Teaching My Kids Human Biology Is Not Hateful

Teaching My Kids Human Biology Is Not Hateful

In a breathtakingly offensive and fallacious post for scarymommy.com, Ashley Austrew accuses parents who have a problem with Target’s new unisex restroom/fitting room policy (because that’s what it is, when anyone can effectively use any facility at any time) of using their children as an excuse to hate.

From Austrew’s article: “The truth is, people aren’t worried about their wives or their daughters, about the imaginary boogeyman in the next stall, or protecting the sanctity of their Target bathroom — what they’re really afraid of is opening their minds. For some, discriminating against people is easier than trying to understand them or having to alter their perspectives in order to afford others the same respect and compassion they’d demand for themselves.”

I’ll grant Austrew this: my objection to Target’s policy has less to do with protecting my child physically than it does with protecting his mind. I don’t have extremely young children anymore. But when I did, I took them into the women’s bathroom with me, regardless of their sex. At such times, if the child was one of my sons, it was obvious to anyone in the vicinity that there was a boy in the ladies’ restroom. Funny, I never had anyone object.

Now that my youngest is 12, he goes into public men’s rooms by himself. But still at this age, I stay within earshot. I don’t even like to send my grown daughter into a highway rest stop alone. Heck, I don’t like to go into one myself. There are dangerous people everywhere, in all shapes, sizes, sexes, and sexual preferences, and if they want to cause harm to someone a sign isn’t going to stop them.

It’s Bad to Enable Delusions About Reality

But here’s the thing. When you label restrooms or fitting rooms for “women” and “men” and then effectively say that anyone can go into any one at any time based on how they “identify” at that moment, you are undermining one of the most basic lessons that, as a parent, I try to teach my children: that there is truth, and that one can know it.

It’s a lesson the entire culture is doing its darndest to prevent me from teaching. Whether it’s the entertainment industry or the education racket or the nanny state, the powers that be are pretty much united in their goal of so confusing today’s young minds that they’ll unblinkingly accept even the most ridiculous of assertions. 

Nevertheless, as a parent, I have to keep trying. So I teach my child that there are boys and girls, and that there is a way to tell the difference. I teach my child there is right and wrong, and that we can know which is which. I teach him that two and two make four, words mean what they say, and that rules are only rules if people actually have to follow them.

Truth Is Not Hate

To Target: the truth is I could respect a policy that simply did away with men’s and women’s bathrooms and made them all unisex. Such a policy would reflect an accurate understanding of the English language and allow me the ability to make a choice based in reality. As it stands, if I enter one of your women’s restrooms or fitting rooms, there is no telling what I will find. That is disrespectful to me as a customer and is a disincentive to shop in your store.

To Austrew: I suppose I should not be surprised that one who embraces subjective definitions of male and female would also have trouble with the words “love” and “hate.” News flash: bringing my child up to believe that there is objective truth and that it has a Source is something I do not because I hate, but because I love. I love my God, I love his creation, and I love my child and believe it is my vocation to teach him as best I can about the other two. By contrast, what is not loving is to accuse an enormous segment of the population of practicing hate simply because they have a view that is different from yours.

To my children: when you were little, I tried hard to protect you from all kinds of things, one of those being stupidity. The time is fast arriving—has already arrived—when I won’t be able to protect you from much of anything anymore. I pray that if I have provided you with anything at all, I have provided you with the ability to see the world as it is and to use your God-given brain to think clearly about it and your God-given heart to love it in spite of itself.

Cheryl Magness is managing editor of Reporter, the official web magazine of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, assistant editor at Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife, a forum about Christian female vocation, and a contributor to "He Restores My Soul: Writings on Cross and Comfort" from Emmanuel Press. She writes regularly on issues of faith, family and culture.
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