It’s been a while since I made a Cultural Commentary post and usually they coincide with my finding an article about our increasingly secularized culture to comment on. Today’s is based on of a report from NBC News about two parents who have decided to raise children without telling them their gender. More on this in a minute because I would like to plug our quickly growing podcast.
In the Apostles’ Doctrine with Matthew Pope has been a huge success so far. In each episode Matthew Pope details one of his poems, articles, and reflections from his widely popular blog Even Unto the End of the World. I have had a lot of fun producing this podcast with him and am happy to see how quickly it has grown. I encourage you to take a look at how well it has done by visiting its page and taking a listen for yourself. Thanks!
A recent article from NBC News details the story of Zyler and Kayden. Two children whose parents have decided to withhold their biological sex from them because only the children can decide their gender. They are called “theybies” and apparently this is a movement has a growing following among progressives. The theory is that by not knowing their biological sex or gender they will be better able to integrate with themselves because they won’t be pressured by the stereotypes with what makes a boy a boy and a girl a girl.
Children realize that the their anatomies are different, but are being taught not to associate certain body parts with one gender or sex with another. The parents suspect that at some point in life the children will tell everyone what they want to be identified is, although the article (nor the parents) specify when that would be.
The one thing the article goes into, albeit briefly, is that depending on the type of society these children will be brought up they could be more vulnerable to bullying. If brought into a more conservative society and a more conservative school it is likely they will be a subject of teasing because they don’t know if they’re a boy or a girl. The parents of Kayden and Zyler live in Cambridge, MA though, so I doubt this will be too much of a problem with them, but still something for them to consider.
The concept of “theybies” gives rise to few problems, logically. For the sake of this argument, we’ll say that biological sex has no importance on deciding your gender whatsoever (I’m well aware it does, but bear with me). Matt Walsh hashes these out in a more, hmmm, less polite way on the Daily Wire.
The point of raising “theybies” is to point out that gender is a social construct. Then what doest it mean to choose a gender? By calling it a social construct, you just said that it is invented and arbitrary. If a boy likes girly things, like playing with dolls, putting on dresses, or whatever, and he chooses to be a girl based off of those things, hasn’t he just made a decision based off of the construct you’re trying to abolish? It seems that “boy” has become another word for “girl,” and “girl” for “boy.” If those two words have meaning, then they must be based off of something concrete, such as biological sex or what toys the child likes playing with.
Secondly, if these parents are expecting their child to choose a gender later on (still haven’t been told what age that would be), how would they be able to make a decision when they haven’t been told what makes a boy a boy and a girl a girl? And if they haven’t learned the association of those words, what does it matter that they pick anyway? In addition, you have just said that they must pick something and this goes back to my previous argument. Why should they pick something that conforms to the norms of society when you’re trying to abolish those norms anyway?
Ok, so now that we have understood logically why this doesn’t make any sense, what should we do about it religiously? Well the first place we can turn to is the very beginning of the Bible. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female.” Now I know you tell this to someone who is a progressive or non-religious and they will say, how can you know what is in the Bible is true or that this only proves there is a social construct, centuries old. Well your response can be that the Bible is central to our faith and that, as we learn in the Gospel of Saint John, “In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). We also know that the Bible cannot misguide us on moral teaching, especially as we realize that Jesus the Christ is the fulfillment of the law.
It is unfortunate that parents would withhold something as beautiful as gender and biological sex from their children. Men and women are created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27) and are their for important and beautiful. It is important that men be men and women be women we work to understand God’s plan for all of us.
I ask that you pray for those who do not believe in Jesus the Christ as we believe in Him. I also ask that you be not afraid to defend your faith with those who seek to persecute you. “Do not hesitate or be afraid. Go out to battle, and the Lord will be with you!” (2 Chronicles 20:17).
May the dogma of the Catholic Church always live loudly from within you,