March 26, 2014

There's "much more to this story" of a little girl whose Christian school sent home a letter that said something about her failure to look and act feminine...

... but the school can't talk about it because it has an obligation to protect the child's privacy. Meanwhile, the girl's grandparents have gone to the press, presenting the story in a way that makes it viral: The school seems backward and mean, and the grandparents just want to let Sunnie be Sunnie.

I've watched the video and wonder if the problem is more centered on a dress code that applies to everyone. Are girls required to wear skirts? If girls are allowed to wear pants, are both girls and boys forbidden to wear the kind of oversized shorts and T-shirts that we see Sunnie wearing in the video?

The one-sidedness of the reporting really bothers me. Note that the girl was not kicked out of the school, but only advised to adapt to the school in some ways. It's a private school, so she's free to go somewhere else. It's not terrible for there to be a private school that maintains gender distinctions in dress and some kinds of behavior. I'm thinking about teaching some traditional etiquette — like boys opening doors for girls and boys asking girls to dance — and having girls' sports different from boys' sports.

I take it the letter was written in a diplomatic style, stressing the religious beliefs that make this school different from other schools and worth choosing. It's interesting that the girl's I've-gotta-be-me claim militates against the school's determination to do things its way and to offer a distinctive option to all the other children whose parents and guardians may specifically want a refuge from gender neutrality, a place where boys are boys and girls are girls.

The girl's grandparents have reacted to the letter by deciding she belongs somewhere else, and there is another place for her. But they've also chosen to open this little girl up to the hungry hungry media, and she — and probably they — have no idea where that's going to go and how that is going to feel. It is no longer possible for little Sunnie to just be herself. Now, she's Sunnie the media icon, Sunnie the boyish girl who proves fundies are meanies.

And all the school can say is: We respect the privacy of the child. At the very least, they are right about that.

77 comments:

damikesc said...

Attention whore parents gonna attention whore.

This is another example why any Republican who votes for a journalism shield law should be primaries out of office.

chrisnavin.com said...

Althouse has gotten to the privileged position of peering into the grievance factory and seeing the sausage as its being made.

How long ago could someone have predicted this state of affairs in the media/public mind solely from experience with the trends, ideas and figures of original feminism I wonder?

Ralph Hyatt said...

And of course the comments to the article are ill informed and anti-Christian.

A private Christian school is going to have a dress code and its going to be enforced. For most of the people sending their kids their, the dress code is a positive. Its one of the reasons they send their children there.

By the way, its not just Christian schools that have dress codes.

http://www.bhamcityschools.org/domain/4449

chrisnavin.com said...

And this over-sensitive, childish quest to make victims and heroes (gender is the cause du jour) over any perceived injustice and even reasonable authority is so played out.

When will the chattering classes start chattering about something else?

Brennan said...

Lets not talk about the President delaying a law that his acolytes claimed we had to pass to save healthcare.

Bang up job Mr. Bezos.

SJ said...

As a hypothetical:

What if the "unlady-like" behavior was bullying?

Or being "bossy"?


Pogo is Dead said...

Wait a minute, Althouse.

Gay marriage laws -which you support- force bakers to make wedding cakes for gays, even if they'd prefer not to.

Not-pro-gay = hate, as I now understand it. In Canada, their 2005 gay marriage law led to this:
"The Roman Catholic bishop of Calgary, Alberta, Fred Henry, was threatened with litigation and charged with a human-rights violation after he wrote a letter to local churches outlining standard Catholic teaching on marriage."

For similar reasons, there is no reason to allow Christian schools to support gender divisions, when Facebook tells us there are at least 50 genders.

They are now haters.
You are being contradictory.

Pogo is Dead said...

And I disagree that there is "much more to the story."

WaPo has the modern approach correct: only one side matters: the victim.
All else is hate, ignorance, evil, anti-Progressive.

What the school should have done is charge her with bullying and hate speech and anti-diversity. The we'd never have heard of it.

Their only hope is to use the other side's words and phrases to get what they want done.

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse isn't being contradictory. She's being stupid.

The evidence keeps pouring in that her fairness obsession is an all out attack on traditional culture, religion and society. She keeps pretending that that tide can be stemmed through an incremental approach.

It's the blindness of an intellectual with an IQ of 140. She's working out intellectual problems, and coming to the conclusion that her intellectual solutions will play out within the very irrational reality of humans.

