Quote of the Day: Set the Limits

 

“He’s dead – his mother has had a nervous breakdown. They spoiled him rotten. I mean most parents would be proud of a kid like that – good lookin’ and smart and everything, but they gave in to him all the time. He kept trying to make someone say ‘No’ and they never did. They never did. That was what he wanted. For somebody to tell him ‘No.’ To have somebody lay down the law, set the limits, give him something solid to stand on. That’s what we all want, really. One time . . .” — S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders, 1967

“I wonder things I don’t say aloud, too: Whether this transgender craze isn’t partially the result of over-parented, coddled kids desperate to stake out territory for rebellion. Whether it is no coincidence that so many of these kids comes from upper-middle-class white families, seeking cover in a minority identity? Or is it the fact that they overwhelmingly come from progressive families – raised with few walls, they hunt for barriers to knock down?” — Abigail Shrier, Irreversible Damage, 2020

S.E. Hinton was 16 years old when she wrote The Outsiders, the now classic novel of the class conflicts between the Greasers and the Socs in mid-1960s Tulsa, OK. Writing allowed her to cope with the unpleasantness of the social scene in her high school. Her fictional story was assigned reading in my daughters’ seventh-grade English classes in Virginia and Texas. Although the book was already the subject of a popular movie by the time I was in middle school, I never read the book when I was growing up. I kept meaning to read it so that I could discuss it with my girls, and I finally got the chance during the deep freeze and power outage that hit Texas on February 15.

The lines from The Outsiders quoted above struck me as a timeless and true observation. Teenagers need boundaries and they will test those boundaries. When boundaries are too early breached, or absent altogether, the natural tendency toward rebellion seems to escalate rather than diminish. This can be glaringly obvious in the case of toddlers who throw tantrums to get what they want, but teenagers being raised by today’s ingratiating adults need more subtle methods of pushing the envelope.

In progressive towns and suburbs, in my experience, children are encouraged to pursue political ideas and lifestyle choices that only appear rebellious. For instance, in 2018, my daughter’s middle school teachers announced in class that students would be walking out to support the March for Our Lives protest against gun violence in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. When my daughter expressed unease and confusion about whether she should attend class, her teacher replied to my email saying that he would be in class in case students didn’t walk out. However, he said that he wished he could walk out, too. I had the thought at the time that these stupid teachers were robbing the students of the chance to actually rebel by essentially organizing and encouraging the protest activity. Without the risk of punishment or disapproval, the students were reduced to parroting the views of their authority figures. What could have been a chance for the truly dedicated protestors to make a meaningful statement became another way for students to display obedience.

Like Abigail Shrier, and probably most of you, I never knew a single transgender person in any of the schools I attended. From 2016, when my oldest when to middle school, until we left Virginia in September 2020, transgender classmates, or siblings of classmates, were common to all three of my elementary, middle, and high school daughters. Some classmates identified as pan-sexual or non-binary. When my oldest daughter’s sixth-grade friend announced she was bisexual, followed by pan-sexual, then transgender, I thought perhaps the girl was acting out in response to her parents’ recent divorce and her own recent experience of puberty. This girl changed her name at school to a male name, even though her given name was already androgynous. By ninth grade, this girl had a girlfriend and appeared to be a lesbian instead of one of the more exotic identities that she had experimented with in middle school. I always thought she should be treated fairly and with compassion; I just never thought she was actually a boy.

Puberty, middle and high school, and the process of growing up have always been fraught with difficulties. The social problems of the 1960s are not necessarily the same of those today, and many modern problems are exacerbated by the absence of societal and physical boundaries. As Shrier points out in Irreversible Damage, there is evidence to support the theory that transgender identity crises are encouraged and perpetuated through social media. As a parent, I can eliminate the influence of social media as successfully as the king and queen in Sleeping Beauty could banish all spindles from the kingdom. But I can say, “No,” to my child. No, you were not assigned female at birth. You are a girl. You will be a woman someday, God willing. No, you are not helping a confused friend by buying them a binder or helping them lie to their parents. No, you are not actually able to define reality for yourself or others. Reality gets a vote, and in fact, reality is not all that interested in democracy.

Published in Group Writing
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  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    If I was on Game of Thrones, my house words would be, “In the end, reality always wins”.

    • #1
  2. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Good post.  One quibble:

    Lilly B: I always thought she should be treated fairly and with compassion; I just never thought she was actually a boy.

    As I keep getting older and crankier, I find myself thinking more and more that some people should not be treated with compassion.  Sometimes, what someone really needs is a good kick in the pants, or a smack to the head — metaphorically speaking, mostly.  There were times when I benefitted from such treatment, and other times when, looking back, I would have so benefitted has anyone been willing to inflict the kick or smack.

