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jenniferlyon
06-13-2011, 06:44 AM
I'm sure that George A. Rekers, the therapist who treated Kirk Murphy for effeminate behaviour when Kirk was a child - under discussion in the 'sissy boy' thread - would agree with you wholeheartedly. After all, Rekers emphasizes that he only wanted to help Kirk live in the real world, which means conforming to gender stereotypes.

In this case, it's the PARENTS who were dressing their son like a girl and who are raising this boy's younger sibling as genderless. This is coming from the adults, not the kids. This family seems like a far-left version of extreme fundamentalist Christians like the Duggar family from 19 Kids & Counting. In both instances, these are families whose beliefs and lifestyle are pretty far outside the mainstream. These families are separatists; they don't want their kids to look like other kids or go to school with other kids. The kids grow up knowing nothing else, and so they "choose" exactly what their parents want them to choose.

As for Kirk Murphy, I put a lot of the blame on those parents as well. They physically beat Kirk on a regular basis, badly enough to leave welts.

PeterG
06-13-2011, 06:46 AM
I'm sure that George A. Rekers, the therapist who treated Kirk Murphy for effeminate behaviour when Kirk was a child - under discussion in the 'sissy boy' thread - would agree with you wholeheartedly. After all, Rekers emphasizes that he only wanted to help Kirk live in the real world, which means conforming to gender stereotypes.

Exactly. Rosa Parks should have lived in the real world and sat at the back of the bus. :rolleyes:

agalisgv
06-13-2011, 07:02 AM
In this case, it's the PARENTS who were dressing their son like a girl In the article I read, it said Jazz chose the clothes he wanted to wear. I never saw any mention of the parents picking the clothes. In fact, the criticism seems to be that the parents should be doing the picking so Jazz *won't* pick feminine clothes.

But that was exactly the issue with Rekers and Kirk's parents--they didn't think a boy should be picking feminine clothes, and that parents should intervene to force the child into picking something else. I guess I'm missing how you're differing from Reker at this point. Unless you think boys would never pick feminine clothes unless forced to by their parents.
they don't want their kids to look like other kids or go to school with other kids. Except the parents enrolled him in public school, and it was only because of bullying that they took him out.

VIETgrlTerifa
06-13-2011, 07:05 AM
Except the parents enrolled him in public school, and it was only because of bullying that they took him out.

Jennifer Lyon already addressed this in an earlier post when she said:



I think these parents wanted their kid to have a negative school experience to give them an excuse to isolate him.


With that, I agree with PeterG with the :eek: :scream:.

At first I was angry at myself for reading this thread, but now I'm happy that it exists because it really showcases a lot of attitudes people have about gender and how constricted a lot of the attitudes are.

Angelskates
06-13-2011, 07:08 AM
Parents choose their children's clothes when they are babies, and then they also choose the options from which the children may then choose. There isn't really a way around this, but the parents do have influence right from the start.

Japanfan
06-13-2011, 08:28 AM
In this case, it's the PARENTS who were dressing their son like a girl and who are raising this boy's younger sibling as genderless. This is coming from the adults, not the kids.

No, it isn't. The kids are encouraged to explore their likes and dislikes, not told that it should conform to rigid gender stereotypes.


Stocker, 39, and Witterick, 38, believe kids can make meaningful decisions for themselves from a very early age.

Jazz and Kio have picked out their own clothes in the boys and girls sections of stores since they were 18 months old. Just this week, Jazz unearthed a pink dress at Value Village, which he loves because it “really poofs out at the bottom. It feels so nice.” The boys decide whether to cut their hair or let it grow.

Angelskates
06-13-2011, 08:40 AM
But only within their parents' limitations as well Japanfan. The parents still chose for the first 18 months, which I believe can influence future decisions made by the children (if the child is dressed in pink for 18 months and then asked what he wants to choose in the clothes sections, I think it's highly likely he'll go with what he knows and is familiar with), and they still choose the stores from which the kids can choose clothes.

agalisgv
06-13-2011, 08:52 AM
Angelskates, if for whatever reason a young boy picked out pink clothes or a dress to wear, do you think parents should intervene and prevent him from wearing those clothes and instead force him to wear something like jeans and a t-shirt?

Angelskates
06-13-2011, 09:13 AM
Angelskates, if for whatever reason a young boy picked out pink clothes or a dress to wear, do you think parents should intervene and prevent him from wearing those clothes and instead force him to wear something like jeans and a t-shirt?

No. However, I do think these parents have strongly influenced their son's decision to go against gender norms for the sake of making a statement (that they believe in so strongly, it's impossible at this stage/age for the child to question), and I disagree with that. I think they influenced his decision to wear pink, because they themselves strongly believe that pink shouldn't be just for girls etc. They've influenced him to choose the reverse of the norm.