Without intending to be, Althouse is intensely destructive. She has the "good intentions" thing. Nothing can cure her intellectual certainty that she can fix things. The unintended consequences aren't her fault. Ordinary, 100 IQ people just won't cooperate with her carefully thought out plans.

SGT Ted said...

Are her grandparents rednecks?

Any adult that doesn't know any private schools dress code going in is an idiot. A lot of parents seek out ones with dress codes, so their daughters don't use school to be a fashionista.

Renee said...

Even when the story comes out, no one cares about the whole story.

In our area the Justina Pelletier case is the chatter. The judge's four page ruling is public and no one can bother to read the details, because they have made up their minds that that the state kidnapped a teenager.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

In these situations I automatically support whoever's side of the story isn't being told, because the attention whores who run to the media to gin up public outrage over their private conflicts have outed themselves as sleazebags with neither judgement or credibility.

Renee said...

I bet the eight year old will end up on Ellen, all the kids who end up in local media for being kicked our or bullied or whatever end up on her show with a week long vacation in California.

Mary Beth said...

Maybe there would have been less confusion if her name didn't sound like "Sonny".

Pogo is Dead said...

Notice that no parents are mentioned, just grandparents.

Illuninati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

How can a child be accused of a "failure to look and act feminine…"?

Are children expected to inherently know what femininity is or means?

Illuninati said...

What I saw in the video is much ado about nothing.

tim maguire said...

How is a dress code at a private school news?

Jupiter said...

"n our area the Justina Pelletier case is the chatter. The judge's four page ruling is public and no one can bother to read the details, because they have made up their minds that that the state kidnapped a teenager."

I got this far, Renee;

"While Justina was at Children's Hospital, the parents were verbally abusive to Justina's hospital providers." So, you see, the "providers" were just helpfully sequestering their daughter, and they became verbally abusive! You can't really expect the State to let people who are verbally abusive have its precious children.

Renee said...

Then you didn't read the first paragraph.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

The Crack Emcee said...

How can a child be accused of a "failure to look and act feminine…"?

Are children expected to inherently know what femininity is or means?


Because one can "accuse" someone, of anything whatsoever, without evidence.

You have shown the way with your scurrilous charges of racism everywhere you look.

Tank said...

Here's the dress code. Seems pretty normal for a private Christian school. It's right on their website. I'm sure the grandparents agreed to abide by it and other rules when they applied.

Why is this a story? If you don't like the rules, send the kid to another school.

SJ said...

@Tank,

that clears some things up.

For those who didn't look, girls can wear slacks.

A couple of items that don't seem strange, but do highlight the cultural and social differences between boys' clothes and girls' clothes.

Elementary-age Boys can wear (clean, traditional-color) jeans. Girls can't.

Girls can wear sandals but boys can't.

Boys have to wear belts on any pants that have belt-loops. Girls dress codes don't mention belts at all.

Elementary school boys can wear some jeans, Middle-school and High School boys cannot.

High School girls have a much larger category of forbidden pants-styles than Elementary girls.

Pogo is Dead said...

"Why is this a story?"

It's a salvo in the gender wars. Like the gay marriage war, its intent is to upend Western civilization's tradition by marginalizing them as hatred.

She's a fat tomboy, and the parents think she should be able to go to any school she wants and dress any way she wants.

WaPo has an agenda in pushing this story.
Christers are evil, gays and genderbenders rule.

Monkeyboy said...

People talk about participation trophies ( I think they don't matter), but this is where the intitelment generation really starts.
"I Don't Wanna!"
My parents answered with a stern look and a lecture on responsibility and rules.
I say "I didn't ask if you wanted to, I said do it. Welcome to life."

Her grandparents answer with "then you don't have to! We will hire a lawyer to make sure the world bends to your will.!"

Tank said...

@ Pogo

I forget to mention the "fat" part. That kid is eight years old and already needs to learn when to push away from the table. If not corrected pronto, she is looking at a long life of obesity, with all the social and health problems that entails. This is already a much bigger problem for her than the school's dress code.

n.n said...

Since the dress code at the Christian school was known beforehand, it can only be understood that this incident was manufactured with a specific motive and intent.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Tank said...

Why is this a story? If you don't like the rules, send the kid to another school.


Perhaps because those who are not "normal", know that they aren't, and feel uncomfortable about that.

One way to help mitigate that feeling is to force mainstreaming of their condition.

"Whatever is not forbidden, is compulsory."

Renee said...

At my children's school.

Elementary girls can wear slacks in the winter months, but middle school girls can not wear slacks. Younger girls wear jumpers, and older girls wear skirts.

