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reading tiger

Man, I (verbally) slapped a kid down without even thinking about it yesterday after school for disputing Simone's gender. He referred to her as April's sister and she corrected him (she prefers "boy-sister" or "brother" at the moment).

He replied "no you're not, you're a girl!"

The nice after-school attendant started in with a mild and sweet "she's whatever she says she is...", but I went straight to "No. Uh-uh. We are not playing that game. She is a girl *and* a boy and you know that and you know better."

And every head turned to look at me. I smiled and shrugged and continued packing the kids up to head home.

Btw, these days it's mostly white boys her age or slightly older who give Simone static about her gender identity. Just noting. (fwiw, I think "boys" is the strong correlative here.)

Comments

Bravo for calling out the after-school attendant, with the mild and sweet denial of Simone's gender in the guise of acceptance: "She's whatever she says she is" in that context means "but you and I both know better."
The after-school attendants are Mills college students; they're usually pretty gender-savvy. So I do not think this was a "but you and I both know better" moment (and I heard no such subtext at the time). I hear this sort of attempted de-escalation tone used a lot in different contexts by these education students. Eventually they learn they need to put some steel beneath it.
Cool; I was reacting partly to the use of feminine pronouns in that context.
Ah, that makes sense. the pronoun thing is complicated and under discussion -- Simone prefers "he" and "she" in different contexts, but at school it's legitimately "she" at the moment.