I don't think Jazz got to choose for himself, I think he knew his parents views very early on, and adopted them because that's what he knew.

Karina1974
06-13-2011, 12:33 PM
As for sports, I think that is a different beast. numbers123 pretty much summed up my feelings on the matter. Little league or gymnastics aren't political and if a child is talented and wants to pursue it and there is a blurb about it in the local newspaper, then I think that is different than parents deciding to use their child publicly for a cause. Honestly, it could be gender, race, religion or anything else. It would still bother me. It's one thing to raise your children with certain values but it's completely different to push them in the spotlight for your cause.

Really?! If you don't think that youth activities can't be "political" you obviously haven't taken part in any, or had any children you may have taken part in any. One thing I noticed about the dance school I went to was that the kids who got the best roles in the Performing Arts productions we would end our yearly recitals with always were the kids of the parents (mothers) who did pitching in for the school, whether doing fundraising, or making costumes, etc. To get into the Performing Arts Company (which was, basically, the Child, Youth and Teen competitive dance teams that represented the studio in competitions) was no small feat - there were specific requirement as to experience, training and technique - so its not like it was a question of talent.

I myself was "passed over" for the lead majorette position of the Senior Parade Team in favor of a younger twirler, whose mother just "happened" to be a former twirler herself (I think she was a former student of that studio) and who did a lot of custom costume work for the studio. That position was normally chosen based on seniority and experience, and since I was 4 or 5 years older and had been twirling since this other girl was still in diapers... What was really annoying was the fact that, in the parades, she would march with her high school band, and then rush back so that she could march with us. I always wonder what would have happened if they put the two groups closer in the parade line-up...

VIETgrlTerifa
06-13-2011, 04:01 PM
I don't think Jazz got to choose for himself, I think he knew his parents views very early on, and adopted them because that's what he knew.

Then that makes him like every other child in the world. Anyway, kids don't always agree with what their parents attitude and taste, even that early on. How many times have you seen a child and parent having a disagreement over what they want to wear? Children, even young ones, develop their own taste (also shaped by what their friends are wearing or what they are exposed to) and it isn't always in-line with what the parents would choose for their child.

mpal2
06-13-2011, 05:00 PM
I think we don't know enough about the family to say they are truely letting the kids choose or they are unduly influencing a child to go against norms to make a point. Either scenario could easily be true. I wouldn't take any concerns about the parent as a sign of wanting to keep gender norms as they are.

If you truely want a discussion about gender norms and who can and can't accept them, I think you need to leave this family out of the discussion. There are more than 1 or 2 possible red flags that I think people wouldn't ignore if the family had an anti-gay stance.

VIETgrlTerifa
06-13-2011, 10:04 PM
There are more than 1 or 2 possible red flags that I think people wouldn't ignore if the family had an anti-gay stance.

By all means, point them out.

Context and intention changes everything, so if this family had an anti-gay stance, then of course some people would object to it.

Japanfan
06-13-2011, 10:47 PM
But only within their parents' limitations as well Japanfan. The parents still chose for the first 18 months, which I believe can influence future decisions made by the children (if the child is dressed in pink for 18 months and then asked what he wants to choose in the clothes sections, I think it's highly likely he'll go with what he knows and is familiar with), and they still choose the stores from which the kids can choose clothes.

It's indisputable that parents have an influence on their kids. Allowing more choice versus less is an influence. These parents are aware of this in their view are striving to have a positive influence.

And the choices made in the first 18 months will reflect their viewpoint. I'm reminded of someone else who wanted to limit gendering on her newborn. For this reason she chose to decorate her baby's room in earth tones before she knew the sex.

genevieve
06-13-2011, 11:07 PM
I am not sure what you are trying to make a point of - you approve of their media blitz, you approve of their parenting choices, you approve that one should experiment with how society reacts to a child when no gender is identified?
I'm not PeterG, but my take on his post was that he does not believe the initial interview granted by the parents was intended to draw the media blitz they are receiving. That's different than saying he "approves of their media blitz". It's also disingenuous to infer "you approve that one should experiment with how society reacts to a child when no gender is identified?" from anything Peter (or anyone else not vilifying this family) has said.


I think we don't know enough about the family to say they are truely letting the kids choose or they are unduly influencing a child to go against norms to make a point. Either scenario could easily be true. I wouldn't take any concerns about the parent as a sign of wanting to keep gender norms as they are.

If you truely want a discussion about gender norms and who can and can't accept them, I think you need to leave this family out of the discussion. There are more than 1 or 2 possible red flags that I think people wouldn't ignore if the family had an anti-gay stance.
I agree there are some flags about this family - but what has people freaking out is the genderless environment, and to me that's not a red flag. I'd certainly welcome a discussion about gender norms (there's certainly a lot of energy around the topic), but seeing as this thread is about this family, they're probably going to continue to be the center of this dicussion.