The Effect Of Gender-Stereotyping Our Kids

The Effect Of Gender-Stereotyping Our KidsA few years ago at my son’s preschool camp award ceremony, I sat silently as well-meaning counselors called each child forward. Girls: best hair, best clothes, best friend, best helper and best artist. Boys: best runner, best climber, best builder and best thrower. My son won best soccer player. In general, girls received awards for their personalities and appearance and boys for their actions and physical attributes.

‘Shape their interactions’

The gender disparity was subtle but present. And then my daughter got her certificate, showing her in a funky orange sweater, tight pants, and holding a bowling ball. Her award — best dressed.

Sometimes, I find the prospect of raising a girl to be terrifying. The forces of patriarchy conspire to render girls weak, subordinate and sexually objectified. When we respond to infants by gendering our speech, strong for boys and lilting for girls, we immediately start to shape their interactions with the world.


‘Closeted and coddled’

The teenage years with the new dangers of sex, alcohol, eating disorders and more will arrive before we know it. I can’t save her from all of this, and anyway we buy into purity culture (the notion that only a father’s constant surveillance can save our daughters) at our peril and the peril of our daughters. Our daughters need to be strong, not closeted and coddled. We have to arm them with the tools to question, resist and change our patriarchal culture.

Our culture constantly projects the message that only appearances matter, and this message is aimed squarely at our children. We can fight this only by working against the grain, resisting gendered language and emphasizing the internal over the external.

Are you also guilty of gender-stereotyping your kids? Do you agree or disagree with this write-up?

Source: David M. Perry, CNN

Image: NY Metro Parents

Pastor Rick Warren’s Son Matthew Commits Suicide

Pastor Rick Warren's Son Matthew Commits SuicideThe Southern California church headed by popular evangelical Pastor Rick Warren says his 27-year-old son has committed suicide. Warren’s Saddleback Valley Community Church said in a statement that Matthew Warren had struggled with mental illness and deep depression throughout his life.

‘Momentary wave of despair’

“Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the best health care available, this was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life.”

Warren, the author of the multimillion-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life,” said in an email to church staff that he and his wife had enjoyed a fun Friday evening with their son before Matthew Warren returned home to take his life in “a momentary wave of despair.”


‘Struggled over the years’

Over the years, Matthew Warren had been treated by America’s best doctors, had received counseling and medication and been the recipient of numerous prayers from others, his father said. Still, he struggled over the years. Despite that, he said, his son lived for another decade, during which he often reached out to help others.

The elder Warren founded Saddleback Church in 1980, according to his biography on the church website, and over the years watched it grow to 20,000 members. He gained attention that year with his invocation at President Barack Obama’s inauguration that year and comments he made in the aftermath of California’s Proposition 8, which overturned gay marriage.

Have you read Pastor Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”? Do you know someone who is going through the same ordeal that Matthew Warren did?

Source: Fox News

Image: People