Christian School Complains Eight-Year-Old Girl Isn’t Girly Enough – They Shame, Reject Christian Tom Boys
(The links to the 2014 news stories about the Christian school that sent a letter reprimanding a Christian tom boy for her tom boyishness are farther below.)
I saw this, or was reminded of this news story, via Ashley Easter’s Twitter (link) and it reminds me of a post I did on my own blog a few months ago, “Gender Complementarianism Contributes to Gender Confusion“.
The little girl in the news stories linked to below reminds me of me when I was her age. I was also a tom boy and I preferred short hair to wearing it long.
The Bible is not intended to be a rule book for what constitutes girlhood or boyhood – and any time it appears to address those issues, it was bound up in the cultures of the era – and the qualities the Bible asks Christian women to have men are not exempt from having.
It’s absolutely a mistake for Christians in the year 2019 to teach things such as women today should not braid their hair or wear gold jewelry, when such instructions were a.) culturally bound and b.) more about underlying attitudes that drove the behaviors than the behaviors themselves.
When I was a girl I did not like playing with Barbie dolls, wearing frilly dresses, or the color pink.
When I was a girl, I preferred wearing cut off jean shorts with sneakers, and watching Adam West as Bat Man, and I enjoyed reading my big brother’s MARVEL comic books, climbing trees, and watching the Planet of the Apes weekly television show. The Bible has nothing to say about any of that.
This Christian school, though, would insist that me enjoying cut-off jean shorts or watching Bat Man was not adhering to “biblical gender norms,” and they might even make the admission that it was not in line with “traditional gender norms” (they actually used that phrase in one of the articles below).
As to the second phrase (“traditional gender norms”), I may agree – but then, they would be admitting that their idea of how a girl should dress, wear her hair, or what entertainment she should consume are driven by the secular culture, not by the Bible.
Teaching girls that they are not meeting some Christian’s arbitrary standard of “girliness,” or not meeting some Christian group’s personal interpretation of what they may assume the Bible teaches about girl-i-ness (and I honestly do not recall the Bible instructing little girls specific behaviors or hobbies or fashions to pursue to meet God’s standard of girl-i-ness), creates shame in girls.