What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and all things nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.
— Nursery Rhyme, 19th century
Life was simpler in the 19th century. Boys were boys and girls were girls and they even had nursery rhymes to point out the difference. Most people likely thought it was good there was a difference.
There carried on a long tradition of the two genders wearing different clothing. Boys wore pants and girls wore dressed.
Boys still wear pants most of the time, although there are the occasional kilt guys; nobody ever accused Sir Sean Connery of looking girlish in his kilt.
Girls still tend to wear dresses for “dressy” occasions. But pants are common for women; I’ve seen Scarlet Johansson wearing pants in a couple movies and I didn’t get confused and think she was a guy.
But I think parents are wise to give a bit of direction to small children on gender-appropriate attire. Pants for boys, dresses for girls – with the choice dictated by biology.
This puts me at odds with educators in the UK, where it is reported that as many as 80 schools are offering “gender neutral” uniforms. The schools want to be sensitive to “trans” children, thus allowing students to decide for themselves whether to be boys or girls (at least in how they dress).
While this would give me pause under any circumstances, I find it rather astonishing that students as young as 5 years are being given the choice. So there are Billy and Betty entering kindergarten and being confronted with one of life’s greatest identify crises. Am I a he or a she? Or have we meandered to the place where everyone is an it?
This is the place where I recommend responsible parenting. It goes something like this:
Billy, you are a boy and will wear pants to school
Betty, you are a girl and will wear a dress to school
This might be putting a bit of pressure on some parents, but it is time the grownups got a handle on this. You wouldn’t let a five-year-old plan his own diet, medical care or education. You wouldn’t let a five-year-old drive a car or fly a plane.
Why would you let a child decide he is different than how God created him?