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Thoughts on this book for primary children?

(35 Posts)
yellowpostitnote Mon 02-Jan-17 14:46:39

I'm sorry, I wasn't sure where to post this!

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/02/book-explaining-gender-diversity-to-primary-school-children-sparks-furore?CMP=fb_gu

I obviously need to read it myself to judge.

I'm divided from the info given. I taught a child who had autism (only diagnosed later) in an sen school. He loved female stereotypical toys, dressing etc. It was confusing for him and school. His parents let him be himself, but he himself believed he was a girl because of his likes. He learnt about trans etc and started thinking he should have operations (when older but at the time he was age 8).

He was seen by specialist people and later as a teen decided he was gay and happy being male.

I would welcome an honest open discussion as, as a primary teacher, I feel I need to know all the POVs.

And I repeat, and take on board, fair opinion of the book is best done after reading it!

SuburbanRhonda Mon 02-Jan-17 15:31:57

Thanks for that link, OP.

I've just read the article and wasn't suprised that my hackles were up by the first paragraph, in which the author of the book states:

When I was born, the doctors told my mum and dad that they had a baby girl, and so for the first few years of my life that’s how my parents raised me. This is called being assigned female at birth.

I'm not sure what it is about this "assigned female /male at birth" phrase that enrages me but I think it's the notion that the medical profession decides a baby's gender and thereafter it's a constant fight to be recognised as the"correct" gender.

I'm going to order the book because I work in a primary school in family support and I've already had a run-in with the county-level lead on this topic. I need to be ahead of the game if schools are not to be sucked into this obvious nonsense.

MsUnderstanding Mon 02-Jan-17 15:46:00

agree with Suburban this idea that you are assigned a gender at birth! the idea that you might be better off as a boy if you reject pink sparkly shit! No I have not read the book but the author isn't exactly selling it based on these ridiculous ideas! Hopefully people will see see through this but in these post truth times, who knows confused

yellowpostitnote Mon 02-Jan-17 15:46:21

Thanks sub. Some of it seems very good and necessary - boys can play with pink things - but other parts had me slightly concerned.

I would be interested to know what specialist drs who support such children think. I think in our case Mermaids were involved - but clearly it was well dealt with as it allowed the child to find his own route and separate gender stereotyping from his sex.

What is to be noted is that the government are funding this organisation: http://www.educateandcelebrate.org/cj-2/ Brief things I've read where children are engaging in debate around gender stereotyping seems great; I guess it's other elements, such as you quoted, that perhaps need more careful consideration and debate over. But, I know very little about it at the moment. It could be very positive.

*“If you identify as a girl, assigned female at birth, and you like the colour pink, you like wearing dresses and sparkly things, that’s awesome. But if you are a boy who likes pink sparkly things that’s also awesome.*" - my issue here is the "assigned female at birth".

yellowpostitnote Mon 02-Jan-17 15:51:39

It's not published yet so I will be interested to read it. Imo such literature for schools should really go through a heavy and carefully considered editing process. I don't know if this has happened - maybe it has?

I was interested to read on a thread here that cis is considered out dated already and not the appropriate terminology to use in gender studies.

yellowpostitnote Mon 02-Jan-17 16:03:26

sub - This is a staff training power point on the site. I'd be interested in your views.

I wouldn't react to this if shown at school in training; I think it explains a lot, but I am still learning about a lot of the views around this that I know have been explored a lot on mn recently (e.g. Spartacus etc.)

http://www.educateandcelebrate.org/wp-content/uploads/woocommerce_uploads/2016/02/EC-Staff-Training-and-Assemblies.ppt

SuburbanRhonda Mon 02-Jan-17 17:22:15

Sorry - was taking the Christmas decorations down!

You can buy the book in Amazon or direct from the publishers from 18th January.

Thanks for the PP link - I'll have a look and let you know what I think.

