Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What Would You Do?
Okay... I'm gonna ask some tough questions and I want your honest opinions. I know I'm going to say a few things that will probably make people mad. Yeah... I've debated and debated about posting this post... but, I'm gonna be brave. I think.
Our lovely Governator (remember, I'm in Cali...) has just signed a law: SB 777 and I'm more than a little worried about it. You can read about it here - the article is on a very conservative site. Just to be fair, this is a link from a more liberal site. If you want to read the actual changes to the law, you can find that here. In a nutshell, California has done away with specific gender, male/female or boy/girl, in the school system. Now it's just gender identity. And every child will be allowed to participate in activities with the gender they are most comfortable with. This appears to include locker rooms and bathrooms. So, if you're physically a boy, but you identify more with what would be "stereotypically" associated with the female gender, you can use the girls facilities. Does anyone else see how problematic that could be?
Also, if I'm understanding this correctly, textbooks will not be allowed to be biased in any way. Meaning that they must cover all lifestyles. I know I'm gonna get heat for this, but, I believe that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong. I believe that marriage is sacred and is only for a man and a woman. I don't believe in gender neutrality. I believe that you are born male or female. Mother nature is kind enough to remind me once a month that I am indeed female.
Now, before anyone gets upset here, I don't think that discrimination is okay. And I believe that we all have the right to choose how to live our lives. I don't look down on anyone for the choices they make. But I have the right to choose what things my kids are and aren't exposed to. These are not things I want taught to my children as "normal" ways of life. To me, they are not "normal".
Now, this is where you come in with your sage wisdom and expert advice....
How do I talk to my kids about this?!? The law takes effect on January 1st 2008 and I'm not sure how to sit down with my EIGHT YEAR OLD SON and talk to him about homosexuality! Heck... we haven't had the heterosexuality talk with him yet! Sigh... I'm not sure how to approach this with him. But, I have to. I will not leave this in the hands of the State to educate him about what they think is right. But, I have to be careful too... I don't want to teach him to hate. I don't hate anyone for their lifestyle, race or religion. I don't want my kids to either. And, if he is heard saying anything negative about a person's sexual orientation, such as "I think being gay is wrong", it now falls under Section 422.55 of the Penal Code: hate crimes. So, I need him to understand that this lifestyle is not okay, but that everyone can make their choice and we need to respect that and then keep our mouths shut... and that feels SO WRONG to me!
BLAH!! I DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH THIS!!!
I have written to the principal and am waiting for his response. I want to know exactly what this means for our schools. Give me ideas people... I am in desperate need of them! And if you disagree with me, that's fine. But please don't bash me for my ideals. I need advice on how to talk to my son about a hard topic. I have hesitated and hesitated about posting this. I actually wrote it yesterday. Saved it and still feel like I should publish it.
BIG INHALE! I am pushing the publish button.... right...now...

17 comments:

Kimberly said...

First all, a big huge hug comin' your way, okay? I'd be feeling as mixed up and conflicted about this as you, were I having to deal with the same issues.

I see this as Satan's influence on the world, I honestly and truly do. Yes, gender discrimination has some seriously bad consequences, but gender neutrality?! That is not the answer. It opens the floodgates to all sorts of problems and perversions.

Boys and girls using the same bathroom? At a curious age? I'm sorry, but that is so wrong!

And yes, other lifestyles have their rights, but don't we? Don't we have the right to raise our children according to our own beliefs and morals, not those dictated as politically correct?

Horrifying. Really, really horrifying. ~Hugs~

Heather said...

My MIL told us this at dinner last night. We could not believe it. I guess the easiest way to explain it to Red is to tell him exactly what you said in your post- but in 8 yr old terms.

Keep us updated!

JustRandi said...

Oh, Melissa-
It's enough to make a person want to buy their own island somewhere, and never have contact with the outside world again.
(((Hugs)))

Summer said...

Kimberly said it well. I also think your post was very tastefully written. I'm very glad I don't live in California right now. That law is absolutely sickening.

Holly said...

I think it's time you moved to Idaho...

Seriously, this is sick and terrifying and one of the reasons that we ended up leaving the state when my dh finished Chiropractic school. We could see where the politics were headed. Kimberly said it perfectly. It is one of Satan's tools and unfortunately, I think it's going to spread. Teaching gender neutrality isn't the answer either. It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this decision in a few years.

I'd consider homeschooling and I'm not an anti-public school/homeschool person either. I have no idea what I would tell my 9 year old. I think that lots of prayer and pondering would be a part of it though.

Maddy said...

