The basic problem with the conservative discourse around “parents’ rights” is that it frames children as chattel—that is, as parents’ property. 

But—and I can’t believe I even have to say this—children aren’t property. They’re people. And as people, they enjoy the same fundamental human rights as anyone else.

suspect that the language of “parents’ rights” appeals to transphobes because it makes them feel powerful. Rights are potent things, not easily overriden at law. But we need to recognize “parents’ rights” discourse as the power-grab and legal smoke-and-mirrors show that it is.

Rights exist to protect the vulnerable from abuses of power. That’s why so much of the Charter has to do with protecting individuals from abuses of state power—because we are all, as individuals, largely powerless relative to the government and therefore in need of constitutional protections to shield us. 

Well, children are especially vulnerable to abuses of parental power. 

They’re developmentally powerless, relative to adults. They largely lack political awareness and the capacity to organize. They depend on their parents for the basic necessities of life.

Parents have almost all the power in their relationships with their children.

Quite frankly, parents don’t need rights—children do. {read}