Boys can't have long hair, but not sure about girls. Hasn't been an issue. Most of the female teachers, who are older have really short hair.

Peter said...

"It's not terrible for there to be a private school that maintains gender distinctions in dress and some kinds of behavior. ... 'We respect the privacy of the child.' At the very least, they are right about that."

Well, yes. But perhaps the school is also right in demanding a right to be different.



There was a time when the Left considered itself non-conformist, and loudly insisted on the right to be so. Yet today it's become all too obvious that it is they who who demanding a rigid conformity from all (even as they continue to shout about how "transgressive" they are!).

it is the more traditional views that have become truly non-conformist- and which now must fight for space in which to exist. Marcusian "repressive tolerance"?



Then again, isn't Hobby Lobby also demanding a right to be different? How long will it be before someone sues to have them remove Christian music from its stores, on the grounds that it violates some emanation from a penumbra of a civil rights statute? After all, employees also have to listen to it...

Renee said...

"Thompson says Kahle is simply a tomboy, and that she's too young to understand sexual orientation or gender issues."

Thank You Grandparents!

madAsHell said...

Was she swapping out tires in the boys room??

The Crack Emcee said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt,

"Because one can "accuse" someone, of anything whatsoever, without evidence.

You have shown the way with your scurrilous charges of racism everywhere you look."


When I'm attacked by white children (and it does happen in your perfect white world for perfect white people) I know they don't know any better.

When I'm attacked by white adults - as you make no "colorblind" bones about doing - then it's racism,...

Shouting Thomas said...

This story is set in a locale which is a sore spot for liberal activists who want to attack traditional Christian beliefs and practice, North Carolina.

Anybody smell a setup?

Michael said...

When I'm attacked by white children (and it does happen in your perfect white world for perfect white people) I know they don't know any better.

Never happened. Lie.

Michael said...

When I'm attacked by white children (and it does happen in your perfect white world for perfect white people) I know they don't know any better.

Never happened. Lie.

Seeing Red said...

Did this kid just start school? It's March, why is this coming up now?

Seeing Red said...

Time for public school.

Seeing Red said...

This isn't Obamacare.

Gahrie said...

I'm thinking about teaching some traditional etiquette — like boys opening doors for girls and boys asking girls to dance

Ok..once again, boys have obligations and girls have.....

Seriously, under your idea of traditional etiquette, just what types of behavior are girls obligated to?

YoungHegelian said...

@Gahrie,

just what types of behavior are girls obligated to?

Well, for one thing, not being snotty little bitches about who they'll dance with. A girl was supposed to cheerfully & gracefully accept dance invitations from all askers. If the girl wasn't thrilled with her partner, well, tough shit, it's one dance. Go out there & do it & make the boy happy!

elkh1 said...

Don't like Christian rules? Get out of the Christian school.

Pogo is Dead said...

"...make the boy happy!"

Sorry, that's just rapey thinking these days.

Newthink:
1. Boys bad. Girls good.
2. PIV is rape. Lesbianism is the highest form of female life. PIVers have false consciousness.
3. Girls must never ever make boys happy. See rule 1.

dreams said...

Using a child as a liberal instrument to advance a social agenda or to just get their fifteen minutes of fame.

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael said...
When I'm attacked by white children (and it does happen in your perfect white world for perfect white people) I know they don't know any better.

Never happened. Lie.


White people have ALWAYS called blacks liars - lazy, too, Mr. Ryan,…..

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Thompson says Kahle is simply a tomboy, and that she's too young to understand sexual orientation or gender issues."

Thank You Grandparents!


Surely the Grandparents are old enough to understand a clearly written dress code. How the child acts is one thing. How THEY dress her for school is another.

If they Grandparents feel the school's rules of dress code are unacceptable, they can simply find another school and leave the drama aside for the sake of the child.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

The Crack Emcee said...

When I'm attacked by white adults - as you make no "colorblind" bones about doing - then it's racism,...


You are one of the least self-aware people I have ever come across, so I'll help you out.

Isn't it interesting that, as long as your view is that there is racism everywhere, you have the perfect excuse for all your failures in the culture and the meritocracy?

Deirdre Mundy said...

In the article, the Grandparents cite the girl's love of sports as something that makes her stand out...

But the school website is full of pictures of girls playing sports, doing science, etc.

And the dress code was typical private school- khakis OR skirts, and the regulation polo shirt.....

