DOMA Defender Says He Wants Your Kids To Take A Sorely Needed Traditional Gender Roles Class

kids in classroomTimes are hard for those who stay up all night handwringing over the thought of LGBTQ folks marrying. Please let it be sleeplessness and utter desperation that compelled Representative Phil Gingrey from Georgia to say that kids these days need to be conditioned into traditional gender roles by way of a Traditional Gender Roles Class. Desperate times call for increasingly desperate measures, I guess.

The Huffington Post reports that Gringrey took the floor of the House to defend DOMA, which is being hotly debated this month along with California’s Prop 8. Make no mistake, Gringrey thinks your kids need to be schooled in Man Ways vs. Lady Ways:

“You know, maybe part of the problem is we need to go back into the schools at a very early age, maybe at the grade school level, and have a class for the young girls and have a class for the young boys and say, you know, this is what’s important,” Gingrey said in a speech supporting the Defense of Marriage Act. “This is what a father does that is maybe a little different, maybe a little bit better than the talents that a mom has in a certain area. And the same thing for the young girls, that, you know, this is what a mom does, and this is what is important from the standpoint of that union which we call marriage.”

Since we’re invoking the word “traditional,” I’m assuming that in this hypothetical class, little boys will be discouraged from being stay-at-home fathers and little girls from Leaning In. But oh wait, Gringrey says women can still “work”:

“Of my three daughters and one daughter-in-law, they all work,” he said. “They all work, some of them full-time, some of them part-time. But they’re still there as moms. And when they come home and take over that responsibility, they need a shared partner, and that partner is that partner for life. And I’m talking about, of course, the father.”

Despite all that “partner” talk, what Gringrey is effectively alluding to is The Second Shift — the unfortunate phenomenon in which ladies have two full-time jobs: one outside the home and one inside the home.

As if a teacher getting on your pre-K daughter’s case about “being a lady” was annoying enough. Imagine some authority figure in the classroom discouraging your son from contributing at home and therefore expecting his female partner to do all the work. If couples and families want to employ traditional gender roles in the home, I say that’s a choice that they’re entitled to work out on their own terms. Not via weirdly Big Brother “this is how family dynamics need to be” lectures that mindlessly brainwashes them into I Love Lucy characters.

Ironically, this smacks of exactly what queer people have consistently been dogged with: indoctrination of children.

Check out Gingrey’s comments around the 4:00 minute mark. 

(photo: AVAVA / Shutterstock)

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  • LiteBrite

    “This is what a father does that is maybe a little different, maybe a
    little bit better than the talents that a mom has in a certain area. And
    the same thing for the young girls, that, you know, this is what a mom
    does, and this is what is important from the standpoint of that union
    which we call marriage.”

    I was going to write a long post about this, but frankly I’m not in the mood. Basically my theoretical post boils down to three words: Fuck you Gringrey.

    • Psych Student

      I wish to second, third, fourth, and fifth your last three words!

  • swimmerkw

    Well, I know what class my son will not be taking if this twatwaffle gets his way.

    • Koa_Beck

      Prepare to see “twatwaffle” in an upcoming headline

    • missiemeghan

      I must remember to use ‘twatwaffle’ in a conversation.

    • Tea

      Upvote for using my favorite swear combination

    • Jessie

      Upvoting for the use of the word “twatwaffle,” because my friends swear I’m the only person in the world who says that.

      Also because I agree with you. I swear, the more and more the government tries toget involved in schooling, the more I want to homeschool or un-school my possilbe future kids.

  • Emmali Lucia

    What the ever-loving hell happened to Republicans wanting small governments that don’t tell them how to run their lives?

    What ARE these people? I mean seriously, I haven’t called a single Republican candidate a Republican in a very, very long time because they don’t stand for REAL Republican values and they don’t ACT like REAL Republicans, you know, the guys who freed the slaves? The ones who think that all people should be equal and the government needs to step the hell off of their lives?

    • Paul White

      I miss that conservative party :(

    • Emmali Lucia

      I will never forget when I moved from a small town to a big city.

