I am hardly ever on facebook these days, but I ended up there today and ran into a statement that made me cringe. This is not notable in and of itself; I assume the mission statement of facebook these days is to piss everyone off all the time. But what was interesting about it is that I’m not sure this statement would have made me cringe years ago.

Basically, an acquaintance has a little girl who apparently asked for a “boy haircut”, so she got her said “boy haircut” and posted a picture of the result. In the replies, someone commented that she should probably explain that haircuts do not necessarily denote gender. She agreed and said she actually already did say as much to her daughter, and explained instead that “having a vagina is what makes you a girl.”

While the statement made me cringe, it left me thinking: how the hell would one explain the concept of gender essentialism to a child?