After reading the multitudinous comments on this, I must admit that I had to think twice before contributing my own penny’s worth to the conversation. What actually amazed me was how quickly people rose to defend this kid’s sexuality because the article talked about him wearing a purse. Yet there was not mention of his sexual choice. I thought that was very interesting! Many times however, we jump on the populist bandwagons too quickly and forget important ones such as a person’s right to be as expressive or as creative as they would like to be without being discriminated against or judged – no matter WHAT their sexual orientation.
The other think that bothered me was how quickly many were ready to break out, and freely swing, the bullying bat. We are on a very slippery slope when we try to place a bullying sticker on every case where someone in power chooses to exercise that power in a way that does not seem right to many of us. We begin to diminish the real nature of bullying and do severe injustice to those among us that are truly being bullied.
For so long we have tried labelling and categorizing (read stereotype) people around us that we oftentimes even in defending someone we think was poorly treated, we subconsciously and unintentionally categorize (read stereotype) them.
I dream and wish for a day when we can stand together as people. A day when colour, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, eye colour, hair colour, physicial or mental challenges … are all celebrated instead or rated!
For several weeks, an eighth-grade boy outside of Kansas City has been expressing his individuality by carrying a floral-print Vera Bradley purse. But yesterday, his assistant principal demanded he remove it. The boy refused, and he was immediately suspended from school.
This raises a question: Why is it a problem for a boy to carry a purse instead of a backpack if he wants to? By breaking gender stereotypes, he’s not hurting anyone. Instead, he’s showing the world that he has good self-esteem and self-confidence—that he is secure his identity.
Unfortunately, his school administrators’ actions show that they want to force a 13-year-old kid into stereotypical masculinity. Apparently, they value gender conformity over creativity and individuality.
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