It is axiomatic, to the Left, that “gender” does not exist an is an invention of the “Kyriarchy” (i.e. straight White “cis-het” European X-tians). This belief runs so deep that they are convinced that animals do not have genders or that there are any gender differences between the biological sexes of dimorphic species.
So why do most people recognize that there are male and female critters? Clearly it is because this insidious Kyriarchical conspiracy is brainwashing people through the power of… zoos.
That, at least seems to be the jut of an academic paper entitled “Naturalizing Gender through Childhood Socialization Messages in a Zoo.”
The abstract is but a taste of the idiocy:
“We draw on public observations conducted in a zoo to identify three instances in which adults make use of its specific spatial and symbolic resources to transmit socialization messages to children according to ‘naturalized’ models of hegemonic gender difference. First, adults attribute gender to zoo animals by projecting onto them human characteristics associated with feminine and masculine stereotypes. Second, adults mobilize zoo exhibits as props for modeling their own normative gender displays in the presence of children. Third, adults discipline boys and girls differently in the context of the zoo’s built environment, and in doing so, they communicate socialization messages to children regarding how to behave in conventionally gendered ways. In emphasizing the context of the zoo as a site for the naturalization of gender categories, we identify how adults transmit gender socialization messages to children that promote gender stereotypes associated with the biological determinism of the natural living world.”
Right off the bat, the article whines about how parents teach their kids about society and how to live in it, including, it would seem, the birds and the bees. But it is noted that such “socialization” can be used for social justice ends. Clearly, this paper takes on a tabula rasa view of not only human beings, but of all of nature. It’s almost as if that silly evolution thing doesn’t exist outside of being used to deny the existence of the Judeo-Christian God!
But the thrust of the paper is that such “socialization” is being used for evil ends:
“In many instances, socialization messages communicate to children that hegemonic social categories ought to be understood as natural rather than cultural artifacts of social life. Among all other cultural categories, gender is perhaps most prone to being misunderstood as natural, due to its close association with anatomical sex differences”
Or maybe, juuust maybe, “gender” is just an expression of the physical and actual physiological differences between the biological sexes of a dimorphic species?
No, no, it has to do with “myths”:
“Although accomplishments of human behavior, models of masculinity and femininity appear natural because gendered individuals adhere to an institutionalized set of myths they learn through everyday forms of socialization in their formative years of development from birth through preschool and elementary school. Children learn how to ‘do gender’ by participating in ‘activities that cast particular pursuits as expressions of masculine and feminine “natures”‘”.
Or perhaps that’s just the case of boys being boys and girls being girls?
“Outside of the home […] the gendering of children’s bodies is part of the ‘hidden curriculum’ of preschool ‘that controls children’s bodily practices [and] serves also to turn kids who are similar in bodily comportment, movement, and practice into girls and boys, children whose bodily practices are different.'”
So… public pre-schools are tools of some anti-Leftist oppressive Kyriarchical scheme to “gender” obviously genderless children? The reality is that the opposite happens… and it tends to fail.
Of course, zoos are the tools of this oppression. Rather than be a place people can watch and observes animals acting like animals, the authors of this paper declare the true and sinister nature of zoos:
“As family-friendly attractions that blend superficial features of the natural environment with the stuff of popular children’s entertainment, contemporary zoos and their animal exhibits provide symbolic resources for naturalizing the cultural ideologies communicated through adult-child interactions, including those that reify dominant gender stereotypes.”
The authors also go full-Godwin and invoke the NAZIs when it comes to running zoos. Because of course a zoo is totes just like Auschwitz…
The authors also bravely call out “Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, [and the] Road Runner” as tools of oppression to enforce the “gender binary”…
But the brave authors turn the tables, and use the zoos to observe those oppressive humans!
“As simulations of the global biosphere writ small, zoos thus provide a convenient site for observing adults as they draw on the symbolic power of nonhuman animals and their staged environments to quite literally naturalize conventional gender stereotypes when interacting with children. Just as dog owners imbue their pets with gendered personalities and incorporate them into their own manufactured displays of gender identity […], zoo visitors relate to animals in ways that both reflect and reproduce hegemonic masculinity and femininity.”
And what do they find?
