October 10, 2014

"Always ask yourself . . . ‘Will this configuration create a gendered space?'"

Advice to school teachers on gender inclusiveness. I was going to defend this document — PDF — against the excessive scorn from National Review, but then I scrolled down to the third page and saw this...



... and I lost  .

AND: Ironically, the "Genderbread Person" looks too male.

IN THE COMMENTS: Meade said: "You lost , I lost ."

139 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now pedophiles can love in all kinds of amazing and inclusive ways.

It's 'purple penguins' all the way down...

Meade said...

You lost *heart*, I lost my boner.

MayBee said...

Isn't it going to be quite confusing to start pretending to kids there is no such thing as gender?
Confusing to the kids, I mean. It just never works to try to create an un-real world for children in the hopes of making them believe something.

Anonymous said...

Point out on 'The Genderbread Person' where the Purple Penguin touched you.

B said...

How exactly does it look too male?

Henry said...

Social Justice comedian Sam Killermann created the genderperson.

Killermann? That's three syllables of binary oppression, right there.

buwaya puti said...

Circling the drain.

MadisonMan said...

Run, run as fast as you can.

MayBee said...

Gotta say I'm a little uncomfortable with a grown man creating literature about sexuality for pre-teens and saying things like "wanna hang"?

Feels very Elmo.

Anonymous said...

Orangey version of the Pillsbury Doughperson. Do not tickle the Pillsbury Doughperson in a gendered area.

rehajm said...

Gingerbread is best with a bit of clove and a dash of cinnamon

Henry said...

Having read both links, I would like point out that National Review's "excessive scorn" is expressed simply by summarizing the document and quoting its supporters.

Some fish come with their own barrel.

RecChief said...

someday, there will be a backlash against all this shit. Led by the very demographic this shit is targeting.

rehajm said...

oxymoron of the day: social justice comedian.

The Drill SGT said...

[\l_QE: Our cultural expectation is that men occupy the extreme left ends of all four scales (male, man,
masculine, attracted to women) and women occupy the extreme right ends. For each scale, the popular
notion that there are two distinct categories, with everyone falling neatly into one or the other, is a
social construction. The human condition does not operate as a strict binary system." lf we look at what,
actually exists, we see that there is much middle ground. Very few people are actually at the extreme
ends, and there are people at every point along the continuum.


really?, up till now, I thought the vast majority of people were men and women and were at the extreme ends of the scale.

MadisonMan said...

I do like the idea -- very appropriate IMO -- in the article of asking kids to line up in ways other than Boys and Girls. If you like Cats or Dogs, for example. Or Milk or Juice. Because then a teacher actually learns something about the kids in his or her class that they can use later.

MayBee said...

"Hey, kids! Don't let those bummer old people tell you there's such a thing as boundaries when it comes to sex. I'm young and attractive and not at all overly interested in you."

Anonymous said...

Sociologists putting another finger up the butt of Common Sense. It is what they do: put their fingers up butts.

You can tell a lot about a person by where they want to put their finger...

MayBee said...

Mad Man- I like that idea, too. Until the "Milk" line gets headed out the door for pro-vegan re-education, and the "juice" line is sent to watch Michelle Obama obesity videos.

jacksonjay said...

I'm with Henry. Excessive scorn? You must have the wrong link.

Quoting a document or a person's own words is now considered an "attack".

Kristian Holvoet said...

"I do like the idea -- very appropriate IMO -- in the article of asking kids to line up in ways other than Boys and Girls. If you like Cats or Dogs, for example. Or Milk or Juice. Because then a teacher actually learns something about the kids in his or her class that they can use later."

It also very important to give the bullies in class more information regarding how to harass and intimidate class mates. I mean, there is nothing like forcing young people to share private likes and dislikes with EVERYONE, not just friends and confidants, to destroy friendships, community and faith in others.

MayBee said...

It's interesting that as sex becomes a more and more open part of our culture, several groups have stepped forward to try to make sex even more confusing to the vast majority of people.

(this no such thing as genders business, and the affirmative consent movement)

Mark said...

I don't usually come here for the LOLs. But well played.

MayBee said...

I'm going to guess buy "excessive scorn", Althouse means she thought they were overstating the program in order to criticize it.

But then she realized they weren't.

Ann Althouse said...

"How exactly does it look too male?"

Bald-headed.

Blunt "hands" and "feet." Not tapered, graceful, or long-nailed.

Thick arms and legs.

No skirt.

Big circle and projections at the genitalia.

No breasts.

No clothes gives more of the shape of typical clothes for men, e.g., trousers.

Skipper said...

I lost my breakfast.

Ann Althouse said...

And the prototype is a gingerbread MAN.

Just about everyone who has cookie-cutters in that shape calls it a gingerbread man.

There are "gingerbread woman" cookie cutters, and the difference is: a skirt.

MadisonMan said...

You're weird. You like milk.

Yeah, I can see a bully using that. (eyeroll)

Curious George said...

