— LifeDaily (@lifedailycom) September 9, 2016
Thank god for prescribed gender norms! If the world doesn’t look exactly like the illustrations from a Fun With Dick & Jane book from the 1950s, it will clearly fall into chaos. If Target doesn’t label its toy aisles “boy toys” and “girl toys,” no grandparent will ever again be able to buy a birthday present. If boys wear Princess Elsa wigs, how will people on the street ever be able to treat them like normal human beings? And if boys and girls both run around with long hair, how will Facebook know when to freak out and ban someone for posting “topless” photos of them.
For the most part, 8-year-old boys and girls tend to look very similar. If you take prepubescent kids and take away cultural gender markers, they basically look the same. One could take that fact and say, “Well, the kids all look exactly the same, so maybe that means the idea that the flat chests of girls are pornographic and the flat chests of boys are completely innocent is a little ridiculous.”
Or you could do what Facebook did and freak out and go, “Oh god! What is happening!? Just ban everybody! Ban them all and let God sort them out!”
That actually happened recently when Kelly Stone posted a photo of herself swimming in Texas with her 8-year-old son sitting on her shoulders. Two days later she found her account was suspended for posting nudity and sexual content.
Stone’s son was wearing swim trunks, but he also has long hair, and the juxtaposition appears to have broken Facebook’s brain.
According to SheKnows, Facebook later admitted that it had made a mistake and apologized, and Stone got her account back. She re-posted the picture, but specified this time that her son was a boy, so hopefully this time nobody will hit the report button.
It’s pretty silly, though. If you write “this is a boy” on the picture, it’s innocent fun. If you write, “this is a girl,” on the picture, it’s sexual and weird. But a photo like this isn’t sexual, regardless of the child’s gender.