The Jolie-Pitts Deserve Unwanted Hugs From All Of Us For How They Are Raising Shiloh/John

shiloh 2The world’s collective underpants are in a bunch because Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, who wishes to be called “John,” wore a suit and a short haircut to the premiere of mother Angelina Jolie’s new movie recently. Critics say the Jolie-Pitts are forcing their daughter to dress like a boy to serve their leftist agenda, which is, of course, completely insane. Have you ever tried to get a seven- or eight-year-old girl to wear what you want them to wear? I can’t even get mine to wear a jacket when it’s snowing.

Since Shiloh was two-years-old, her parents have been very open about the fact that she wanted to wear boy’s clothes and be called a boy’s name. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2008, father Brad Pitt said, (from The Huffington Post):

“She only wants to be called John. John or Peter. So it’s a Peter Pan thing,” he says. “So we’ve got to call her John. ‘Shi, do you want…’ – ‘John. I’m John.’ And then I’ll say, ‘John, would you like some orange juice?’ And she goes, ‘No!’

Shiloh has not been photographed in what are typically seen as “girl’s clothes” for as long as she has been in the public eye.  And it was back in 2012, when she was five, that she got her first short haircut. Clearly, this is a way of being that has been true for this child since the very beginning. But there are a lot of people out there who think that the Jolie-Pitts have “brainwashed” Shiloh (I’ll refer to her as “her” and “Shiloh” just for ease of comprehension). Said shameless bigot and full-time idiot Bonnie Fuller in a 2012 Hollywood Life column:

So Brad and so Angelina””what’s up with the cross-gender dressing for Shiloh? Did YOU both want another boy, not a girl? Maddox and Pax weren’t enough? Aren’t you worried that you’re going to confuse little Shiloh? Give her gender identity issues? Isn’t it hard enough to grow up without your parents dressing you like the opposite sex?


A shrink says yes.


”Angelina has said she was bisexual in public””this is her bisexuality coming through. She’s saying ”I’m not going to teach my daughter gender””let her pick,” believes psychologist, Dr. David Eigen.


But will it confuse her? ”Yes,” says Dr. Eigen. ”She is being guided into a bisexual role.”

First of all, oh my god this guy think they’re trying to make Shiloh bisexual. Even if forcing someone into a certain sexual orientation were possible (which it isn’t) why would they bother? I can’t imagine a planet where any parent would say, “You know what’s cool? Gay. Let’s make one of the kids bisexual just for the street cred.” Honestly, people. Honestly.

Second, the fact that people assume that this is something that is being forced on this poor girl is just another expression of homophobia. It not only speaks to the mistaken belief that homosexuality is chosen rather than genetic, and therefore not something that can be known from a very young age, but that it is not something that a person would choose if they had the choice.

Compounding the misguided pity is the fact that Shiloh is the daughter of two attractive movie stars; she is wealthy, well-known, and attractive — all of the things that are so highly valued in our society. Beauty is such a dearly-held commodity (especially for girls) that the idea that Shiloh isn’t embracing hers by trying to be the prettiest little princess she possibly can upsets those people who think that she wasting what is seen as one of the greatest sources of power for women: her looks.

So let’s be clear: Shiloh is doing Shiloh, which means doing John. As the parent of a boy and a girl who are about Shiloh’s age, I believe that our rigid gender stereotypes make it even less likely that any of this is being forced on her. Children get the message about what is considered appropriate for girls and what is appropriate for boys from the day they are born. For a child this age to have the courage to want to be who they are despite what the world says they should be is uncommon. To have parents who support her in this is phenomenal.

Regardless of what the world will say about it — and in the Jolie-Pitt’s case, this is not a figure of speech — they are letting Shiloh be who she wants to be. And for that, I want to give Brad and Angelina mostly non-sexual hugs of thanks for being role-models. While they aren’t doing this for anyone but their child, they are still acting as very public role models for other parents in the same situation by loving and accepting their child for who she is. As psychologist Linda Blair told The Telegraph:

”Whoever your child is, they’re not someone who’s ever been here before or will be here again. That’s more to celebrate than worry about. We think we know so much about genes and what we pass on. But this is an amazing person you don’t know – and you’re going to get to know them.”

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