Culture

'Roseanne' Reboot Will Feature 'Gender Non-Conforming' Boy

Actors Sarah Chalke, Alicia Goranson, Roseanne Barr, Jayden Rey, Ames McNamara, Michael Fishman, and Emma Kenney attend Disney ABC Television Group's TCA Winter Press Tour 2018 (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

According to Babble, the Roseanne reboot is going to feature a cross-dressing 9-year-old boy and they couldn’t be more excited:

Much of the same cast is returning, including Roseanne and Dan’s daughter Darlene. But now she has a son, Mark, who is introducing a new layer to American sitcoms — a topic at the forefront of news stories and social media, but one that has yet to be dealt with on mainstream cable.

As reported in Cosmopolitan, “Darlene and David’s 9-year-old son Mark, played by Ames McNamara, is gender-nonconforming; he likes to wear girls’ clothing, but doesn’t (yet, if at all) identify as gay or transgender. Though Mark will wear girls’ clothes throughout the whole season, one episode in particular will be centered around what his clothing choices mean.”

…Mom of three Sara Gilbert, who is gay and an activist for the LGBTQ community herself, says in the Cosmo article that Mark “happens to dress that way [and] he’s an amazing, creative, brilliant kid, which you will see … I don’t want to pigeonhole him and say just because he dresses this way that’s the only thing about him.”

Gilbert also goes on to add, “[Roseanne] is a show that’s always been able to represent the world and talk about it without being so issue-heavy. We can do it through the dynamics of the family. I know kids like that and it seemed like a great character.”

There are so many problems with this I don’t quite know where to begin. Firstly, it’s hack TV at best to reboot a ’90s series in a desperate attempt to build off Donald Trump’s renewed fame (ahem, I’m looking at you, too, Will & Grace). Secondly, why must these reboots be as political as the Donald’s career turn? Voting a reality star into the White House doesn’t mean America wants to watch nightly political grandstanding. Thirdly, who the heck would let their 9-year-old watch Roseanne?

But, most importantly: Why, oh why, are we having yet another anti-male image shoved down our collective throat? Why must a boy be portrayed as pursuing girls’ interests to such an extent that he wants to dress like one? Isn’t it bad enough that boys are no longer allowed to enjoy shows like Thomas the Tank Engine or Paw Patrol without coming under fire for enjoying male characters doing heavy lifting and saving the day? Why must boys only be featured by mainstream media outlets when they’re working hard to act and even look like girls?

The folks at Babble conclude that the Roseanne reboot will “…probably make us laugh, nod with understanding when they struggle with typical family issues, and over time, accept that this too, is what an American family looks like.” In other words, repeat the meme often enough and the culture will accept it whether they like it, or agree with it, or not. To wit, they compare a cross-dressing boy to the likes of the motherless family of Full House and Webster, the little black boy adopted by white parents. The myth of gender dysphoria cannot be classified in the same category as death, single parenthood or race. To do so isn’t only insulting, it’s downright absurd.

Research indicates that boys derive a deep understanding of masculinity from media images. In the interest of preserving, protecting and yes, even celebrating your little boy’s masculinity, I’d highly recommend watching The GoldbergsYoung Sheldon, or The Middle, and skipping past the has-been and never-should-be-again reboot of Roseanne.