The American purple penguins better get used to asking the boys and girls of China, India, and Japan if "they want fries with that?"

Anonymous said...

"You think the world is only comprised of males and females? Let me put a finger up your butt and explain why you're wrong."

Mark said...

I do like the idea -- very appropriate IMO -- in the article of asking kids to line up in ways other than Boys and Girls. If you like Cats or Dogs, for example. Or Milk or Juice. Because then a teacher actually learns something about the kids in his or her class that they can use later.

This is an excellent point. Make it a game too; ask the kids to write, draw, or choose cards with "apple" or "orange", "duck" or "chicken", or whatever, then line up by those secret choices.

Adults think about sex all the time. Projecting that onto prepubescents seems like a bad idea.

Ann Althouse said...

What I liked about the idea is that I have seen teachers stereotyping boys and girls, dividing the class into the boys and the girls and comparing their behavior and performance. I've been in a situation, here in Madison, where the parents of the boys in the class were called in to be lectured to about the badness of the boys. This happened many years ago, and I am still angry about it.

MayBee said...

Soooo.....

where have I heard "Purple Penguin" before?

Anonymous said...

"Even with my finger up your butt you still cling to a 'males and females only' dynamic? Perhaps it is time for the second finger..."

The Drill SGT said...

"No breasts."

to be fair, they were just being 'body sensitive' to the 6th grader w/o tits.

as for the genitalia, the gingerperson has a crack, not a testicle sack.

:)

start down this path at your own risk, Social Justice Comedian.

I assume that means her jokes are at the expense of white males.

Mark said...

You're weird. You like milk.

Yeah, I can see a bully using that. (eyeroll)


Q: How many anal-retentives does it take to go potty?

A: THAT'S NOT FUNNY!

MayBee said...

This is an excellent point. Make it a game too; ask the kids to write, draw, or choose cards with "apple" or "orange", "duck" or "chicken", or whatever, then line up by those secret choices.

Adults think about sex all the time. Projecting that onto prepubescents seems like a bad idea.


I don't need my middle-schoolers day taken up with drawing pictures of ducks or chickens so they can determine which line they want to stand it.

The idea that these kids aren't thinking about sex at this age seems wrong. Confusing them about what they are feeling is also wrong.
But then I think creating *more* confusion is part of the goal.

MayBee said...

I've been in a situation, here in Madison, where the parents of the boys in the class were called in to be lectured to about the badness of the boys. This happened many years ago, and I am still angry about it.

"I've called all you parents in to talk about how poorly your juice drinkers are behaving"

Michael said...

Always ask yourself what kind of fool writes a sentence like that? What kind of environment suffers such nonsense, such utter bullshit?

If you are reading something like this and work for the sender you are yourself a fool. If you are reading this and it is from someone who has anything whatsoever to do with your child you are yourself a fool.

Henry said...

There are some useful constructs in the printed portions of the instructions. It is useful for students of a certain age to learn the difference between sex and gender.

Here's something weird. "By certain age" I would think high school. This is being distributed to middle school teachers.

Okay, that could work. But the language references early-elementary experience. Outside of gym class, are middle-schoolers organized into lines? Asked to sit themselves on the rug?

It is at once too much, too late, too early, and too reductive.

traditionalguy said...

That is not sex education for children, that may have some redeeming social value. That is destructive mind control being run by a Government School under control of Professionals who are themselves mind controllees.

No wonder they are out to stop home schooling competition. The public schools' sick vision of a world of eunuchs with the male/female discernment skill of their brains removed really is horrible industrial strength child abuse.


jacksonjay said...

Sgt, the social justice comedian "her" is a "he"! I think he considers himself a "he", this shit really confuses "me". If you gotta "peepee" you're a "he" to "me".

Rocketeer said...

"We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men." - George Orwell

"Or women. And it's obvious that men and women are different, so we shouldn't be lying to children that's not the case." - Rocketeer

Mark said...

MayBee, that graphic (and the very concept of lining up children according to an arbitrary binary system) makes me think the entire program is geared more toward the pre-K-to-4th-grade educator population.

Middle school is where the hormones kick in. It's also where kids are getting really into sub-group identification.

My twins are in second grade right now. If their teachers are spending any time at all talking about sexual preferences I'll have harsh words with the principal.

Rocketeer said...

How exactly does it look too male?

Because it has a clean-shaven head, perhaps? Which would be a sexist assumption, of course. AS an example of a woman with a clean-shaven head, I give you: Gingerbread O'Connor.

Curious George said...

"MayBee said...
Soooo.....

where have I heard "Purple Penguin" before?"

Tyhe kids will be confused when a year later they are being called madisonfellas...especially the young girls.

damikesc said...

Apparently, having a penis and having a vagina is too binary for these idiots.

May everybody who supports this die in a fire.

Meade said...

"I'm quarter gone...I'm half gone...I'm three-quarters gone...I'm all gone!"