QueenOfTheSardines Mon 02-Jan-17 19:28:05

I read the bit pasted above and it's this bit: "doctors told my mum and dad that they had a baby girl, and so for the first few years of my life that’s how my parents raised me"

What we need is analysis as to why a baby boy and a baby girl would be treated differently bar considerations when changing nappies (boys can pee all over you very thoroughly, I hear grin).

The acceptance that of course babies and infants of different sexes will be treated entirely differently, fundamentally differently, that's really worrying.

QueenOfTheSardines Mon 02-Jan-17 19:28:44

That is something that a religious fundamentalist group would believe in.

And that if you don't fit your tiny fucking constraining box then you need correction.

yellowpostitnote Mon 02-Jan-17 19:46:36

queen I understand and agree with your first post, I don't totally get your second!

Do you mean the way the children are raised is fundamentalist?

HermioneWeasley Mon 02-Jan-17 19:50:20

Transing children is child abuse.

It's fine to say boys can like dolls etc, but not "boys who like dolls are really girls and should be chemicallysterilised"

It's gay eugenics and nobody is speaking out against it. Telling children their healthy bodies are wrong is child abuse. Telling children they can change sex is a lie. We don't know the long term effects of puberty blockers and cross sex hormones. We are experimenting on children.

I don't know what there isn't an outcry about this.

HermioneWeasley Mon 02-Jan-17 19:57:12

Or as a poet says

Roses are red
Gender's performative
Trans-Ing children
Is heteronormative

yellowpostitnote Mon 02-Jan-17 20:06:55

Thanks Hermione. I read the article again and although the website and info there appears mostly linked to diversity, anti gender stereotypes and LBG, which is great, I haven't seen a huge amount there about trans.

I look forward to the book to see what it represents.

The article sits on the fence a lot. JK publishing are usually good. What surprises me is that they publish a lot on ASC; I read somewhere that there are statistically more people on the spectrum who are trans than the general population, and I can understand why. I would want the book to target the gender stereotyping and that it's ok to be different rather than the social story of how to medically trans.

But look forward to reading. Article may have cherry picked somewhat.

yellowpostitnote Mon 02-Jan-17 20:17:38

I can only find:

Roses are red
Gender's performative
Mass market romance
Is heteronormative

HermioneWeasley Mon 02-Jan-17 20:19:20

It's an updated version 😄

yellowpostitnote Mon 02-Jan-17 20:23:01

It works though, well done!

SittingDrinkingTea Mon 02-Jan-17 20:33:16

The assigned gender at birth line always makes me think of the Harry Potter sorting hat. As has been said on here many times before, gender isn't assigned at birth, the sex is noted, but seeing as we apparently live in a post truth world now let's crack on with misinformation for young children and never mind the consequences.

yellowpostitnote Mon 02-Jan-17 21:05:13

Thank you wonderful posters, I think it's really hard to debate this (if like me you're not used to it) in current society as some of these 'truths' (such as gender assignment at birth) are being accepted as politically correct generally around us. And soon in schools too. I need all the vox pops I can get to stand my ground!

What is a shame is that the (leftish) paper reporting quoted Tory types as being anti the book, implying by default that it's A Good Thing.

I'm getting increasingly annoyed with the article.

QueenOfTheSardines Mon 02-Jan-17 21:38:14

yellow

I meant that the idea that a baby girl and a baby boy will - obviously and automatically and without question - be raised in different ways according to their sex is something that a fundamentalist religion would approve of (and do).

There is nothing progressive about this type of trans narrative at all. It is simply endorsing - reifying - presenting as innate and immutable - the idea that boys and girls and men and women are deeply fundamentally different, and if you don't fit in the box that is given then you need to be corrected. Religion tries to correct through punishment, coercion, prayer, and force. Trans tries to correct through offering to get into the other box.

Fuck the boxes, fuck religion and fuck this type of trans ideology.

MrsJamin Mon 02-Jan-17 21:54:49

This bit is the most disturbing...
Kit, the protagonist, doesn’t like playing with dolls or wearing dresses and at the age of three asks to be called Christopher.
So a girl that doesn't like playing with dolls or wears dresses, ie doesn't conform to female stereotypes, should now be seen as a boy?! How is this progressive?! This transing of children has to stop!!