So the grandparents' framing of the issue is clearly off... My guess is the real issue isn't 'tomboy' behavior at all....

Michael said...

Crack. You might not be lazy but what you wrote is a lie. And you know it is.

The Crack Emcee said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt,

"Isn't it interesting that, as long as your view is that there is racism everywhere, you have the perfect excuse for all your failures in the culture and the meritocracy?"

Yeah, it is. Very interesting. Blacks talk about it a lot:

"Damn, if whites weren't racist, our lives would be a lot better,…"

Shouting Thomas said...

OK,

Yet another day of nothing to do, right Crack?

Yet another round of insisting that you speak for blacks.

Yet another BS claim that disagreeing with you is racism. Not only is it racism, it's an "attack," like a lynching!

Yet another thread that has nothing to do with blacks or racism hijacked.

Noted. Same old shit. Got anything else?

I'll check later. I've got to rehearse for three bands. You might consider finding something to do. But, you probably won't.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yet another thread that has nothing to do with blacks or racism hijacked.

We could be discussing a recipe for Quiche Lorraine and Crack would find a way to make it a racist oppression topic.

Tedious and boring. And diminishes the real racism that is actually out there.

Gahrie said...

"Damn, if whites weren't racist, our lives would be a lot better,…"

I thought it was the korean store owners who were oppressing the Black man?

YoungHegelian said...

@DBQ,

We could be discussing a recipe for Quiche Lorraine...

Well, I'll bet you separate the whites from the yolks, don't you, you racist thing, you!

The Crack Emcee said...

Dust Bunny Queen,

Tedious and boring. And diminishes the real racism that is actually out there.


I LOVE when whites presume to tell blacks about the racism we face.

And weren't you the same DBQ who pulled a Ted Nugent and referred to blacks as "sub-human scum"?

Why yes, yes you were.

So WHO "diminishes the real racism that is actually out there" again?

Oh yeah - the woman who perpetuates it,...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Dust Bunny Queen,

Tedious and boring. And diminishes the real racism that is actually out there.


What you think is racism "out there", might just be we all judging you all by the content of your characters.

Collectively, folks get judged by the content of their culture - and not all cultures are good. Some are cesspools of toxicity.

The multiculturalists encouraged you all to stop acting white, and to develop your own organic thing. How's that workin' out?

How's 'attitude' workin' out?
How's disdain for education workin' out?
How's disrespecting your women and children workin' out?
How's herd voting for Progressives working out?
How's "keepin' it real" working out?
How's Hip Hop culture workin' out?
How's butchered King's English workin' out?
How's gang-bangin' working out?

There are plenty of cultures in the world that ARE working. Might be time to emulate some of them.

Dave Schumann said...

Crack's back with his hate. He's incandescent with it, glowing with hatred for whites (and, if you read between the lines, blacks) as much as ST trembles with rage at the gays.

I LOVE when whites presume to tell blacks about the racism we face.

"presume to tell" -- ha. The implication is that there are aspects of society that people with certain skin color can't talk about, because to do so would be "telling" "presumptuously". Of course, people with different skin color (because their culture and home life is so terrible...see, Crack's not quite sure how he feels about people with darker skin, since he thinks that as a result of their darker skin, their lives are awful) can talk about the way whites are, because that's not presumptuous.

Jesus Christ, Crack, don't you feel your stomach clenching with all the hate? Why don't you just relax for a minute?

Shouting Thomas said...

... as much as ST trembles with rage at the gays.

The usual BS that disagreement with gay marriage equals rage and hating an entire group of people.

Dave, you as much a fucking moron as Crack.

Dave Schumann said...

ST -- that wasn't my argument. I don't think that disagreeing with the newly fashionably gay marriage policies equals hatred for gays.
But you do have a lot of hatred for gays, as evidenced by how you talk about them, leaving aside any questions of policies.

Shouting Thomas said...

Bullshit, Dave.

You're a dumb fuck. A seriously dumb fuck.

DS said...

ST -- that's supposed to be a rebuttal of my core argument, which is that you're full of hate? You're brimming over with it. If you weren't, and someone accused you of hate, you wouldn't react with hate.

There are lots of reasons to be skeptical of the 'marriage equality' push, such as the speed at which it's happened, and the character of some of the arguments for it. But what sort of representative do you make for the other side, throwing around invective with as much enthusiasm as a race-baiter like Crack?

DS said...

(for the record, I'm the same as Dave Schumann -- I'm not entirely sure what just happened but I wound up signing in under some other account)

Shouting Thomas said...