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...and yet you don't see a rational basis for the traditional definition of marriage.

Levi Starks said...

The goal is not that we stop measuring on the basis of female/male, rather its that we throw away the measuring stick, and then pretend that it never existed.

MayBee said...

Little kids don't look at things through the same eyes older kids do.
Little girls admire women and little girls, and like "safe" young boys (like Bobby Sherman and Justin Bieber). They can be attracted- not sexually- to female role models.
Little boys might think N Sync is cool music and admire their look.

Then puberty hits, and sexual feelings enter into the mix and it can be a very odd transition. Kids that age don't need to start questioning whether their admiration for their baby sitter last year means they are gay or lesbian or ambiguous.
I don't understand why adults seem to want to crawl into this space now and make this time even more difficult. Yes, pederasts and groomers used to do this. But now people want to mainstream it.

Does nobody remember how hard puberty is without adults putting all their own shit into it?

Ann Althouse said...

"to be fair, they were just being 'body sensitive' to the 6th grader w/o tits."

My point is that the prototype is a MAN.

The gingerbread MAN is a man, not a boy. The MAN idea stays put unless something upsets it, like a skirt.

I just listed some other things that could be used to unseat the MAN image that's in our heads.

The same iconography is used on public bathroom signs.

The most common way to convey femaleness is with a skirt, even though most women these days don't wear skirts.

Mark said...

Note to self: Always read the links before commenting.

Oh yeah, distributing that as a working guideline to Middle School teachers goes beyond dumb into actively stupid.

Have any of these people actually met a child? Or remember being one?

MathMom said...

America is going truly nuts. These people who have nothing but "gender" on their minds remind me of the obsession with shark attacks and Chandra Levy, in the days before 9/11. The headlines on 9/10 were all Chandra and sharks.

Then the SHTF and reality interrupted for a while. I remember being disgusted that Hillary had the gall to complain about the air quality at Ground Zero, and how the workers were being adversely affected. She didn't get any traction with that, because people hadn't gotten stupid again yet.

But they are REALLY stupid now. Even Ebola and Enterovirus D68 (read "polio") have not broken through the stupidity. Yet.

Birches said...

MayBee, that graphic (and the very concept of lining up children according to an arbitrary binary system) makes me think the entire program is geared more toward the pre-K-to-4th-grade educator population.

yes, the idea that middle schoolers are still lining up for anything in two lines shows that there is a mismatch between the advice given (geared toward younger grades) and who is actually using it (the middle school).

Meade said...

Man! Those little boys are likely going to need help someday. Man therapy?

Henry said...

There's also the gingerbread boy.

The gingerbread boy was a bit of a prick.

He deserved to be eaten.

Van Wallach said...

If, as young adults, a Purple Penguin and a Gingerbread Person attempt to have sex at a California university, would they ever actually get physical, or would they spend all their time completing and polishing and publicizing their awesome affirmative consent forms?

Tank said...

Actually, I'm surprised at how many young women do wear skirts or dresses (out of the office).

Shanna said...

Isn't it going to be quite confusing to start pretending to kids there is no such thing as gender? Confusing to the kids, I mean.

Of course it is! I think that is the point. Insanity.

The most common way to convey femaleness is with a skirt, even though most women these days don't wear skirts.

I saw some really adorable signs like this that show what is proper to wear at the mall in the UAE but i can't find the link right now.

Lyssa said...

MayBee: Isn't it going to be quite confusing to start pretending to kids there is no such thing as gender?

I would actually argue that we should all agree that there is no such thing as "gender," as the term is used by social scientists. There is a such thing as *sex,* which is a descriptor of biology, and on which terms like "boy," "girl," "man," and "woman" are based.

(For the uninitiated: Sex is biology; gender is the way that you feel and/or the social role that you have. But, since we really don't have much in the way of a "male" or "female" social role in modern America, the term is useless.)

We all have a sex. That describes our private parts and internal workings. Those things matter for a few purposes - they impact our health, how we create children, who we marry, how we use the bathroom. But they don't limit most things about what we do, what we can be when we grow up, who we can be friends with, etc.

Belief in "gender" (not sex) suggests that we have a defined box of "masculine" or "feminine" that we must be in. That is oppressive and wrong. But it doesn't change our biology.

pduggie said...

Analogy: "Our cultural expectation is that hard workers occupy the extreme left ends of all four scales (diligent, prompt, conscientious, thoughtful) and layabouts occupy the extreme right ends. For each scale, the popular
notion that there are two distinct categories, with everyone falling neatly into one or the other, is a
social construction. The human condition does not operate as a strict binary system." lf we look at what,
actually exists, we see that there is much middle ground. "

Just because there IS middle ground doesn't mean people shouldn't aspire to occupy an extreme end.

That's what the social construction of say, 'hard work' does. It encourages you to aspire to work hard because things work better that way.

Why can't we encourage people to be more like some ideal? Almost all of us can't reach that ideal, but we should aspire to it.