‘These fleeting and seemingly mundane interactions between adults and children at the zoo represent the sort of subtle and indirect socialization messages that encourage children to adopt dominant gender ideologies and behavioral norms.”
Or, perhaps, it is teaching boys how to be men and girls how to be women? That biological differences between the sexes, which has evolved for far longer than any Social Justice Warrior could possible count, and have evolved socially to maximize the positive aspects of each while minimizing the negative aspects of each, is being handed down from parent to child is NOT some grand conspiracy, but rather a natural selection in action.
But the authors (to be more accurate the graduate student contributor thereto as well as two other undergraduate voyeurs… with the vast majority of “observation” being made by the two undergraduate students) have bravely spend a mere one hundred hours obsessively watching little children accompanied by their parents… so obviously they know better, right? That all three “field workers” were women at an elite university in the North-East couldn’t possibly skew the observations or the interpretation at all… right? Especially when the observers were prompted to take especial notice to certain aspects of interaction. That the observers weren’t told to specifically notice “gender” based interactions but “nonetheless” came quickly to conclusions based thereupon suggests that the lack of instruction to notice “gender”-based interactions did not need to be prompted, and that such assumptions were already drilled into their little heads.
Thankfully, these creeps didn’t stalk particular families but rather only observed a brief interaction of parent and child as specific exhibits. Of course, this led the observation team to make wild assumptions about the families themselves…
And then the blatant stupidity begins…
“Child-centered media and popular culture emphasize gender difference by depicting nonhuman animals as gendered beings.”
That’s because they are recognizing the obvious: Many animals (including mammals, birds, insects, &c.) are divided up into two biological sexes, many of whom are determined as such be genetics and chromosome composition, with a tendency towards dimorphism where the males and the females are physically and physiologically different.
It is the authors who are pushing some idiotic tabula rasa ideology on these poor critters.
But that doesn’t stop them from pointing out purveyors of the evil “gender binary” such as with the Berenstain Bears, Arthur the Aardvark, and even Jim Henson and his muppets!
Also, big hands are sexist or something…
“One mother at an ape pavilion pointed to a gorilla and said to her daughter, ‘See how his hands look just like our hands? Well, they are bigger. They are like Daddy’s hands, I guess.’ When making associations between the animal kingdom and gendered human attributes, families naturalize gender differences among men and women, boys and girls.”
Maybe, juuust maybe, this was pointed out because men’s hands tend to be larger than women’s hands?
“Occasionally, parents emphasize how sex differences within certain species may seem counterintuitive according to hegemonic gender ideologies associated with humans, thereby relying on the species’ exceptionalism to illustrate the persistence of otherwise dominant stereotypes. In one such example, a mother pointed out a wandering peahen and peacock. ‘That’s the female and that’s the male,’ she said. Her daughter was not so sure, and asked, ‘That’s the boy? And that’s the girl? I don’t think so.’ The woman explained, ‘No, I’m sure. The males are the pretty, bright ones, and the females are the plain ones. You would think the pretty one would be the female, but it isn’t.’ The mother depicts the plumage of peacocks and peahens as a reversal of taken-for-granted gender norms and thus literally draws on the exception to prove the rule.”
So, the authors note obvious differences between the biological sexes of birds and their “gender” in order to prove that “gender” is just some “Kyriarchical” conspiracy???
And, of course, the article devolves into belittling women for liking cute things…
“For example, while observing zoo exhibits, some women call attention to those animals they deem most physically stunning or else simply cute.”
So, women being women are harming their children by transmitting the fact that women are like women…. That men tended to do this less was also counted as a sign of gendering oppression and stuff…
Men acting like men, and women acting like women. This is the “proof” of the authors that zoos are tools of propaganda. This is the “proof” that validates the genderless wonderland that is nature! Why, butter-substitutes won’t piss off Mother Nature at all, right?
Why, how dare fathers call a “docile” polar bear an aggressive predator? Don’t they know anything about nature!!1!
The article continues by citing selected observations of parents telling little girls to no do anything dangerous, like potentially getting too close to an exhibit with large carnivorous critters, while parents let little boys do completely other stuff that is more physical and active.
Sadly, that is the crux of the paper. Biased opinion on other people seen only briefly, that but validates biased academic opinions of academic idiots.
The entire paper ca be rebutted as follows:
The paper in question: