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“DJ’s traditional position on gender is not something he learned at home. While he was always into all the traditional boy things—cars, trucks, guns—until he was four, the boy things he liked were just the things he happened to like. He liked guns because he liked guns, not because boys were supposed to like guns. Then one day we packed DJ off to preschool. The teachers at his progressive Montessori school would sooner feed children tacks than force boys to do boy things and girls to do girl things. No, it was the other children who indoctrinated DJ into the world of gender expectations. From day one, it was the boys versus the girls. And there wasn’t much the adults could do about it. When the children weren’t engaged in Talmudic discussions about which toys or activities were male or female, the boys were chasing the girls around the yard during recess. And what did DJ learn from the other children about marriage? It was a boy and girl thing, his classmates all agreed. And it wasn’t an agreeable thing to the boys. Marriage was a weapon, something the girls would threaten to do to the boys if they ever actually caught them. To turn the tables, the girls only had to threaten to marry the boys. Marriage was nuclear cooties. Once the threat was issued, the boys would turn tail and run, the girls chasing after them now, like a bunch of magnetized pinballs whose charge had suddenly reversed. So to DJ, it didn’t make any sense that his two dads, both boys, would contemplate marrying each other. Boys weren’t supposed to be interested in marriage anymore than they were supposed to be interested in dolls, or dresses, or fairy tales about princesses. Marriage was a girl thing.” – Dan Savage, The Commitment

Published inLit & Crit

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