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May 21, 2010


Love the argyle shirt on Charlie. Jordan used to behead Carmen's Barbie dolls. I worried about that a little bit.

Love love love LOVE this post. And, my goodness, look how much Charlie has grown! He's absolutely beautiful. xo

Wow. I am stunned by how incredibly revolting the Feminine Boy Project is. I can't believe it is/was muddying up our fair city.

Hi Danny. A very feminine (and later very gay) male friend was in that project, or its predecessor, back in the late '60s. He's still a big ol' queen but sadly very distressed about it.

It's always fun to watch those hypocrites fall. I'm betting on Gary Bauer or Alan Keyes to be next.

To all those who spout all the homophobic hatred crap, I always want to say, "Can't fool me. I studied psychology, which you obviously didn't , because you seem to have no qualms about letting your reaction formation show." Unfortunately, as your post so clearly shows, they can sometimes do so much damage (since many have not studied psychology). I, most certainly, would not have passed the gender test as a child. I climbed trees, hated to wear dresses, went around without a shirt, played with my brother's trucks and matchbox cars (why did boys get to have all the "cool" toys?), and loved it when I was mistaken for a boy. However (and much to the college me's chagrine, who, after too many heterosexual heartbreaks wished she were physically attracted to women, because she naively believed those relationships MUST be better), once I hit puberty, it was quite evident that on the Kinsey scale, I fall way over on, like, the 98th percentile for heterosexuality.

Dear Danny,
Thanks for another great blog installment.
Reading about those dreadful experiments done by so-called medical experts made me feel lucky that I was only ignored by my parents. LOL.

I didn't play with dolls, but I loved being in the kitchen with my grandmother, helping her cook and bake. I learned how to crochet, and I filled a large cardboard storage box with all kinds of doilies (and even a table cloth) that I had made.

Despite the die-hard radical right wing nut jobs, gay rights are progressing by leaps and bounds.

Thinking of the positive way you raised Leah, you were way ahead of your time, and a hell of a lot smarter than the "experts."

Leah and Charlie hit the jackpot when they got you for parents...

Danny, you're such a great writer, in no small measure because you're such an honest writer. I'm so glad that my fluffy postings move you to take serious subjects in your teeth to dissect them. Your next assignment: why are all of hypocritical self-hating homophobes men? Are there any parallel cases of a repressed lesbian mucking with the lives of the queer community? And thanks for the generous mention.

Great post, Danny!

I've noticed that today's youth are a lot more aware of homosexuality than the youth of my generation (the 70's). I can remember being twelve and reading Lilian Hellman's The Children's Hour, and I didn't quite understand the conflict, and my mom explained the term "lesbian" to me. Even then I don't think I quite understood why it was a problem. Perhaps it was the non-judgmental explanation of my very wise mother. I don't think I heard the word "gay" in relationship to homosexuality until I was in college. Now kids hear and use the word on a daily basis.

A while ago I saw a commercial using the song "I feel pretty" from West Side Story, and I noticed they changed the lyrics to buffer the word "gay" in the song. Hmmmmm....

Great post. I do think that society is still uncomfortable with gender roles and that girls still get the subliminal message that it's most important to be pretty. Look at a show like "Law and Order" - it's a great show with average looking men and gorgeous women. The main female stars are all exceptionally beautiful, but the male stars? Not so much. Google just banned ads from websites that seek to match younger men with older women but sites that do the opposite (younger women with older men) are allowed to continue. On online dating sites, most men seek women who are younger than they are.

A few years ago, I did some volunteer work with children, and I watched the boys "act out" a lot. If you watch closely, you can actually see the redirection of emotion. The boys become upset, but they aren't "allowed" to cry. So, what happens? They become angry and violent. This begins to happen with a lot of boys at a very young age. I observed it even in 4 and 5-year-olds. With girls, there's no need for this redirection. They can just feel and cry because it's accepted by society. Their fathers won't look at them disapprovingly.

Our society's gender roles are evolving, as you say, but they're still pretty screwy.

Danny, I'm teaching Intro to Gender & Women's Studies now and planning to use this post next time (along with the wonderful retrospective on feminine hygiene products).

In case you have not heard of it, I recommend the documentary Outrage. It is very interesting.


This post is really good. So important! This is really missing from my latest book - Perspectives on Gender in Early Childhood. I wish, I could have added this post to it!
Your son looks absolutely gorgeous all staged and all with that great dolly!
Smiles ...

Critics are forever complaining about the stereotyping that goes on in books, plays, and movies, but is it any surprise? Look how much we stereotype each other in real life.

Thank you for this's wonderful! playnjane aka Greg B.

Donald Trump? Why pick on him? Well I mean there are a TON of reasons...his hair...his attitude. But gender sterotype bad dream??? Huh? One of the few props I can give the Donald is that he somehow seems to have raised absolutely lovely children, including his daughter who is charged equally with her brother with sitting in the "boardroom" disecting the Apprentice wannabe's. Although Ivanka is a beautiful woman, Donald emphasizes her brains and business ability. While he is surely not perfect in this regard he's hardly the person I'd pick to call on this one. What am I missing?

Hey Charlie - real men wear pink! Dang, you're cute...

The hate behind the eyes of people like Reckers and Larry Craig (I live in Minneapolis, so I got to see his mugshot quite often) is both frightening and sad. They are probably very, very unhappy people and a little part of me feels bad for them. But then there is the other part that wants to yell "KARMA!!!!" I'm just happy that my sons will grow up with a lesbian cousin and "aunt" (my sister from another mister), the hope being that they will see their lives and relationships no differently that anyone else's. It is hard, however, when you send them off to daycare and they come home to tell you that only boys and girls can get married and it must be a fact because the oldest kid there said so. Ugh...

very good points. its a subject that's close to my heart, so i enjoyed reading it. i also refused wearing dresses when i was as young as three years old and the one time my parents bought me a doll, all i knew to do with it was cut her beautiful long hair off. i spend all my childhood 'wrestling in the dirt' with the boys, and even though my mother occasionally did express some sadness over the fact that i wasn't 'dependent enough', i guess i was lucky nobody really stopped my behavior. i wouldn't have let them, anyway ;)

I bought Brody a doll, too. He liked it for a while. Then he started trying to turn everything into guns.

There's nothing wrong with that. My girls play with toy trucks and my son plays with bratz dolls. but what do you expect of the children of a female construction worker?

Please help me find out more information on The Feminine Boy Project. I just found out that my brother was one of Reker's "patients", and he committed suicide at 38 in 2005. My other brother and I have often thought that his "therapy" was at the core of his isolation, sadness and burden but until yesterday I had no idea. Today, my heart breaks. My mother still has the poker chips that were used to "discipline" him.

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