Written by K. Ashcraft
After reading several stories this week about the Boys Scouts and “transgendered” children, it made me think about my own daughter and the three years that she cIaimed she was a boy.
I am not a psychologist. So don’t get mad when I say that I don’t understand where we are going in this world, where children get to pick a gender.
I am a scientist and last I checked, gender was a phenotype that is very identifiable.
Are there instances where things go biologically wrong? Yes, but that is not the case most of the time. What will the long-term effects on these children who get to pick their gender be? I don’t know, but I fear the results will not be as they expect.
My first four children were all boys, much to my dismay. Don’t get me wrong. I love them all very much, and they are all very special and unique in their own ways, but I wanted a girl. It was so important to me that I did not miss out on all of the girl things- prom, make-up, showing horses, gymnastics, first dances, dating, and secrets you can only share with your daughter.
So, we tried again. The fifth time was the charm. I got my baby girl. She was perfect. She was everything I wanted and more. I got pink, some purple, and more pink, ruffles on her underwear and bows in her hair. She was my little Angel.
Then, she developed an opinion.
It started as soon as she could talk. My little girl did not like bows. She did not want pink. In her words, she was “not a dirl!” She was adamant, and when I told people I had four boys and a girl, she would scream “I am not a dirl.” When I told her little girls do not act that way, she would stomp her feet, stare me down, and repeat, “I am not a dirl!”
She was convinced that she was no different from all of the other males in the house. I pointed out that I was a girl- she did not care. Her response was “You are Mommy.” I asked her if daddy and I were different, and she just smiled. It even got to the point that at age four that she would groan and hold herself just like the boys, if she took a hit to the groin. I pointed out that she had nothing to hurt there, but she did not care. My little girl was for every reason that she could think of, “not a dirl.”
But, I did not give up! I did not treat her like a boy. I did not cut her hair, change her name, give her boy clothes, or let her go to the boy’s bathroom. I gave birth to a female, and I was going to raise a female.
The change happened suddenly.
My older boys bought pellet guns. They don’t do any permanent damage, but they sure do get a lot of screams. One day, they decided to ambush their dad. Brave kids…. They sent the smallest boy in to shoot Dad first. Direct hit, but NO reaction. They sent him back for a second attack, this time with his little sister. Two direct hits. The little ones went running, out of the room, squealing with glee, and Dad was off.
What my husband failed to realize was that my other three sons were laying in wait ready to ambush him in the other room. Fighting through a hail of bullets, he chased the weakest target down and took his gun. It was time for some retribution. My youngest two ran outside where I was unloading groceries, and tried to hide behind me… However, being the loving mother that I am, I offered them up like sacrificial lambs…
My youngest son begged Dad not to shoot him back, his tactic, “Don’t shoot, I’m wittle.” It didn’t work. My husband is raising men. If you’re old enough to pull the trigger, you’re old enough to take the hit. That’s when my husband shot him in the leg. He then pointed at our precious, little girl. She realized that being a boy hadn’t helped, being “wittle” was no good, so she went for “Don’t shoot me, Daddy! I’m a DIRL!” It worked. Daddy got welts and bruises, and I got my daughter.
I just wonder what would have happened to her if we were different people?
Would my little girl have come to recognize her value as female? Would she have learned to identify female? Would she have become a male as she so wanted to be? She is older now, and very much a girl. She has no doubts, but I think a lot of that is because we had no doubts. I could have taken her for counseling, but what would they have told her? That she could be a boy if she wanted to? That she identified male? Would counseling have created clarity or more confusion?
Children go through many developmental stages, and it’s not uncommon for them to claim they’re the opposite gender. This doesn’t mean that they’re “transgendered.” I have to wonder if we’re creating labels and problems where they don’t exist.
Today, my daughter likes girl things. She still keeps up with the boys, but as she says, “I do it better cause I’m a “GIRL!” I thank God for that every, single day.
Photo Credit: Krzysiek