To the bandwagon! I have my soapbox prepared and I’m ready to rant, even though I’m a few days late and it’s already blown over.
There was once a boy who rocked the boat by wearing a My Little Pony backpack to school. When the mother informed the school, she was told that the boy could no longer wear the backpack as it was a distraction. There aren’t any reports on what punishment the bullies got, but I’m sure they were punished somehow. Since then, the school has reversed it’s decision and all is well.
The moral of this story is (going by assumptions) that not only do those in the wrong get punished, but those who did no wrong get punished too.
What I’m reacting to is this blog by Matt Walsh who pins even blame on the child for being susceptible to blatant commercialism (and the mother for letting him) and daring to distract the other students with something that isn’t considered normal for boys to be interested in.
He insinuates that the school’s initial response was a pragmatic solution, as though sending a message to the boy that he did as much wrong as the bullies is the right way to handle the situation.
He likens it to walking down a dark street and not expecting the possibility of getting mugged, and then playing victim when you do get mugged. (I’m paraphrasing.)
But there’s a distinct difference between walking down a dark street at night and not expecting to get mugged, and wearing a My Little Pony backpack to school and expecting not to get bullied.
The difference is that if you’re alone at night, there is a great chance that you’re going to get mugged. Common sense tells you to try to avoid that situation as much as possible, because you know there’s a risk.
Of course, the same could be said for a boy wearing a My Little Pony backpack, except that this is a child expressing his taste in an environment where the expectation is that he should be safe.
Sure, we don’t want to teach our kids to hide “who they are” for fear of abuse from small minded bullies, but we also don’t want to teach them that “because I like it” is enough of a justification to do something that will cause problems for other people. The other people in this scenario would be, not the bullies, but the teachers and neutral students who’d rather not be bothered by the whole ordeal.
‘Because I like it’ is always justification enough as long as it doesn’t physically or mentally hurt others. Yes, it’s that black and white. Are you assuming that all the kids in his class are all so overcome with ADHD that it will be a permanent distraction to them? Is it only a distraction because the people in authority allow it to be?
While I agree that wearing an MLP backpack doesn’t define who he is, I do think that being punished for showing his tastes – no matter how commercial – is sending the wrong message to him. It’s telling him that you can’t express taste for something just in case someone else is offended. Or doesn’t like it. Or is confused by it. This isn’t the fault of the boy, it’s the fault of the kids (and adults) experiencing those emotions.
I feel sorry for men and the small conformist box they’re squished into. While women are encouraged to enjoy any activity which is ‘masculine’, men are told that anything that is seen as even a little feminine is threatening their masculinity. As though masculinity is defined by how many beers you can drink, what colour you wear, what emotions you can show.
Matt Walsh would steer his sons away from ‘girly’ activities. He says it himself. He believes that boys should be taught to be boys and girls should be taught to be girls. Does a colour really define a gender? Really? Does a preference in toys and TV shows and outdoor activities really define a gender? Or does it just define what that particular child likes at that time?
If religion has taught us anything, it’s that brainwashing children is effective. Which is why I’ve now created this Conformist Handbook on behalf of the Conformists for the Common Good, because what society clearly needs now is some good old brainwashing to right the wrongs of modern day parenting.
I bring to you:
The Conformists Handbook to Conformity: You Are Not Unique
If you love your children, this Handbook should be taken literally and seriously. It should be printed out, bound and referred to every day to make sure that your heart stays true to the Words of Conformity.
1. All male children shall only be called by masculine names such as Bob, Geoffrey, Kevin, Bruce, John or Walter. Their name shall not be shortened and they shall not be given nicknames as nicknames can lead to individual thinking, and may lead to later bullying. They must not have a foreign sounding first name lest they be teased later in life. A child must be protected at all costs, so it is therefore illegal to have a surname, lest they are mistaken into thinking they should have an identity different from others.
All male children must wear blue. They must not be allowed to wear so called ‘gender neutral’ colours lest they be mistaken for a girl or a transvestite.
All male children at birth must be given a gun to hold in one hand and a power drill to hold in the other (don’t worry if they are too weak to hold them yet, we suggest using duct tape – a manly tape – to bind them to the child until he is Of Age) so that he will know that he is a Male.
2. All female children shall only be called by feminine names such as Nancy, Ethel, Rose, Gloria, Belinda or Doris. Their name shall not be shortened and they shall not be given nicknames as nicknames can lead to individual thinking, and may lead to later bullying. They must not have a foreign sounding first name lest they be teased later in life. A child must be protected at all costs, so it is therefore illegal to have a surname, lest they are mistaken into thinking they should have an identity different from others.
All female children must wear pink. They must not be allowed to wear so called ‘gender neutral’ colours lest they be mistaken for a boy or a butch lesbian.
All female children at birth must be given a lipstick to hold in one hand and a vacuum cleaner to hold in the other. Do not expect her to be able to hold them until she comes Of Age. It is common knowledge that girls are not born with spines or brains, these are formed later in age but scientific study has shown that they never fully develop to those as powerful as the Males.
3. Remember, all children are fresh slates, waiting to be moulded into the Image of Everyone. From birth until the age of 12 months they must be placed in a cage – lest you accidentally drop or tread on them and cause injury – and for fifteen minutes a day made to watch our Every People Broadcasting Station, which depicts Educational Programmes of Men and Women partaking in Approved Communal Activities such Lawn Bowls where everyone wins, or Watching Paint Dry.
4. When not in the Viewing Cage, babies and children up to the age of 13 years old must wear bubble wrap when going into High Danger Zones such as crossing streets, stepping outside, brushing teeth, watching parents cook, or looking at anything pointy. As soon as you see something pointy or fast moving, at least 500 metres in the distance, you must scream to alert all people in the area of pending danger, and scoop baby or child up and use Protocol Bubble Wrap Smother. Remember: Bubble Wrap is your friend.