Shanna said...

Our cultural expectation is that men occupy the extreme left ends of all four scales (male, man, masculine, attracted to women) and women occupy the extreme right ends.

Ok, in all seriousness. First of all, has anyone really thought all men and women occupy the 'extreme' ends? No.

Second, I really dislike this idea that because someone is a female who doesn't 'conform' or love dresses or who loves math or whatever thing they consider to be against her gender, they cannot be considered a woman. Isn't that kind of insane? Isn't that an idea that years ago these same people would have been fighting against? Ugh.

Christy said...

Althouse, what we're your initial arguments in support of genderless indoctrination?

Isn't this going to confuse kids looking for the right bathrooms?

Rocketeer said...

I, along with a lot of other well-behaved and earnest boys both black & white, was mentally abused and spanked almost daily by my fourth grade teacher, a newly-minted, devout Black Muslim with anger and resentment issues. We were all of us routinely punished - as a group - for the misbehavior of a couple of the boys in our class. Five of us out of a class of twelve boys ended up in the hospital at least once that year due to stress-induced ailments - ulcers, etc., and others probably should have but the families just didn't know what to do. My parents did everything within their power to get me out of that class and/or to have that teacher fired. That year was absolute hell for me, I mean hell.

This happened many years ago, and I am not still angry about it.

pduggie said...

"The most common way to convey femaleness is with a skirt, even though most women these days don't wear skirts."

I bet there is more porn in existence, per image, than images of women designed iconographically to "convey femaleness".

So they're not wearing skirts either, but the femaleness of the porn (if its that kind) is swill conveyed.

John said...

If I ran the world:

Do you have a penis? Yes? you are a guy.

Do you have a vagina? Yes? You are a girl.

Are you one of the very, very few people born with both a penis and a vagina? you get to choose whether you are a boy or a girl with the help of a medical doctor.

Otherwise go fuck yourseself.

This is just such total and obnoxious bullshit!

As Glenn Reynolds frequently says, we are getting close to the point where sending your kids to public school is child abuse.

John Henry

Paco Wové said...

My first two thoughts: Who are the people peddling this? Why are they presumed to have expertise and/or authority?

buwaya puti said...

If you want to know why the US productive classes are failing to reproduce and are dying out, here it is. The poisonous cultural memes are eradicating them. Just to start, non Orthodox US Jewish female fertility rate is about 1.4. These are the most productive and innovative people in the country, and they are being slowly exterminated. The US may at some point be inclined to adopt something like Indias policy to breed Parsis.

Achilles said...

And to think you have no choice other than public education. Unless you are rich.

Now that's progressive!

furious_a said...

"UNCLE INDETERMINATE GENDER WANTS **YOU**"

John said...

Kristian said:

"I do like the idea -- very appropriate IMO -- in the article of asking kids to line up in ways other than Boys and Girls.

When I taught in a classroom, universtity, I used to ask students to arrange themselves in alphabetical order.

By middle initial.

This was done at the beginning of the first night and made a nice ice breaking exercise.

John Henry

Rocketeer said...

My first two thoughts: Who are the people peddling this? Why are they presumed to have expertise and/or authority?

Paco Wové - CLASSIFICATION: DANGEROUS.

Watch your back, my friend. Watch your back.

RecChief said...

"Ann Althouse said...
"How exactly does it look too male?"

Bald-headed.

Blunt "hands" and "feet." Not tapered, graceful, or long-nailed.

Thick arms and legs.

No skirt.

Big circle and projections at the genitalia.

No breasts.

No clothes gives more of the shape of typical clothes for men, e.g., trousers.
"


OH, so there ARE differences between men and women? Here Iv'e been operating under the tutelage of the left that we are all the same (disparate PT standards for female soldiers notwithstanding of course)

RecChief said...

"Ann Althouse said...
"How exactly does it look too male?"

Bald-headed.

Blunt "hands" and "feet." Not tapered, graceful, or long-nailed.

Thick arms and legs.

No skirt.

Big circle and projections at the genitalia.

No breasts.

No clothes gives more of the shape of typical clothes for men, e.g., trousers.
"


Just how many people look at a cookie and see the above? Are you trolling your own readership or are you really this fucked up to see a gingerbread cookie and think this?

MayBee said...

But they don't limit most things about what we do, what we can be when we grow up, who we can be friends with, etc.


RIght.
And who, these days, is arguing that they should?

Nobody. So this is "solving" a problem that doesn't exist. Much like the campus rape affirmative consent laws.

So then I have to ask why? Why are some people getting so involved in making sex and sexuality so much *more* complicated?

tim in vermont said...

All we have to do is download new human firmware from God, right?

Those last several millions of years of human evolution? Fugetabouwdit!

Lyssa said...

Shanna said: Second, I really dislike this idea that because someone is a female who doesn't 'conform' or love dresses or who loves math or whatever thing they consider to be against her gender, they cannot be considered a woman. Isn't that kind of insane? Isn't that an idea that years ago these same people would have been fighting against? Ugh.

