- A lonely grandma sought family to spend Christmas with on Craigslist Saturday 5:45 PM
- Airbnb bans white supremacists tied to Iron March forum Saturday 5:07 PM
- Did a Twitter user really get tricked into naming baby ‘Jack Ingof’? Saturday 4:46 PM
- State of emergency declared in New Orleans following ‘cyberattack’ Saturday 4:12 PM
- Video shows boy getting beat up–mom says it’s because he wore MAGA hat Saturday 3:54 PM
- Billboard changing albums chart to count YouTube streams Saturday 2:43 PM
- TikTok’s 20 most popular songs of 2019 Saturday 2:14 PM
- Greek gods memes are flooding Reddit thanks to TV reboot rumors Saturday 1:47 PM
- Anti-impeachment protesters aimlessly fumble through halls of Congress Saturday 12:54 PM
- Everything we know so far about the Xbox Series X Saturday 12:17 PM
- ASMR YouTuber Life with MaK says she was branded a ‘Nazi’ by online smear campaign Saturday 10:46 AM
- Voters duped by fake ex-Bloomberg intern’s tweet about being fired Saturday 9:47 AM
- HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ and the fantasy of competence Saturday 8:00 AM
- Cómo ver Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington en el UFC 245 Saturday 7:00 AM
- ‘Penis fish’ memes erupt after worms wash up on California coast Friday 5:58 PM
Welp, the “cool pope” is still the pope. Yesterday, the Vatican released the transcript of a conversation Pope Francis had with bishops from Poland, in which he appears outraged that children are taught everyone can “choose their gender.” Which is not exactly what’s happening.
In a transcript of the meeting released by the Vatican, Pope Francis said, “Today the children—the children!—at school you are taught this: that everyone can choose their gender.” He used the phrase “il sesso,” which in Italian translates to sex, but appears to be used here to refer to gender (translated by Google Translate and the author’s mediocre fluency). He blames textbooks, the institutions that give schools money, and “ideological colonialism” for this development.
Then, quoting Pope Benedict XVI, he said it was “the epoch of sin against God the Creator.”
Pope Francis has in the past shown tolerant views on things like gender equality and gay rights, but here he shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between sex and gender and how gender works. And many are calling him out for his views online.
Pope: Kids shouldn’t be allowed to just CHOOSE their gender!
Okay so we’ll just let the old system of forcing them into one keep goin’, A+
— ☆. – K – .☆ (@WasntThereAgain) August 3, 2016
Trans youths aren’t “choosing their gender”. Largely, they’re trying to figure out what gender they are, and you’re not helping.
— Bruce Knight (@BruceKnightJD) August 3, 2016
1 rando after I went off on the Pope. Suppose they’re technically right though. I didn’t choose gender, I chose to accept my correct one. 😄
— Sabriel Mastin (@Sabriality) August 3, 2016
Presuming the pope was indeed speaking about gender (one’s sense of self as male, female, transgender, or nonbinary), he misses that for many, gender identity does not always correlate to sexual assignment at birth. It is not an issue of choosing gender so much as allowing children to freely accept the gender they are, not the gender they’re told to be. And gender expression, though influenced by cultural expectations and personal comfort, is indeed a choice.
Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'