      In the small town Republicans were actual, honest-to-God “You live your life and I’ll live mine” Republicans, they funded the local planned parenthood because they KNEW that paying birth control in the long run cut down welfare taxes, And also they ran the local day care for high school students and teachers, which the democratic party wanted to de-fund, don’t ask me why (there were a few clutching their pearls and freaking out, but they’re everywhere).

      But I moved to the big city and it was the most insane role-reversal I’ve ever seen in my life!

    • Kat

      Wow, I’m jealous. When I moved from the city, it all got worse. Not that the city is perfect by far!

    • Kat

      “What are these people?”

      Thank you.

    • Justme

      I used to be so incredibly bleeding heart liberal in my not-so-long-ago youth but I promised myself that this election I would not blindly vote for a candidate just because he had a (D) next to his name. But the Republicans make it so hard for me to even consider voting for them! I could hardly get through a debate with Mittens without wanting to throw my remote at the television or snorting wine out my nose. If they weren’t such a bunch of wankers I might just vote for them…and I think they are quickly realizing (at least the young Republicans) that THAT is the problem and why they are losing the national elections.

    • Tusconian

      This past election was just about the worst time to make that decision! While there are still some pretty okay Republicans bouncing around out there, they so rarely make it to the higher ranks of government, and those that do often have to change their tune to appeal to a small but rapidly growing of terrified “Republican” voters who think “Republican” means “not the black guy and not Hilary Clinton.”

    • Justme

      Perhaps I sounded more open-minded than I really was – I promised myself to watch the debates and really listen to both sides of the issues to decide who to vote for. I don’t think the Democrats were ever in danger of losing my vote, but I am trying to become a more Independent voter and cast my vote based on issues…not just on party lines.

    • Psych Student

      I tried to do that the year of Bush v. Kerry. I tried, I really did to give the Republicans a fair shot at my vote, but they just kept f-ing it up.

    • Justme

      And Kerry wasn’t even that strong of a candidate (in my opinion). I was in college for that election and we threw an election night party. Margaritas were involved and you couldn’t complain about the outcome if you didn’t vote.

    • Psych Student

      I agree, Kerry wasn’t a strong candidate at all! I think your party sounds awesome!

    • Justme

      There was also homemade guac…and handmade invitations with a Sex and the City quote. Ahh…college.

    • Tusconian

      This type of Republicans only want small governments when it comes to guns and making sure their half-wit frat boy sons get the best internships at Good Ol’ Boy Incorporated. When it comes to letting others people do what they want in regards to religious freedom, sexual orientation freedom, or reproductive freedom, then it’s time to rule like a dictator.

    • Emmali Lucia

      Yeah, they only want freedom for those who are exactly like them. That sounds like such a great party!

      What the hell happened to “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (I know, it’s Voltair, but it used to be the Republican Party of {Insert my podunk town}’s motto)

    • Justme

      I shocked my little 7th grade Texas History students when we talked about the Civil War and how the North was mostly Republican and the South was mainly Democratic.

    • Psych Student

      Honest to god, I don’t think I knew that!

    • Sara610

      I didn’t know it until I saw the movie “Lincoln”.

    • LiteBrite

      As my normally Republican husband has often said, “What happened Republican Party? You used to be cool.”

  • Ashley
    • Psych Student


  • Kat

    I, for some crazy reason, ended up moving to the south (the northern south, but still the south in that sense, trust me), and I just can’t WAIT for a teacher to call me in for something like this. I can’t wait!

    • Justme

      Meh. It depends. I don’t see it as much in the more metropolitan areas or with the younger generations.

    • Kat

      Yeah, I suppose that’s more what I meant by the “south in that sense.” It’s just what I’ve experienced over time is all.

    • Blueathena623

      I’m in the south (georgia even) and us sane people do exist.

