A few months ago, I took my three boys to a new dentist in a deep blue area near our home. At the end of the appointment, the kind hygienist allowed each of them to select from an assortment of stickers. 

I noticed that unlike at our previous dental office (which was also near our home, but in a more purple direction) the hygienist offered them stickers that included both prototypically “boy” themes (superheroes, sports, etc) and prototypically “girl” ones (princesses, unicorns, etc). They selected Paw Patrol, Spiderman, and football, respectively, and departed with promises to start flossing. 

It occurred to me, as we pulled away, that this sticker-centered interaction actually exemplifies the optimal way to handle so-called “gender issues” among children. 

First, per the common sense of today’s Right (and yesterday’s consensus), accept without question or comment that there are boys and girls, i.e., that sex is binary. I don’t know whether it was policy or oversight, but no one in this office asked about anyone’s pronouns or gender identity. My boys were called “he,” and I was called “mom” without any undue semantic gymnastics.  

Next, per the emphasis on individualism once endorsed by the classical Left, recognize without judgment that some girls like Batman and some boys like Frozen, and offer all options to all kids. There is no defensible reason to unduly marginalize female “tomboys” or male unicorn-lovers by forcing them into conformity with the normative preferences of their sex. In fact, the perception among those on today’s Left that those on today’s Right are unwilling to accept effeminate boys as boys and masculine girls as girls is part of why the profound illogic of transgenderism has taken such hold of half our political spectrum. 

Finally, per the reality of biological sex differences currently accepted by the Right and rejected by the elite Left (if not by most Democratic voters), recognize without judgment that most girls do indeed prefer princesses and most boys do indeed prefer superheroes. Moreover, acknowledge that this reality reflects innate differences in males’ and females’ average propensities to relational conversation, aggression, and agreeableness—not the triumph of an ostensibly patriarchal social order credited by the Left with the capacity to socially construct average differences so deep, resilient, and enduring that belief in such a narrative defies reason itself. 

If the Right writ large conceded that there is no correct way to be a girl or a boy (and that this is mostly evidence of individual agency, not of decadence), and the Left writ large conceded that there is nonetheless a normative way to be a girl or a boy (and that this is mostly evidence of evolution, not of “patriarchy”), we could move past today’s “transgender” madness—and toward a culture where tolerance is not in conflict with reality.