a child who is suicidal and who tries to get away from their parents. In the past when this was not recognised, people were forced back in the closet, suppressed it and are now coming out eg in their fifties. This is a real thing and it is not going away. The child is just getting on with being themselves, the issue is whether parents suppress that or not, affecting your childs mental health

        • Meghan Murphy

          People don’t commit suicide because they can’t transition. Transitioning does not decrease suicide risk. If people are suicidal, they need mental health support. Transitioning does not resolve mental health issues.

          • Cassandra

            It’s like she’s just reading every sound bite from trans propaganda and throwing it up here.
            -“bits” are “wrong”
            -in the closet
            -“being themselves” by taking sterilizing hormones and getting surgeries that mutilate their bodies

            It is interesting, however, that she actually says this:
            “Children are being allowed to live in role of the opposite gender…”

            This is someone who thinks conservative, regressive sex roles are a good thing.

        • FierceMild

          Surgery isn’t “being yourself.”

        • Tired feminist

          Funny how you guys say things like “opposite gender” but then also say things like “gender is not a binary”… lol

          Oh and fyi, suicide rates continue high after transition. We won’t buy your guilt-tripping.

        • esuth

          Carolyn, if not having access to cross sex hormones and social transition causes gender dysphoric children to commit suicide, where were all the dysphoria-related child suicides in the years before these technologies were widely available?

        • Melanie

          At the moment I’m reading The Gender Creative Child by Diane Ehrensaft. Her ‘scientific methods’ seem to be based in contentious research, ‘following the lead’ of young children and making it up as she goes along. She takes terms that young children use to describe themselves and then legitimates them in her practice and uses them to assess and diagnose other children. Some of the terms she uses are ‘gender ambidextrous’, ‘gender smoothie’ and I kid you not ‘gender tootsie roll pop’. This is not science. This is a very disturbing ideology being imposed onto children by adults who seem to have hang ups about children who are different, who challenge sexist stereotypes or god forbid are potentially gay or lesbian.

    • FierceMild

      Jazz isn’t a girl he’s a boy. That is a neutral physical reality that should have no baring on what he wears or plays with. His body is a male body and pretending that he can physically change into a girl is not kindness it’s science denial.

    • Hekate Jayne


      Children are completely able to make decisions that will alter the course of their entire lives! Because we all know that their brains are fully formed by age 3.

      Has anyone told toddlers about piercings or tatooes? Because they may want to alter their bodies that way. Because they know everything by then.

      I swear, I don’t know why we don’t let 8 year olds drive, drink, or vote. They obviously are completely mature and able to make responsible decisions.

      And we should absolutely be encouraging pre teens to get breast implants. Especially if they are boys wanting to be girls, because the bigger the boobs, the more feminine the girl! But let’s let born girls get them, too!

      You are so right! Tiny children can make all major decisions because they are never wrong! You totally don’t sound like an idiot.

    • Jazz wants to pass as a woman, but will not be able to get a neovagina. Jazz probably did not sign up for side effects of hormone blockers, either. Kid’s going to have to get used to a body he didn’t want regardless. (As do we all to some extent.)

      • Cassandra

        When I watched that clip part of me was really angry, and yet despite how he has talked about his sister, part of me felt bad for him. Right now that kid is so screwed-up.

        Even with the puberty blockers his male body is betraying him. I hadn’t seen him in a while and my god those shoulders—he could be a linebacker! But yet at the same time the hormones have given him a penis that is too small to get the surgery he thinks he wants.

        And his mother! OMG! I do wonder what’s going to become of him, being exposed and taken advantage of to this extreme by the adult world. It’s just horrible.

  • lk

    “It is SO weird how people act about this, how meaningless scraps of fabric become imbued with such meaning.”

    It’s so deeply ingrained in a lot of us… Until I started reading this site, it honestly never occurred to me that I could shop in the men’s section. It just seemed like something I just should not be doing…

    It’s actually ridiculous when you really think about it- like a shirt is just a shirt…if it fits and you feel comfortable, you can wear it..it doesn’t matter if it say’s boys/men’s on it.

    • Alienigena

      When I was a teenager, my mother used to take me into the men’s section occasionally to look for shirts as everyone in my family (mother, brother, sister, father) has broad shoulders, long torsos, and the women have unimpressive busts.

    • Wren

      I love how simple men’s clothes are, but the shoulders are always too big (sometimes I have luck in boy’s clothes). It is nearly impossible to find basics in women’s wear cause it’s always got some stupid seasonal trendy thing like ruffles or peplums or gigantic sleeves. So fucking annoying.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yeah, the shoulders are always too big on jackets etc, which is annoying… But I like wearing oversized t-shirts and tank tops, and, like, flannels, etc., so that can work often. Men’s socks are always way better than women’s socks, too, imo.

  • Cassandra

    Good comment.

    The sentence you find problematic isn’t. She’s referring to the fact that nowadays people who don’t comply with gender ideology are the different ones. Genderists are very intolerent of people who don’t drink the gender arsenic.

  • Cassandra

    Boo-ya mic drop!

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    I hope his sister gets the hell out of there as soon as possible.

  • FierceMild


  • FierceMild

    That’s true.

  • FierceMild

    I’d love to hear more about your relationship with fashion. I’ve pretty much bowed out of it for the moment due to medical necessity, but a woman under patriarchy with a love of fashion is in a bit of a pickle. I absolutely LOVE 19th century men’s fashion and think it looks ballin’ on either sex while remaining (in its simpler forms) eminently practical…but I don’t see being taken seriously in this:
    Unless your body is of a certain type.

