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Mr. Rogers’ incredibly positive message for children: You’re born and stay boys and girls

Mr. Rogers’ incredibly positive message for children: You’re born and stay boys and girls

The non-controversial message of public television and education, as well as therapists, was to reassure children that their bodies—whether boy or girl—were as they should be: “Boy are boys right from the start. If you were born a boy, you stay a boy. Girls were girls right from the start. If you were born a girl, you stay a girl, and grow up to be a lady.”

“Everybody’s Fancy” is a song I remember hearing back when I watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood years ago with my own child. But I recall thinking that the message seemed a bit unnecessary. Why did kids need reassurance about remaining boys or remaining girls?

Ah, but how the times have changed. I have come to think of the song as both important and prescient. Perhaps Fred Rogers was merely concerned at the time with castration anxiety in kids or something of that sort. The idea that “some are fancy on the outside” and some “on the inside” seems to be a cute-ish way of referring to boys and girls, respectively. The message is of body integrity, goodness, and wholeness, about which today’s children probably need a ton of reassurance. Unfortunately, they’re not watching Mr. Rogers anymore.

If Mr. Rogers were alive to sing this song today, he’d probably be banned. Pay particular attention to the second verse:

Now we have a whole different approach to the subject. Typical are “educational” tools such as this workbook recommended for ages as young as five.

From one of the negative reviews of the book (most are positive, by the way):

If your child wasn’t confused before he/she will be after going through this “workbook.” Perpetuates gender stereotypes & full of leading questions.

Perhaps that’s the point. A few of the many activity titles: Breaking Out of the Binary, My Space In the Spectrum, Is Social Transition Right for Me?

And here’s a quote from the first activity:

When babies are born, one of the first things people want to know is, “Is it a girl?” or “Is it a boy?” It’s like people need to know the answer to these questions before they know how to think or feel about another person. Some people think if they know the sex of a person, they know the gender of a person. They believe those two words mean the same thing. Nope. No. Wrongo!

The label of “boy” or “girl” given to a baby at birth and a person’s gender are two different things, and for some people the two are quite different. This might sound complicated, but knowing your own gender can be rather simple. Most importantly, each person has the right to know and declare their own gender. You are the expert when it comes to your gender!

There are almost undoubtedly plenty more books of this sort, introducing very young children to the idea that body-mind duality is the norm: that body and mind/gender are not in unity but are completely separate entities. They also teach that it is a young child who is the expert on this – once that child has looked at the workbook, preferably, but possibly even before.

Later on we get the following:

People have a mistaken belief that having a penis means you are a boy and having a vulva means you are a girl . . . . The truth is that bodies come in many forms and lots of children don’t fit the mold.

Little children have no way to refute this propaganda. But actually, although sex is not determined only by these two things, penis or vulva (and by the way, “vulva” is an anatomically incorrect word for this purpose because it only refers to the external female genitalia), those things are an excellent guide in 99.98% of cases.

The number of intersex people is actually vanishingly small (true prevalence is .018%, despite activists’ attempts to artificially inflate those numbers by redefining non-intersex conditions as intersex). And we know a great deal about what causes such conditions and even in the vast majority of those cases are able to discern the person’s actual biological sex, male or female. The system is binary, and the existence of very rare cases that may be a bit confusing initially has nothing to do with this binary fact of human sexual dimorphism.

This used to be considered common sense, and the non-controversial message of public television and education, as well as therapists, was to reassure children that their bodies—whether boy or girl—were as they should be. But common sense has become much less common.

[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]


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I first heard this song and discussion

A great podcast and I recommend it to Everyone

Actually it may have been a week ago, they do Sunday and Thursday 3 hours

Adam Curry (yes, that Adam Curry and John Dvorak…Great team

    Hawkeye42 in reply to gonzotx. | July 2, 2023 at 9:35 pm

    Fantastic podcast and it is amazing how often they talk about something and it pops up 6 months later.

Does lefty, ultra-wokester Tom Hanks know that the person he portrayed in the recent movie said such a factually-correct statement about boys and girls?

nordic prince | July 2, 2023 at 8:09 pm

The positive thing about “covid” is it pulled back the veil on this crap, and people got a good look at the indoctrination being pushed in the schools. Now the “educators” don’t even bother trying to conceal it.

Little wonder homeschooling continues to increase in popularity. At this point, keeping your kids in government schools is equivalent to subjecting them to child abuse.

Mr Rogers would be canceled in a heartbeat for stating these fundamental truths about Nature. The gender identity wokebook that’s referenced here would make kids question all kinds of natural things and probably scare them to death.

One of the truths that none of the pro-trans groomers ever mention is that people can change their appearance to look like the other sex, but they can never function as the other sex. From a functional perspective, they become eunuchs. The groomers seem to imply that a kid can choose whichever sex they want to be, and drugs and surgery will make them a functioning sexual being. Far from it, They will be dependent on taking drugs for the rest of their lives, and will never actually function as either sex.

A boy can get castrated and mutilated so he looks like a girl, but he can never get pregnant, and probably will never have an orgasm. A girl can get mutilated to look like a boy, but she will never have an erection or an orgasm, and can never sire children with another woman. How is an elementary-school kid supposed to understand that?

    “How is an elementary-school kid supposed to understand that?”

    They’re not supposed to. They’re supposed to be made into psychos to do the left’s killing and then be disposed of.

    How to people not see this?

    jb4 in reply to OldProf2. | July 3, 2023 at 12:09 am

    When these kids grow up and realize that they have been cheated out of an important part of the human experience, it is no surprise that “suicide rate and suicidal tendencies among transgender persons are considerably high compared to general population (per a published study).”

      henrybowman in reply to jb4. | July 3, 2023 at 7:28 pm

      I don’t think it has anything to do with feeling cheated out of the human experience. It might be expressed that it arises from being cheated when they were told that swapping sexes would cure all their mental unhappiness, whereas they later find out they still have the same mental unhappiness because it has nothing to do with their sex.

Kids are vulnerable and can’t fend for themselves in any capacity. All mammals need their caregivers. Humans more than any other.

    Ironclaw in reply to Dathurtz. | July 3, 2023 at 4:52 am

    Human children are especially vulnerable in both the physical and psychological sense. Humans don’t reach full maturity until approximately 25 years of age.

Also check out The Who’s “I’m a Boy.”

chrisboltssr | July 3, 2023 at 9:23 am

It’s as if Mr. Rogers saw this ideology being given birth by the illogical psychologists back in his day.

JackinSilverSpring | July 3, 2023 at 10:55 am

People who have gender dysphoria are ill. They need therapy not surgery. And being they have dysphoria, a mental illness, they should not be allowed to bully the rest of us into submission to accommodate their illness. If we allow them to do so, it would be like allowing the inmates to run the institution.

JohnSmith100 | July 3, 2023 at 11:03 am

Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman comes to mind.

E Howard Hunt | July 3, 2023 at 12:00 pm

Does anyone know how Mr. McFeely weighs in on this?

Real Gender affirmation therapy.