Exactly. It is exactly contradictory to what I have always understood to be feminism. My husband and I operate our family lives in a way that is uncommon for our sexes (he stays home with the kid; I work). That hardly means that either of us is "less" woman or man. The whole thing is extremely offensive.

MayBee said...

Belief in "gender" (not sex) suggests that we have a defined box of "masculine" or "feminine" that we must be in. That is oppressive and wrong. But it doesn't change our biology.

I don't think we need to have defined "masculine" and "feminine" to have differences in gender. Our biology is that males and females are different in ways other than just our anatomy. Not in good or bad ways, but in ways that attract us to each other.
This is different than the old fashioned assigned gender roles.

And yes, of course, there are always people who are different than the mean. Which is why supporting acceptance of differences is a great thing. But teaching there are no differences because there is no gender? Not so great.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... My point is that the prototype is a MAN.

The gingerbread MAN is a man, not a boy. The MAN idea stays put unless something upsets it, like a skirt.


As someone who's sensitive to uses and misues of language I'm sure you know that the "man" in gingerbread man doesn't necessarily mean male, though, right? The "man" there could clearly mean "person" instead of "male person." I don't know if it's metonymy strictly speaking, but it's not exactly an unusual usage. I don't have access to the OED, of course...

gerry said...

Ironically, the "Genderbread Person" looks too male.

Just how much hair will you tolerate on a cookie?

carrie said...

Thank God for private schools. Although there is an effort underway to get rid of faith based private schools. Microsoft will not offer discounts to faith based private schools and I assume that the Gates Foundation is working on other subtle ways to force them out of existence. I l like faith based private schools because their agenda is clear and don't change. With the public schools, individual teachers are allowed to promote their personal agendas and it's hard to know what your kids are being taught and when you need to step in and teach the other side of an issue.

Alexander said...

Next question: Would all those physical difference that, as Rec Chief points out, we are all so surprised to discover... do you think they could naturally lead to different comparative advantages, and that societies might naturally evolve to take advantage of them in a way that's not simply the patriarchy oppressing one half of the group just for the fun of it?

We are getting into some interesting questions these days.

MayBee said...

Shanna said: Second, I really dislike this idea that because someone is a female who doesn't 'conform' or love dresses or who loves math or whatever thing they consider to be against her gender, they cannot be considered a woman. Isn't that kind of insane? Isn't that an idea that years ago these same people would have been fighting against? Ugh.

Exactly. It is exactly contradictory to what I have always understood to be feminism. My husband and I operate our family lives in a way that is uncommon for our sexes (he stays home with the kid; I work). That hardly means that either of us is "less" woman or man. The whole thing is extremely offensive.


Isn't this the thinking behind choosing your own pronoun and determining you are a woman trapped in a male body?
You aren't conforming to someone's idea (your own?) of gender and sex roles?

MayBee said...

(and I don't mean you, Lyssa. I mean the person who is being told he can choose his gender)

RecChief said...

"Our biology is that males and females are different in ways other than just our anatomy."


YOu know, that's sexist. YOu can be hounded from the presidency of a university for expressing that view.

Anonymous said...

Gingerbread MAN, eh Althouse? I'd expect a law professor to know that man is also a gender neutral word.

It either has to look one way or the other, doesn't it? Put a dress on it, or other feminine features, now it's female and on the other extreme. Choices are so hard when you're denying reality.

Also, love how you were all ready to jump to a conclusion before you actually finished the research.

Academia is increasingly a joke word. They aren't any more rigorous than the average person, are they?

Lyssa said...

But teaching there are no differences because there is no gender? Not so great.

I don't think that we disagree, really. I would still say that there are differences that are sex based, but that they are more general tendencies than strictly dichotomous traits (the way penis verses vagina is a strictly dichotomous trait). For example, that men are generally taller than women, but there are some women that are taller than most men. But I think that when you start arguing that there are gender-traits that are not part of the biological ones, that's putting "gender" in a confining box, which is where I object.

But this is probably college social sciences class level hair-splitting, not 6th grader appropriate.

Smilin' Jack said...

Ironically, the "Genderbread Person" looks too male.

Real feminists spell it "Genderbread Persyn"

Shanna said...

But I think that when you start arguing that there are gender-traits that are not part of the biological ones, that's putting "gender" in a confining box, which is where I object.

Well, I think you can also argue about what differences are actually biological, beyond obvious things like height. But that's getting way beyond elementary school, I agree.

I also question that designations like 'boy' or 'girl' are gender loaded in the way these people assume. Boys are small males, girls are small females. Why can't we just say designations are sex and not 'gender' based? Particularly in elementary school.

At this point, I would be happy if we just stopped talking about 'gender' at all. We have males, females, (and a very small number of hermaphrodites who mostly pick one, and probably don't want to be singled out in class as an other). The rest is all preference and choice, but does not make us different from what we are biologically. There is no need to make up new genders. Just live your life however you want to live it, male or female. Wear a dress or not, I really don't care, but stop trying to confuse small children.

jacksonjay said...

