Reality claims another Leftist [Darleen Click]
Wow, like maybe the sexes aren’t fungible after all?
Every time I find myself watching my girls make choices that are stereotypically “girly,” I flash back to a scene just a few years before they were born. I was in graduate school, involved in a lively discussion about the rhetoric of architecture. The details of the conversation are unimportant, but it ended with me appealing to my fellow progressive eggheads, “We all know gender is socially constructed anyway, right?”
I think, at that moment, I actually believed what I had just said. Not just that the notions and valuations of “masculine” and “feminine” were tools of patriarchal oppression; but that all gender differences aside from the obvious physical ones were constructs created and perpetuated, consciously or otherwise, to reinforce social structures.
My belief that gender was socially constructed certainly had more to do with my politics than any review of the science on the matter; but as a childless grad student (and later, adjunct Rhet/Comp professor) married to a brainy, ambitious physician, I found no significant challenges to this element of my worldview.
There are, and have been, all sorts of challenges to the Leftist notion of gender-as-social-construct meme. But when one is trained to regard purveyors of such as heretics or hobbits, one tends not to listen. Indeed, author Hinds admits as much:
Early on, we had been conscientious about providing them with gender-neutral toys like blocks, balls, and puzzles. But as they learned more words, they began to gravitate toward narrative-driven, imaginative play, and became less interested in running and throwing. These predilections corresponded to the kind of research about gender differences in children that I would have dismissed as flawed or irrelevant in my social-constructivist days. In fact, I didn’t need to read any studies to see how misguided I had been—I only needed to watch, at self-segregated parties and preschool, boys the same age as my girls as they wrestled, threw mulch, weaponized inanimate objects, and obsessed over machinery while the girls colored, talked about clothes, and pretended to be families of kitty-cats or ponies.
Children aren’t blank slates or clay to be molded as props in social justice plays. Parents are guides and teachers to help their children mature into good and whole people. That includes knowing how to interact with their own sex as well as The Other.
And the first step for parents is to recognize that the sexes are different.
Maybe Mr. Hinds will now question whatever other Leftist shibboleths he holds.