Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gender Studies

Once again, not a lot of time today, but I thought this was pretty incredible.  Gender studies in France were going to be getting new textbooks, which were then pulled by the minister of Education, Luc Chatel.  Surprise, he's from the UMP, the same party as Sarkozy.  Bascially, they're French republicans.

The books would have explained differences between sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as explaining current theories on sexuality.  Of course, Catholics were outraged.  (I just wanted to mention quick that most people are "Catholic" in France.  They don't really go to church or observe holy days.  In truth, they were raised Catholic.  What can you expect from a country that still gives people the Ascension and Pentecost off as holidays?)

But continuing, the main thrust of the argument was the same that we get in the US:  It should be up to the parents to discuss this with their children.  While I do agree that it would be best, most times, for parents to discuss these issues with their children in the home.  Quite frankly though, most parents either don't feel comfortable discussing it with their children, or they are ill-equipped to do so.  A lot of times parents don't even bother to discuss it.

The problem is that I remember hearing the word gay for the first time when I was in the first grade, said by some of the older kids on the playground.  I had no idea what it was, other than in insult.  I remember that it was the best way to make someone stop in their tracks.  I didn't understand what it meant until maybe fifth grade.  So you have all these kids running around saying terms like gay as an insult. 

In my opinion, the bigger problem is that the people who are actually teaching their children are the people who consider it a sin, and tell their children how wrong people are to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.  The main solution is to catch kids early.  Chaz Bono on Dancing with the Stars would help.


  1. good thoughts my friend :)

  2. Thanks, but really I think it's the reality for most people. We're just not at a point in society where parents are equipped to explain the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.

  3. "It should be up to the parents to discuss this with their children"
    Such a classic argument. Then why not let parents "discuss" Algebra and Geography with their kids???

    I think it is the responsability of the school system to introduce kids to every aspect of the facts of life (science, art, sexuality, all religions and system of beliefs, social responsability, ethics, etc...) without any discrimination.

  4. Excellent points! The real world isn't going to censor your children, and education is part of that process. I'm not saying that all children should learn about intimate details of people's lives, but should it be relevant or come up in discussion, there's no point in putting the brakes on.