A child's garden of battlefields.
|In nature (remember that?) countless trillions of creatures spend their entire lives (sometimes incredibly brief) trying to propagate themselves. It is the eternal struggle. Only humans, apparently, question this. We question this because our brains have evolved in such a manner that this appears to make sense, in some way or another, to some, and perhaps now to an increasing number of humans.
I consider children. Little bundles of mixtures. Amazing resilience, combined with fragility and vulnerability. Reasonable adults recognize this, and conduct themselves accordingly, in the affairs of children. I consider this myself, and find myself increasingly hopeful, that most children will find a resilience within, a defiance and perhaps even an innate stubbornness and common sense, to withstand a creeping propaganda in their lives, that shows up in the institutions we trusted to educate them, certainly, but also to socialize them in a proper way. I have grave doubts about all this, now.
I believe that there are of course, many adults out there who do actually understand child psychology, who are in fact, child friendly, and are capable at looking at the world of children, and the way they occupy the larger world to whatever extent that they do, and understand that incredible balancing act between the resilience of children and their vulnerability to bad ideas.
Because it is in this most vulnerable time of life they are now set upon by sweeping agendas that pretend to take their best interests at heart, but ignore completely, the difference between what may be an innately dysphoric child, and a manufactured one. And I can’t think of a better way to describe this.
It is astonishing, to realize that human history over the past 50 years in advanced and wealthy societies, has evolved as incredibly myopically as it has – when it comes to gender identity and expression. We fought so hard to allow boys to have the right to develop sensitivities and proclivities always thought of as strictly feminine. Conversely, to allow every girl the right to present in ways traditionally thought of as masculine. (Where would a young Amelia Earhardt be now?)
My point is, that coming out of the 1960’s into a brand new decade, saw an explosion of new possibilities. And the children of that era did rightly thrive, in the experience of growing up in such a time. But now? I can imagine that somewhere is a handbook, with ten thousand gender expression traits all written down, lined up in opposing columns, rigidly categorized in some brutally specific kind of way, and all for the purpose of seemingly achieving an end game in which no child will ever be seen, or see themselves, as decidedly one gender or the other. The sex is the biological fact. The gender represents the billions of different ways that a child of wonderful imagination can define what that means – for them, personally.
That is one hell of a kind of freedom for a child to grow up in.
But now they wish to take this away. And I haven’t heard a reason yet that I honestly feel justifies the motive. They dress it up as freedom. I don’t believe it. It is a tyranny of gender deconstruction, of social engineering, and of a myopic narrowing down to a vanishing point. A dress = this. A truck = that.
Strange times. If I smile at a cute little girl who dances past me in the grocery store, no matter in how benign and grandfatherly a way (and I have three young granddaughters, so I’m well practiced in the art) I will completely understand if some stranger casts an askance glance my way. The child protective gaze still permeates our society.
And yet, how is it that this very same little girl will arrive at school on a Monday morning and have to endure some form of instruction or indoctrination that is entirely age inappropriate. So the question becomes, how is it that we have come to a place where we are giving tacit permission for the overt sexualization of children? They cavort, prance and mince about in public videos. They may even be in some measurable way, largely innocent and naïve – and yet that’s not how adults see them. And the adult gaze will never depart from their child lives. And that is the point.
When I was a boy, even a rather young boy, I recall discussing with my chums, what we used to refer to as the “creep factor.” This was understood to be all about that strange adult world in which things happened, and though we might have been a small bit curious (that came later in life) it was an agreed thing among us all, that we’d rather not know. We sensed, in an oblique kind of way, that whatever it was, it wasn’t a thing that could comfortably enter our world. Our world was free from it, and we liked it that way. Group discussions about creepiness came and went in a flash. Like a small dark cloud momentarily blocking the sun, after which all was bright again. Now imagine this exponentially increased in a child’s life. Justified somehow in some way as being good for the child. But I wonder, did anyone ever actually ask the child? How they felt about it? Were they on board with it? No, of course not.
Because the child just wouldn’t be interested. Not hard to understand why. Children tend to like to stay in a comfortable fit within childhood. Perhaps they understand intrinsically, without really being able to expound upon the matter, that their childhood is a limited time frame anyway. And when it ends, life gets exponentially more complicated.
Which causes me to ponder another strange thing about these times. How society appears to be so on board with infantilizing young people who are so obviously beyond that stage in life. The massive over protection that smothers young people long past their time in life when learning how to navigate the world at large within their communities, should have been a foregone conclusion. There are endless examples of this, now.
And yet we insist on “adultifying” young children, especially when a very particular political agenda commands it.
But of course, sensible adults know that kids aren’t adult. They’re still kids. Which is why they need adults to be and behave in adult ways, because they (the kids) can’t. That’s a pretty large position of trust.
When children suffer, those around them tend to suffer, too. No child was ever a unit of livestock to “readjust” or value add in any industrial kind of way. For material or monetary reasons, or for political ones, either. They are bundles of curiosity and possess an innate desire to know and understand, and this education in life needs to be free from the precisions of social engineering.
Those of us who actually grew up free need to set an example. The winds of fate may blow through future generations, howling like banshee ghosts of long forgotten times across what are now bleak landscapes. Children are still capable of pursuing happiness and joy. We should not define for them, on their behalf, just exactly what that is. Their free agency defines that.
Their little ships, personally captained, require our brave lighthouses to keep them off the rocks. Give them their helm, and allow them the learning of it.