Whatever happened to that yin and yang common sense?

MayBee said...

. For example, that men are generally taller than women, but there are some women that are taller than most men. .

Yes!

So it seems to me here is the choice being made:

Instead of saying this, and saying "Being a taller woman is as acceptable as being a shorter woman. This is not a judgement issue" they are trying to say " Any height differences should not be noticed. Noticing height differences might make the taller person feel bad. Therefore, there are no height differences between people. "

jacksonjay said...

Rocketman sez:

We were all of us routinely punished - as a group - for the misbehavior of a couple of the boys in our class.

Change "in our class" to "on our team" and you've a great coach. My daughter had a coach who punished the girls who were at practice and on time while the slacker watched! Many coaches are mental.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse, what we're your initial arguments in support of genderless indoctrination?"

That children should be treated as individuals and not stereotypes. Other than going to the bathroom, it shouldn't be any of the teacher's business.

Now, I would support early education with all boys classes and all girls classes, but that would be out of a hope of maximizing the value of the individual and increasing personal development without getting stereotyped.

Peter said...

"Very few people are actually at the extreme ends, and there are people at every point along the continuum."

Except that it's just not so: this scale (male/female, man/woman, masculine/feminine, attracted to women/men) is, in fact, very strongly bimodal and not even close to a uniform distribution.

But, no matter: In EduWorld, the vast majority must bend to suit the noisome few, and the few must never, ever feel pressure to at least accommodate themselves to a world in which they are not, in fact, not exemplars of the normative.

Tis better to rip the fabric of reality itself than have to come to terms with it.

chillblaine said...

Reverend Wright was correct about one thing. Our chickens are coming home to roost.

jacksonjay said...

19th Amendment:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Ask a high school kid to read the 19th Amendment. It will blow their mind. To 21st century kids, "sex" is coitus, as in having. They are so steeped in "gender" that Lucy has to do some splainin.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm going to guess buy "excessive scorn", Althouse means she thought they were overstating the program in order to criticize it. But then she realized they weren't."

No, I thought they were missing the positive side of avoiding continually calling attention to who's a boy and who's a girl. Let children stretch their horizons and figure out what they actually like rather than what they're supposed to like.

But then I got distracted by the stuff on the second and third page of the memo, especially the third, which looks ludicrous and is, I think, pseudoscience.

The first page of the memo has some good suggestions that I agree with.

Freeman Hunt said...

Teachers shouldn't be dividing the class up by boys and girls, but asking each kid what pronoun he goes by is ludicrous.

B said...

Ann, a bald head is a symbol of maleness?

I guess you missed the kerfuffle when Lupita Nyong'o was named People Magazine Most Beautiful Woman.

Many people said her haircut was not feminine. Many more got offended that long hair (white women's hair) is a symbol of womanhood.

Stop imposing your racist gender norms!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

jacksonjay said...
Rocketman sez:

We were all of us routinely punished - as a group - for the misbehavior of a couple of the boys in our class.

Change "in our class" to "on our team" and you've a great coach.


Collective punishment only works when the group then has the power to punish the mis-behavers in their midst. That is often possible on teams, but is all but impossible in the modern classroom.

chillblaine said...

Beware public school employees passing out cookies. Like elementary school teacher Mark Berndt.

St. George said...

In the classic children's story The Gingerbread Man, he gets eaten!

So too the Genderbread Person

Horrible!

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, a bald head is a symbol of maleness?"

Yes.

"I guess you missed the kerfuffle when Lupita Nyong'o was named People Magazine Most Beautiful Woman."

1. Most beautiful ≠ most feminine

2. Having one element that goes in the opposite direction from feminine can heighten the femininity of other elements.

Fernandinande said...

RecChief said...
MayBee "Our biology is that males and females are different in ways other than just our anatomy."

YOu know, that's sexist. YOu can be hounded from the presidency of a university for expressing that view.


That means it's true.

Any words following phrases like "gendered space" will be for entertainment purposes only.

Ann Althouse said...

#2 applies especially well today, when many, many stars have this really dumb long hair that is often done with extensions. I'm bored at looking at overly made-up, not really that pretty actresses with what used to be called "bedroom hair." There are a lot of horse-faced women who are regarded as beautiful who couldn't sell that distortion without the hair and makeup.

That creates an opportunity for a fresh-faced woman with her hair clipped short. If she still has a super-feminine look, she wins the most-beautiful award. That makes perfect sense.

traditionalguy said...

Without genders the world becomes a perfect game platform for a computer to run, or for feminists to feel good about being not seen as women.

Taking that tactic in today's world of Computers Uber Alles where male humans are seen as surplus, it is asking a lot to make children bow before a passing educational fad.

Fernandinande said...