Now we've descended to Althouse's "bag full of dicks" argument.

Dave, you haven't presented an argument.

You're just behaving like an asshole, which appears to be what you are.

There are a lot of fucking assholes in the world. You're one of them. I run into a mess of fucking assholes every day.

DS said...

Some googling -- and I'm better than average at it -- doesn't immediately reveal what "bag of dicks" comment of AA you're talking about. There are oblique references to it -- in one case, a commenter making fun of it *and* the famous "Ass-Cracker" speculation -- but most of it's you talking about it.

Reminds me of an incident that occurred in NYC a few years ago. I was out with my GF -- the woman for whom the term "fag hag" was invented, as far as I can tell -- and there was a couple of guys at the table right next to us. She picked up on some cue and mentioned something about them being "out on a date." They reacted very negatively, and called the pretty young waitress over and complained.

Here's the point. As unlikely as it was that we'd found the only closeted gay couple in the entire city, how much less likely is it that two young straight men would, upon being mistaken for gay by a woman, complain to ANOTHER woman about it? "Hey pretty young woman -- that woman over there thinks I'm gay!"

If you have a rep for being hateful and for holding grudges, why do you respond to those accusations by...being hateful and holding grudges?

Shouting Thomas said...

What you need is to forget about your dumb fuck obsession and read a joke, Dave.

You'll still be a dumb fucking asshole. But...

Well, I can't think of a a but.

DS said...

That one's not even particularly good, ST. The Mel Brooks "circumcisions, half off" joke is both shorter and funnier.

Got anything better? Or at least different/newer?

Shouting Thomas said...

That is the funniest joke ever told. If you don't get that, you are clearly be filled with rage.

Let's see if this does it for you:

A cannibal was complaining to his cannibal buddy.

cannibal #1: "I have such a stomach ache."
cannibal #2: "Was it something you ate?"
cannibal #1: "I don't think so. I boiled and ate a Franciscan priest."
cannibal #2: "There's your problem - he's a friar!"

DS said...

I mean, Christ, that's practically a Shaggy Dog joke, in terms of the length/payoff ratio.

Google "hickory daiquiri doc" and stretch that out to 5 minutes. At least that one has a decent punchline.

DS said...

OK that one's good. (My previous post complaining about your Shaggy Dog joke was in reference to the camel joke).

So, like the protagonists in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (the song, not the movie") -- well at least that's something we've got. The Franciscan Frier/ar joke. Haha.

eric said...

"The one-sidedness of the reporting really bothers me."

Welcome to my life. Being in law enforcement, we never get to tell our side of the story. We're not allowed to talk to the press. Anytime I read a story about the police, I always notice this one sidedness. The Press gets the view of the "victim" or whoever was abused by the police, and then they get the other half (If they bother to do that at all) from a spokesperson on the police side who knows absolutely nothing about the case and doesn't want to say anything anyway.

And yet time and time again, I see people fall for this on the internet. And they absolutely accept the facts as laid out by the media as true. Even people who normally are skeptical of the media, especially when it comes to political reporting.

It's rather shameful.

The Crack Emcee said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt,

There are plenty of cultures in the world that ARE working. Might be time to emulate some of them.


No thanks. You forget - I've traveled, extensively. And there's no place I've been where the kids don't worship Michael Jackson - they don't even know who James Taylor and Jim Croce are, and never will.

They have posters with Michael Jordan on their wall. But they don't even know who he is or anything about basketball.

We invented Hockey. That's how little white people know about us, here, in comparison.

If you were honest, you'd admit you admire us - that's the problem.

Come to terms with it - we don't bite,...

Kirk Parker said...

chrisnavin,

"How long ago could someone have predicted this state of affairs in the media/public mind solely from experience with the trends, ideas and figures of original feminism I wonder? "

Well, how long ago was Chesterton writing? And I doubt he was the first...

Kirk Parker said...

Peter,

"There was a time when the Left pretended to be non-conformist"

FIFY.

Kirk Parker said...


Renee,

"Most of the female teachers, who are older have really short hair. "

Eewwwwww.

Kirk Parker said...

Crack,

"There are plenty of cultures in the world that ARE working."

Yeah? Go ahead and name one or two. (I'll wager a huge--for me--amount of money that France won't be on your short list...)

Martha said...

I believe Sunni wanted to use the boys bathroom-- NOT the girls bathroom-- in the school and this behavior caused considerable distress and confusion on the part of the young students.