On the topic of choices ....
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|Wed, 05-25-2011 - 11:14am|
Hope you're all having a good week!
There are countless things in this world I don’t understand: my TV remote, aerospace engineering, trigonometry and my dog’s fascination with armpits leap immediately to mind. But topping the list this week is the decision of one Toronto couple to try to raise a “genderless baby.”
Oh, 4-month-old baby Storm apparently has a perfectly proper little private part, but her/his parents simply refuse to tell the world what it is.
Parent Central reports that after Storm's birth, Witterick and Stocker sent out an email saying, “We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now -- a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...).”
The couple has two older sons who have long hair and the occasional urge to wear a dress (perfectly normal and not unlike a lot of boys who know they're boys). Witterick and Stocker admit they are “almost exclusively assumed to be girls,” adding that it’s the boys’ choice whether or not they want to correct people.
I’m trying to wrap my brain around the reasons for this little social experiment. Yes, for the most part, people treat boys and girls differently. We buy them different colored clothes and different sorts of toys. We wrestle with one and serve pretend-tea to the other. But how does not knowing a child’s sex help anyone? If they told us that Storm is a girl, we could buy her a dump truck and thumb our noses at our society’s shackling gender stereotypes anyway, couldn’t we? If he's a boy we could still outfit him in frilly layers of pink. As it is, all they're doing is creating a confusing nightmare of nicknames (he/she, brother/sister, niece/nephew, son/daughter) for anyone involved with this family.
When it comes to gender identity, Storm’s parents could still allow him/her to decide who he/she wants to be and how he/she wants to dress and wear his/her hair, just like his/her older brothers. (Do you see how annoying that is?) Insisting a child be one sex or the other may be wrong, but I think forcing him to be neither is worse.