    • Wren

      I’d wear that!! Except the tie cause it’s constricting.

    • Cassandra

      Ooh, this is a great look! I bet you could totally wear it! I too love Edwardian “men’s” clothing.

      As far as fashion and my relationship to it, well I could go on for many paragraphs but I will spare you and everyone else here, as I find that sort of thing a little rude at a certain point, maybe after paragraph seven or eight. 😉

      Suffice it to say that I realize very well my conditioning and how at odds fashion is with feminism in our current world. I dress for style, not the male gaze, so maybe it’s a little better? Nah. Probably not. It’s hard to reconcile how we as humans, both sexes, are drawn to beauty, whether it be in nature, music, art or other people, with the way it creates cruel hierarchies in the case of the latter and oppresses women especially. If I ever write in my blog again I’ll write about it and let you know. I’m sure the anticipation will be unbearable. 😉

      In a non-patriarchal world we could all dress how we wanted to. People would have freedom to wear a much larger variety of styles; to dress as outlandishly or as plainly as he or she wishes. Imagine how much more interesting it would be! But we here already know that.

      In addition there’s also the very screwed-up conditions under which so many clothes are made. I have become hyper aware of this because it affects females the most (of course). I try to buy only vintage/ebay/etsy, etc., but it’s hard to stick to.

      Anyway, that’s enough out of me.

      By the way, I ran a google image search for your jacket. It couldn’t find the exact image and so it came back with “Best guess for this image: vampire outfit for men.” LOL!

  • Alienigena

    I didn’t disfigure mine but I rarely played dress up with them, I mostly played psychodrama (scenes from my parents dysfunctional marriage) with my barbie and my brother’s GI Joe.

    • FierceMild

      Ouch! Also, kind of sad-funny (I have similar experience).

  • Hekate Jayne

    I’m guessing that you didn’t have brothers.

  • Wren

    lol I had a couple barbies just so I could play with a neighborhood girl. I HATED them. Me and my brothers would play stuffed animal wars, and the barbies were always the despotic leaders who would be promptly decapitated by the victors. Good times.

  • Wren

    I feel sick. My first thought reading what he said: Sounds like someone who will grow up to kill women.

    not good.

  • Independent Radical

    Being the crazy radical that I am, I would go a step further and argue that children should not be encouraged to play with toys that are overly masculine or feminine. No child should play with dolls that teach them that they should strive to be princesses who sit around looking pretty, instead of making an actual contribution to the world, and nobody should play with toys (or participate in sports) that encourage brutal aggression (such as tackling).

    There was a time when there were far more toys that simply weren’t gendered to begin with (slinkys, rocking horses, balls, etc), but nowadays corporations have gendered everything and if something isn’t clearly gendered either way (such as a science kit), it’s considered a “boys’ toy” by default.

    Girls are definitely more limited in what they’re encouraged to choose from than boys are. I can’t think of “girls’ toy” (I’m using quotation marks for a reason) that doesn’t encourage girls to either be obsessed with how they look (whether it’s how “sexy” they look or how “beautiful” they look is irrelevant, the problem isn’t just a matter of sexualisation) or good they are at serving others (cooking, cleaning, caring for babies/animals).

    Boys on the other hand can play with toys that encourage aggression (such as toy guns and ridiculously muscular action figures), but you can give them toys that don’t encourage masculinity (and that instead encourage intellectual development, such as non-gendered legos and other construction sets) and avoid social disapproval.

    I think we need to do more than raise our own children differently. We need to regulate what corporations are producing so that children aren’t surrounded by gendered toys to begin with. No child demanded Barbies before Barbies were a thing and corporations should have to demonstrate that their toys are not psychologically harmful in the long run before they can sell them (which in the case of gendered toys, they probably will not be able to if the study is done right). Parents these days focus too much on whether the child will enjoy the toy and not on what sort of person they are encouraging them to be by giving them a toy.

    Growing up I had few toys compared to most kids of my generation (I grew up in an era where the princess stuff was really taking off) and most were not gendered. Did I die from lack of entertainment and gender indoctrination? No, children are adaptable and imaginative. I took random objects and turned them to toys, just like other children can do when they are outside. An imaginative kid can enjoy a stick or a rock as much as they can enjoy a toy their parent wasted fifty dollars on, the only downside is social stigma. Having the right toys is a way to get in with the popular crowd at school, which is why I at least begged for them as a kid (and thankfully didn’t get them).

    I’m disappointed that allowing children to play with toys other than what is considered appropriate for their “gender” is now seen as a radical move. It seems so liberal to me and it allows corporations to keep doing what they’re doing with no real challenge or threat to their profits (though those economically invested in making children transition obviously do stand to lose money).

    I’m not condemning this type of parenting, since it’s an improvement over outright gender indoctrination, but I think the debate is far too limited. We should remember that there was a time, only decades ago when Disney princesses weren’t a thing (toy wise), there were many alternatives to Barbies and children spent more time playing outside than inside and didn’t take their toys with them to the playground. They were allowed to pick up sticks and climb trees (which are less dangerous than feminine or masculine toys if you ask me). Childhoods dominated by toys and movies made by corporations are a recent invention.

    Of course, there was a lot of gender indoctrination in the 50s and 60s too, but it was less seductive. Parents insisting that girl children do chores and make themselves look pretty is a less effective means of indoctrinating them than giving them a toy that makes those behaviours seem fun. Gender has been more powerful, not less powerful since that time, now that it’s enforced through corporations controlling children’s general environment, so that gender conformity becomes the obvious choice, rather than through conservative parents angrily demanding it.

