French Parents, American Parents, and Stereotyping

Barb Wire

If French parents can do it, American parents can do it. Pull their kids out of school for a day, that is.

French parents living amidst a swamp of secularism had the wisdom and boldness to pull their children out of school for one day in January to protest Leftist efforts to use public schools to normalize gender confusion through the “ABCD of Equality” program established by France’s feminist Minister of Education. America parents should do likewise this Friday on the “Day of Silence,” when the Gay, Lesbian and Straight (re)-Education Network (GLSEN) will be using children and government subsidized schools to normalize gender confusion and homoerotic identity politics.

An unusual coalition of Catholics and Muslims in France who share the true beliefs that biological sex is immutable and matters and that homoerotic activity is always wrong opposed in huge numbers the legalization of same-sex faux-marriage, and now they’re uniting to oppose efforts to introduce non-factual beliefs about gender and homoerotic identity politics in their children’s education.

The promoters of the “ABCD of Equality” program make the tired and transparently fictitious argument that the curriculum is merely trying to erase gender stereotypes and encourage “equality.” Of course, everyone who’s paying attention understands that they’re trying to do what GLSEN is trying to do: eradicate conservative beliefs about gender and sexuality.

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There are three important truths that get lost in “progressive” discussions of “stereotyping”:

1.)  Not all patterns, similarities, or expectations constitute  ”stereotyping,” and not all stereotyping is malevolent, oppressive, and destructive.  Humans recognize patterns and classify like things together. That’s how we make sense of the world. And “stereotyping” is used both for instruction and entertainment.

Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” wouldn’t have been funny or even made sense if we didn’t recognize the character type that actually exists and on whom Carvey’s character was based. In other words, the Church Lady was based on a stereotype.

The much beloved film My Big Fat Greek Wedding wouldn’t have delighted audiences if they didn’t recognize the reality that the film warmly mocks. In other words, My Big Fat Greek Wedding includes stereotypes.

Tyler Perry’s satirical movies about the character Medea depend on a stereotype that reflects a personality type that actually exists.

The humor in the wildly popular sitcoms Parks and Rec and Modern Family emerges from charaters who are stereotypes of people who exist and whom we recognize and, indeed, love. Real persons who share in common particular recognizable traits pre-exist the stereotype.

“Will and Grace” —the show that those who put their homoerotic desires at the center of their identity loved — wouldn’t have been funny or made sense if stereotyping were banned. The show was rife with stereotyping.

What about the satires of Aristophanes and The Onion? Should those writers have not engaged in “stereotyping”?

2.)  Stereotypes often emerge from and reflect anthropological truths. Human nature exists, and we recognize patterns in human nature.

For example, we recognize that men and women are different. Even homosexuals acknowledge that truth. When homosexual men and women proclaim that they are romantically and erotically attracted only to members of their same sex, they are implicitly acknowledging that men and women are inherently and significantly different and that those differences are not only anatomical.

Stereotypes about men and women emerge from and reflect ontological or existential truths about men and women. Stereotypes about men and women don’t dictate our lives or reflect the totality of any individual person, but they often do reflect true aspects of human nature. Stereotypes about men and women reflect existential truths—both good truths and bad ones. Stereotypes can reflect and reinforce the good architecture of sexually differentiated human life. Stereotypes about men and women were not created out of whole cloth or manufactured from the fertile imaginations of patriarchal oppressors. They emerged from patterns humans observe.

3.)  Historically, societies have believed that the fact of genetically determined sexual differentiation was a good thing and should be cultivated.  Societies recognized what self-proclaimed homosexuals recognize: men and women are different. Cultures developed patterns of behavior and societal roles that reflected, codified, encouraged, and sustained sexual differentiation, which is mostly a good thing.

Of course, humans, being fallen, sinful critters, have often messed up royally. Men and women have deformed their roles and responsibilities and corrupted their natures in myriad destructive ways. Through pride, fear, and selfishness, they have variously abused and abdicated their natures and their roles; and unthinking societies have at times become too restrictive regarding what roles men and women could or should assume.

But errors in how to evaluate and facilitate sexual differentiation should not lead to jettisoning the very notion and good of sexual differentiation. Sometimes encouraging conformity—including conformity to what the Left views as a “stereotype”—can be not merely a harmless thing, but a good thing.

It is good for societies to encourage sexual differentiation through some expectations regarding dress and behavior. It is at minimum benign to paint the nursery walls of a baby girl pink and baby boy blue. It is profoundly harmful for boys to dress and act like girls or vice versa.

Of course, what that looks like will change over time and across cultures. But the Left does not seek to work at ensuring reasonable gender expectations but, rather, to eradicate all gender differences. That is what the “ABCD of Equality” curriculum seeks to do, and that is what GLSEN seeks to do. One of the motives for this ill-begotten effort is that if sexual differentiation is viewed as a meaningless accident of birth, then the “gender” of one’s sexual partner has no moral meaning either.

Parents, please call your middle and high school principals and ask them this question: “Will students be permitted to refuse to speak in class on the Day of Silence?” If your principal says that students will be permitted to refuse to speak in class, keep your child home.

If parents do nothing in the face of the increasing exploitation of public schools to promote Leftist assumptions about sexuality, or if parents merely complain about the presence of resources and activities that affirm gender confusion and homoerotic identity politics, we will see more of them.

Be courageous, be bold.
Keep your children home from school on the Day of Silence.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins has worked as the Cultural Analyst for the Illinois Family Institute (IllinoisFamily.org) since the fall of 2008. Prior to that, she worked full-time in the writing center of a suburban Chicago high school, where all four of her children attended. She is currently working on bulking up her stick arms by dead-lifting her five grandchildren--one at a time, of course.

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