    The proper response is context-dependent, so I’m not claiming that this particular girl (?) should have been smacked.  I just don’t think that we should rule out the possibility.

    I will go further.

    I hypothesize that a big part of the problem may be the feminization of society.  I think that I’ve heard this from both Heather MacDonald and Amy Wax.  The stereotypical female response to bizarre behavior seems to be compassion.  The stereotypical male reaction is annoyance and ridicule.

    This sounds harsh, as if I am opposed to compassion.  I like the way that James Dobson put it in the title of one of his books: Love Must Be Tough.  It’s still love, even when it’s tough.

    • #2
  3. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Good post. One quibble:

    Lilly B: I always thought she should be treated fairly and with compassion; I just never thought she was actually a boy.

    As I keep getting older and crankier, I find myself thinking more and more that some people should not be treated with compassion. Sometimes, what someone really needs is a good kick in the pants, or a smack to the head — metaphorically speaking, mostly. There were times when I benefitted from such treatment, and other times when, looking back, I would have so benefitted has anyone been willing to inflict the kick or smack.

    The proper response is context-dependent, so I’m not claiming that this particular girl (?) should have been smacked. I just don’t think that we should rule out the possibility.

    I will go further.

    I hypothesize that a big part of the problem may be the feminization of society. I think that I’ve heard this from both Heather MacDonald and Amy Wax. The stereotypical female response to bizarre behavior seems to be compassion. The stereotypical male reaction is annoyance and ridicule.

    This sounds harsh, as if I am opposed to compassion. I like the way that James Dobson put it in the title of one of his books: Love Must Be Tough. It’s still love, even when it’s tough.

    I agree. In fact, I think many times that the compassionate course of action is ridicule or some sort of pushback. And when I say “treated fairly,” I mean that girls should be treated like other girls and boys should be treated like other boys. Frankly, it is not compassionate to other students that only certain students get special treatment based only on their assertions of subjective identity. I almost didn’t include the line you quibble with because I think that the tone of my comments should be sufficient to demonstrate that I am not being dismissive, hateful or phobic (whatever that means). I think we should be asking why so many young people are picking up on this gender identity trend and trying to help them resist what increasingly looks like a cult. In the case of friend I mentioned, my daughter responded by completely avoiding the texted request to state the girl’s new preferred masculine pronouns. Ignoring undesirable behavior can be another useful, and even, compassionate response. 

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Every time I hear a story about transgenderism, I have a mix of emotions: outrage toward the foolish, stupid parents who don’t provide guidance and help for their kids’ confusion; disgust for the doctors who insist on pursuing this insanity;  despair for the teachers who try to popularize the latest fad in gender identity. It is tragic for the kids who go through these life challenges. And I can only sit, watch and despair.

    • #4
  5. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Lilly B: No, you are not helping a confused friend by buying them a binder or helping them lie to their parents.

    This sentence reminded me of Chinese foot-binding.

    As I held the lotus shoes in my hand, it was horrifying to realize that every aspect of women’s beauty was intimately bound up with pain. Placed side by side, the shoes were the length of my iPhone and less than a half-inch wider. My index finger was bigger than the “toe” of the shoe. It was obvious why the process had to begin in childhood when a girl was 5 or 6.

    First, her feet were plunged into hot water and her toenails clipped short. Then the feet were massaged and oiled before all the toes, except the big toes, were broken and bound flat against the sole, making a triangle shape. Next, her arch was strained as the foot was bent double. Finally, the feet were bound in place using a silk strip measuring ten feet long and two inches wide. These wrappings were briefly removed every two days to prevent blood and pus from infecting the foot. Sometimes “excess” flesh was cut away or encouraged to rot. The girls were forced to walk long distances in order to hasten the breaking of their arches. Over time the wrappings became tighter and the shoes smaller as the heel and sole were crushed together. After two years the process was complete, creating a deep cleft that could hold a coin in place. Once a foot had been crushed and bound, the shape could not be reversed without a woman undergoing the same pain all over again.

    What on earth were they thinking?  Whatever it was, pretty sure it had nothing to do with #Science!

    ***

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    • #5
  6. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    I think he feminization of society is definitely a factor here.  I was in high school in the 70s, and if any of this stuff had been going on, half the guys in school would have been declaring themselves girls every time the cheerleaders went into the girl’s locker room.  They would have switched back and forth any time there was any advantage to be had, and would have done so in a manner mocking enough to let everyone know exactly what they were doing and why.

    Starting with Millennials, there are no men, only cis-males.

    • #6
  7. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Lilly B: The lines from The Outsiders quoted above struck me as a timeless and true observation. Teenagers need boundaries and they will test those boundaries. When boundaries are too early breached, or absent altogether, the natural tendency toward rebellion seems to escalate rather than diminish. This can be glaringly obvious in the case of toddlers who throw tantrums to get what they want, but teenagers being raised by today’s ingratiating adults need more subtle methods of pushing the envelope.