  • Justme

    I can think of much better uses of the educational budget…

  • keelhaulrose

    Supporting this would mean giving up my husband’s delicious baked goodies, which might help me get my pre-pregnancy body back but are just too freaking delicious to give up. So, yeah, this guy can suck an egg. Or jump off a cliff.

  • CW

    I believe in Biblical morality and in my own marriage we follow traditional gender roles but it is SO not the government’s job to be taking sides in the culture war. I think the government should get out of the marriage business entirely. Have civil unions to provide a way for couples to commit to each other with all the legal rights and responsibilities. Then leave it up to individual houses of worship to set their own criteria for which couples can be married there in accordance with their religious doctrine. The whole fight just is a big distraction from far more important issues like improving the economy and fixing the budget.

    • AStewart

      I had never thought of it that way, that’s actually brilliant. Especially as I don’t feep a proper debate can be had about marriage equality while there is odd hypocrisy about religious (especially Christian) weddings – here in the UK the equal marriage bill is basically phrased as “You can have a wedding between members of the same sex, but only if you religion signs up, oh and the Church of England and the Catholic Church is banned in law so that if they consider offering it they are breaking the law”.
      Given that so many people (here at least) have a traditional Christian wedding wholst harbouring zero religious conviction, why not separate the two so that a civil marriage is the legal bit, and anything else is up to the couple’s preferences?

      (Now I think about it, I think this is the case in France: even if you want a religious wedding, you have to have a civil/registry wedding first because that’s the legally binding bit)

    • Sara610

      I completely and totally agree with you. There wouldn’t be a problem if marriage were EITHER a government construct OR a religious construct; the issue is that we’re trying to make it both.

  • Jennie

    This is horrible, but isn’t there something already performing this function? “Boys take shop class.” “Girls take home economics.”

    • Shelly Lloyd

      Except that girls can and do take shop and boys do take Home Ec. Though I do not think most of the local Jr. Highs and High Schools no longer offer Home Ec–or at least not the traditional Home Ec where you learned to cook and sew. They have a “life skills” class that some High Schools make mandatory for all to take where they do teach a bit of basic cooking, budgeting, and the importance of not being late to work (seriously. I also heard of my local community college thinking of making a class like that mandatory as well).

      But as for “shop” class my daughter went to a magnet jr. high that specialized in math, science and engineering and she took several “shop” classes where she learned how to use a table saw, and built small rockets, and clocks ect…she said in some classes there were more girls than boys. And now that they are are going into high school several of her girl friends are signed up to take the car repair class taught at the high school.

    • Tusconian

      If that “something” is the year 1965 on TV, yes. In real life 2013 most schools don’t offer those classes at all anymore, and those that do only offer them as electives, and they’re not gender specific. I think the last time I heard of that happening was on the notoriously bad Mean Girls sequel.

  • Sara610

    Others have already pointed this out, but I just have to laugh at the hypocrisy of saying, “We want small government and personal liberty! Oh, unless that means personal liberty to make choices that offend our religious or moral sensibilities. Then we’re going to TOTALLY use our religion to force you to live the way we want.”

    You can’t have it both ways, guys. Either you want small government and personal liberty (which also means taking personal RESPONSIBILITY for your actions) or you want the government to have a lot of say in dictating how people should live their lives.
    The crazy thing is that if the GOP actually stood for REAL Republican values (small government, personal freedom and personal responsibility) I’d probably be a Republican. But they don’t. The modern GOP is……I don’t even know how to describe it without descending into expletives and banging my head against a wall.

    • Roberta

      It was someone far wittier than me who said, “Many Republicans want small government. So small, in fact, in can fit into out reproductive systems”

    • Anne Cordelia

      Libretarian is the party you’re looking for these days.

  • Anne Cordelia

    ARRRRGGGGG!!! Somtimes I feel like I’m angry all the time. What is it lately that sexism is becoming so much worse that I see it eveywhere, constantly?!? Whatever it is – I don’t like it! No bueno. :(

  • Rachel

    What really gets to me is that this idiot would flip out if a teacher made so much as an offhand comment to a kid that implied that homosexuality is fine, because ‘the classroom is not where we should discuss these things,’ and so forth. But then they try to use the classroom to teach little girls that women are traditionally barefoot and pregnant, and real men are bread-winning sports enthusiasts?

