Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today I Read About a Genderless Baby.

First off, if you haven't already, go to parentdish and read (and watch) about this Canadian couple who've decided to keep their baby's gender a secret so he/she can decide for himself/herself when he/she is older.  Then come back here and read my thoughts about it.  Then, please leave your thoughts as I am very interested to know my bloggy friends' opinions. 

(Storm with big bro, Jazz.  Source)

I take exception to that one individual, in the article, whose response was “This is a perfect example of why you should have a license to have children.”  Please. **voice dripping with scorn**  I don’t need someone else deciding whether I meet their standards of a perfect parent before I can have children! This world is full of entirely too many rules, licenses, and boss-faces.  Let people live their lives!

I think that whenever you choose to do something that isn’t mainstream it is important to teach your children why you have made that choice and why you think it is right. If Storm’s parents feel so strongly about not letting the culture of our genders decide what color they wear and how long their hair is then they need to give their children the tools to deal with any negativity that comes their way. I agree with everything the doctor (sitting on the sofa in the video clip) said and I think that though this couples’ decision comes from wanting to protect their kids from hurt, those less than pleasant interchanges are just something that happen when you make different choices. My parents chose to home school their children. I dealt with a lot of rude kids growing up. Each interchange was a learning experience and my parents were always giving me feedback and ideas for how to answer and stand up for myself. I’m not sure that making Storm the “special one” who gets to keep his (I think Storm looks like a boy) gender a secret seems all that fair for the older two, who obviously have received some pessimistic input from others about their less than boyish behavior.

From a spiritual standpoint, I believe that male and female have always been and always will be. I believe we have differences for a divine purpose. I believe that with each gender comes certain roles, talents, pros and cons and we are to build upon what we are given and make it into something beautiful.  If you want an example, look at moms and dads.  Both are parents and both have equal responsibility to make sure their children are raised well, taught, loved, and cared for.  But children get different needs met from each of their parents.  Moms and Dads are different emotionally, mentally, and (obviously) physically.  They, for the most part, parent differently from each other.  That is as it should be.  We, as humans, love labels. We always have. It gives order and organization to our lives. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. To be called a boy or a girl is a good thing. To be called an “it," not so much. I’m pretty sure all of my brothers have had their hair done up in barrettes, worn dresses and gotten their nails painted. Growing up, during games of make believe, I was always Huckleberry Finn, Peter from the Narnia Chronicles, Han Solo or a warrior. I had no interest in being a princess or any other character who couldn’t wield a sword, tote a gun or wear overalls. But none of us has ever felt stifled by our gender. I just can’t agree that being genderless equals more freedom. We are who we are for a reason. Let’s embrace that.

What do you think?

P.S.  Again, I tried to leave comments for friends who have word verification on their blogs and Blogger denied me.  **frustration!!**  Myrnie, Mrs. K., Just Bits and Pieces, I'm talkin' about you.  So just know that you got comment love from me - you just can't see it.  :)

P.P.S.  I have to tell you about what happened at music class today.  We were all standing in a circle with Britt on my left and Ash on my right.  We were stomping our feet, slapping our knees and singing, "5 in the middle and you can't jump Josie" or something like that.  I happened to look down and then had to do a double take.  There was a diaper at my feet!  A diaper that had been previously formed to a baby's body and from the shape of it, appeared as if there was an invisible child still sitting in it.  Hahaha!  It looked a lot like the diaper I'd put on Britt before leaving for class.  Lo and behold, it was that same diaper!  Britt was in a dress sans diaper cover.  One of the diaper tabs hadn't been put on properly (my bad) and Britt had danced/shimmied her way right out of it.  Needless to say, I whisked her over to a private corner and remedied the problem.  Haha!     


Just Bits and Pieces said...

I have to say that I agree...with your take. I don't see how this will benefit anyone. People will feel weird & act weird around him (I think Storm's a him too). And he will FEEL different b/c of how people react. My boys (especially Jack) have danced in tutu's and pink cowboy boots, & played with all kinds of toys. I've put their hair in barrettes & ponies. Jack carried around a baby for months before and after Henry arrived. And Lily.....wears some of her brother's hand-me-downs. And loves superheros....I was a bit anti-pink when she was born, b/c there are so many beautiful colors out there. But guess what? She LOVES pink now. And for her first birthday, someone bought her a doll......and she looked at it, kissed it's face & gave it a big hug....still in the box.

Thank you for sharing.....obviously even though I live in Canada, I live under a rock! I hadn't heard this!

On a side note....WHAT? It says my word verification is set to "NO".....can you let me know if it's still on????


Myrnie said...