    I remember reading or hearing once that when your teenager comes down the stairs with blue hair or a mohawk, the proper response is outrage or mockery or a stern admonition to put a hat on.  Not because you care but because the reason they did it was in part to rebel against you.  Better for them to rebel with a haircut than something worse.  I always thought it was an interesting piece of psychology.  

    • #7
  8. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Lilly B: The lines from The Outsiders quoted above struck me as a timeless and true observation. Teenagers need boundaries and they will test those boundaries. When boundaries are too early breached, or absent altogether, the natural tendency toward rebellion seems to escalate rather than diminish. This can be glaringly obvious in the case of toddlers who throw tantrums to get what they want, but teenagers being raised by today’s ingratiating adults need more subtle methods of pushing the envelope.

    I remember reading or hearing once that when your teenager comes down the stairs with blue hair or a mohawk, the proper response is outrage or mockery or a stern admonition to put a hat on. Not because you care but because the reason they did it was in part to rebel against you. Better for them to rebel with a haircut than something worse. I always thought it was an interesting piece of psychology.

    I know of several parents who not only don’t mock or admonish their daughters for dying their hair unnatural colors, they buy them the dye, take them to the salon, or apply the dye for them. In the most recent case like this that I encountered, the daughter treated her mother with absolute contempt in public. Maybe a psychologist can analyze that behavior for us?

    • #8
  9. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Lilly B: The lines from The Outsiders quoted above struck me as a timeless and true observation. Teenagers need boundaries and they will test those boundaries. When boundaries are too early breached, or absent altogether, the natural tendency toward rebellion seems to escalate rather than diminish. This can be glaringly obvious in the case of toddlers who throw tantrums to get what they want, but teenagers being raised by today’s ingratiating adults need more subtle methods of pushing the envelope.

    I remember reading or hearing once that when your teenager comes down the stairs with blue hair or a mohawk, the proper response is outrage or mockery or a stern admonition to put a hat on. Not because you care but because the reason they did it was in part to rebel against you. Better for them to rebel with a haircut than something worse. I always thought it was an interesting piece of psychology.

    I heard Dennis Prager once say that your kids are eventually, and for a time, going hate you no matter. They might as well hate you for a good reason.

    I’ve got more experience that I wish I did with the transgender issue. I’ll also add that there’s some munchausen by proxy at play as well.

    The mothers lap up all the attention  and are called brave. And are on constant guard against any mis-gendering so they can feel outraged.

    It’s very, very sick and twisted. I was thrilled this week when Tucker Carlson called out Governor Asa Hutchinson.

    And while compassion is in order, indulgence isn’t. In my experience gender confusion is an indication of a psychological problem that is not treated or solved by indulging the person’s delusion. The psychological problem continues to fester, which is why mental health and suicides are not improved by “transitioning”.

    • #9
  10. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Lilly B: The lines from The Outsiders quoted above struck me as a timeless and true observation. Teenagers need boundaries and they will test those boundaries. When boundaries are too early breached, or absent altogether, the natural tendency toward rebellion seems to escalate rather than diminish. This can be glaringly obvious in the case of toddlers who throw tantrums to get what they want, but teenagers being raised by today’s ingratiating adults need more subtle methods of pushing the envelope.

    I remember reading or hearing once that when your teenager comes down the stairs with blue hair or a mohawk, the proper response is outrage or mockery or a stern admonition to put a hat on. Not because you care but because the reason they did it was in part to rebel against you. Better for them to rebel with a haircut than something worse. I always thought it was an interesting piece of psychology.

    I heard Dennis Prager once say that your kids are eventually, and for a time, going hate you no matter. They might as well hate you for a good reason.

    I’ve got more experience that I wish I did with the transgender issue. I’ll also add that there’s some munchausen by proxy at play as well.

    The mothers lap up all the attention and are called brave. And are on constant guard against any mis-gendering so they can feel outraged.

    It’s very, very sick and twisted. I was thrilled this week when Tucker Carlson called out Governor Asa Hutchinson.

    And while compassion is in order, indulgence isn’t. In my experience gender confusion is an indication of a psychological problem that is not treated or solved by indulging the person’s delusion. The psychological problem continues to fester, which is why mental health and suicides are not improved by “transitioning”.

    Maybe this goes beyond rebellion and trying to find your boundaries.  Maybe this goes to identity and trying to find a sense of self (and with it, your sense of worth), of who you are and who you should be, but in a new and intellectually and emotionally unstable and overwhelming world of constant stimulation; with many new and diverging possibilities in life; and with a view to constant gratification; and with the constant cultural feedback of “likes” and “dislikes”.

