News & Politics

University of Kansas Hosts 'Feminist Parenting Group' to Explore 'Strategies for Raising Intersectional Feminist Children'

(Getty Images)

This semester, the University of Kansas will be hosting a “feminist parenting group.” The group will explore “strategies for raising intersectional feminist children” and “empower parents and caregivers to raise children who challenge gender stereotypes and kyriarchy.” (Since kyriarchy isn’t a word, I looked it up on Everyday Feminism, where they use lots of made-up words, and found this definition: “Kyriarchy is best theorized as a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression.” Yeah, makes total sense now.) The group will meet in person three times throughout the fall and continue to discuss this important topic via a Facebook group indefinitely.

If the basic assumptions of this group weren’t clear from all the fake words in its description, their Facebook group provides a couple helpful graphics that should leave us with no doubt. One describes a “gender reveal” party in which the M&Ms pouring from the cake are neither pink nor blue, but green. When asked what green means, the expectant parent says, “It’s time for gender theory 101. I have slides.” Another is a comic strip — also of a “gender reveal” party — in which the baby’s gender is revealed as “however they identify!” From this we can infer that the “gender stereotype” the group will be challenging is… gender itself.

Posted by Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity on Friday, July 27, 2018

Posted by Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity on Friday, July 27, 2018

The not-so-secret truth is that while feminism used to be about equal value and status for women, it is now about erasing gender altogether. “Feminist children,” according to feminists like the ones leading KU’s parenting group, are kids who are taught to believe that their sex dictates nothing at all about their gender. Campus Reform, which reported on the parenting group, highlighted a graphic the group uses to make its point. It’s a flowchart about how to tell if a toy is for boys or girls. Campus Reform describes it: “‘Do you operate the toy with your genitalia?’ the chart asks, and concludes that if the answer is ‘no,’ then the toy is ‘for either boys or girls.’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ it adds helpfully, then the toy in question ‘is not for children.’” Ha ha. But, in all seriousness, what the heck?

Why is it so important for feminists to convince us that gender is socially constructed, not biologically innate? It’s an important question, given that studies have repeatedly shown that this isn’t true. And important, too, since these poor children are now being indoctrinated into an ideology that has no basis in fact, which can only lead to confusion and misery as they try to live in a way that goes against their own biology. The truth, I think, is that, of all the ideological groups out there, it’s feminists most of all who have fallen victim to the patriarchy.

Modern feminists believe that everything male is good, and everything female is bad. They believe that success looks like male success — a flourishing career, a position of power, a salary — and they see femininity — caring for children, supporting their husbands, keeping house — as weakness. If this is the lens through which you view the world — and if you believe that women are just as capable of success as men are — then you have to convince everyone that “male” traits aren’t really male, and “female” traits aren’t really female. You have to rebrand them into “successful” traits and “unsuccessful” ones.

But think about this for a minute. Why should femininity be bad? Raising children is one of the most fulfilling and meaningful pursuits I can think of. Nurturing and caring for a family is a life-long challenge that only the brave of heart can accept. Sure, a girl who wants to be a rocket scientist should be a rocket scientist — and, in this day and age, she can be one quite easily if she’s smart enough — but shouldn’t a girl who wants to be a homemaker be able to be one too?

Our biology leads us to the kinds of tasks, roles, and jobs that are “stereotypical” of our sex. There are exceptions, of course, but that is a general rule. Women are more nurturing, more social, more emotionally intelligent. Men are more ambitious, more prone to taking risks, more action-focused. If we acknowledge the truth in that, we can see how a girl might gravitate toward a doll, while a boy might gravitate toward a truck — naturally and without prompting. And we can see how, when those boys and girls grow up into men and women, they might gravitate toward life paths that suit their innate inclinations. And, if we take this as a good thing — or at least a true thing — we can value both men and women equally. Which, I think, was the initial intention of feminism. Go figure.

So, if anyone reading this was considering joining a “feminist parenting group,” I have only one thing to say to you: run. And take your gender non-specific child-like organisms with you.