Lisa Selin Davis, the author of Tomboy, writes about her daughter, a girl mistaken for a boy, and the confusion that follows. It’s a story about gender, about how we see it, and how we teach it. It’s about bathrooms and playgrounds, about short hair and long hair, about boys and girls and those who don’t fit neatly into either box.
She worries that we’re teaching kids to fix themselves, to change who they are to fit into a world that doesn’t understand them. She worries about the ‘snowplow’ parents who try to clear the path for their kids, who try to shield them from every hurt and every pain.
Davis worries about a generation of kids who are identifying out of their sex. She worries about the kids who are so desperate to escape their pain that they’ll do anything to be free.
Kids are being taught that feelings are facts, that words can be violence, that to be misgendered is to be harmed. They’re being taught that discomfort is something to be avoided, not something to be endured.
But she also sees hope. She talks about the girls who grew up nonconforming, who grew up different, who grew up strong. She talks about the resilience they developed, the self-confidence they found, the way they learned to navigate a world that didn’t understand them.
In the end, Davis wants to teach kids to accept suffering, to understand that pain is a part of life. She wants to teach them to be resilient, to be strong, to be themselves. She wants to change the world, but she also wants to teach her kids to navigate the world as it is. Because the world is tough, and it’s confusing, and it’s full of pain. But it’s also full of beauty, and joy, and the possibility of change.
The Real Risks of Gender Education (SEE IF YOU AGREE)