    • Atheist

      My most favorite “play times” were when we had salt dough, paints, and other creative stuff. One of my best memories was when my sister, a friend, and I walked to the outskirts of town to find rocks to paint on. We’d try to find shapes that could be shoes, flowers, ect. I love having my mind engaged to this day, and I very rarely consume passive entertainment like television and movies. Plus there’s a ton of misogyny in movies and television so it’s a moot point. All the same, the toy industry IMO creates the same passive entertainment where there’s no substance, just caricatures of real life.

    • Alienigena

      My father always had a building or maintenance projects going at our cabin so we had access to tools and built boats that we raced down the river, or we were pressed into doing work (painting the deck, stuffing insulating material between logs, etc.). We hauled water from the pump in a big plastic container, played poker in the evenings (for pennies), played tag, tried to avoid getting stung by bees/wasps/hornets, swam in the river, and played outdoor games in the evening. We built play houses in the bushes, out of stumps and branches. So, I agree with you about finding things to play with or build with. In winter we built snow forts or defensive walls (1 for each team), made stockpiles of snowballs, that we would use against opposing forces. Not sure I was that into playing war but can attest to the satisfaction that comes from throwing a snowball that connects (below the head/shoulders) with its target. We also built things out of cardboard boxes or lego blocks (we never received the specialty blocks, just the plain rectangular or square ones). Put on a circus performance for neighbours, the prizes were scrounged from alleys and garbage pails a few blocks away (stuffed toys, we even found roles of tickets) and were carefully cleaned. I was given baby dolls and other dolls (Flatsies I think they were called). I was never very interested in playing a parent. I think my siblings (one male, one female) and I played house more than ‘nuclear family’. We existed in an imaginative space that did not include adult roles or dependents. Sort of like episodes of Pippy Longstocking when her father is travelling and her friends are visiting her home.

    • Veronica Viramontes

      Completely agree! I have a little girl and while I let her play with both “boy” and “girl” toys such as cars or dolls, I do not get her extremes which includes dolls whose make up are overly heavy to the point where they look like sex dolls(seriously they have huge eyes, big lips and tons of make up its crazy) or dolls ur supposed to put make up on because I feel that enforces gender stereotypes and leads to negative body image (notice the makeup dolls never have a male head to put make up on). I personally don’t wear make up and don’t want my daughter to see me put make up on everyday, that will just teach her to conform to beauty standards and to serve the male gaze. However boy toys can be very violent and I’m not ok with that either. The other day I was at toys r us looking for a toy for her male classmates birthday and so many of the boy toys were so violent I was like I don’t wanna get him that!
      I love goldie blox though so once she’s old enough I’m getting her those and I hope parents buy them for their boys as well because its important for boys to see girls as scientists/engineers to. There are many girls who have male role models but its more rare for boys to have a female role model (because just being called a girl is an insult)

  • FierceMild

    Succinct and dead on target.

  • Cassandra

    Sounds like you and I are close in age. So many of us have fond memories of Free to Be You and Me. It was magical. And we were shown that film in school!! Can you imagine what the genderists would say if anybody tried to show that now?

    “Hi. I’m a boy.”

    “OMG your parents assigned you a gender! Violence! But you do seem to like blue, so you probably are. A boy I mean. In a few years we’ll call you “cis” and excuse you for rape and pay you more for no reason but in the meantime, wanna play with my pink dolls? Better enjoy it while you can though; I heard they have Lupron on tap down at the pre-school so BE CAREFUL!”

  • FierceMild

    You’re the first then.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Men get all the good smells! (My bf liked my Old Spice Amber deodorant so much he got the same one. ha.) Also, it seems like ALL women’s deodorant is antiperspirant for some unknown reason and I don’t want cancer.

    (I also have a natural deodorant that works fairly well that I found on the island, so I alternate between the two. I really love talking about deodorant, in case that isn’t obvious 🙂

    • Cassandra


  • Meghan Murphy

    When I was 13/14 I wore almost solely my dad’s clothes… His jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, flannels… Me and my friends would all go straight to the men’s pants section at Value Village, too. (It was that whole grunge thing, but MAN, those clothes were so awesome. I find it notable that my dad still had all his clothes from the 70s/80s, and that they hadn’t fallen apart. Women’s clothes are such shit, quality-wise.)

    And yeah, I love men’s underwear… As are functioning pockets!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I have narrow hips so can do men’s pants… I actually have much more trouble finding women’s pants that fit properly because whoever makes women’s pants assumes all women have wide hips and big butts with tiny waists, so soooo many women’s pants will fit my waist but then will be baggy in the hips/butt/thighs, or if they fit in the hip/butt/thigh area I can’t get them done up 🙁 I’ve found some brands that fit me properly, but most don’t work for me….

  • Notmethisonetime

    It is hard to know where to draw the line and how to balance priorities. I chose her studio for its diversity and embrace of all body types. My goal was an environment that would support development of strength, confidence, and a healthy self/body image- important for all girls but a challenge I feel especially acutely as a white mom to a daughter of color.

    There are some class/educational differences that I think underlie our studio’s approach. The teachers and other families are mostly blue collar, hardworking, hands-on and extremely devoted to the children. They are proud to be Dance Moms (and Dads, as well!), and have always been very nice to me despite what must strike them as sort of an odd/standoffish disinterest in taking on that role myself. I’m keen to avoid seeming judgmental. Gluing false eyelashes onto little girls’ lids is grotesque to me, and think others would agree if they analyzed how and why it came to be something anyone would do. But when weighed against the sense of inclusion, support, and pride in her accomplishments that my kid gets from this place…I have to pick my battles.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Intersex conditions don’t prove there is no such thing as male and female, though… Intersex conditions just prove there are intersex conditions. And while in the past doctors did impose sex on intersex babies, that is no longer common practice.