    • #10
  11. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Lilly B: The lines from The Outsiders quoted above struck me as a timeless and true observation. Teenagers need boundaries and they will test those boundaries. When boundaries are too early breached, or absent altogether, the natural tendency toward rebellion seems to escalate rather than diminish. This can be glaringly obvious in the case of toddlers who throw tantrums to get what they want, but teenagers being raised by today’s ingratiating adults need more subtle methods of pushing the envelope.

    I remember reading or hearing once that when your teenager comes down the stairs with blue hair or a mohawk, the proper response is outrage or mockery or a stern admonition to put a hat on. Not because you care but because the reason they did it was in part to rebel against you. Better for them to rebel with a haircut than something worse. I always thought it was an interesting piece of psychology.

    I heard Dennis Prager once say that your kids are eventually, and for a time, going hate you no matter. They might as well hate you for a good reason.

    I’ve got more experience that I wish I did with the transgender issue. I’ll also add that there’s some munchausen by proxy at play as well.

    The mothers lap up all the attention and are called brave. And are on constant guard against any mis-gendering so they can feel outraged.

    It’s very, very sick and twisted. I was thrilled this week when Tucker Carlson called out Governor Asa Hutchinson.

    And while compassion is in order, indulgence isn’t. In my experience gender confusion is an indication of a psychological problem that is not treated or solved by indulging the person’s delusion. The psychological problem continues to fester, which is why mental health and suicides are not improved by “transitioning”.

    Maybe this goes beyond rebellion and trying to find your boundaries. Maybe this goes to identity and trying to find a sense of self (and with it, your sense of worth), of who you are and who you should be, but in a new and intellectually and emotionally unstable and overwhelming world of constant stimulation; with many new and diverging possibilities in life; and with a view to constant gratification; and with the constant cultural feedback of “likes” and “dislikes”.

    If rebellion is one aspect of what’s going on, it’s certainly only a part of it. It deserves more attention than it gets in the discussion of transgender trends, but there’s a lot to question related to mental health as well as identity and meaning. Shrier’s book covers so much ground. I highly recommend it. It’s disappointing that discussion of the book shifted from its substance to the issue of censorship. 

    • #11
  12. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Annefy (View Comment):
    The mothers lap up all the attention  and are called brave. And are on constant guard against any mis-gendering so they can feel outraged.

    I think you are absolutely right about that.  

    • #12
  13. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Sometimes, what someone really needs is a good kick in the pants, or a smack to the head — metaphorically speaking, mostly. 

    I always said about my students:  Half the time they need a pat on the head and half the time they need  a kick in the pants.  If  you’re a good teacher, you know when to apply each most of the time. 

    • #13
  14. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Lilly B: “I wonder things I don’t say aloud, too: Whether this transgender craze isn’t partially the result of over-parented, coddled kids desperate to stake out territory for rebellion. Whether it is no coincidence that so many of these kids comes from upper-middle-class white families, seeking cover in a minority identity? Or is it the fact that they overwhelmingly come from progressive families – raised with few walls, they hunt for barriers to known down?” — Abigail Shrier, Irreversible Damage, 2020

    Knock?

    • #14
  15. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Lilly B: “I wonder things I don’t say aloud, too: Whether this transgender craze isn’t partially the result of over-parented, coddled kids desperate to stake out territory for rebellion. Whether it is no coincidence that so many of these kids comes from upper-middle-class white families, seeking cover in a minority identity? Or is it the fact that they overwhelmingly come from progressive families – raised with few walls, they hunt for barriers to known down?” — Abigail Shrier, Irreversible Damage, 2020

    Knock?

    Haha! Yes. Autocorrect gremlins, I’m sure

    • #15
  16. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Lilly B: The lines from The Outsiders quoted above struck me as a timeless and true observation. Teenagers need boundaries and they will test those boundaries. When boundaries are too early breached, or absent altogether, the natural tendency toward rebellion seems to escalate rather than diminish. This can be glaringly obvious in the case of toddlers who throw tantrums to get what they want, but teenagers being raised by today’s ingratiating adults need more subtle methods of pushing the envelope.

    I remember reading or hearing once that when your teenager comes down the stairs with blue hair or a mohawk, the proper response is outrage or mockery or a stern admonition to put a hat on. Not because you care but because the reason they did it was in part to rebel against you. Better for them to rebel with a haircut than something worse. I always thought it was an interesting piece of psychology.

    I know of several parents who not only don’t mock or admonish their daughters for dying their hair unnatural colors, they buy them the dye, take them to the salon, or apply the dye for them. In the most recent case like this that I encountered, the daughter treated her mother with absolute contempt in public. Maybe a psychologist can analyze that behavior for us?

