Recently I came across a ridiculous parenting trend, which is gender-neutral parenting. This is where parents expose their children to both genders and the things involved with both genders. Parents are raising their children like this because they believe it gives their children a choice to be what they want to be, a voice to express themselves and rejoice because they can do whatever they wish. However, in my opinion, gender-neutral parenting is a terrible idea, and it can also be dangerous for the child. It shows that society can never be happy with something running one way and that there are always going to be some people who wish to change the way everything works, and here they are trying to change the way children are brought up.
Firstly, being gender-neutral and gender-fluid is not something that is easily accepted by everyone, especially other children because they are not experienced with this concept, and cannot understand this. The child’s peers will see them as different and an outcast, and whenever someone is different in any way, others cannot understand them and see them as an easy target to bully. Parents raising their children are so fixated in their ideas that they cannot see that their child will be bullied and that this can lead to their child being miserable and lonely. Do these parents not see this, and do they really want this for their child? If the child wishes to change their gender later in life, they can do so, when they are adults and they know what they want to be. The people around them will also be more mature and able to understand them and not bully them.
The effects of bullying are indescribable, a survey was conducted in 2010 which concluded that children who felt that they were being bullied, also felt lonely and claimed that they have no friends. Constantly feeling lonely and miserable can take a massive toll on their mental health, and can cause depression and anxiety. Another study was taken place in San Francisco where they claimed that 60% of suicides come from bad mental health beating the 25% of suicides from “failing in life”. From the 60% of suicides coming from bad mental health, one-fifth of these come from people in the transgender community. This just shows some of the possible consequences of gender-neutral parenting, and how harmful it can be. Knowing this, why would anyone raise their children in this manner?
Secondly, giving children too much freedom to act and dress however they wish will not benefit them in the long-term. Although these things may be accepted and praised when the child is at home, and young, when they grow up and go out alone into the real world, there are going to be people who are against them. Not everyone will be able to digest this idea, and support it, so by raising a child this way, they will experience hatred, and this can affect their mental health, which leads to consequences described above. On top of this, there has been 2609 reported transgender murders throughout 2017, which makes me believe that people raised this way could be under threat, and it may be dangerous to raise your child like this.
My next point is shocking and cruel, and it is that parents are forcing their sons and daughters to be gender-neutral even though they refuse, according to me this is abuse. A lesbian couple that lives in Los Angeles force their 6-year-old son to wear dresses and skirts, despite him crying and refusing. One of the mothers, Michelle said “I’m constantly trying to queer my relationship with him and get him to wear dresses. He hates it. He cries out ‘no’!” This is a clear example of parents forcing their own ideas on their children, just because they believe in gender-neutrality. They are exploiting him and denying his right to be masculine, just because of what they believe. Another study was performed in 2012 at City University where 50 boys and 50 girls were taken into a room and asked to pick a toy from a mix-match of boys and girls toys, and as I had thought, the boys went for the boys’ toys, and the girls for the girls’ toys. The conclusion was that “boys have an aptitude for mental rotation and spatial processing, whereas girls are inclined to fine motor skills and mental manipulation.” This shows that there is a scientific reason behind labelling the gender of a toy and that children do not mind playing with the toys meant for their gender. I think gender-neutrality is just a way for parents to show their own thoughts of gender, and they do this through their children. In my opinion, this is just bad parenting.
Another consequence of gender neutrality is the disappearance of traditions which have been around since the beginning of time. Due to gender-neutrality, boys have become more “feminine” and girls more “masculine.” Femininity and masculinity have been around for centuries, and gender-neutrality is shaking these core principles of gender that the rest of the world is accustomed to. Secondly, another tradition that is dying, is chivalry. The idea that men should be courteous and hold doors open for women, is quite simple, I mean it doesn’t hurt the men, so why does this tradition have to vanish? Traditions should be respected because they symbolise our ancestry and ancestors. By making boys gender-neutral they do not feel they should be chivalrous because they don’t feel that they are boys, but gender x, which in my opinion is absurd. It just shows that even simple concepts have to be knocked because society can never be happy about anything.
On top of this parents are wasting their time teaching their children to be gender neutral when there are far more important things they should focus on such as being polite and courteous. The initial infant years are essential to raising your child to be confident and well-mannered because these things cannot be taught later in life and must be adopted when a child. Education and manners are far more vital to be taught than gender-neutrality because your gender can be changed or adopted later in life, whereas there is only one opportunity to make your children kind and smart. Being polite is something that will benefit your child far more than being gender neutral because it gives your child etiquette which is appreciated by schools, employers and the people around them. Kindness gets you much further in life, and is something that society lacks. Instead of society wasting time on trivial issues such as gender neutrality in parenting, they should teach their children to be good people, and this is something the society needs because of the lack of well mannered people, which is very apparent when looking at the foul and disgusting behaviour of Danielle Bregoli yet 15 million people follow her on Instagram.
To conclude, I think that gender-neutral parenting is an absurd idea, which shouldn’t exist because of the consequences it has on both the children and society. It can lead to suicide or murder, which I doubt anyone would want to happen to their child. Parents are also using their children to show their own beliefs about gender, and their ideas about the world, which I think is very cruel. Finally, it also shows that society cannot accept anything, and everything has to be complained about because people can never be happy. That is why gender-neutral parenting shouldn’t exist.