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.
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.
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.
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.