Times 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.