    I got my oldest granddaughter a kit of temporary hair dyes, the kind that wash out with shampoo. Some of her creations were garish. But her light brown/ blonde hair streaked with purple and lavender, braided, and worn with a plain lavender dress actually looked nice.

    What does hair dye, even the permanent kind, have to do with binders, bone and fertility destroying hormones or body mutilating surgery ?
    And isn’t a mother allowing—-inadvertently rewarding—-her daughter’s bad behavior  the problem—-not the hair dye ? The dyed hair grows out.

    • #16
  17. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    There is another wrinkle to this, in that the lack of masculinity that so many of us are noticing might be a medical condition of low testosterone. A middle-aged male friend of mine has low T, and his son announced he would be living as a woman after he graduated college. (while still being attracted to females, BTW)

    When my friend mentioned he should get his T checked, that it might be hereditary, his adult child, the child’s mother and sister were horribly offended. Because my friend was saying (by suggesting the kid visit a doc) that there was something “wrong” with the kid.

    I thought of that last week when I watched a movie called The Sound of Metal. About a mid-20s drummer who suddenly goes deaf. He ends up in a rehab of sorts for deaf people (he went there because his GF was afraid he would relapse into addiction). He muddles along at the center, then scrounges up the money for cochlear implants. Gets the implants and regains some of his hearing.

    Whereupon he was told he was not welcome at the rehab center, because there deafness is not considered a disability. And by getting his deafness treated, he was treating it as an impairment.

    So I think our attitude of  there’s-nothing-wrong-with-anyone might be complicating the transgender issue. 

    • #17
  18. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    This is a sad issue for me.  I feel sad because it was rarely an issue as I was growing up.  Growing up had enough challenges.  Like you, I did not know anyone with gender challenges. The only one I can recall was my friend’s brother – out of seven kids, Barry exhibited gay tendencies from a fairly young age, and he did grow up to be gay. It never seemed to be an issue however – he was just Barry.

    Now it is clearly indoctrination – not natural. Kids are getting it from all sides – especially social media.  I feel sad because of that – it’s a forced cultural thing – how many “genders” are we up to now?  It is also paired with the disappearance of faith and the passing of moral values to the next generation. Even if it is passed on, it’s being undone by the culture. I feel very sad for the challenges of kids today – and parenting.

    • #18
  19. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Oh my goodness ! This book that’s been ignored on my kindle for 9 months is a riveting read !
    I’m talking about Abigail Shrier’s “Irriversible Damage”. The transgender craze going on among young women and girls, according to Shrier, has very little to do with what used to be the commonly recognized signs of gender dysphoria.

    ”The Salem witch trials of the seventeenth century are closer to the mark. So are the nervous disorders of the eighteenth century and the neurasthenia epidemic of the nineteenth century. Anorexia nervosa, repressed memory, bulimia, and the cutting contagion in the twentieth. One protagonist has led them all, notorious for magnifying and spreading her own psychic pain: the adolescent girl.

    Her distress is real. But her self-diagnosis, in each case, is flawed—-more the result of encouragement and suggestion than psychological necessity.”

    All parents and grandparents of girls should be reading this book. We should be sending copies to people raising girls. Understanding what’s in this book could be where we begin to put a stop to the current sex/ gender exploited, induced insanity.

    Fantastic post, Lilly B.

    By the way, I remember loving S.E.Hinton’s “The Outsiders” when I was fourteen. Still mean to send a copy to my daughter’s Pastor’s wife.

    • #19
  20. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    I think he feminization of society is definitely a factor here. I was in high school in the 70s, and if any of this stuff had been going on, half the guys in school would have been declaring themselves girls every time the cheerleaders went into the girl’s locker room. They would have switched back and forth any time there was any advantage to be had, and would have done so in a manner mocking enough to let everyone know exactly what they were doing and why.

    Starting with Millennials, there are no men, only cis-males.

    @judgemental I often have thought that boys will take advantage of the opportunity to get access to girls’ spaces, but I haven’t heard of it happening, yet. My husband did have a colleague whose teenage son had convinced his parents he was gay. They felt very comfortable with him having girls in his bedroom…until they walked in on him with a girl in the middle of, um, well, I think you can guess. If you have read Douglas Murray’s Madness of Crowds, you’ll be familiar with his cuttlefish theory. Some men will feign whatever they have to outcompete other men, even if it’s faux feminist solidarity.

    • #20
  21. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Lilly B: The lines from The Outsiders quoted above struck me as a timeless and true observation. Teenagers need boundaries and they will test those boundaries. When boundaries are too early breached, or absent altogether, the natural tendency toward rebellion seems to escalate rather than diminish. This can be glaringly obvious in the case of toddlers who throw tantrums to get what they want, but teenagers being raised by today’s ingratiating adults need more subtle methods of pushing the envelope.

