Tag Archives: Inequality

To the world: please accept our children unconditionally and look after them

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On freshly pressed right now is a post that is close to my heart. It is from the blog Raising My Rainbow. The woman who writes this blog, Lori, shares with her readers experiences of her family, especially around her “gender creative” son C.J.

Lori's blog tells her story and she has written a book as well.

Lori’s blog tells her story and she has written a book as well.

What has gone down recently, and what has featured on freshly pressed, is that some parents at Lori’s son’s school have spoken up both at a PTA meeting and after the meeting, with some discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic statements around the rights of children to express their gender identity.

One particular issue revolves around children’s right to use the toilets of the gender they identify with, not necessarily the gender they were assigned at birth. Apparently C.J. has not been using girls toilets, this is a rumour. But, he has been bullied in the boys toilets by other boys who demand to see whether he has a penis or a vagina. Bullied in the toilets. And these parents speak like this at the PTA meeting. Perhaps the apples don’t fall far from the trees. What a battle this family and this school have with these parents.

The situation can be read about here To The PTA Moms at My Son’s School and here The Last PTA Meeting I Will Ever Attend.

There are a lot of poorly informed, under-empathetic and under-caring people in this world. For starters, these are children we are talking about. How messed up do we want our future generation to be? Let them just be children. Without all the adult negativity and prejudice, I bet these children would all play happily together, going to whatever toilet they choose. At my school, right next to my art room there are two toilets used by boys, girls, women, men. No, stop it, please. The world is going to end because we share toilets. There’s no intention there, it’s just how it ended up in the design of a new building, we have two unisex toilets at that end of the building. Children have an amazing ability to be flexible of mind and accepting of others. We shouldn’t kill this.

As a teacher in a primary school, I see children who show different degrees of gender identity. We have not had an experience like Lori is going through at our school yet, but I would like to think my school would be very accepting and work through the issues, with the child and all the children’s welfare in mind. I know that I, as a parent of a gay son and one more informed than the average person, will be there to share information and encourage understanding. However, I know parents can be extremely single minded when discussing issues, and that is a problem.

There is a lot to be gained from informing oneself before opening one’s mouth. This article from an Australian TV program called Four Corners is a perfect way to share stories of the children who struggle with their gender identity and acceptance in the world.

Being Me by Four Corners

Being Me by Four Corners

It is through these stories that people can access information, information that they do not necessarily access otherwise in their lives. Not yet anyway. Society, in varying degrees throughout, is just beginning to learn about LGBTI acceptance and equality. There are places where LGBTI issues are open and understood greatly, but I would not think that many suburban or rural primary or secondary schools (elementary or high schools) are there yet.

At the end of the day, these are our children, they are born with promise and a bright future, let’s look after them and keep it that way.

Inequality

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Claw machine

Imagine one of those claw machines where you put in $2 and then you try to send the claw to the exact spot where you can activate drop and bam, the claw will drop, securely pick up a cute soft toy from the top of the pile, and then return to the front of the machine in order to send the toy through the winners chute to its new owner.

Now imagine the soft toys at the very bottom of the machine that support the top toys, but that the claw cannot reach. These toys were created with the same materials as the others, they all have cute eyes and soft cuddly bodies. However, because of where they lay they will never be clawed and will never be owned and will never be set free to the world outside the machine.

The bottom toys are stuck. They cannot move independently and cannot change their position on their own. They must be shuffled by someone empathetic to their cause, or given a new place at the top of the toy pile. They rely on the owner, the governor of the machine who puts his hand in to refill the machine, to provide them with an opportunity for freedom. If he chooses not to move them from the bottom, then there they stay.

The bottom toys are equal to the other toys and would be have a cherished place in the outer world but their opportunities are not equal.

“How sad” you say? Yes it is.

“All you need to do is move the bottom toys to the top so they can be won too”. Yes, that is all you need to do.