It's not the 'explain to kids problem' for me, it's more the difficulties with practical consequences, especially with things like bathrooms.
Best wishes

diana said...

i'm with summer; i think your post is well written. you've shared your views without (hopefully) offending anyone.

i heard about this yesterday in someone else's blog. it's unbelievable. i don't know what the govenor is thinking. i am so glad i don't live in california and that i only have the rest of this school year in public schools. because now that california has done it, any state could follow suit.

i hear how desperate you are on how to talk to your son. i wish i had something useful to pass along. but from what you wrote, i think whenever you figure out how to do it, you'll do it wonderfully because of your own perspective on the subject. you are firm in your beliefs and yet you don't want to hate or judge others for their own decisions.

it makes me sad to think of how many parents are in the same shoes you are right now. my prayers are for all of you.

Yvonne said...

Melissa: I think you wrote an absolutely incredible post. I think you'll know EXACTLY what to say.
I can't believe that is law!!!

I think Diana is right--the other states will follow right along. That makes it even scarier.

Annie said...

We left California 7 years ago and never looked back. That's my two cents.

Tonya said...

Run...don't walk to the nearest state!! OH MY HECK!! I can hardly believe what I am reading. I think your post was very well written. You have every right to be concerned. I live right above you in the great liberal state of Oregon so I wouldn't be surprised if we were next.

I agree with what Kim said. It's just going to get worse. I would seriously have to consider home schooling if this comes my way.

I wish you the best of luck and wish I had something very wise to say. I'll be praying for you.

wynne said...

Yikes.

Don't know if any of you noticed, but if it starts in California, it usually finds its way to the rest of the states, eventually. This is everybody's problem.

Maaaaaybe it won't be as bad as you think. Maaaaybe. Usually the law is put in and no one does anything different until someone tests it...oh, I hope. The last thing kids need is MORE lack of privacy in public bathrooms, y'know?

Just tell Red the truth. (And 8 is a great age for the first stage of the ol' birds 'n' the bees talk, if you ask me. Emphasize the sacred, and everything else should make sense to him after that. Let's hope!)

Nancy Face said...

I'm glad you wrote this post! I agree with most of the other commenters, especially Annie.

Lisa said...

I live in southern california, too. I haven't even heard of this. I am a little freaked out and feel the same way as you-I don't want to be told when to discuss these types of lifestyles with my kids. But the thing that bothers me the most is that I have a teen and you say in your post that the boys could choose to use the girls bathroom if that is what they identify with?! I'm not okay with that at all! I will read it now.

But for your question-I would start with the sex talk first. I read a really good book by the Eyre's-"How to Talk to your child about Sex" I used the book for my teen (when she was 9), but have been slow with the younger one. Once you have this discussion, you can move on to the other.

I dread this topic and anything that might change with this law.

Dedee said...

I'm echoing Lisa's statement and reccomend that same book. It's what I use. Unfortunately, with the way the world is, if we don't teach them early the world will. I was in church on Sunday and the lady teaching RS made the statement that "Whatever you don't want them to have/see/hear, they can get or will see or hear at school." And that's here in Happy Valley, Utah, USA.

It's going to travel and my dh and I have talked about if it happens where we are whether or not we will pull our children out of schools. In this case, if it really does include bathrooms and locker rooms, I would pull my kids out. That's just making it easy for sexual misconduct and abuse to happen.

I find it ridiculous that we have all these laws about sexual misconduct, and then laws like this are made that just leave the door wide open. Waaay to easy to just walk into the other bathroom and . . .I'll stop there.

Patriot said...

Oh California, how I pray for you! I would consider home schooling as well.

Who are the people making these laws??????

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

melissa:
amen sister! this is messed up. you are not crazy. you are right on track. big hug to you today, kathleen

Tracey said...

Ok, regular restrooms, I have no problem with, really. I mean, a girl can be raped and abused in the hallway or empty classroom, so I don't think a bathroom would be that much more of a problem (sad, but true). But locker rooms? Um, no. My kids will not be dressing in a locker room with children of other genders. So, they've made accommodations for the SMALL percentage of children that may have gender issues. And that means that the rest of the population must be put at risk? I don't think so. Locker rooms with no privacy... ridiculous. And really, what girl wants to pee where a boy was peeing? Ew. They are dirty and gross. Ever seen a boys' bathroom?? Ick.

Also, your son not being able to express his opinions on homosexuality? A hate crime??? REALLY??? I am amazed. Not that I think people should go around saying that they think other people are going to hell for their lifestyles, but if asked, I think one should be able to express their individual opinions. As in your case, disagreeing with homosexuality. I think it's called something like, oh, FREE SPEECH, right??