Transgenderedism is the OPPOSITE of gender equality
I recently read a Facebook post of a friend about gender equality who stated she had several friends with transgendered children and wanted to know if she should introduce them to one another. The post gave me pause and I felt sick to my stomach.
What in the world is a transgendered child?
I commented on the post: “What is a transgendered child? Someone who has characteristics stereotypically applied to the opposite sex?”
My friend (probably believing that I was asking in a snarky, conservative fashion) replied something like: “Billie, you knew you were a girl in your brain, not because of your vagina or because someone told you so.”
Hmmmm. I continued to ponder. I wasn’t so sure she was right. Did I feel like a girl or did I know I was a girl because I was told I was a girl? I do know that if I could have opted into being a boy I would have.
I looked up the term.
A transgendered child is someone who has a gender identity, a gender expression, a gender performance that is outside of the expected cultural norms for their assigned sex at birth.
My suspicion was confirmed. I was, and still am according to this definition, transgendered.
Anyone who knows me knows I am not your stereotypical “girl.” I have a lot of traditionally male tendencies and personality traits. With that being said, I am 100% female and I do not and have not ever considered myself “transgender.”
In fact, I think the term “transgender” does more to destroy gender equality and encourages discrimination and stereotypes. Why can’t we just accept everyone for who they are, with whatever characteristic and personal strengths and preferences they have?
With this new concept, every tom-boy throughout history is “transgendered”. No one ever told me there was anything wrong with being who I am. No one ever told me to start acting more like a girl.
Growing up in a gender-neutral household
I grew up in a truly gender neutral household. I had two parents and two younger brothers. My parents did not “parent” me differently from my brothers. We were all taught how to do yard work and raked leaves and mowed the lawn. We were all taught to clean the kitchen, bathrooms, and vacuum. My brother and I both babysat for my younger brother. My parents both fully participated in raising us and each contributed their own strengths and contributions.
I was a quintessential tom boy. I had short hair (still do). I moved to a new school in third grade and was in line in the girls’ bathroom when some helpful child directed me to the boys’ bathroom and told me I was in the wrong line. That was kinda lame. I felt bad. But not that bad. Within a week everyone knew I was a girl and I had lots of new friends.
Gender Neutral Parents Encourage Without Labeling
No one ever told me there was something wrong with me or that I had a “gender expression problem” because I wasn’t like other girls. I generally preferred playing with boys to girls. I generally preferred playing outside and digging to playing with dolls. I liked building forts. I was “bossy”. I was and still am competitive. I was encouraged by my parents to be the best version of myself. They never told me to “tone it down” because I was female. They told me to “tone it down” when I was over the top.
When I was in college at the University of Oregon I took a gender studies class. I listened to the primarily female class complain that they had been uniformly discriminated against as females their whole life; at home, at school, in jobs, by bosses and co-workers. This did not match my experience at all. Teachers called on me. I got good grades. I did well at work. If I had been discriminated against, I was oblivious to it.
Maybe that’s because my parents didn’t ever give me any reason to feel discriminated against. They encouraged me to be who I am. They encouraged me to stand up for myself, raise my hand in school and participate.
Guilt is stupid. Be the best version of yourself.
I am now married, the mother of four children, and the owner of one of the fastest growing law firms in the country. I am a woman because I was born female. For a while I tried being a stay at home mom. I hated it. I would be a terrible pre-school teacher. I have always been terrible at crafts and coloring. AND THAT’S OK. There is nothing wrong with operating outside gender norms and it doesn’t make you transgendered or gay.
My personality type under the Myers Briggs Assessment is ENTJ “the commander.” This personality type is predominantly male, with only 1% of women having this personality type. Here is a quick overview of that description:
ENTJs are natural-born leaders. People with this personality type embody the gifts of charisma and confidence, and project authority in a way that draws crowds together behind a common goal. But unlike their Feeling (F) counterpart, ENTJs are characterized by an often ruthless level of rationality, using their drive, determination and sharp minds to achieve whatever end they’ve set for themselves. Perhaps it is best that they make up only three percent of the population, lest they overwhelm the more timid and sensitive personality types that make up much of the rest of the world – but we have ENTJs to thank for many of the businesses and institutions we take for granted every day.
While the vast majority of ENTJs are male, there are some pretty cool female ENTJs like Margaret Thatcher, Katherine Hepburn and Nancy Pelosi.
Perhaps instead of telling children who don’t fall into sterotypes that that must be gay or transgendered we just let them be who they are. We let them wear what they want. If a boy likes fashion, encourage him to be the next great fashion designer. There are a slew of them that are straight and not transgendered: Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Choo, Roberto Cavalli, Maz Azria, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, John Varvatos, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamato, Elie Saab.
The reason I write this post is to encourage parents to think twice about labeling your child as transgendered. You may think you are doing them a favor, but I don’t think you are. We are born with the bodies we have. Many people in this world HATE their bodies. Self-love will only come from accepting who we truly are and being ok with the things we don’t love. Many people would change something or many things about them if they could waive a magic wand, but no such wand exists, and plastic surgery and hormones will not change who you truly are and who you were born to be. Don’t repress it! Make your own path.