  • FierceMild

    Oh well then, fuck it, we can all just stop trying. Go home, folks, social influence says we’re never going to make any progress and we might as well just usher ourselves and our daughters into surrendered wife-hood.

    • Hierophant2

      You’re speaking strictly from your position as a mother. As a mother, no, you can’t make any progress. But as a part of society, as a friend, as a voice, we can make progress, as we clearly have. Your strict position of “either mothers change everything or we should just give up” is ridiculous. Women who identify as mothers can’t bring about change by definition because the role of motherhood is a traditionalist conceit which maintains an oppressive hierarchical system. As a mother, your social role depends on ignoring those facts.

      • Hekate Jayne

        You said:
        “Women who identify as mothers can’t bring about change by definition because the role of motherhood is a traditionalist conceit which maintains an oppressive hierarchical system. As a mother, your social role depends on ignoring those facts.”

        That’s the biggest bunch of bullshit.

        There’s only one way to be a mother?

        So we discount all women who have kids? Because being a mother causes ALL of them to ignore facts?

        What the fuck?

        I don’t have kids. But I would never throw out all mothers. That’s incredibly ignorant. And sexist. Jesus.

        • Hierophant2

          What the fuck are you talking about? I can’t figure out the relation between what you quoted and what you said.

          • Hekate Jayne

            Of course you can’t. And no one is surprised. Except for maybe you.

            I don’t interact with sexist, misogynist males. But please do have a good night, dudebro.

      • FierceMild

        I’m not speaking “strictly from my position as a mother” and I will retain the right to say from whence I speak without reference to you.

        I do not hold the ludicrous position you assign me it is purely a figment of your imagination and lack of nuanced perception. I have neither said nor implied that “either mothers change everything or we should just give up” and I’m getting a bit sick of your gross overreaching and misreadings. They are tiresome.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I am gobsmacked.

      So, being a mother makes you useless? The fuck???

      I don’t have kids. I don’t know much about it. But some of the strongest women that have evoked big change are women with kids.

    • ptittle

      I think, tragically, yeah, we might as well go home. It seems that every generation has to rebel against its parents, so we’re doomed to vacillate back and forth, back and forth, forever.

  • FierceMild

    I’ve seen more conservative/traditionalists embracing the trans trend because it erases homosexuality.

  • Cassandra

    Very true.

  • Cassandra

    LOL! Nope. Intersex is a medical condition that has nothing to do with gender feelz. Intersex persons loathe the fact that people like you drag them into this trans conversation at all, just so you know. It’s completely unrelated to genderism.

    Giving perfectly healthy children hormones and surgeries that destroy their bodies *is* child abuse.

    You can still extract yourself from the gender cult bubble and develop some basic compassion for children who shouldn’t be treated this way and have no business making these kinds of decisions. Not to mention what it is doing to women’s rights.

    You are not sophisticated or progressive. At all.

  • Notmethisonetime

    I’ve tried to figure out why and how trans so quickly became this all-powerful designation capable of summoning resources and protection that other identities, conditions, etc. never could. Over the course of several decades people have become a bit more aware or understanding of the needs of gay boys or self-harming girls (just to give examples) than they used to be, but not dramatically so. Those types of kids are still vulnerable, misunderstood, lack reliable access to counseling or institutional support, face harassment/violence, etc. Why is there so much attention and energy devoted to this one particular issue that affects so few? Until the disparity is addressed, I’m afraid that trans will continue to be a catch-all for troubled kids who can’t see any other way to get the attention they need.

    • will

      “I’ve tried to figure out why and how trans so quickly became this all-powerful designation capable of summoning resources and protection that other identities, conditions, etc. never could.”

      I think it’s because it’s faux-progress that is functionally regressive. You can look like you are courageously stating up for minority rights without rocking the boat one iota and, in fact, floating downstream with the dominant current.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I hate that women’s button down shirts are pre-fitted for hips and breasts! I find that shape tacky. Also, they I can never do them up over my breasts for some reason. I they fit my shoulder/hips, the buttons pop open at the chest. It’s extremely annoying. Apparently people who make women’s clothing do not believe my body (which appears to me to be a fairly average body…) exists.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, clothing for female bodies is perpetually challenging, in general. I feel like men have it so easy… Sack-like dresses are great. So glad they’re in right now.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I am in complete agreement with you.

    It’s insanity. We should just let little kids run the government, and enlist in the military. They can handle guns, obviously.

    And let’s make them declare a college major, pick a career choice. Because they don’t grow up and change their minds.

    When my brother was about 8, he decided that he was a fire truck. He was really annoyingly all about being a firetruck. It went on for several weeks. He insisted that he had tires, not legs. That he had a siren. The whole schtick.

    Shockingly, no one said “ooh, you are a firetruck, well, let’s turn you into one! Because that is sane and totally possible! After all, only you know if you are a firetruck on the inside!”

    Ridiculous. And the kids will ultimately suffer the foolish stupidity of the parents.

  • Morag999

    I know. “Bits, bits, bits …” I can’t fucking stand it. Disgustingly coy.

  • Morag999

    Agree. Probably one of the most important functions of virtue signalling is that it provides a cover for one’s conscious or unconscious discomfort with people who are perceived as “other.”