  • calico

    I went to a small private VERY religious school that actually had a mandatory class called “gender roles” my senior year of high school (2008 to give context). At 17 I struggled with being told that I was limited by my gender and no amount of sugar coating it with “special gifts or talents” changed the fact that I was being told that because I was a girl I couldn’t/shouldn’t do certain things. I still hate the I had to take that class and have HORROR stories about the things I was taught. The idea that someone wants to do this on a national scale to babies just starting off their education makes me want to vomit. I lived that hell as almost an adult and still struggle with some issue that class brought up.

    • Muggle

      I’m curious about these horror stories. In abstinence-only states (like North Carolina used to be), that bullshit is presented as fact in our anti-sex “education” classes. They seriously taught us this phrase: “Girls give sex to get love; boys give love to get sex.” like WTF?! Boys are manipulative sociopaths incapable of loving?!

    • Emmali Lucia

      That’s what I was told too! Not to mention they gave us outright false statistics!

      “Well the percentage of people having sex before marriage is about 60%, and the percentage of divorces are at 53%, you can do the math.” Followed by “You won’t still be with your high school boyfriend, and how can someone love you if you don’t love yourself enough to keep it for your husband”

      By the way, the real statistics are about 94% have sex before marriage and if you look up divorce stats it hasn’t been at 53% since the 70′s. It’s somewhere between 42-47%, which is high, but then when you break it down by age and other factors you learn that if you marry for the first time in your 30s then it’s like 31-36%, depending on which study you look at. ANYWAYS, people do not marry who they lose their virginity to and it only hurts the people who believe it.

    • calico

      This wasn’t even in the bible belt :/ there’s plenty of
      crazy to go around.
      There was a HUGE emphasis on the importance of girls waiting
      for marriage – being told that it’s your most precious gift you can ever giveand all that jazz – basically reducing a young woman’s importance to the stateof her hymen. I was also told the whole girls have sex to get love and boys say they love you get sex bull shit. I also heard about how girls needed to take responsibility for “tempting” boys with what they wear or the situations they put themselves in while simultaneously talking about how it’s the boys jobs to “compassionately” lead and protect the poor woman folk.
      The WORST of it was being told that as the weaker vessel my role was to support my husband and NO JOKE that Eve was proof that women were easier to deceive so they should defer to their husbands good judgment. And that while women were technically capable of doing a leadership role (like run for class president or president of the
      united states or even be the bread winner in the relationship) they SHOULDN’T because that would be robbing a man of his God given right to fulfill that role and a woman would never be as good at it. And of course they had the bible verses to justify it. I was told by one teacher that my job as a wife was to take care of the children and be my husband’s cheer leader.
      Also one of my teachers tried to say that if you’re being raped and the rapist is threatening to kill you if you don’t go along with it you would be sinning unless you fought back…because otherwise you’d be consenting to sex and it would be better to die and go to heaven than commit adultery/have sex before marriage.
      That was pretty bad.

    • Michelle Pittman

      well, if we want to get technical, i would think that ADAM was proof that men are easier to deceive…Eve was fooled by the devil himself…whom i think would be a little bit more conniving than Eve was when she offered to share the apple :-)

  • jessica

    Uh… I’m really confused here because don’t kids already study all this in school? Maybe not explicitly but as part of the social studies/history thing? Maybe it was just the school I attended from kindergarten-12th grade but we started in the 6th grade with prehistoric societies and finally ended with the Reagan era and during all that we learned about how various different societies functioned and were structured and you know, women’s roles in these societies vs. men’s roles, the emergence of the period of adolescence and how that changed both, etc. Isn’t all that sufficient?

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  • darla

    Maybe if you need a class to “indoctrinate” your children that might be a hugh Fing clue that what you are trying to force them into … sorry “teach” them … is wrong.