Notwhatiexpected Mon 02-Jan-17 21:54:50

I think the book is hideous.
The stats about suicidal thoughts/actions within this group have been debunked, in that they worryingly do not alone apply to 'trans' children. The book is telling vulnerable children, that if they feel "other", that if they don't feel that they fit in with what they are expected to be, the book is advising that the doctors can 'fix' them with drugs , the kids can change who they are. This position homophobic and promotes damaging gender stereotypes.

And the people who are shouting about and promoting this are a Trans lobby who deny any sexual motivation for their own later life transitioning.
By encouraging kids to do this, they are justifying a (sometimes sexually) motivated fetish which revolves around their own interpretation of "women". They claim they are preventing the kids from having the hurt they have experienced, in not being their authentic self in a world which understands them. I say let's let the kids be whoever they want to be, their genitalia do not determine their personality, their aesthetic choices, their interests, their hobbies/career etc.

(In my experience this shouting is loudest from Transwomen who revoke back to traditionally male methods of abuse when their POV and doctrine are challenged.)

I cannot believe this is happening.

amispartacus Mon 02-Jan-17 23:10:12

I don't get this bit:

"Kit, the protagonist, doesn’t like playing with dolls or wearing dresses and at the age of three asks to be called Christopher. “You see,” explains Kit, “I have a different gender identity than I was assigned at birth. Another name for this is called being transgender.” He begins to wear boys’ clothes, using he/him pronouns, changes his name on his birth certificate and explains that hormone blockers will stop him going through female puberty “and stop my body developing in ways that make me unhappy”.

No - another name for this is called being a girl who likes playing with stuff 'normally' associated with boys. Maybe we could live in a world where girls can play and do stuff 'not normally associated with being a girl' and vice versa.

Labelling a child who likes doing stuff that is seen as being for the opposite sex as transgender is dangerous.

A society where children are free to be children and to do what they want to do without being told ' you can't do that, it's for boys / girls' is far better than a society where children are labelled as transgender and go down the transition route.

amispartacus Mon 02-Jan-17 23:20:25

The author says:

“If you identify as a girl, assigned female at birth, and you like the colour pink, you like wearing dresses and sparkly things, that’s awesome. But if you are a boy who likes pink sparkly things that’s also awesome

Which is at odds with:

Kit, the protagonist, doesn’t like playing with dolls or wearing dresses and at the age of three asks to be called Christopher. “You see,” explains Kit, “I have a different gender identity than I was assigned at birth. Another name for this is called being transgender.” He begins to wear boys’ clothes

I hope the book explains that it's ok to 'be different' and to break down traditional gender roles. That's what schools should be focusing on - and they should be aiming to treat boys and girls the same (whilst identifying and working on any barriers particular groups face in education)

YetAnotherSpartacus Mon 02-Jan-17 23:21:34

Kit, the protagonist, doesn’t like playing with dolls or wearing dresses and at the age of three asks to be called Christopher. “You see,” explains Kit, “I have a different gender identity than I was assigned at birth. Another name for this is called being transgender.” He begins to wear boys’ clothes, using he/him pronouns, changes his name on his birth certificate and explains that hormone blockers will stop him going through female puberty “and stop my body developing in ways that make me unhappy”.

I think it is very dangerous to simplify and normalise both the idea that one can 'be' the opposite sex and the process towards complete physical transition.

The book is also confusing sex and gender.

In my view its rubbish and will not benefit either children / teachers generally or that very, very small minority with real body dysmorphia.

amispartacus Mon 02-Jan-17 23:32:20

This is a book for primary children. I wonder what the message is supposed to be?

There will be children who feel they are in the wrong body.

There will be children who have a preference for things that society has decided to associate with the opposite sex to them.

There will be children who will have been told and who will have picked up the message that things they like / their behaviour is 'not typical' of their sex.

Maybe society should change to help children in the last 2 categories and discussion can somehow be had about children in the first category.

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