Friday, September 10, 2010

Gender Roles

I've been going through some of my things.  I know why would I be doing that right now? I found in my church books the manual, A Parent's Guide, which is put out by the church.  I was flipping through it and one section caught my eye.  The section was: Teach Children to Accept and Understand Their Gender Roles. 

That goes right in conjunction with the Proclamation.  Anyway, time is short but I wanted to share some of the quotes:
From ages four to eleven, each child is learning how to be male or female and about what being male or female means about their relationships with others.  Toys, games, books, and friends revolve largely around gender.  Considerable controversy has been aroused of late around such terms as sexism, feminism, and machoism, as if there is something wrong with being too male, too female, or too virtuous.  President Spender W. Kimball said, "I sincerely hope that our Latter-day Saint girls and women, and men and boys, will drink deeply of the water of life and conform their lives to the beautiful and comprehensive roles the Lord assigned to them."  For Latter-day Saints, the matter of virtuous role behavior ought not to be confusing... 

....Within the gospel framework are some realities that there are some exclusive things men are to do and some that women are to do.  A most appropriate time for this development is the interlude between early childhood and adolescence...

President Kimball clarified the eternal significance of gender identity when he said: " Some people are ignorant or vicious and apparently attempting to destroy the concept of masculinity and femininity.  More and more girls dress, groom, and act like men.  More and more men dress, groom, and act like women.  The high purposes of life are damaged and destroyed by the growing unisex theory.  God made man in his own image, male and female made he them.  With relatively few accidents of nature, we are born male or female.  The Lord knew best.  Certainly, men and women who would change their sex status will answer to their Maker."
I thought those quotes were good in light of several blog discussions I've participated in lately.  Liberty was getting rid of some shirts the other day and I asked her why she didn't like them since I knew she liked the colors.  She responded, "They make me feel masculine." Okay, sounds like they need to go then! 

As I have been reviewing the traditions in my life I have become aware that there is some gender confusion in society.  My husband and I shield much from our children but there is still much of it that seeps in.  We have redefined roles in our family, reviewed clothing, and looked at behavior.  I have a friend who says, "Why would a women want to be like me?  I am a crass man.  Why do they want to shoulder my roles when God has given them something much more ennobling and beautiful to do?" Why indeed.  As I reflect I realize I need to be offensive  proactive in teaching correct gender roles in my family.

8 comments:

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I find that one can be offensive to others by teaching gender roles without meaning to be...but I know that by "offensive" you mean proactive. I think. And that is how I hope to be with my kids. Very specific in what I mean about family, gender, and what paths will lead to happiness and which will not!

Dana ♥ said...

Well said. That is a great book put out by the church. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Kellie, said...

We too are trying to shield our girls from the world's confusing of gender roles, but we are even haivng trouble with our own family. My mother bought "skinny jeans" for a boy cousin's birthday, they look so feminine and everyone was a little shocked when my oldest asked him why he wears girl clothes.

Being A Mother Who Knows said...

Thanks Jocelyn. I changed that. Words can be powerful. : )

Wendy said...

Different questions came to my mind like....

Do I act like a lady in house of all boys?

Do I allow my husband to treat me as such?

As I think I know there are areas of improvement. Yeah for change.

Rebecca said...

I have been reading Fascinating Woman and loving the things I am learning. The gifts and specific roles that God has given each of us and how they complement each other is actually freeing. I appreciate the ways you are teaching your children about gender roles and enjoying them.

Kestrel said...

I understand this concept but I have a very hard time living it. I was very much a tomboy growing up and still am - I hate wearing dresses/skirts and my hair is very short. I'm always kind of at a loss when I think about how I portray femininity. To be honest, even thinking about growing out my hair makes me want to die a little on the inside - I hate long hair!! I am trying to dress more feminine though and focusing on wearing more womanly blouses and such with my short hair and pants :)

My Heart Squared said...

I believe as we teach our children virtue it will become the fundamental and pivotal characteristic that will help them become who the Lord wants them to be.

Furthermore, as we are examples to them in word, in deed, in thought and in dress, the Spirit (the great Testifier of Truth) will be present in teaching them their gender roles.

BTW: A Parent's Guide should be in every home library!!