Deborah Siegel on moving beyond pink and blue to embrace the purple

July 25, 2013

“Learn from kids to embrace paradox—Get out of your binary zone” (video)
In this 17-minute TEDx talk, Deborah Siegel, Ph.D., a scholar of gender and American culture, says that U.S. nurseries are becoming more color-coded in pink and blue than ever before—that today’s parents are obsessed with their children’s gender from even before they are born. She talks about the recent phenomenon of “gender reveal parties,” about the “hypergendering”of the earliest years of  childhood, and about how even the most egalitarian parents can find themselves thinking in gender-traditional terms.  She suggests that perhaps adults could learn from very young children to embrace paradox rather than trying so hard to control gender behavior in either traditional or nontraditional ways.  Dr. Siegel shares what she has learned from her three-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. It’s really all about letting children be who they are, following their own interests.  Related:  See her Pinterest page, “Tots in Genderland.”

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.