In yesterday's BreakPoint commentary, about a "genderless child," Chuck said, "We know instinctively that gender is part of our God-given, biological design. And we should realize that when we try to deny or suppress or alter that essential part of our being, it’s not good for us -- and especially not good for our children."
Even more conventional parents than those Chuck describes have had to learn this. In her recent book Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein writes about her struggles to make sure that her daughter would never be held back by her gender. Orenstein has some valid concerns -- for instance, she’s deeply disturbed by pop culture’s relentless sexualization of young girls, as well as the consumerist mentality that girls are sold. But sometimes she goes overboard with those concerns, to the point of overruling her daughter’s own tastes and tendencies because they don’t measure up to Orenstein’s ideals of gender neutrality.
There’s a memorable scene where the young daughter ends up in tears in the store because Orenstein keeps changing her mind over whether or not she should be allowed to have a fairy Barbie doll. By the time she’s taken the doll away and then given it back two or three times, Orenstein confesses, “No wonder my kid is confused. So am I.”