Tuesday, July 01, 2008
1 July 2008
Since apparently very few people were in the mood to actually read about what type of presentation is offered at the Elementary School level about gender identity, I have highlighted portions of a paper written by Susan Lee who is (was?) a teacher at Park Day School in Oakland. Park Day School is a private school that prides itself on being inclusive and progressive and extremely tolerant.
While I can understand the concerns of some parents that their children as young as 5 - 7 may not necessarily be ready to be exposed to issues of gender identity or what a transgendered individual is. I don’t think these courses are meant to be a primer on the mechanics of how that would work. I don’t think there would be any dicussion of boy bits and girls bits and hormone treatments and the like, but rather helping kids to understand, at their level, what being gendered as a boy or a girl means. That it’s okay for boys to like pink and Barbie or it’s okay for a girl to like dump trucks and be dirty.
And although we all hope that every parent is like us, exposing their kids to every type of individual in the world that is humanly possible and making them understand that they shoud respect the differences in everyone, it’s not possible to regulate the parenting of other parents. But when all kids get together in a common place like school, it is incumbent on schools to do everything they can to make sure that all kids feel welcomed and respected. This isn’t an issue of morality, but rather an issue of equity. As long as the courses can be done in an age appropriate manner what is negative in learning tolerance of people who may be different or that you may only perceive as different? . . .Read More and See Comments, too.
Hijras are people who belong to a socially and spiritually recognized third gender in India. They are also the most universally-despised citizens of that country. When you're a hijra, you can't get a job. If you've got the courage to risk getting beaten up, you can go begging, or you can do sex work. That's about it. But hijras have an universally known and respected advantage: they have the power to bless or to curse. For example, you can't have a wedding in India--or give birth to a boy child--without hijras being present to bless the occasion. You certainly don't want one of their curses. Nevertheless, you're not likely to go long in your life as a hijra without being raped or beaten-up. That's what happens to sex and gender outlaws in most countries.
Okay, Here's What Got Me Thinking About Hijras
Earlier this week, I had the great pleasure to read some great news from the Associated Press. The Office of Children and Family Services in New York State has begun putting in place a piece of legislation that passed the State Assembly in Syracuse this past March 17th. Permit me to quote pieces of that article here: . . .Read More
May 13, 2007