Ann Althouse said...
I've been in a situation, here in Madison, where the parents of the boys in the class were called in to be lectured to about the badness of the boys.


Back in high-school all the boys in a given class were often swatted with a big wooden paddle if a few of them did poorly on some stupid test. Socialism for kids.

Help help I was being oppressed!

B said...

Having one element that goes in the opposite direction from feminine can heighten the femininity of other elements.

I guess you subscribe to the David Bowie school of androgynous sex appeal. I guess we can agree to disagree. I don't think short hair (or 80s era shoulder pads) strengthen other feminine features on women.

n.n said...

The "person" lacks curves. It was constructed from the traditional derivation of wo-man from man. It must certainly have been created by a male ego.

That said, where do babies come from, Genderbread Person?

My teacher told me that a stork delivered them, but then I learned about womb banks and sperm depositors.

Also, are unwanted boys and girls sacrificed at the altar of planned parenthood in a ritual to gain favor of the mortal gods?

n.n said...

The Genderbread Person discriminates against The Genderfluid Person. The Genderfluid are amorphous clumps of cells with chaotic orientations.

Dave Schumann said...

Unfortunately the dynamic in the schools prevents the normal response, which is to say straight to these people's faces, "This is stupid and you're stupid for propagating it."

I'd be perfectly happy to get into a screaming, red-faced fight with a mental defective pushing this stuff. But, if that mental defective had legal authority over my kids for most of the waking day, I'd keep my head down and not say anything. Even, perversely, to my kids -- you can't say things like, "your teacher is just incredibly stupid for doing this." It gets back to the teacher, then your child/hostage suffers for it.

The public schools have hostages, like ISIS. And, like the parents of ISIS captives, one can't say what one's really thinking.

Dave Schumann said...

Althouse said: "No, I thought they were missing the positive side of avoiding continually calling attention to who's a boy and who's a girl. Let children stretch their horizons and figure out what they actually like rather than what they're supposed to like."

This is exactly the curious cognitive dissonance around the transgender movement. What does "boy" have to do with "what you're supposed to LIKE"? Boys can like boys.

We fought so hard for so long for acceptance of the fact that boys can like boys, and still be boys; and girls can like girls, and still be girls. Liking boys doesn't make you a girl. Having certain genitals makes you a boy. (Yeah there are a tiny number of marginal cases where you need to go to chromosomes, and even then a very, very few cases where that doesn't even yield a definite sex. That's not what this is about.)

Having boy-parts makes you a boy, full stop. You can like, and have sex with, and marry, anyone you like, including other boys. What the F is so hard about that?

Ann Althouse said...

"I guess you subscribe to the David Bowie school of androgynous sex appeal."

No, that wasn't my point.

"I guess we can agree to disagree. I don't think short hair (or 80s era shoulder pads) strengthen other feminine features on women."

I only said that it could, for a woman with very pretty features. It totally backfires on a woman with blunt features. You need a very delicate face with the right kind of features for short hair to make you look more feminine.

Just like wearing men's clothes. That could look very feminine for some women, but for many women, they just look unisex.

Long hair on a man is a similar thing. So many older, fatter men just look like unattractive women when they have long hair. But on the right man, it heightens masculinity.

This isn't a pro-androgyny point.

But there are some people who look good in an androgyny style.

rhhardin said...

National Lampoon had "Piddle: The First Sex Paper for Kids" (Feb 1973)

Henry said...

B wrote: I guess you subscribe to the David Bowie school of androgynous sex appeal. I guess we can agree to disagree. I don't think short hair ... strengthen other feminine features on women.

You sure about that?

This is such a well established motif of female attractiveness that the french have a word for it.

seebs said...

Killermann didn't invent the Genderbread person, he copied it from other people who did it quite a bit earlier.

And honestly, it's actually a really good quick overview of the distinctions, because people really do get confused by this stuff. Trans people exist, and having the vocabulary to distinguish between "likes some girly things", "identifies as a girl", and "has a vagina" is useful.

n.n said...

The Genderbread Person seems to intentionally avoid addressing the issues on merit. It's a juvenile characterization, or rather simplification, of the problem set, which is targeted for prepubescent consumption.

tim in vermont said...

I was just catching up on Big Bang Theory on TiVo and Penny's hot new short haircut is the only thing the new season has going for it.

They are just getting too old for their characters, but Penny is just becoming mature enough to raise my, err ... interest. She was like a child before, to me, anyway.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birches said...

2 applies especially well today, when many, many stars have this really dumb long hair that is often done with extensions. I'm bored at looking at overly made-up, not really that pretty actresses with what used to be called "bedroom hair." There are a lot of horse-faced women who are regarded as beautiful who couldn't sell that distortion without the hair and makeup.

I thought I was the only one who noticed this.

traditionalguy said...

The trap of the genderless person is in eternal childhood. A Peter Pan

After puberty the body and the mind of both men and women changes. To hide that fact after puberty is to try a Michael Jackson like denial of being real and being a grown up.

n.n said...