5. If your baby or child goes blue from being smothered by Bubble Wrap, slap them for daring to change colour without prior consent and for showing free-thinking.
Childhood to Adulthood
6. All children must, from as young as possible, be taught that only boys wear blue and girls wear pink, until they come Of Age. They must be taught that only boys play with trucks and guns and sledge hammers and girls must only play with dolls and toy ovens. Girls are definitely not allowed to play outside as they are too delicate. As television and movies encourages individual tastes, neither sex is permitted to watch it.
7. You must teach your children that if any other child shows a taste in something different, that that child must be bullied and taunted until they Submit to Conformity. This must be taught by example. If your child does something out of the ordinary, you must laugh at them and then backhand them. This teaches strength and courage. You must also teach them subliminally, by using back handed compliments, sarcasm and a patronising tone. If they do not do anything out of the ordinary, congratulations! You are a superb teacher, although you are no more superb than anyone else. Backhand your child anyway, to teach them a lesson in being too perfect. Encourage this behaviour at school too.
8. At school there must be only one class. It must not be separate by age or learning ability. This encourages children into thinking that they are Unique. They are not. All children must wear gray, so as to not be distinguished different from the rest.
9. All breaks at school must be taken at the same time. All children must be in the same group in the playground. If a child acts, speaks or looks different, the entire group must bully them mercilessly. Then the group must, as one group – so as to not encourage free activity and therefore free-thinking – go to the nearest teacher on duty and inform them of non-conformity.
The teacher will then show extreme pragmatism by taking the offending child to the Conformity Room. They will be forced to watch a black and white programme on zebras and penguins as an example of how nature intended us to be The Same. They will then listen to a voice say over and over again ‘We Are All The Same’ for the remainder of the school day. Then the child must write these words out for the next four hours.
This will teach the child that no tastes outside of the Common Taste will be accepted, lest any other child be distracted.
They will then be permitted to return home to watch more Conformity Community TV.
10. All TV programmes and movies must be in black and white as colour is too distracting and encourages free-thinking. As all children can be assumed to have ADHD, they must be subdued as soon as possible.
11. Medicate your child.
12. All children must now be watching 4 hours of our Specialised Brainwashing Programmes.
13. All food must consist of rice and cauliflower. Any other food of colour is forbidden as nature did not intend for anyone to be different. No salt or pepper or any other flavouring must be added to food, as this will provide an unexpected taste and therefore will be a distraction. The rice and cauliflower must not touch as touching encourages bonds and bonds encourage rebellion.
14. It is fine to express humour in the home. However you must not find something funny on your own and you must not start laughing before anyone else. Check other family members to see if they’re laughing. If you spot anyone laughing before the others, you must instantly report them to authorities for a Re-Conformity Session. They are displaying Illegal Independence and must be shown the Correct Way.
15. Before leaving school, all children must copy each others work to receive the same passing grade. All children pass, as it would be unfair if any failed and it would single them out from the rest. Failure would also distract the other children.
16. However, at the age of 18, all children can take the Adult Conformist Test. If passed, the successful New Adults must start wearing gray as they now know the difference between boys and girls and must go through the toughest test of all: Conforming At All Costs Regardless of Gender. This is a true test of Faith, to test Strength of Communal Conviction.
If failed, the Failed Adults must take 5 years of Conformity Indoctrination Brainwashing on a deserted island.
17. All New Adult Conformists will refine the Art of Going to the Bathroom Together and Not Being Able to Dine Out Alone.
18. Sex is permitted. However, it is only permitted with a Sexual Relations Auditor who ensures that you never use any position other than missionary, and you shall never use any body parts other than what is necessary. You must also not enjoy it, as that shows Individual Thinking and that might distract the Sexual Relations Auditor and cause an unexpected orgy.
19. You must only have an even number of children, and you must register how many children you want to have before you have them. This is because an odd number of children creates an expectation for more and will confuse and distract people if you don’t have more. If you do not register the number of children you will have, it might be mistaken that you’re having sex out of enjoyment rather than for procreating. This is illegal. Enjoyment of sex is known to lead not only to Individual Thinking and Desires, but also illegal activities such as drugs, orgies, rock and roll, prostitution and shoplifting.
20. Free-thinking is NOT your friend. It leads to the evil of Individuality and might needlessly scare, confuse, distract or anger others. You must not rock the boat at any cost. You must not like something unless other like it, you must not do anything that others do not do and you must not believe in things that others do not believe in.
Do not make sudden movements.
And finally, what about this problem of blogging? Needless to say, opinions are an individual taste and individuality is not allowed for any reason at all. So, I’ve created this template for all your blogging needs, so you are not in danger of sounding different from anyone else, or distracting anyone. You may copy and paste this to your blog each day, which fortunately stops any needless surprises. No really, it’s my pleasure. I’ve got your back.
Welcome to my site. I can’t talk to you about the weather because it’s too unpredictable and that’s distracting and scary. I know how you are, you’re the same as all of us. Good to see. Grass growing. Kill it all with napalm, it can’t show free-thinking and just grow like that. Paint drying. Drying paint. Watch it as it dries. What good fun. Yes, we’re all having fun aren’t we. That’s not a question. Questions mean that others might have a different opinion and we know that you don’t. We don’t need others liking different things. Oh look a butterfly. Kill it with napalm. It’s not allowed to unexpectedly flutter past and distract us. We don’t know how to handle such things. Burn it. Anyway, all is still good. All is good with you. Until tomorrow…