    I remember reading or hearing once that when your teenager comes down the stairs with blue hair or a mohawk, the proper response is outrage or mockery or a stern admonition to put a hat on. Not because you care but because the reason they did it was in part to rebel against you. Better for them to rebel with a haircut than something worse. I always thought it was an interesting piece of psychology.

    I know of several parents who not only don’t mock or admonish their daughters for dying their hair unnatural colors, they buy them the dye, take them to the salon, or apply the dye for them. In the most recent case like this that I encountered, the daughter treated her mother with absolute contempt in public. Maybe a psychologist can analyze that behavior for us?

    I got my oldest granddaughter a kit of temporary hair dyes, the kind that wash out with shampoo. Some of her creations were garish. But her light brown/ blonde hair streaked with purple and lavender, braided, and worn with a plain lavender dress actually looked nice.

    What does hair dye, even the permanent kind, have to do with binders, bone and fertility destroying hormones or body mutilating surgery ?
    And isn’t a mother allowing—-inadvertently rewarding—-her daughter’s bad behavior the problem—-not the hair dye ? The dyed hair grows out.

    Yes, it’s the rewarding of behavior, especially when the behavior was intended as a rebellious act. If the parent condones and participates in an obvious low-level rebellious act, the kid has no choice but to escalate. 

    I didn’t relate this part earlier, but the girl I mentioned exploring various sexual (excuse my antiquated terminology) identities in middle school started the process but cutting off her long hair and dying it blue. Blue hair is a fairly obvious demand for attention. I admit that sometimes the color can look pretty, but it really matters what is going with the kid and what the act is communicating to her parents and others around her. 

    • #21
  22. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    I think he feminization of society is definitely a factor here. I was in high school in the 70s, and if any of this stuff had been going on, half the guys in school would have been declaring themselves girls every time the cheerleaders went into the girl’s locker room. They would have switched back and forth any time there was any advantage to be had, and would have done so in a manner mocking enough to let everyone know exactly what they were doing and why.

    Starting with Millennials, there are no men, only cis-males.

    @ judgemental I often have thought that boys will take advantage of the opportunity to get access to girls’ spaces, but I haven’t heard of it happening, yet. My husband did have a colleague whose teenage son had convinced his parents he was gay. They felt very comfortable with him having girls in his bedroom…until they walked in on him with a girl in the middle of, um, well, I think you can guess. If you have read Douglas Murray’s Madness of Crowds, you’ll be familiar with his cuttlefish theory. Some men will feign whatever they have to outcompete other men, even if it’s faux feminist solidarity.

    Sort of like the “sneaky rutters”.  While the biggest bucks are locking horns over the females in the herd, some middling bucks take the initiative to mate with the waiting does.

    • #22
  23. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Lilly B: The lines from The Outsiders quoted above struck me as a timeless and true observation. Teenagers need boundaries and they will test those boundaries. When boundaries are too early breached, or absent altogether, the natural tendency toward rebellion seems to escalate rather than diminish. This can be glaringly obvious in the case of toddlers who throw tantrums to get what they want, but teenagers being raised by today’s ingratiating adults need more subtle methods of pushing the envelope.

    I remember reading or hearing once that when your teenager comes down the stairs with blue hair or a mohawk, the proper response is outrage or mockery or a stern admonition to put a hat on. Not because you care but because the reason they did it was in part to rebel against you. Better for them to rebel with a haircut than something worse. I always thought it was an interesting piece of psychology.

    I know of several parents who not only don’t mock or admonish their daughters for dying their hair unnatural colors, they buy them the dye, take them to the salon, or apply the dye for them. In the most recent case like this that I encountered, the daughter treated her mother with absolute contempt in public. Maybe a psychologist can analyze that behavior for us?

    Yes, it’s the rewarding of behavior, especially when the behavior was intended as a rebellious act. If the parent condones and participates in an obvious low-level rebellious act, the kid has no choice but to escalate.

    I didn’t relate this part earlier, but the girl I mentioned exploring various sexual (excuse my antiquated terminology) identities in middle school started the process but cutting off her long hair and dying it blue. Blue hair is a fairly obvious demand for attention. I admit that sometimes the color can look pretty, but it really matters what is going with the kid and what the act is communicating to her parents and others around her.

    One of my nieces has the most beautiful red/gold hair God ever gave a woman. She was (a young) 22 when she died it a bright, horrible, dark orange. (Of course she was spending money she earned to make her hair look ugly.) She looked freakish and cheap.I let her know (I wasn’t asked) that it looked like Hell. But I needn’t have bothered. The spoken and unspoken reactions she got told her that, however cool it was in her crowd, she looked less good.  I think it’s fine if kids cut off their noses to spite their faces, provided they don’t (and can’t legally) do that LITERALLY.

