At the risk of sounding politically incorrect (God forbid), an interesting little diddy popped up on my news feed and I feel compelled, yes compelled, to comment.
Let’s start with the Editor’s note that accompanied the article…
(Editor’s Note: We have followed the Advocate’s lead, and referred to John Jolie-Pitt as “they” as a gender-neutral pronoun to respect John’s decision, whatever gender they may end up being.)
Deep breath, re-read, take a minute, let it really sink in.
I will preface my rant by saying, if you are super sensitive, if you believe vegetables have feelings, or that we should all come from a place of love and acceptance no matter what the circumstance, or on the flip side, if you feel children are something to display, prance around, and profit from, probably best to turn back now.
Here we go…
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt gave birth to a daughter, and a son, I’m pretty sure they are twins. No matter. Their daughter, Shilo, is eight years old. She likes boy things, she connects with boys, wants to dress like a boy. Again, she’s eight. As they parade their kids on the red carpet, it has come to light that Shilo now wants to be referred to as John. Jolie has said she embraces that “John has been exploring their identity since the age of three.” Advocacy groups applaud the Jolie-Pitt clan.
Hmm…usually this stuff floats in one of my ears and out the other. I know people in Hollywood live in their own world, but this one is super ridiculous. Their child is 8 years old and she probably loves and relates to her brothers. She may be gay, or she may be the wrong gender, or she may be a tomboy. Who really knows at this point, and isn’t this private? They are now respecting her desire to change her name to John. Not only are they respecting that desire, they are telling media outlets about it. Why?
Why share the emotional details of a little girl with the world? I don’t understand and I don’t “have tremendous respect for their family.” I think they are ridiculous narcissists. Parents should love their children and allow them to be themselves, before and after gender differences become obvious. I remember my son painting his toes with his sister and my daughter trying to shave like her father. Children grow, explore, within the trust of their family, the protection of their parents, so they feel free to learn and develop.
To invite the hungry media into this little girl’s world, who then make her some sort of spokesperson for cross-gender or gender transformation is unspeakable. This has nothing to do with this little girl, nothing to do with allowing her to be who she is, this is garish nonsense and I’m tired of putting a Zen smile on and politely nodding.
This little girl may very well change her gender when she is older, but she should be allowed to make that difficult decision when she is an adult, in the privacy of her own life. She may also be going through a phase, or any other slew of scenarios. She’s eight!
I would sure be thrilled with my mom if she publicized the details of my childhood. To put your eight-year old daughter forth as a mascot for a movement, so you look oh so hip and progressive is yucky.
Oh, and the Editor’s Note…stop it, just stop. They? We are calling an eight year old “they”? I need a nap.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Sleep Tight, Sweetheart.
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Great post, Tracy. Let the child be herself, what a concept that her narcissistic parents don’t see. She/he/they should be allowed some privacy. It is rather ironic when the parents scream for their children’s privacy most of the time, yet announce this. Go figure! ~nan
So true. I do love the cries for privacy. Thanks for commenting, Nan.
Bravo, Tracy! I spent several years of my childhood in the public eye—acting, modeling, and singing. I thought it was going to be “fun” and very quickly discovered that I hated it, that it was in invasion of the privacy I dearly wanted, and that it was impairing my ability to figure out who and what I was. Kids are not show dogs, nor are they baubles. They need time to be kids, to try things out without the risk of being stamped or labeled for decisions that may turn out to be simply a short-lived phase of the growth process. As you can tell, your post hit one of my “hot” buttons. But you are right on. Again, Bravo!!!
Thank you, Barb. I don’t have your experience, but it seems like a basic right for a child to be allowed to be a child, at least for a little bit. It’s a hot button for me too. Thanks for commenting.
Ok, I’ll bite. When I was young, I asked my family to call me Billy. Not because I needed a gender reassignment. Because I came from a family of all girls and thought being a boy looked like more fun. No hair brushing. No skirts. I think it lasted a month or two–and then it went away. Shiloh may or may not remain Shiloh. And there may be a lot that we don’t know. But I do agree with you that what we don’t know, for now, is probably better. It’s a family issue until something definitive is going to be done–or until it fades into nothing.
Right? I mean, everyone has one of these stories. Why, why put this out for everyone to comb over…wait, I’m combing over it too. Hahahahaha.
And one more thing…Did your parents tell all of their friends and the people at work that you were now to be called Billy? That they supported your right to be your authentic self? I’m guessing they did not. I’m sure some children, a small percentage end up in the wrong gender (Is that even the right phrase?), but it’s the public display that gets me and how on earth can you decide that at eight? Wow, I’m really fired up about this. 🙂