Yesterday the province of Ontario (where I live) revealed a new curriculum for health and sex education to be implemented in the fall. Supporters of the material hailed it as long overdue because it hadn’t been updated since 1998. And since then, as we all know, sex has changed drastically. We now have cell phones … and Facebook … and science. It’s not your grandparents world of two single beds in a bedroom and night clothes that were bulkier than your snow-suit. We can’t leave our kids in the dark about sex any longer. Knowledge is power, and we want our children empowered.
And while I still had reservations about teaching the graphic ins and outs of sexual gratification to children young enough that they would be charged with statutory rape if they tried to do with their classmates what they were being taught, what bothered me the most was the underlying concept of gender identification and fluidity. I thought boys were boys and girls were girls no matter what kind of boy or girl they might be … but then I’m just a man and I get confused by such things.
But it’s hard to argue with knowledge being power, because who doesn’t like being empowered. I’ll take some of that any day. And if science says that you can be something you are not just because you feel like you are, who am I to argue? I mean it’s science right. At least that’s what I’m being told.
So I admit defeat. The experts were right and grandma and grandpa were confused and wrong. (And most likely very repressed too, I guess.) But I’m afraid it is too late for me. I have been indoctrinated for far too long to think that my “Y” chromosome, facial hair, and dangly bits make me a male, and I’m comfortable with that, even if I will never be good at sports or enjoy talking about cars. But while my gender identity is a lost cause, I still want some of that science based empowerment.
So now, I’m happy to say, I believe in stature identity and fluidity. I will thank you all right now to stop thinking of me as morally archaic man of 5′ 7″. I am now a morally archaic man who is 6′ 2″ tall. Don’t look at me strangely when I tell you this … that’s being staturist. Just accept me for the towering specimen of masculinity (told you it was too late for me) that I am! I haven’t tried driving my Hyundai since I self-identified as such a tall person, but I’m sure I will have to adjust the seats and mirrors. Oh, and watch out for doorways! I’ve always wanted to have to duck on my way in or out of some room.
And we are teaching our children this too. Knowledge is power remember. We have begun with our kitchen doorway in which we mark all the children’s heights every six months. We now let them put the mark anywhere they want … anywhere they feel represents their true height. My oldest two looked at me a little strange, but with enough teaching I think they will come around. The youngest one caught on right away, and I’m glad to say that she is so tall now that I had to lift her up to make her mark on the wall. You should see how proud she is about being 8′ 6″ tall at only just two years old! The middle one can’t wait to go on all the rollercoaster rides this summer. And I just dare anyone to tell her she isn’t really taller than the line that cartoon character is holding! She will cry discrimination faster than you can unlock that little gate!
And that’s just the beginning. Can’t you see it now? If you don’t have to be constrained by the reality of DNA or anatomy, or reality, then not only do you get to choose your own gender and height, but also your weight and your ethnicity, and your age. No longer do you have to be shackled by any stereotype whether sexist, staturist, ageist, massist, or racist. Oh the empowerment just staggers the mind! I can’t wait to pay the child-priced fare to go see an R-rated movie and then claim my senior’s discount on top of that. Or of finally realizing my now life-long dream of being nominated for a black business award at the same time as I proudly share my secret to losing 30 pounds just by identifying it away. (For only one low payment of $19.95 I will share that secret with you too my friends!)
Do you think this is all a joke? You shouldn’t.
If, as proponents of this new curriculum insist, misinformation and ignorance are the best way precipitate sexual misconduct and irresponsible behaviour, then I agree. But the danger is not in what you might be tricked into doing with your cell phone or Facebook account. (Why aren’t parents monitoring these anyway?) The danger is in what you might be tricked into believing about your very soul and identity … and whether or not it has any basis in reality. Not all knowledge is power, some of it is just plain nonsense. And it has no place being taught to children or anyone else.