Viewing everything posted on December 17, 2011

but how will children know how to express their innate, immutable gender differences if we take down signs telling them which toys they like?

I don’t fully understand it, but inadequately distinguished gender identities seems to be a constant source of upset if not outright terror for some people.

Today’s Example: Taking down the “boys” and “girls” signs in a chain of toys stores means that Lefties have doomed us all.

Alright, so in the article itself, the tone is less fearful than chiding and disdainful, but still a spectacle of an over reaction. The argument Young makes is both entertainingly self defeating, and weirdly eager to be political. Summed up pretty well in this sentence here: “The moral of Saki’s story is clear: nature will always trump nurture and any attempt to re-educate children so they grow up to be model citizens in some socialist utopia is bound to fail”.

Last I heard “nature” isn’t dependent on signs, more so the complete opposite of that, and where the heck did “socialist” come from? The blog post that encouraged the toy store to make this change did mention jobs, and the lack or women in politics. Did Young mistake that for a call to overhaul of the economic system? Is peace, mentioned in his short story, too anti-capitalist for him?

I can follow it up to a point: This is different, therefor scary. However, it quickly takes a bizarre turn where any loss of gender distinction is not only an imposing power grab, but hostile and destructive.

Following the article to the article it’s based on, I find this: “Toys for boys (and girls) are no-no at Hamleys

Which is actually sort of funny, or would be if the comments didn’t all take it at face value.

There’s just a lot of people eager to aggressively defend against any lapse in girls’ and boys’ things being kept separate. It doesn’t seem to be a political thing, just a lot of gut reactions. Even Cracked finds not identifying a child as a boy or a girl to be as, if not more, shocking and questionably legal than swinging a new born by its feet.

Again, I can follow this up to a point, a lot people like their gender identity, think it’s important and want it to be recognized. However, I’ve never seen anyone explain how it’s harmful to think about less, or how they’ve been hurt by less strict or missing gender rules. I have seen a lot of accounts from people who have been bullied for their lack of gender conformity, held back by stereotypes, kept from things they wanted that weren’t “gender appropriate”, or otherwise injured by rules for boys and girls. It leaves a lot to answer for in terms of emphatic support for this system, and most people don’t seem to even try.

To get back to the Young article, he doesn’t even bother connecting signs in a toy store to human nature apart from a very old, fictional story about boys playing with toy guns, and his only consequence is that “dads looking for Scalextric and mums searching for My Little Pony will just have to wander aimlessly around the shop’s five floors until they stumble across them”.

Which is also the absolute best part of the article.

He only mentions two toys by name, and one of them is My Little Pony.

Clearly the best example of the very natural, immutable and innate differences between boys and girls is a franchise developed for little girls that is so popular among young men that it warrants its own terminology.