Ugh. An elementary school in Wisconsin is causing a stir this week all because of a "Gender Bender" themed dress-up day they had planned for the students during Spirit Week.
A cute little flyer was sent home with the kids detailing what the theme of attire would be for each day during Spirit Week. On Gender Bender day, the boys were supposed to dress like girls and the girls were supposed to dress like boys.
Sounds fun, huh? And it certainly sounds like something elementary school kids would get a kick out of.
There's just one problem -- some of the parents freaked out because they think dressing like a member of the opposite sex promotes homosexuality.
(Insert major eye-roll here.)
Get this one -- the school was forced to change the name of the day to "Switch It Up" day because parents complained. And even after that, some moms and dads chose to keep their kids at home, you know -- out of fear that they'd catch homosexual cooties or something equally as ridiculous.
OMG. Can someone please explain to me how in the heck taking one day out of the year to be silly and have a little fun at school is going to make a child gay, straight, or anything in between? I don't care how much parents think they can control their kids -- they are who they are. And they'll be whoever they are supposed to be when they grow up. And they'll be attracted to whoever they are attracted to and there's nothing parents can do about it. And that's why instead of going off the deep end and complaining about their kids dressing up at school, they should embrace it and let them express themselves as individuals.
By making a big stink about it and refusing to send their children to school, they're probably confusing them even more than they would have if they'd simply allowed them to participate in a harmless activity!
I can remember having those fun dress-up days as a kid when I was in school, and you know what? We never took them seriously. They were meant to bring a little bit of pleasure and lightheartedness into our day -- and nothing more. And though I don't recall ever having a gender swap day, we did do things like wear our pajamas to school. Or we wore a t-shirt and ball cap from our favorite sports team. And I think we also had one day where we turned our clothes inside out, which generated more than a few laughs.
And as far as I can tell, none of those days had any effect on the person I turned out to be. I get up and put on regular clothes every morning. (Well, most mornings.) And I'm not a professional athlete. And I don't dress all frumpy with the tags hanging out of my outfits either.
I may not be an expert, but something tells me the only lasting impression Gender Bender day will have on these kids is a fun memory to look back on and share with their own children when they're older. Where's the harm in that?
Would you be opposed to a Gender Bender day at your child's school?
Image via slange70/Flickr