kepdavis

Stepping into the world of Social Work

Tag Archives: Gender

Pastor Sean Harris and his sickening views….

I came across this, as well as having heard about it on the radio:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/north-carolina-pastor-sea_n_1468618.html?ref=mostpopular

This pastor actively promotes physical punishment against children who do not follow narrow gender roles. This brings up some issues I’ve been meaning to talk about from my point of view for quite some time; a clear misunderstanding by the Right of the relationships between adherence to gender-typical behavior, morality, and homosexuality.

This first came home to me when I was working with autistic children and was participating in Floor Time message boards for parents and practitioners. Floor time is a style of play therapy which stresses starting where the child is, what the child wants to do, with the adult gradually integrating gentle instruction in social skills. The critical aspect of doing what the child wants cannot be stressed more.

In one discussion I: remember, one parent mentioned having purchased a kitchen play set for her autistic son. Another parent (evidently a devout Christian) laid into her because it was “immoral” to teach a boy to play in a kitchen! Apparently such play, in her opinion, would lead to homosexuality.

From an objective standpoint, a kitchen play set is a fantastic role playing opportunity. Every member of the family ends up in the kitchen at several points each day, even if they are not responsible for preparing meals or cleaning up after them. In almost every household I have been a member of or visited, social activity centers around the kitchen for both genders and all ages. There are countless ways to allow the child to play and lead the activity, as well as for the adult to use the play for instruction.

Further, it is not morally inappropriate for a child of either gender to be taught basic kitchen skills. Individuals of both genders need to be able to make basic meals for themselves and engage in kitchen clean-up. The reasons for needing this might be too many to mention, but would include living alone as a young adult before getting married, occasional meals when a spouse is unable to cook (perhaps she is in the hospital having a baby?) or maybe being a true partner in the household and helping with a meal or just doing the dishes. My own dad, while maintaining his gender typical role as a bread winning heterosexual father, would happily cook dinner if needed.  I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where men are instructed to stay completely out of the kitchen.

It is also true that many heterosexual men are cooks or chefs by profession. They would not have developed these skills had they not been permitted to cook in their home kitchen. None of these men, whether working in fast food or at a 5 star restaurant, would consider what they do immoral.

This stresses the point that gender-atypical behavior is not necessarily immoral or leading to homosexuality. I am one of countless girls and women who feel more comfortable in slacks than dresses. I enjoyed playing with dolls but also catching lizards and toads. I’m not a feminine woman, but I’m definitely straight. Forcing me into frilly dresses or makeup would have done absolutely no good. I know of many straight men and women who were the same way –  this was particularly true of those of us who fell in the higher range of intelligence.

It is this confusion on the part of the Right which causes the problems of bullying, particularly among young children. Taking this pastor’s advice to heart, these parents’ children will take the same attitude to school and beat up on their classmates because they have a lisp, or chose to play the flute, or aren’t good at sports. This isn’t witnessing for Jesus over some legitimately immoral act, this is bullying those who are different.

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