As a child, I remember Daddy saying I couldn’t climb trees in my dress or go on Cub Scout camping trips with my brother because I was a girl. It made me angry, but I also remember other times he told me that I was smart and could do anything I put my mind to. In a child’s view, that meant there were no restrictions on what I could accomplish simply because I was a girl.
Some parents are raising their children to be gender neutral, which means they aren’t telling the child or anyone else if they are male or female. They believe this puts a label on the child and the child can decide later what it wants to be.
Companies are stepping up to respond to their concerns.
Mattel, America’s leading toy manufacturer has just designed a “doll for everyone.” It is a gender-neutral doll.
The doll can be a boy, girl, neither or both. The makers say it redefines who gets to play with dolls as half the world’s kids were left out because they are boys.
Mattel calls it a doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.
I always thought it was ok to play with any toy and never realized it was a traumatic experience to be called a boy or a girl.
Gender assignment is not just for dolls. You too can choose your gender apparently.
A musical artist recently revealed that he is sapiosexual. He made the big reveal on a United Kingdom morning show. The anchors congratulated him without really knowing what he was talking about but wanted to offer their support.
It seems that someone who is sapiosexual is attracted to another person’s intelligence or mind. He explained that sapiosexual is non-gendered, non-binary which means you can choose your sexuality based on the attraction to another individual.
It isn’t just toys that are causing gender neutral waves.
The manufacturer of women’s products has decided to remove the Venus symbol from its packaging of menstruation products. This change came after pleas from LGBT activists to make labeling more inclusive.
The company says they are committed to “diversity and inclusion.”
Those who support the change say eliminating gendered packaging can help reduce some of the dysphoria experienced by transgender and non-binary people.
This is a classic example of over the top stupidity. Only females born with ovaries have periods and until they figure out a way for males to do that, it is a pretty exclusive club. We view the products as a necessary inconvenience.
Even the fast food industry has gender issues.
Fast food chains are facing pressure to take gender out of kids’ meals. Parents who are raising their children gender-neutral say it is offensive when they are asked whether the child’s meal is for a boy or a girl.
While some chains ask customers if the kids’ meal is for a boy or girl, others simply ask the child themselves which one they want.
Supporters of the change say they feel for parents of children who are gender non-binary and must apply a gender label with which their child doesn’t yet fully identify.
There is no scientific data to suggest children are scarred for life because a fast-food worker asked them if they want a girls’ or boys’ meal.
My daughter would probably have followed up their question with one of her own about what was in each one.
I would be more concerned with the food content of the kids’ meal than whether my child was asked about his preference of toy.
In Michigan, a resolution was introduced in the legislature last year to end the practice of boy/girl toys and called on restaurants to offer toy choices instead. The sponsor of the resolution says studies suggest there are harmful effects of gender-classified toys.
The truth is we are not robots that can have our gender programmed. If you have the parts, you have the answer.
Children find their own interests and hobbies regardless of what we try to push on them.
Allowing children to decide whether they are boys or girls is just lazy parenting. These parents need to step up and do their jobs. When puberty hits and those hormones kick in, these parents are in for a big wakeup call.
The best thing we can do for our children is teach them to advocate for gender equality and have no bias or promote stereotypes in any situation.
Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.