Brighton primary school admissions - gender identity

(167 Posts)
SisterMoonshine Wed 20-Apr-16 17:38:37

I just caught the end of something on the radio about parents receiving letters this week to say which school their child has a place at. And that they should put which gender their child identifies with.
Big question!
I think I'd have to give an essay for an answer if this was our area. As far as DD is concerned, at 3, she is simply DD.

VestalVirgin Wed 20-Apr-16 17:54:58

Which gender do I identify with ... let's see ...

[x] human being

I think I would give this as my children's gender identity, too, while they're too young to express an opinion.

There's a nice coming-out essay by a fellow human being, here:

glosswatch.com/2016/04/18/announcement/

finallydelurking Wed 20-Apr-16 17:56:18

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-36092812

FreshwaterSelkie Wed 20-Apr-16 18:31:59

A friend on my facebook has been having a rant about the small mindedness of anyone who has a problem with this... sad

I just can't be arsed to get into it. I'd have to go into my whole treatise on why encouraging young children to think that gender identity is a fact is not progressive, inclusive and child-focused, but actually a regressive and potentially very harmful trend and that just doesn't go over on FB. Gah.

VertigoNun Wed 20-Apr-16 18:33:40

I read this earlier this morning and then was asked for my opinion in a yougov survey. The majority agreed with me that it was an inappropriate box ticking exercise.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Wed 20-Apr-16 18:39:37

It's being responded to...

m.youtube.com/watch?v=eqpB-l1bum8

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/19/choose-your-gender-aged-four/

www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/7089698/Parents-blast-council-after-kids-told-to-choose-their-gender.html

SisterMoonshine Wed 20-Apr-16 18:47:03

I thought I heard them say "gender assigned at birth" - looks like that is what the form says.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Wed 20-Apr-16 18:51:55

Hopefully this will get noticed...

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Wed 20-Apr-16 18:57:32

This is going to be incredibly damaging to a lot of children, who will be funnelled down the 'transgender' route and caused a lot of problems for just not displaying stereotypical gender behaviours at 3 or 4. It's absolute folly - dangerous folly - perpetuated by well meaning people who just refuse to think things through.

SpeakNoWords Wed 20-Apr-16 19:03:05

I've ducked out of a few Facebook discussions about gender as I know I'd get into an unpleasant argument and probably called all sorts of things.

Surely the form just needs to ask what sex the child is, as this is what needs to be known for any tracking/planning purpose I can think of. Then if they want to ask about what gender a 4 year old feels like, that can be recorded separately. They can also provide a box labelled "gender is a social construct that my 4 year old is yet to be fully aware of" if they want to allow a full range of answers.

DianaTrent Wed 20-Apr-16 19:04:15

It's far, far too young. Children just don't have any concept of this kind of complexity at that age. They can understand being a boy or a girl based upon biological sex, but how on earth can a three or four year old understand the concept of 'gender identity' in any way other than reducing to the most crass stereotypes of what a boy or girl is expected to do and be interested in. It's just setting them off down the path of sexist expectations and gender essentialism. I liked glosswitch and Stephanie Davies-Arai's responses. It's very laudable to want to make things easier for the truly tiny amount of children who experience difficulties with the expectations placed upon them by virtue of their sex, but this is not the solution.

DianaTrent Wed 20-Apr-16 19:05:21

Sorry, that should read who experience severe difficulties.

SisterMoonshine Wed 20-Apr-16 19:06:47

They keep saying 4 year olds. But this is my DD's cohort, just had a similar form to fill in, but without the silly gender assigned at birth stuff. DD is 3.
Like you saySpeakNoWords - she is 'yet to be fully aware of it'.

QueenLaBeefah Wed 20-Apr-16 19:08:18

My 15yr old son went through a bit of a phase of really, really wanting to be a girl when he was 3 or 4yrs old. He can't even bloody remember it now. This could potentially be very damaging to a lot of children.

DianaTrent Wed 20-Apr-16 19:25:14

Acting contrary to the expected norms from your gender is totally normal childhood behaviour. They're mostly fairly arbitrary rules that kids pick up by trial and error, watching others and reacting to other people's responses to their behaviours, after all. Most will, in time, learn how to toe the line and be OK with that, or learn to be OK with having a personality that doesn't match the stereotype for their sex. We mustn't rush to presume it's anything more serious than that. I do seriously suspect a lot of the excitation about not behaving as a boy or girl 'should' is plain old homophobia and that somehow the child being trans is seen as a 'lesser evil' than the fact that they might grow up to be gay.

SisterMoonshine Wed 20-Apr-16 19:29:24

It surely can't be homophobia from Brighton council though. Can it?
I really thought that of all areas they would be quite 'right on'- but this is the opposite of just letting people be who they are.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Wed 20-Apr-16 19:35:25

Being trans is more right on than being gay now, that's the problem.

SisterMoonshine Wed 20-Apr-16 19:37:18

Poor liitle children sad

SoftDriftedSnow Wed 20-Apr-16 19:42:43

DianaTrent: Acting contrary to the expected norms from your gender is totally normal childhood behaviour.

It's totally normal behaviour for anyone. Because gender constructs are madness.

I just get a overwhelming desire to tell them all to fuck off and let some feminists scoop up their brains that have fallen out because of being so "open-minded".

VertigoNun Wed 20-Apr-16 19:43:39

This is like watching a car crash.sad

VestalVirgin Wed 20-Apr-16 19:50:16

* It's very laudable to want to make things easier for the truly tiny amount of children who experience difficulties with the expectations placed upon them by virtue of their sex,*

Oh, I think the amount of children who hate the expectations placed upon them because of their sex is rather big.
At least for those girls who notice that those expectations are placed on them because they're girls.

I know that I felt like an alien in primary school because all the girls were girly and I was ... just an ordinary child. Fortunately for me, transgender wasn't a thing at all back then, so I only had to deal with being excluded but never suffered any confusion about my identity.

@Empress: Exactly. I feel like that's the whole point of the transgender movement - to erase butch lesbians and feminine gay men from society so that the gender role boxes will be neat and tidy again.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Wed 20-Apr-16 19:53:08

C4 news NOW!

DianaTrent Wed 20-Apr-16 20:09:39

It surely can't be homophobia from Brighton council though. Can it? No, I don't believe it is, but I do believe it's a factor in why some people are more comfortable with treating children as definitely transgender at very young ages than giving them space to see if that's honestly going to be the right path for them or not and things like this are a well-meaning but ultimately misguided attempt at responding to the issues.

It's totally normal behaviour for anyone. Because gender constructs are madness. Yes, absolutely!

*Oh, I think the amount of children who hate the expectations placed upon them because of their sex is rather big.
At least for those girls who notice that those expectations are placed on them because they're girls.* Yes, you know I realised my mistake when I read it back. You're absolutely right and I phrased that badly.

SuffolkNWhat Wed 20-Apr-16 20:47:11

I thought the speaker from (very windy) Brighton was excellent and laid out exactly why gender identity at this age is a fallacy and ultimately could be very damaging.

HarimadSol Wed 20-Apr-16 20:53:46

The American College of Pediatricians speaks some sense.

www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/gender-ideology-harms-children

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