Creating Fragile Children

Lisa Selin Davis in her recent article continues an ongoing theme of this blog; Coddling Generation Safety Blankey.

Young Woman in Profile by Odilon Redon – 1910
National Gallery of Art

Davis, a parent of a gender non-conforming girl, who was frequently mistaken for a boy, has some astute recommendations for “snowplow parents” and the fragile kids they create.

Here are a few graphs.

While some advocates of gender-affirming medicine and gender-identity ideology insist they are saving the lives of vulnerable children, in practice much of what’s taught to kids today about gender—especially the conflation of gender nonconformity with gender dysphoria—suggests to masculine girls and feminine boys that they need to “fix” themselves through medical or psychological interventions that have some irreversible effects, without guaranteed benefits.

There are many possible reasons why this is happening, including the lobbying efforts of transgender and civil rights groups, and the institutional incentives created by federal laws like the recent White House executive order on “affirming care.” But I believe another reason is our national zeitgeist shift toward snowplow parenting, in which parents believe their job is to clear obstacles out of their children’s way rather than to equip them with the skills to navigate those obstacles. We are terrified of our children’s suffering and teach them to be terrified of it, too.

The lessons children are learning about gender in schools, from our culture and on social media, may leave them fragile and thin-skinned, unprepared to withstand pain and conflict and confusion. Take, for instance, misgendering—in the alterworld of Twitter, it’s a worse crime than, say, libeling someone, which is the lifeblood that powers the platform. Children are being taught that misgendering is violence, that every person must be treated exactly as he or she (or they) wishes to be by others or else they’ve experienced discrimination, and that people who violate these rules must be punished, whatever their intent. Children are being taught that feelings are facts. That figurative violence is literal violence.

Most of the time, misgendering means “correctly sexing”—identifying someone by their biological sex, not their gender identity. This can cause a very small percentage of people with intense gender dysphoria deep distress, but doesn’t mean children should learn that they’ve hurt—no, harmed—someone if they misgender them. I don’t want children to be disrespectful, but if they’re disrespected, I don’t want them to melt into a puddle and demand vengeance. I don’t want them to learn that they need to weaken others to feel strong.

Children are learning that sex and sex stereotypes are interchangeable, that rejecting stereotypes means rejecting your body. Or they are not learning about sex stereotypes; the popular gender teaching tool, the Genderbread Person, makes no mention of them. They’re learning that puberty is an aesthetic choice they can make based on their level of discomfort; they are learning that discomfort cannot be withstood.

[emphasis added]

Read the whole thing: The Real Risks of Gender Education