It's time to stop the sexual politicisation of childhood
IN 100 or so years from now, I wonder if academics will classify our generation as a turning point in the dogged pursuit of polluting childhood.
A time when an eight-year-old's suggestion of changing gender could slot into the family dinner conversation as easily as a request to pass the salt, please.
The years when intellectuals at our universities questioned the toxic mental impact of national crises such as having separate girls' and boys' clothes racks in department stores.
And a heady period when parents endured kids' TV but secretly analysed it for potential sexism, bullying, racism and transphobia.
It takes me back to the old days when you could play a vinyl record backwards and hear Satanic messages and words of doom.
Gender is now a filthy word and the sex you are assigned at birth is something to be questioned. We are diligently scouring for problems when there are none.
Perhaps I am stating the obvious but when it comes to kids, aren't girls content to be girls and boys happy to be boys? Ah. But not if the cultural diktats and minority sexual activists have their way.
We are surrounded by critics determined to dismantle conventional youth and self-discovery to satisfy a skewed adult agenda to "embrace" and "fix" things that are not broken.
They have poked PC explosives into crevices of childhood and blown the sanctity of it to smithereens.
They are not content with real-time concerns like an impenetrable housing market, social media cruelty and health reports like yesterday's which indicate excess body fat is affecting the health of almost half of Aussie boys and girls.
They cannot and will not let it be - boys born male and identifying as young men. Girls born female and identifying as young women.
I have come full circle on this issue, having previously argued that kids could possibly be able to change their gender if they were genuinely medically affected. But I've become increasingly disheartened by the sexual politicisation of childhood. We have gone too far. It's growing pains, not gender confusion.
Raising a genderless child is now a "thing", so achingly fashionable it seeks to disguise the reality of being spectacularly cruel to a young human before they can speak for themselves.
But should we be surprised that gender confusion is the tyranny du jour? NSW Labor is in a flap this week over whether the party's rules and membership forms should be redrafted "gender neutral".
Fairfax writer Jessica Irvine has blasted the "dangerous hidden messages" promoting "outrageous gender imbalance" on kids TV after an afternoon watching a handful of shows with her young son.
Culprits included the all-male hosts of ABC Kids, an acrobat in hoopla doopla! who wears pink and likes baking and the classic Sesame Street - condemned as "essentially a trouser festival".
"And don't get me started on Sodor," fumed Irvine. "Where Thomas the Tank Engine helms a suffocatingly testosterone-charged team of trains, including favourites Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Percy and Toby.
"The solitary lead female train, Emily, is described disparagingly on the official website as a 'beautiful emerald green engine' that 'can be a little bossy and think she knows best'."
Meanwhile, Deakin University health ethics lecturer Tamara Browne, a champion of gender neutral clothing for kids, insisted that shops are the enemy of well-intentioned parents.
"I'd like to see all the labels removed. Rather than having a boys' section and a girls' section and a gender-neutral section it would be better to just mix everything up," Browne said. "It impacts on society as a whole - you can see the effect of it in the rates of female employment in male-dominated sectors such as finance and construction. And vice versa, we see fewer men in childcare and nursing."
Again, agitating for a gender crisis when there is none.
This week it was also revealed that adults in the UK will be able to legally change their biological sex without a doctor's diagnosis, a staggering development with profound emotional, psychological and legal consequences. A man can identify as a woman with no tests and gain access to places or vice versa.
Justine Greening, the UK Minister for Women and Equalities, says the Gender Recognition Bill is a move to give more rights to transgender people.
If you are an adult and want to switch gender after a difficult lifetime trapped in the wrong body, all power to you. That is an evolution of mind and spirit over a number of years. I feel for you and commend your decision.
But in Australia children, some as young as five in NSW alone, are telling GPs they aren't sure if they want to be a boy or a girl. The real crisis is any attempt to encourage kids to be distressed by their biological sex.
Western Sydney University professor of pediatrics John Whitehall described the spike in transitioning as "an infectious trend" and wants an age limit of at least 18 before children who claim they have gender dysphoria are permitted to undergo treatment.
He told The Australian: "I think it's a dangerous fad; a dangerous behavioural fashion trend fuelled by the ideologues and fuelled by the media.
"Even making that so-called social transition has consequences," he said. "It nails the child to the cross. It's very difficult to come back from that."
Indeed. How can puberty blockers be right for an immature 11-year-old? Or double mastectomies for 16-year-old girls because they identify with being "innately transgender"?
Kids in developing nations don't have this "luxury". Why should we have a genderless world - who wants that?
Celebrating the differences between male and female is what makes us human.
No scientist has found a way to obliterate the X and Y chromosome and replace it with a G for genderless. Hooray for that, then.
Kids should see their anatomy as relevant and something to be cherished, not shameful or redundant.
Lay off and let kids just be who they are. We are too quick to label behaviour when we should just wait for nature to take its course.
There is enough for children to navigate let alone a little girl worrying that she should have been born with a penis.