Does a hybrid XX/XY exist in nature? The transsexual label is applied to tertiary features or primary expressions (i.e. behaviors) of secondary orientations.

Interesting enough, the Genderbread Person is depicted as solely a product of nature without acknowledgement of nurture, which is nonconforming with the assertion of other Genderbread Persons and their bakers.

Darleen said...

Sex is biology; gender is the way that you feel and/or the social role that you have. But, since we really don't have much in the way of a "male" or "female" social role in modern America, the term is useless.

Not quite Lyssa. Gender is a mixture of nature and nurture; and the debate is about the ratio. You appear to lean towards the zero-amount of nature in gender expression. That somehow the general behavior differences between boys and girls can be entirely the result of "social constructs".

I believe the tragic case of David Reimer demonstrates the dangerous foolishness of such a position.

Males & females are fundamentally different and our expression of that difference has as much to do with biology as it does with culture.

tim in vermont said...

I wouldn't call them "horse faced" but let's just say if their looks were a fastball, they would never have made the majors.

Darleen said...

Boys and girls are generally very different and their behavior, in the aggregate, is also different.

Ann, rather than being angry at a teacher who called in the boys to complain about their behavior because of a "stereotype" why not be angry because the teacher wasn't accepting that boys act different from girls and working with that difference rather than problemizing it?

Boys are being ill-served by a female-dominated k-12 system that looks the female way of learning as THE ONLY model of learning.

tim in vermont said...

What is tragic is that there are companies I know of who are hiring only college graduates to do work computer work that a high school graduate could easily have done in 1970, for example. Jobs that come with health and education benefits and a future, whose only real requirement are an ability to read instructions, write simple results, and think critically. Oh yeah, and to show up for a full week of work.

But the only jobs the education system seems intent on filling are at the indoctrinating kids in morality factory.

CStanley said...

Darleen @1:53- exactly the point I was about to make. Recognition of gender differences, even if they don't hold true for 100% of the kids in each subset, is a great first step.

The part that's problematic is when the teacher is clueless about how to properly reach and teach one of those subsets, and blames the kids for her own failings.

Another potential problem would be the teacher applying the "stereotype" too rigidly. The idea that the stereotype itself is baseless though (that most boys aren't rowdier and more kinetic in their learning) is just counterfactual.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Enh. I say sort by birthdays: Odd numbers over here, even numbers over there. You don't have to state your birth date, just get into the appropriate group.

traditionalguy said...

Any person so educated that they are stuck on the stupid belief that the brain is the same as the mind has given up.

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

"You need a very delicate face with the right kind of features for short hair to make you look more feminine."

Absolutely and completely impossible. Even if you are the most delicate woman of all time, the most you can hope for is that your delicate beauty keeps the loss of long hair from harming your feminine appearance too much.

In other words, you may well better off than other, less-delicately-featured women with short hair, but never NEVER in comparison to your long-haired self.

Kirk Parker said...

"There are a lot of horse-faced women who are regarded as beautiful..."

Now there's a perfect case of the deceptive passive. Regarded as beautiful by whom???

Jupiter said...

"It is useful for students of a certain age to learn the difference between sex and gender."

It would be useful for every last God-damned fucking idiot on the North American continent to learn the difference between sex and gender. Which is that gender is a property of words, while sex is a property of some organisms. And in both cases, there are only two of them. Masculine and feminine are the two genders. Male and female are the two sexes. The idea that what goes on in schools is education is ludicrous. What does Superintendent Shit-for-brains think should be taught in Biology class? The theory of the Z chromosome?

Jupiter said...

... don't know much Bi-o-lo-gy.
But I know that one and one makes seven or eight, or maybe thirteen ...

Doesn't know much about the French he took, either.

Harold said...

I've been in a situation, here in Madison, where the parents of the boys in the class were called in to be lectured to about the badness of the boys. This happened many years ago, and I am still angry about it.

Once upon a time adults used to recognize that there were differences between boys and girls, and act accordingly. Real adults still do. It's why Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts exist as separate organizations, though BSA is contantly attacked by all enlightened people for staying all male. Funny that GSA and Girls Guides aren't. Educational bureacrats don't count as real adults.

BTW, I bite the head off the gingerbread men first. They shouldn't suffer. Those who nibble at the arms and legs are just cruel.

Harold said...

pduggie said...

So they're not wearing skirts either, but the femaleness of the porn (if its that kind) is swill conveyed.

Swill conveyed? Typo? Or were you checking to see if we were paying attention to your stated disdain for porn stars just trying to eke out a living in this horrible economy?

Douglas said...

Can we have more betamax3000, please? I've already spit coffee onto my laptop twice this morning thanks to him.

Jeff Hall said...

Why would teachers line their students up as boys and girls? I don't remember doing that in school.

Paco Wové said...

"And honestly, it's actually a really good quick overview of the distinctions... is useful."

I doubt it, but an example would be nice.