SHOULD A PARENT LOSE CUSTODY FOR BREAKING GENDER RULES AND ENCOURAGING VERY YOUNG CHILD TO CROSS DRESS?
The other day, I caught a glimpse of Brad and Angelina’s daughter Shiloh (she was about 6 years old) on the cover of a gossip magazine and I felt a jolt of horror and I wondered whether a parent should lose custody for breaking gender rules. Really, it was just jarring. The child looked like a little man, complete with an ultra short haircut and hard looking boy clothes.
It made me shake my head a little bit. I do understand that the little six year old apparently wants to dress in this manner, at least that is what her mother says in interviews, but still, it was a jolt. I wondered whether it’s a sign of good parenting to indulge this in such a young child, or whether good parents would exercise more authority with their child’s choice of attire, until, at least the age of 12 or so. That is, don’t impose it at 6 and then when the child gets to 12 and does not know any other way to be than what you imposed, try to convince yourself that that is the child’s choice and free will. Because maybe it is not. Maybe it is you who imposed that on the child whether wittingly or not.
Then I thought of it in a divorce context. What if those two ever broke up? I have news for Angelina, Brad could win custody of Shiloh on that basis alone. Assuming that he wanted custody badly enough and needed a basis to win his case. He could say that he was never in agreement about decking out the little girl in this manly garbs and that it was a source of contention in the relationship, that it confused the child, and subjected her to global ridicule and fingerpointing and that it was psychological abuse and that it is in the best interest of Shiloh to be in his custody where he can buy her some little dresses.
I don’t know. I’m just saying. Well, I am just wondering: should a parent lose custody for breaking gender rules in very young children? This is just too weird how Shiloh is so young and is allowed to make these decisions where she is made to look like a man at six years old. She’s a child and should not have that kind of authority to make herself look like that. Someone else is pushing this in her, and is making decisions that may not be in her best interest. In a way, the parent (probably without meaning to) is imposing their own warped sense of normalcy onto the child. A six year old child just cannot make certain decisions for themselves. This is what parenting is all about. Otherwise, let’s just turn all the six year olds onto the streets and let them fend for themselves. Let them dress themselves feed themselves, put food on their own table and decide on their own educational and religious concerns. What, the six year old does not want to go to school? Check. Don’t go. The six year old refuses to bath? Check. Don’t bathe. The six year old wants another parent and wants to move out? Check. Let ’em. Let’s just redefine what it means to be a parent. Who even needs parents anyways?
And the same is true for non-celebrity parents. If one parent was allowing the child to dress like a boy when she is a girl; or like a girl when he is a boy, this could be a big issue in a custody case I think. This could be viewed as some sort of psychological abuse and neglect and maybe that parent should lose custody for breaking gender rules. And sometimes, this is even more sinister than the case with Angelina and Shiloh. Angelina obviously adores Shiloh and would never harm her. But some mothers are envious of their little daughters from birth. And they are particularly envious of the attention their husbands pay to his little daughter. And they intentionally mess up that little child, turn her into an ugly duckling, dress her in horrible clothes, cut all her hair, out of jealousy.
I know this sounds sick and farfetched. As I said, it is not the case with Angelina — because look at her. She is one of the most stunning women in the world. But I do remember when Shiloh was a baby she said something in a magazine about not being able to “bond” with Shiloh. And then she said something about Shiloh being fat. I don’t recall exactly. But there could be some subliminal issues there, even though, as I said, I doubt strongly she is jealous of her daughter. Though when you see how she dresses as compared to how she dressed her kids, you do have to wonder.
At the same time, many mothers are jealous of their daughters and this could lead them to do what Angelina has done with Shiloh with respect to the hair and the clothes and things like that. And that could be a reason to divest this person of custody. I mean, is this any more appropriate than if Angelina were to dress one of her boys (both of whom she adopted from Asia) in dresses and have them grow their hair? What if she did that to Zahara? The NAACP would probably draft a petition! Why is she doing this to Shiloh and nobody thinks its inappropriate? What is wrong with that woman? Seriously? I mean, even if the child wants and requests to look like this, the parent has to be a parent and draw boundaries till the child is a bit older to understand the implications. And that is not to say there is anything wrong with being transgender if that is what you are. But should a parent encourage that in very young children? I don’t know. Should a parent lose custody for breaking gender rules in your opinion?
It gives me the shivers to see this little girl.
#Divorce and gender issues