Celinununu Isn’t Demonic and Hysteria Isn’t Christ-like

Franklin D Roosevelt Library archives (public domain)
Franklin D Roosevelt 1885

In November, Celine Dion and a clothing line called Nununu partnered and realized a gender-neutral clothing line called “Celinununu”.

Nununu is kind of a weirdo brand to some, but as a woman who is a longtime AFI fangirl and whose wardrobe is mostly shades of black and grey, I appreciate that it’s not your standard kidswear. If I were wealthy, my child would probably own a few pieces, particularly this cute skull top.

Unbeknownst to me, gender-neutral clothing with “1984” vibes is a sign of the coming apocalypse and Celine is one of the Four Horse…persons?

This quote from the website seems to sum up what people take issue with: “(Nununu) Liberates children from the traditional roles of boy/girl, and enables younger people to grow on values of equality with the freedom to strengthen their own power of personality based on mutual respect.”

John F Kennedy Library (public domain)
Ernest Hemingway and his Sister Marcelline in 1901


That’s not new (sorry Nununu), that’s old school. As in, genderless children’s clothing is historically accurate. Where did pink and blue come from? Until the early 1900s, boys wore dresses and had long hair until well into childhood – 6 or 7 years old. The picture at the top of this blog is President Franklin D Roosevelt… in a dress. In 1884, this outfit was considered gender neutral for a young child, because boys and girls dressed exactly alike.

 


Up until the 1940s, we dressed boys in pink, as it was considered to be a “stronger color”.
In other words, until very recently, boys and girls pretty much looked the same through early childhood. They were gender neutral.

The comments on the company’s social media are a disturbing cornucopia of ignorance and fear-mongering, far more upsetting than a child wearing clothing that doesn’t loudly proclaim their gender. Is there a reason our children’s clothing needs to sexualize them into one box or the other? Am I missing something?

Gerald R Ford National Library (public domain)
President Gerald R Ford in 1914

Laura Ingraham and Raymond Arroyo of Fox News had some lovely, totally sane and reasonable things to say, such as  “Unless you’re a member of the Addams Family or a satanic cult, why would you dress your infant in this?…It’s bizarre.” from Arroyo, and Ingram, ever the open-minded lady, added “Why would you put skulls on babies? Planned Parenthood!“. Feel free to watch the clip here. Arroyo also claimed that one of the monster toys shown in the add was a voodoo doll. He’s an idiot, that’s a monster, not a voodoo doll. This is called “fear-mongering” and it’s awful.

I can see how someone would find this aesthetic uncomfortable. It’s okay if you really don’t like it,  but here’s where being a mature adult comes in – There’s a huge difference between “I really don’t like this, it makes me uncomfortable” and “ITS SATAN Y’ALL!” When you scream that everything you don’t like is Satan or Demonic, you seem like complete looney toons and discredit yourself (and possibly the church/political movement you loudly claim to be a part of).

Generally, even if you put a child in something gender neutral, eventually they’ll gravitate towards their biological gender. I never put my daughter in pink sparkly stuff (unless it was a gift) as a small child. She usually wore a lot of boy’s clothes because they had dinosaurs. Of her own choices, she’s currently wearing a light up sparkly princess something. Some boys like glittery and sparkly things and that’s okay, they’re still boys.

Harry S Truman Library (public domain)
President Harry Truman in 1884

We take a huge step backward as Christians and conservatives when we claim that we don’t support transgenderism and then try and force our children into the very modern and rigid gender ideals of pink and blue. So let me break it down: Either we teach our children that they can be/do whatever and it doesn’t change their gender, or we confuse them and teach them that their interests dictate their gender, and have them suppress their natural personalities and interests trying to fit into this post WWII idealism that mostly existed in print ads and cellulose, until possibly someone comes along and tells them they can be themselves, but hey, it means they’re trans. Pick one. 

National Archives Eisenhower (public domain)
Dwight D Eisenhower in 1893 (Bottom right)

Why do I have to explain this in 2018? It’s frustrating. When did having historically ignorant ideas about culture and clothing, then offending everyone you possibly can become a tenant of the Christian faith?

Putting your children in gender-neutral clothing is not demonic. Exposing your children to whimsical art that others find uncomfortable (so long as it’s not violent or pornographic) isn’t wrong. Being weird isn’t evil. The Addam’s Family was a picture of a functional and beautifully weird family who loved and supported each other with parents deeply in love and respectful of one another. Boys who want to stay at home and raise babies are still boys, mommies who work full time and don’t wear dresses are still girls. Skulls aren’t demonic and weird, you have one in your head RIGHT NOW. Spooky. Doot Doot.

For now, brothers and sisters, if you could just lay off the hysteria that turns people away from Christ and any form of conservatism, that would be great. Kid’s clothing in black and white isn’t worth reaffirming someones idea that Christians are ignorant and hyperbolic people who claim anything they don’t like is demonic. Thank you.

-E

Franklin D Roosevelt Library Archives (public domain)
Franklin D Roosevelt, 1885.

Teaching our children about 9/11

If you have kids then the anniversary of September 11th always brings up the question of what to tell them. For a lot of us the topic still evokes a strong emotional response and we aren’t quite ready to teach our children about the horrible things that people are capable of.

So what do we need to say and why is it important? If you’ve listened to Episode 4 you know that we believe that God instructs us to be prepared. But what we will talk about more in future episodes is that God also calls us to respond.

If you have young children that aren’t ready to learn about the death and destruction of the day then spend time talking about our first responders, what their jobs are, how we call them when we need help and what we can do to help them.

If your kids are ready to learn about 9/11 I would encourage you not just to share the images and the facts but also share your story of the day. The phrase ‘Where were you’ seems a little overused on the Internet these days but it’s important for your children. Until they have a personal connection to the event it’s just history to them. No different than Vietnam or WWII. At their current age what would they have been doing that day? How did your parents react? What would you have done as their parent then?

I will always remember the point in time where I made that connection. We were studying WWII and I was young and it was boring so when my mother was trying to get me to sit still and focus on our studies I exclaimed: “Who cares!”. Her response changed me forever. With tears in her eyes, she said, “I care. Because my daddy was there.” It all clicked in that moment and it sparked a passion for history that remains in me to this day. Even though it was obviously painful for her (I still feel bad about that mom) I needed that personal connection to make it come alive.

Your story may just inspire a love of history, politics, military, education, healthcare or more in your child. That passion could end up becoming a hobby, a mission or even a career.

But I think the most important thing that we can impress upon our children is just how big of an impact that one person can make. We have to acknowledge that the impact can be for good or for evil. It does no good to forget evil but let the media dwell on that. We must be responsible for teaching the next generation to respond to tragedy with good.

It’s a lesson that stays fresh on our minds on 9/11 but it is also a lesson that can be applied every day. Tragedy will always be around us. While there hasn’t been a recent terrorist attack on our soil there is a massive storm bearing down on our country right now. People will be hurt, people will lose their homes and belongings and businesses and some will even lose their lives. We need to respond and it is our job to teach them how to respond with good.

-Sandy