UK: Ratty feminist head-teacher advises cross-dressing

It's only people who need to claim that they are wiser than anyone else who go into this BS.  For over 10 years I have been taking brunch at a nearby cafe that is much frequented by mothers with young children.  And only once in that time have I ever seen an ambiguously dressed child.  It's normally pink for girls and blue for boys.  And of course dresses and frills for the girls and some sort of plain pants for the boys.

And it's what the kids themselves want.  A little girl who wants a Princess dress will normally not be denied.  Children are quite fussy about their clothes from very early on.  My son would carefully select his shorts when he was 2.  I have said more about such "stereotypes" here and here

The headmistress of a £33,000-a-year girls' boarding school has called for parents to bring up their children in a 'gender neutral' way so that youngsters can try out 'male' and 'female' roles.

Heathfield school's Jo Heywood believes one of the benefits of gender neutral parenting is that it would produce girls confident about entering careers such as science and engineering, traditionally regarded as a man's world.

Princess Alexandra, the actress Sienna Miller and the model Amber Le Bon, daughter of Duran Duran's Simon, are among the famous alumni of the school in Ascot, Berkshire.

Ms Heywood told Sian Griffiths of The Sunday Times: 'If a little boy wants to explore wearing a princess dress and a little girl wants to spend time in a fireman's outfit, then that is to be encouraged ... Have girlie make-up, but let boys have it too.'

The mother-of-three added: 'Girls and boys should be allowed to explore roles traditionally associated with the opposite sex.'

Ms Heywood said her three daughters had a dressing-up box that contained firemen's outfits as well as princess dresses.

It also includes clothes she bought from a Swedish company that boasts of 'challenging gender roles'.

Ms Heywood's comments came after Adele was pictured allowing her three-year-old son to wear the princess outfit from hugely popular film Frozen during a trip to Disneyland.

Other mothers then posted pictures of their sons dressed in frilly dresses on Twitter in response to the singer's stance.

Meanwhile, a survey for the parenting website has revealed that three out of five parents believe gender labels put on clothes and toys by retailers should be scrapped.

More than 2,000 mothers were surveyed, a quarter of which also wanted gender neutral school uniforms.

It was also revealed that two out of five mothers under the age of 30 now parent in a gender neutral manner, in comparison with just one in four older mothers.

The concept of gender neutral parenting first became popular among feminists in America during the 1970s, when it inspired the actress Marlo Thomas to write a best-selling children’s book called Free To Be… You and Me.

Recently, it has experienced a small revival.

In 2011, a Canadian couple made headlines after refusing to reveal the gender of their new-born child Storm in what they called ‘a tribute to freedom and choice’.

The following year, a Cambridgeshire couple, Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper, revealed they were raising their child Sasha as gender neutral to allow his or her ‘real personality’ to shine through.


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