    I think the outrage reaction males with long hair evoked, back in the 1970’s, kept them wearing their hair that way years past when they otherwise would have cut it shorter.

    • #23
  24. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Good post. One quibble:

    Lilly B: I always thought she should be treated fairly and with compassion; I just never thought she was actually a boy.

    As I keep getting older and crankier, I find myself thinking more and more that some people should not be treated with compassion. Sometimes, what someone really needs is a good kick in the pants, or a smack to the head — metaphorically speaking, mostly. There were times when I benefitted from such treatment, and other times when, looking back, I would have so benefitted has anyone been willing to inflict the kick or smack.

    The proper response is context-dependent, so I’m not claiming that this particular girl (?) should have been smacked. I just don’t think that we should rule out the possibility.

    I will go further.

    I hypothesize that a big part of the problem may be the feminization of society. I think that I’ve heard this from both Heather MacDonald and Amy Wax. The stereotypical female response to bizarre behavior seems to be compassion. The stereotypical male reaction is annoyance and ridicule.

    This sounds harsh, as if I am opposed to compassion. I like the way that James Dobson put it in the title of one of his books: Love Must Be Tough. It’s still love, even when it’s tough.

     I think we should be asking why so many young people are picking up on this gender identity trend and trying to help them resist what increasingly looks like a cult. In the case of friend I mentioned, my daughter responded by completely avoiding the texted request to state the girl’s new preferred masculine pronouns. Ignoring undesirable behavior can be another useful, and even, compassionate response.

    It is a cult, one demanding child mutilation as a form of sacrifice. Mental disorders can become “fashionable” and in that way socially contagious. Are you old enough to remember the “multiple personality disorder” craze of the 60s and 70s, brought on by the popular success of books and films about famous cases, e.g.  The Three Faces of Eve  and Sybil? That seems to me remarkably similar to what we are seeing with gender dysphoria being made popular and glamorous right now. 

    • #24
  25. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Good post. One quibble:

    Lilly B: I always thought she should be treated fairly and with compassion; I just never thought she was actually a boy.

    As I keep getting older and crankier, I find myself thinking more and more that some people should not be treated with compassion. Sometimes, what someone really needs is a good kick in the pants, or a smack to the head — metaphorically speaking, mostly. There were times when I benefitted from such treatment, and other times when, looking back, I would have so benefitted has anyone been willing to inflict the kick or smack.

    The proper response is context-dependent, so I’m not claiming that this particular girl (?) should have been smacked. I just don’t think that we should rule out the possibility.

    I will go further.

    I hypothesize that a big part of the problem may be the feminization of society. I think that I’ve heard this from both Heather MacDonald and Amy Wax. The stereotypical female response to bizarre behavior seems to be compassion. The stereotypical male reaction is annoyance and ridicule.

    This sounds harsh, as if I am opposed to compassion. I like the way that James Dobson put it in the title of one of his books: Love Must Be Tough. It’s still love, even when it’s tough.

    I think we should be asking why so many young people are picking up on this gender identity trend and trying to help them resist what increasingly looks like a cult. In the case of friend I mentioned, my daughter responded by completely avoiding the texted request to state the girl’s new preferred masculine pronouns. Ignoring undesirable behavior can be another useful, and even, compassionate response.

    It is a cult, one demanding child mutilation as a form of sacrifice. Mental disorders can become “fashionable” and in that way socially contagious. Are you old enough to remember the “multiple personality disorder” craze of the 60s and 70s, brought on by the popular success of books and films about famous cases, e.g. The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil? That seems to me remarkably similar to what we are seeing with gender dysphoria being made popular and glamorous right now.

    Glamorous?

    • #25
  26. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re: 23 and 16

    I’m not sure we should always push back severely when our kids rebel. The problem seems to be more that we unthinkingly, inadvertently reward and subsidize that behavior, or we fall into only giving them a lot of the attention they want when we’re freaking out over their rebelliousness. Looking back, that seems to have been the mistake I more often made with one of mine.

    I mean, if the girl was dying her hair bright blue for attention then, maybe, it also would have been counter productive for her mother to over react to her hair. Certainly it was a mistake, later, for mom to pay for hair dye and allow the kid to get away with being snotty to her in public.

    • #26
  27. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Good post. One quibble:

    Lilly B: I always thought she should be treated fairly and with compassion; I just never thought she was actually a boy.

    As I keep getting older and crankier, I find myself thinking more and more that some people should not be treated with compassion. Sometimes, what someone really needs is a good kick in the pants, or a smack to the head — metaphorically speaking, mostly. There were times when I benefitted from such treatment, and other times when, looking back, I would have so benefitted has anyone been willing to inflict the kick or smack.

    The proper response is context-dependent, so I’m not claiming that this particular girl (?) should have been smacked. I just don’t think that we should rule out the possibility.

    I will go further.

    I hypothesize that a big part of the problem may be the feminization of society. I think that I’ve heard this from both Heather MacDonald and Amy Wax. The stereotypical female response to bizarre behavior seems to be compassion. The stereotypical male reaction is annoyance and ridicule.

    This sounds harsh, as if I am opposed to compassion. I like the way that James Dobson put it in the title of one of his books: Love Must Be Tough. It’s still love, even when it’s tough.

    I think we should be asking why so many young people are picking up on this gender identity trend and trying to help them resist what increasingly looks like a cult. In the case of friend I mentioned, my daughter responded by completely avoiding the texted request to state the girl’s new preferred masculine pronouns. Ignoring undesirable behavior can be another useful, and even, compassionate response.

    It is a cult, one demanding child mutilation as a form of sacrifice. Mental disorders can become “fashionable” and in that way socially contagious. Are you old enough to remember the “multiple personality disorder” craze of the 60s and 70s, brought on by the popular success of books and films about famous cases, e.g. The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil? That seems to me remarkably similar to what we are seeing with gender dysphoria being made popular and glamorous right now.

    Glamorous?

    In the sense of deceptively appealing, beguiling. It earns the “trans” teen or child positive attention and admiratiion from the “right” people and deliberately blocks out any appreciation or understanding of the long-term consequences of adopting the new “gender identity”. 

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Good post. One quibble:

    Lilly B: I always thought she should be treated fairly and with compassion; I just never thought she was actually a boy.

    As I keep getting older and crankier, I find myself thinking more and more that some people should not be treated with compassion. Sometimes, what someone really needs is a good kick in the pants, or a smack to the head — metaphorically speaking, mostly. There were times when I benefitted from such treatment, and other times when, looking back, I would have so benefitted has anyone been willing to inflict the kick or smack.

    The proper response is context-dependent, so I’m not claiming that this particular girl (?) should have been smacked. I just don’t think that we should rule out the possibility.

    I will go further.

    I hypothesize that a big part of the problem may be the feminization of society. I think that I’ve heard this from both Heather MacDonald and Amy Wax. The stereotypical female response to bizarre behavior seems to be compassion. The stereotypical male reaction is annoyance and ridicule.

    This sounds harsh, as if I am opposed to compassion. I like the way that James Dobson put it in the title of one of his books: Love Must Be Tough. It’s still love, even when it’s tough.

    I think we should be asking why so many young people are picking up on this gender identity trend and trying to help them resist what increasingly looks like a cult. In the case of friend I mentioned, my daughter responded by completely avoiding the texted request to state the girl’s new preferred masculine pronouns. Ignoring undesirable behavior can be another useful, and even, compassionate response.

    It is a cult, one demanding child mutilation as a form of sacrifice. Mental disorders can become “fashionable” and in that way socially contagious. Are you old enough to remember the “multiple personality disorder” craze of the 60s and 70s, brought on by the popular success of books and films about famous cases, e.g. The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil? That seems to me remarkably similar to what we are seeing with gender dysphoria being made popular and glamorous right now.

    Glamorous?

    In the sense of deceptively appealing, beguiling. It earns the “trans” teen or child positive attention and admiratiion from the “right” people and deliberately blocks out any appreciation or understanding of the long-term consequences of adopting the new “gender identity”.

    Yes, I was just teasing.  But seriously, what you describe may be more like the attractions of Munchhausen’s.

    • #28
  29. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    I am a Christian,  just not very good at it.    In my more sinful moments I wish that all the progressives would have the full gender transition treatment, whether they wanted it or not.

    • #29
  30. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    In my last job, I treated many adult trans-gender patients.  I loved them for their frailty and always was respectful to their perceived needs, even as I counseled them to give up their madness. A few do in the short term and I suspect most will in the long term.  It’s a difficult way to live, constantly denying what is most deeply rooted in you.  Your sex is perhaps the most essential part of you.

    One hundred percent of TG people are mentally ill.  Essentially all of them also have another illness, schizophrenia or depression or, as is so eloquently shown in some of the posts above, a deep-seated personality disorder.  Given such people counter-hormones and mutilating them surgically does not make them better.  Nor does it make most of them happy.  

    The current rise in TG children is entirely a fad and must be halted. Being TG may bring attention but it does not solve the problems of adolescence and it does not make the patient happy.  The only people made happy by encouraging TGism in children are their malignantly evil parents (always leftists), counselors (ditto) and other authority figures who encourage this pernicious child abuse to satisfy their own needs and problems.  For them I have no love, just contempt.

    Just sayin’…

    • #30