Responsible Parenting is Such a Drag

This week, the online magazine Slate ran a disturbing photo-journal on a group of parents who are on the forefront of the culture wars by not merely allowing, but actively encouraging boys as young as three years-old to dress like girls and parade down a catwalk like a children’s version of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” The article talks about how great it is that there’s no bullying or inhibitions, but at some point these children are going to collide with the real world where dressing in drag is not acceptable unless you live in certain coastal pockets of extreme liberalism and work for an animal rights non-profit or an independent coffee shop–a maybe not even then.

Still from Lord of the Flies (1990), MGM Studios

Still from Lord of the Flies (1990), MGM Studios

Defenders of these parents will argue that old-fashioned notions like pants for boys and dresses for girls are just a product of our prudish and repressive patriarchal society. However, if gender is a mere social construct, so are hygiene and nutrition. Sure, what little boy wouldn’t want to eat candy bars all day and never take a bath? But that’s not how life works. We have rules for children so that the real world doesn’t turn into “Lord of the Flies” with grown-ups. One rule that has stood up pretty well over the years is that boys and girls are different, dress differently, and are expected to behave differently, especially when in each others’ company.

This perverted miniature burlesque show is only one symptom of the more general sexualization of youth epitomized by the toddler beauty pageants and swimsuit competitions made famous (or infamous) by the so-called “Learning Channel.” An analogous scenario would be if little Johnny came home from school one day and proudly declared to his parents that he will eat nothing but chocolate bars. Instead of providing a healthy correction to this impetuous and foolish behavior, it’s as if these parents burst out with glee, “Oh that’s so wonderful! We love chocolate too! Have as much as you want,” and then proceed to force-feed little Johnny until he gets sick.

Permissive Parenting Run Amok

Permissive Parenting Run Amok

Even Doctor Spock would agree that this is not responsible parenting. This story seems outlandish and rare now, but to the Left, this is not something horrifying and disturbing, but is a beautiful and wonderful affirmation of exactly what they are fighting for! The article even admits as much, that the LGBT agenda is really about changing “the way gender and sexuality are defined throughout society.” Liberals are not satisfied with simply giving grown adults the freedom to engage in whatever consensual promiscuity they see fit, but there is a totalitarian element that seeks to actively indoctrinate children to reject sexual norms.

As a consequence of this destruction of gender distinctions, gay marriage advocates find no contradiction when they claim that procreation is separate from marriage and the ability to conceive a child should not be a prerequisite for marriage. After all, there are plenty of heterosexual couples who are childless, whether by choice or because of infertility or sterility. Supporters of same-sex marriage believe that procreation as the union of male and female is irrelevant and that homosexuals are entitled to raise children exactly as if they were biologically capable of doing so.

Liberals would never accept a compromise solution that provided all of the legal and economic benefits of marriage to homosexuals but without allowing adoption or unnatural and dehumanizing methods of conception. We are told that marriage should not be defined by the ability to procreate (and thus limited to heterosexuals), but the desire to become parents is an essential part of this debate. However, the ability to have children is not a right to be defined ex nihilo by the state. Even if liberals were to succeed in their ambitious program of redefining gender throughout society, the law and public opinion still cannot substitute for biological fact. This is a gift that comes from God.

If You Want to Play With Hairstyles, Get a Poodle

If You Want to Play With Hairstyles, Get a Poodle

It is also a gift which is constantly being abused whether through manipulation or neglect. Children should not be fodder for the culture wars and their parents’ radical utopian fantasies. Neither boys nor girls should be dressed up like Barbie-dolls and paraded around like coiffed and manicured French poodles at a dog show. Children are not our toys or our pets. Parents should protect and nurture the innocence of youth instead of warping and twisting the impressionable minds of their children. For the best outcomes later in life, children need limits and security, not indulgence.

In an age when the Leviathan of the Bloombergian nanny-state commands parents how to raise their children, liberals know no limits when it comes to promoting healthy habits like a nutritious diet, plenty of exercise, and personal hygiene, but when it comes to sexual and mental health, the only advice that you will get from the Left is to do whatever feels good. Like the kid who ate nothing but candy-bars while at summer camp, sometimes just doing whatever feels good will leave you with a lot more than a stomach-ache.

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Categories:Culture Marriage Youth

15 thoughts on “Responsible Parenting is Such a Drag

  1. Malia says:

    Troy H.: Gender is not a social construct, it is a natural construct. Second, if we follow your logic about nutrition, I feel confident saying had we all practiced homosexuality 100,000 years ago, people would 1) be able to subsist in homosexuality alone or 2) not be around to debate homosexuality. By your logic, alcoholics should be celebrated for drinking~ which definately brings out their imagination and creativity!

  2. Beth says:

    Yes, but these same folks would say that homeschooling is bad for kids because they aren’t dealing with the ‘real’ world.