  • will

    Yes. There are people teaching contemporary dance in many communities who reject that shit.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Studies show that suicide rates do NOT go down after surgery. I explained this to you already. You are the one who is being irrational and stating already debunked myths as though they are facts. Stop wasting everyone’s time, please.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It is interesting to note, via your comments, how incredibly uneducated and obtuse those who push this crap are. It’s like talking to religious nuts.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You are the only one who is sounding hysterical, here, dear.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Can you please stop dumping links that aren’t actually links all over the comment section like a crazy person? I’m getting tired of deleting them all. Thanks.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Literally! They don’t believe my body exists! #stopmybodyphobia

  • Tired feminist

    Carolyn, just for the sake of curiosity, tell me something.

    How are babies made?

    Looking forward for your answer.


  • Hierophant2

    Absolutely! You need to teach children to think critically and to demonstrate non-sexist values. I’m just saying that’s not the solution. The solution is to either transform the way children develop, or social values (which will be necessary for the former to ever happen anyway).

  • Hierophant2

    Peer pressure is just one way in which society asserts its values over the developing child, but yes. Obviously no one becomes a radfem due to social values, but the information is available out there for people to read. The Internet has been really good for minority positions, like radical feminism, because it has permitted them to become available to everyone and become sub-cultures which can assert their own existence in a more organized fashion. Now, no one has to feel like they are alone any more. So it is a highly useful tool for class awareness and inter-subjective agreement.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Low rise jeans are the stupidest invention in history. Pants should stay on. Low rise jeans = me pulling up my pants constantly. I honestly think clothing designers are totally delusional about what most women’s bodies are like. It’s weird.

  • Meghan Murphy


  • Meghan Murphy

    It’s the worst! Every women’s button up shirt I’ve ever had, I need to pin together between those two buttons, because otherwise it gapes open and/or the buttons pop open.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You are a sad little troll. Goodbye.

  • Hekate Jayne

    You said:
     “In some countries, intersex babies are murdered at birth.”

    Did you know that in some countries, fetuses are aborted for being female?

    And I don’t mean that the fetus identifies as female. I mean it has the reproductive capacity of a female.

    Also, did you know that 100% of all child brides are female? Because males want biological girls.

    It seems that women and girls are oppressed because of their biology. Not feels.

    Also, when males get surgery to create a wound that mimics a vagina, they have to dilate the wound to keep their fake vagina from healing, just like any other wound.

    So, are their male bodies transphobic? If they are naturally a female, then why won’t the fake vagina stay open? Because it seems like a lot of work just to pretend to be female.

  • FierceMild

    Hahahahaaaaaaaaaa!! Accept reality?! Like your sex and it’s immutability?

  • Cassandra

    Jim Jones called. He’s proud of you and the spaceship will be there on Tuesday.

  • Cassandra

    Steve Jobs called. He wants his iPod campaign back.

  • Hanakai

    Recognizing that it is not worthwhile to attempt to reason with the irrational, I shall be brief.

    Modern medical science has discarded the outdated term “intersex” as it is a misleading misnomer. Medicine has recognized, now that we are able to decode the genome and understand reproduction at the cellular level, that what were called “intersex” people actually involves numerous different disorders of sexual development — disorders in which the development of chromosomal, gonadal, or phenotypic sex is atypical. There are over 20 different conditions resulting from errors in the transcription of genetic material, DNA and RNA. Here is a link to a bit of basic information about DSD: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1015520-overview

    DSD is not a variation. A variation involves differences within the range of normal functioning — blue, green, gray, hazel, brown eyes, these are variations. Genetic disorders are NOT variations, they are abnormalities.

    The most extensive studies of surgically-altered transgenders have been done in Sweden. Studies that followed-up surgically-altered transsexuals found that 10 years after their surgery, much misery surfaced: high rates of suicide and suicidal ideation, high rates of depression and other mental illnesses, high rates of regret. “Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism.”

  • Cassandra

    “If it is a disorder of mind, delusion, well a lot of doctors are going along with it.”

    Then it MUST BE TOTALLY TRUE. And they’re doing all these surgeries for free!! Bless their little hearts!

  • Morag999

    Excellent question. However, I’m sure the answer is convoluted.

  • Cassandra

    Those *do* look like fine undies. I’ll have to investigate to see if they carry all black packs!

    I too am short waisted. My legs start at my scapulas. I actually like lower-waisted pants and jeans because of that but I do know what you mean about them shimmying down. The mid-rise that’s back in style again is more universally practical for everyone; for short-waisted people like us you can drop your waist with your top/wear belts slung around your hips if you still want to wear pants/trousers that don’t fall down. And people with longer torsos look great in the higher rise jeans that are also back in style. In fact I think they’re the only ones who can really wear them well. I look like that Tim Burton animated Halloween guy in them.

  • lk

    I do accept reality.

    I accept that the human race has two sexes-male and female.
    I accept that it is a scientific impossibility for a human being to change their sex.

  • lk

    “Cruel, also, is setting up a child for a lifetime of depending on the validation of others. Depending on others to withhold the truth and to tell sweet and sentimental lies about what a lovely girl he is.”

    And what will happen everytime this person interacts with someone who refuses to partake in this fantasy? What will happen everytime this person reads an article that states there are only two sexes?

    While I believe humans should be kind and respectful towards one another, nobody is under any obligation to indulge people in their fantasies.

  • Morag999

    The thing about “bits” — and other childish and coy terms for our sexed bodies like “top” and “bottom” — is that transgenderists visualize human beings in pieces, with detachable or add-on reproductive parts or characteristics, instead of as whole beings.

    They don’t respect the integrity of the body, the integrity of the person. They don’t acknowledge that female or male is not located only in the pelvis (or in their favourite location: the brain), but from head to toe. Males and females are holistic beings (and, of course, so are people with various intersex conditions).

    Overall, they don’t seem to understand that there’s no difference between a “person’ and a living human “body.” Fact is, we ARE our bodies. A person without a body necessarily exists ONLY in human memory or imagination. But what we hear from many trans-identified people is that they are NOT their bodies. Very strange idea. Which, I suppose accounts for why they are so often anxious about whether or not they even EXIST.

  • Hanakai

    I would think that no physicians who took the “Do no harm” edict of the Hippocratic Oath seriously would put a child on puberty blockers unless there was a compelling medical reason. Unfortunately, the loud propagandists of the trans movement have found physicians who will profit from and support transgender delusions. Puberty blockers have not been around long enough to know for sure what the long-term effects of the same are, but medical science is seeing many cases where the effects are positively harmful.

    Now, the American College of Pediatricians opposes the use of puberty blockers and the use of surgery as treatments for children with sex dysphoria. Here is a link to an article that summarizes the position of the American College of Pediatricians. https://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/gender-ideology-harms-children

    Here are the summary points of the ACP position:

    1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of male and female, respectively – not genetic markers of a disorder.

    2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.

    3. A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking.

    4. Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous

    5. According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.

    6. Pre-pubertal children diagnosed with gender dysphoria may be given puberty blockers as young as eleven, and will require cross-sex hormones in later adolescence to continue impersonating the opposite sex. These children will never be able to conceive any genetically related children even via artificial reproductive technology. In addition, cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

    7. Rates of suicide are nearly twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBTQ – affirming countries.

    8. Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Also, insurance company statistics show that males cause accidents and get tickets for driving violations at a much higher rate then women.

    It’s just another thing that males say that they can do better, and it’s just another blatant lie.

    Also, there’s a stereotype about Asian people not being good drivers. But a joke about Asian drivers would be offensive, as it is offensive. But we can totes degrade women because reasons.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I just stumbled onto it last night.

    This is why I can’t trust males. They seem really supportive and understanding. Then, out of nowhere, they let slip their sexist bullshit and there you go.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Didn’t even try to hide his misogyny.

    Which I appreciate, actually. Saves us all time and energy.

  • Tired feminist

    But do you think toys that promote cooking and childcare ae gendered in itself? I think what “genders” them is advertisement. I wouldn’t have a problem with toy stoves etc. if they weren’t marketed to girls specifically. Everyone needs to learn to cook.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Man logicks! Where males are always right. Even when they aren’t.

  • Hanakai

    There is always a problem when men are involved. I am not asking you to support them or give them money.

    Nonetheless, the ACP is taking the right stance on the issue of puberty blockers and protecting children from the predations of transsexual ideology and medical practices. More medical professionals and organizations need to put aside their desire to be cool and modern and start speaking out and taking stands against this trans-madness which harms their patients with contraindicated hormonal loading and surgical mutilations.

  • Sabine

    Me neither! They simply put their fingers in their ears and go LALALALALALA to try and soothe themselves and block out reality.

  • Sabine

    I wouldn’t hold your breath. The world is becoming more insane by the second….

  • Alienigena

    I just can’t believe that people are OK with the medical profession knowingly sterilizing transgender children through hormone treatments. I remember the class action suits around sterilization of people in Canada who were considered to be developmentally delayed (improperly in some cases, some had abusive parents who abandoned them to the system). Specifically Leilani Muir, a woman who was sterilized based on an assessment by a secretive (as in it operated in secret, its membership was not widely known) eugenics board in Alberta in the 1960s.


    There was also forced sterilization of indigenous women in the USA.


    Indigenous women in Canada were also sterilized against their will.

    India sterilized women in the 1970s through programs funded by the World Bank, and the UN population fund.

    GIven all of the focus this culture puts on having genetically related offspring it seems astounding to me that parents of transgendered children are OK with them being treated with puberty blockers that have the potential to cause sterility.

    • FierceMild

      They’re okay with it because they believe they’re sterilizing people who might grow up and spread their presumed homosexuality if they were to reproduce. It’s eugenics practiced on children to prevent homosexuality. It doesn’t get more easily believable than that.

      • Hanakai

        That’s an interesting take. I was under the impression that many of the trans-cheerleaders were from the leftist school of “anything goes” and “we must accept every weirdness & not discriminate.” You seem to be saying the opposite, that the trans-support is from the right that hates homosexuality.

        While my observation and that of older psychologists and psychiatrists is that most of the male-to-female transsexuals are in fact male homosexuals, I am not aware that that view has widely permeated the culture.

        There is not much evidence that homosexuality is genetic and if it were, homosexuality would likely have died out, as homosexual sex would not result in reproduction. There is more evidence that homosexuality results from certain chemical or hormonal exposures in utero.

        Doctors are scientists and as such must know that one’s sex cannot be changed, so I assume the ones going along with surgically mutilating and amputating healthy tissue are greedheads and will cut for money regardless of the Hippcratic oath to “Do no harm.”

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ugh exactly. Pointe shoes are so disgusting and BIG SURPRISE that male dancers don’t have to wear them.

  • Tired feminist

    My nephew LOVED to play kitchen when he was about 4. Now he’s 7, so his old little stove might be indeed more suitable for his little sister… but I liked that his parents got it for him, before his sister was born.

    • FierceMild

      My daughter’s class is full of little boys who play with babydolls and toy kitchens. All my brothers and nephews did as well. It’s normal to play at basic skills of humaning and weird to redirect that to ball sports.