  3. Virginia says:

    Honestly, while I think it’s important that children know what gender they are, clothing isn’t that important. Pants are a relatively new thing – the clothing Jesus wore would be considered a “dress” by today’s standards. In fact, robes are still worn by men in the eastern parts of the world, and kilts (which are remarkably skirt-like) are still the traditional men’s garment in Scotland. Clothing, unlike nutritional needs, has changed over the centuries to meet the needs of the people wearing it. It’s actually kinda sad that girls are encouraged to wear pants, but boys are ridiculed if they wear dresses or skirts. It’s a real double standard.
    I’m not saying parents should try to convince boys to be girls, but it seems to me that our society is tying to erase femininity entirely by imposing the double standard of “girls should be more like guys, but it’s shameful for guys to be more like girls”.
    As for chocolate, I was allowed to eat as much candy as I wanted as a kid, and since it was readily available, I never felt the need to eat more than two candy bars in a row. I never ate myself sick on chocolate, and I’m not even sure that’s possible. After you eat a certain amount of it, it just stops tasting as good. Maybe if people didn’t attach such negativity on “girl clothes” (even girls are often seen as weak and anti-feminist for wearing dresses) and didn’t make it into a “big deal” there wouldn’t be a problem. Just a thought.

    1. Troy H says:

      Virginia gets it. Thanks for posting!

  4. Betsy says:

    There is a difference between older sisters playing dolly with the little brother and dressing him in girls clothes and mom and dad thinking it’s funny, and mom and dad (or mom and mom or dad and dad) forcing a child to actually BE another sex than what he/she actually are. Our girls did the same thing. I took snap shots and thought it was funny as all get out, but I would never allow my son to actually dress as a girl and parade around trying to BE a girl and certainly would never force the behavior.

  5. Troy H says:

    I have neither a face nor a hand big enough for the facepalm called for by this post.

    First, since when is nutrition a social construct? I feel relatively confident saying that, had we all eaten as much sugar as possible 100,000 years ago, humans today would either 1) be able to subsist on sugar alone or 2) wouldn’t be around to debate nutrition. We don’t eat a balanced diet because society thinks we should, we do it because to not do so would be self-destructive.

    Which brings me to my next point. This entire article smacks of “I think homosexuality is icky and I’m going to try to convince you it is too.” The responsibility of parents to turn our kids into functioning, contributing members of society does demand that we place and enforce boundaries on their behavior, but only inasmuch as they are required for success in pursuit of that responsibility. A boy who wears a dress or grows his hair long is no more likely to grow up to be a sociopath than one who doesn’t. It may increase his capacity for imagination and creativity, but will not fundamentally change who he grows up to be. Much more important will be how he’s raised in the areas of personal interactions. Is he raised to be empathetic? Is he raised to show compassion? These are the big areas of responsibility for parents, not whether he opts for the pink dress today instead of blue jeans.

    1. Malia says:

      July 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm
      Troy H.: Gender is not a social construct, it is a natural construct. Second, if we follow your logic about nutrition, I feel confident saying had we all practiced homosexuality 100,000 years ago, people would 1) be able to subsist in homosexuality alone or 2) not be around to debate homosexuality. By your logic, alcoholics should be celebrated for drinking~ which definately brings out their imagination and creativity!

      1. Troy H says:

        Malia,

        You’re partially correct. Plenty of species change gender or have no gender at all, and have evolved completely different reproductive mechanisms than we have. However, you’d have to go back much farther than 100,000 years to get to the point in human evolution where that path would have been possible for us.

        Your “logic” about alcoholism is also partially correct. Plenty of artists have been celebrated for creativity spawned, at least in part, by their dependence on mind-altering substances.

    2. Jeremy says:

      Troy H, excellent points. Thank you. It’s been suggested that the first 10 years of a child’s life should involve constant socialization. This process develops empathy and compassion, just as you stated. Children who interact with other children learn that all people of all races and origins are human and significant. Prejudices against others of different backgrounds don’t develop.

  6. Robert S. says:

    Except many of us healthy, fully-operating heterosexuals got dressed up by an older sister while children. In girls’ clothes. My depraved parents even hang pictures of this on the walls.

    1. Cari says:

      Sure, Robert S., but surely you see there’s a difference between one’s older sister making you dress in a particular manner and your parents doing it.
      Also, I’m willing to bet the reason your parents photographed and displayed the event was for comedic effect, “Oh, remember this funny time when Mary forced Robert to wear the Wonder Woman getup?”

      However, that’s not what this article is talking about. Drag shows for little boys and toddler pageants are deadly serious and in no way considered amusing events for the promoters and participants. NB: these parents are not dressing their young boys in drag to laugh at the effect. They are dressing them in drag to deliberately break down gender norms.

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