  • Alienigena

    “though I wouldn’t want my kids playing wars games, because of the aggression and competitiveness they promoted”

    Yeah, I don’t know why the war game (in a few instances) seemed to win out over making snowmen or igloos (we did make an igloo in our backyard, the war games occurred in the front, but we needed help from a parent, it is not easy to make an igloo). Maybe we (the girls) were outnumbered by boys in the neighbourhood at the times we played war and they determined what we would play.

    The freedom to roam or just daydream or wander the forest or neighbourhood (and not have a scheduled activity) is important.

  • Hierophant2

    And yet you are clearly wrong. I have NEVER expressed any absolutist statement that we can’t do anything. What I am saying is that a collectivist problem cannot be resolved by individualist solutions. You and your friends here are so stuck on neo-liberalist propaganda that you think there’s only individualistic solutions, and that if I reject them I must be a defeatist! It’s you who is the defeatist one, because you reject the efficacy of collectivist solutions.

  • Hierophant2

    Did you read what I wrote in paranthesis? Geeze.

  • Hierophant2

    Look, I know it’s cliche for a man to try to tell women what feminism is, but seriously? You believe feminism is individualistic? Feminism has NEVER been individualistic. It’s always been about women coming together, raising consciousness, and forcing the elite’s hand. I don’t know why a neo-liberalist like you would engage in feminism at all!

  • Danielle Matheson

    I grew to realize this too. Not only that, the ballet world is extremely every kind of critical and sexist and sexually aggressive that you can possibly imagine. I couldn’t go on (and never actually did pointe because my teachers were such asshole) because I wasn’t tall or lanky enough. I’m only five feet tall and I am not straight up and down. Plus dance put A LOT of muscle on me, so companies don’t want people who look like me, despite my talent. I switched to doing theatre but the sexual harassment is strong there and with my experiences from a teacher grooming me for two years, I just couldn’t anymore.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Horrible for women’s body image, too… My sister was a dancer and constantly thought she was ‘fat’ because she was not ‘petite’ like dancers (ballet dancers, especially, are supposed to be). Experiencing the dance world via my sister made me hate it (though I don’t think she feels that way, ironically!)

      • ptittle

        Yeah, which is why I love Margie Gillis so much!!

  • Danielle Matheson

    Exactly…their precious feet don’t warrant the torture! But us women…well we’re always a different story. Some dude somewhere is always inventing ways for us to suffer. I never bought that suffering for your art bullshit. Once something stopped being fun, I was done. Once the men started to abuse me, it tainted the arts I loved.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I also find radical feminism to be common sense. People twist themselves into crazy knots trying to avoid the plain truths that radical feminism conveys. It seems such a waste of energy! (My sister also had muscular legs and non-narrow hips and was also quite tall. The way dancers were chosen for the ‘good’ roles, based on their ‘look’, rather than talent, pissed me off so much. I really think it’s so bad for women’s health and body image… I mean, #NotAllDance, but ballet for sure, and professional dance, in general, I’d say…)

  • FierceMild

    And raw fruits and vegetables have a ‘uge friggin carbon footprint when out of season.

  • FierceMild

    Welcome, sister.

  • FierceMild

    He’s missing the fact that you can’t use a collective idea like Feminist Theory (necessarily dispersed through space and time) to address an individual person’s specific needs and ideas in every case. It just goes over his head that an individual can be both one and one of many in a class at the same time and this article speaks to both the one and the one-of-many. Too much brain switching for him to handle.

  • FierceMild

    I don’t know why he’s commenting on this article at all. Makes no sense. Especially with the whole complaining-about-mothers-because-they-act-like-the-continuation-of-the-species-depends-on-them meme. The irony.

  • Mandy

    Yeah. I’m disturbed at how often in the past year I’ve seen a rise in discussions about “trans AND GNC kids”

    like no no no. Stop grouping those two together. Trans groups and ideology is actively harming/brainwashing GNC kids and/or starting them on the path to lifelong medicalization.

    & even I’ve seen too many adult GNC lesbians talking about the social pressures they face now to transition because of this bullshit pushing of gender roles and expectations.

    • Tired feminist

      Yeah, that’s really concerning. I mean, gay men (at least when adult) are allowed to be men. Yet lesbians aren’t allowed to be women…

  • Hekate Jayne

    Of course.

    Males can hate each other. Yet, they have no problem banding together against women. Even when it seems like they don’t have a stake in whatever the bullshit is (rapists are an excellent example of this. Whenever a dude is trying to weasel out of rape, there’s always a group of males defending the rapist. They don’t have to know the rapist, or like him. They will still defend the rapist).

    Which is why I will always, always put other women first. I happen to like you and enjoy your posts. But it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t.

    Women first.

    • FierceMild

      Yes. It’s also more enlivening, interesting, challenging, and invigorating to talk to real live grown up adults (women) who can act with maturity and acknowledge it when they don’t! Plus we’re funnier.

  • lk

    Oh. My. God.

    I want to have some kind of intelligent response to this, but I really can’t stop laughing.

    I read some clips of the book online…some of the other scientific labels that had me laughing: Gender-by-Season, Gender-by-Location, Gender Minotaur, Gender hybrid, Gender Prius, Gender Tesla.


    Hmmm…I wonder if facebook and dating profiles will start adding Gender Minotaur as a gender option?

    The author of this book has a phd and the person who wrote the forward has a medical degree..from Harvard!!

    What is happening?!

  • ptittle

    High heels (esp stillettos) … foot binding…all part of the same old.

  • ptittle

    No, but I think many of the 70s people became radicalized because of social influence, which is why they didn’t stay radicalized. I mean, the boomers, the children of the 60s and 70s have been in power for the last decade or so, and yet look. What happened to them? Their politics were socially influences, not genuine. I’m beginning to think most of the men went to Woodstock for the free sex and drugs; it had nothing to do with politics, ideology, etc.

    • radwonka

      men went to Woodstock for the free sex and drugs; it had nothing to do with politics, ideology, etc”

      yep, if they truly were radicals, there would be less pornsick males today, but since most men are pornsick males, I guess that it is their fathers (“radical” men from the 70s) who banalized that (the left opposed radical feminists many times). Which shows their hypocrisy ( they also let capitalism grow in the name of libertarianism/anarcho-capitalism/etc).

      That’s why radicals disappeared: because most of them were never radicals in the first place, just opportunists (your example reminds me of left wing males who claim to be polyamourous/free love just because they want to have sex with many women or when they want to decriminalize weed, saying that they do it for the children and the free market, but deep down just want to smoke). They are not sincere, nor do they care about children or “peace in the world”.

  • Thom Prentice

    It is time for strong pushback against gender identity ideology and this article in superb. Thank you.

    Gender identity ideology has become an article of faith if not outright religion among so-called “liberals” in the US empire as well as in the far reaches.of the US imperial project — like Canada and Oregon — which are abandoning sex-specific identity requirements for legal documents in favor of gender … whatever that might be on alternate Thursdays.

    Meanwhile, capitalism, racism, male rape culture, imperialism, police assassination of young Black, Latino and Native American men continues as does poverty, inequality and homelessness as well as war without end, Amen: they all remain unrecognized as topic of public media discourse and remain unaddressed while social Dominionist Christian religious conservatives and identity politics faux liberals argue about bathrooms in Texas and North Carolina.

    (Having said that, the brave, courageous and bold Chelsea Manning — who showed integrity, honesty, authentic morality, guts, ethics and unflinching opposition to unreported and unpunished US war crimes and is therefore a moral beacon worldwide — Chelsea Manning can just “be all that she can be” — to slightly revise a former US Army recruiting song/slogan: “be all that you can be …. in the Army!” And more power to her. She is additionally an unparalleled US policy analyst and writer, periodically published in the UK Guardian.)

    I have thought, of late, about when my daughter wanted a “Doctor Kit” toy for Christmas in the 1980s Reagan / Thatcher era. When I went shopping for it, sure enough there were two doctor kits available in the aisle … and each one featured a little boy in the white coat. There were also two nurse kits, each featuring a little girl. I paced for a while and thought ‘the hell with it, I’m not getting her a Doctor Kit toy featuring a little boy in the white coat.’

    Now I wonder if I didn’t do her justice. Perhaps she just wanted the damn doctor kit and didn’t care whether it was a boy or a girl depicted on the box. Maybe it would have struck a blow for radical feminist liberty had I gone ahead and given her a doctor’s kit featuring a boy in that white coat on the box so that she, as a little girl, could SUBVERT IT: play and think of being a doctor some day. Maybe that is what I shouldda / couldda / wouldda done.

    But past is past … and shows how the limits of gendered toy thinking — let alone gendered thinking — can actually cause blowback and backfire.

    She survived. I survived.

    But this transgender / gender identity ideology is the total Lib-rul Left equivalent of the ideological denial by the conservative Dominionist Christian religious right of evolution science and Global Heating / Climate Catastrophe. Science is science after all — especially when it rigorously employs the scientific method and demonstrates replicability. That is to say that, except for intersex people (Hermaphrodites), sex is pretty straightforward scientifically and medically while gender is socially and individually constructed and should be fluid and on a continuum — not within rigid roles adapted long after required by certain human cultures transitioning from gatherer-hunter to agriculture.

    Why not have both sex and gender on a driver’s license? There oughtta be room. But REPLACING sex with gender as Canada and Oregon have done, defies the reality of human bodies and human growth and development, science, medicine, genetics, making love and making babies and same-sex desire.

    Plus it should go without saying that any sex reassignment interventions — especially puberty blockers let alone surgeries — should be prohibited below the age of, say, 25.

    And if Bruce Jenner TRULY believed all along that he was a woman inside, then why didn’t attempt to look like, say, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower or Nina Petrovna Khrushchev?

  • VY

    Excellent article!

  • VY

    That should be irrelevant. They may be anti-gay and still be right about transgenderism.

    The argument they offer concerning puberty blockers should be assessed on its own merits.

  • VY

    I’ve no idea why we’re bringing up a collection of Bronze and Iron Age texts in relation to this, but for the sake of accuracy: no, the Bible doesn’t mention any virgin births at all. It was a mistranslation from Hebrew to ancient Greek to Latin that produced that bit of nonsense, taken up and institutionalized as “truth” by a bunch of men who evidently had a lot of trouble with women and women’s sexuality.

  • VY

    If he were a she, he wouldn’t need any such surgery, so let’s stop colluding with his delusion and his parents’ psychopathy.

  • MotherBear84

    “You know, it would be cool for someone to write an article about how much women’s fashion restricts our freedom of movement and therefore our safety, etc”

    Yes! For a long time my rule with clothing/footwear has been “Can I move fast in this?” Shoes are the biggest concern. All I wear now, except in summer, are Blundstones. Summer means sneakers, still comfy and good for mobility. So much of women’s fashions seemed designed to make us continually pull, twist, and adjust in order to be comfortable.

  • MotherBear84

    I think that’s the point, amirite?

  • MotherBear84

    Oh please let that exist somewhere!

  • Susan

    Your article is so well written,so thoughtful, and so right!. Back in the mid 1990’s doctors and psychologists came up with all the touchy feely nonsense and caused the very problems of todays children and young adults. Thats because some not so smart parents bought into it.

  • Leisha Camden