Ok that baby thing is just weird. I hope he/she can recover from the choice his parents have made! I didn't know I had captcha....annoying! I will change that :)

Amy said...

I'm writing this comment before I read your opinion. At first thought, I was like.... um, that's a little weird. After reading the article, I think it's kind of sad. Why shouldn't people be proud of their gender? I'll admit sometimes being a girl is a major pain in the bootie, but I'm proud of my womanhood and I embrace my girlhood. I am proud to be feminine, to be the nurturer, the support to my husband, the baby-carrier, the mother. Why would someone want to choke that out of their child? I don't get it.
Publicity stunt, maybe? Ok, but why do something like that to your own child?
Whatever the reason, I don't like it.

Faith said...

hmm, very interesting! i don't really know how i feel about that ... i guess i understand that they do not want their child to be limiting in what they can do based on their sex ... but how long can you keep that a secret. Storm def. looks like a baby boy to me ... i don't know. when you're a parent to a child, i guess you can make these types of decision. to each their own.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's crazy. I think God made us our gender for a reason. No that doesn't mean if your a girl you have to play with girl toys or vice versa for boys. I just think that's wrong of the parents. But if that's how they want to raise their child, so be it.

alissa4illustration said...

Being raised with only sister, and a dad that doesn't like sports, I know how girls are. Now having boy's and mostly nephews and a husband that adores sports, I know that they are entirely different. Sure Isaak like his doll and is good with babies, he also is rough and tumble too. I get why the parents are doing what they are doing, but I would NEVER go that route.

I have a friend that is gay. His nephew started dressing like a girl sometimes. The mom of the boy was freaking out. The story above kind of takes the seriousness of a real situation like my friend's nephew and makes a mockery of it. In situations like my example there are really strong emotions. The mom doesn't know what to do! It's hard.

When I was prego I thought about the low chance of me going to get an U.S. and them saying, "Oh we can't tell what your baby will be." Having a hermaphrodite would be a mom and dad's worst nightmare. With your story above they are almost again making a mockery of hermaphrodites.

I don't think they are intending on making other people feel bad. They just need to think. Let their son {it looks like a boy to me too} be a son. If he wants to dress up, have a tea party, then so be it.

They should tell their kids that by acting "girly" outside the home, they can or may get made fun of. I think it's a parents role to protect your children. Even if it's something you don't agree with.

*Example - I don't care if my kids run around in their underwear at home every once in awhile. Even though it's ok in my mind, they know it's not ok to go outside the house like that. Just like you think it's funny that Britt's diaper fell off. It's funny! But like you said, you went somewhere a little more private to go put it back on. You have to instill a since of modesty and integrity in your children. Otherwise they'll get beat up on the playground.

Rachel said...

I got my degree in human development and I strongly believe that these parents are doing Storm more harm than good. They are obviously afraid of gender stereotyping in any way, shape or form. I think it is awful that this poor child's grandparents don't even know what he/she is! What is Storm going to do when it enters school and is told to line up according to gender? Is it just going to stand in the middle?

There are plenty of healthy ways to help avoid gender stereotyping as we raise children. One of the biggest ways is to let kids play with whatever they want to play with or pretend to be whatever they want to be, just like you did when you were young. Just tonight, Andrew and I were watching Tangled and he basically told me that I was going to be Flynn and he was Rapunzel. I had no problem with it.

I believe that parents have the responsibility to teach their children what their divine roles are and to be examples to them in everything that they do. Gender is part of who we are and we need to embrace it and teach our children the importance of who they are.

Stephanie Faris said...

It's an interesting experiment (although decidedly, children shouldn't be experiments!) begs the question what determines our gender? Is it what society tells us or is it something deep within us? I'm guessing the latter but I'd be interested to know what the child chooses once he/she is old enough.

Mrs. K said...

i have no clue what is going on with the word verification thingy. i'm so sorry. i have to try to figure it out. anyway, i understand where the parents are coming from but that's not how i would raise my child. i agree that i don't have the right to criticize and call them bad parents because their decision is unconventional.

Redbabe said...

Personally, despite of a big part of me leaning towards "it's a free world, do what you wish", another part of me leaning towards "why subject the child plus his/her older two siblings" to this kind of attention from the world? To hide or not to hide the gender, what difference would it make? Take a gay/lesbian for example, they grew up fully aware that they are boy/girl, yet, they still became gay/lesbian. See, it doesn't make a difference whether to hide or not to hide the gender. So why put the kids thru all those attention/confusion? Unless it is the parents that craves it?

Charlotte (Life's a Charm!) said...


And THE SECRECY COMPLICATES IT ALL! I think, it’s wrong to keep a secret about something as basic as gender. It’s suspicious, troublesome and dishonest. What kind of message are these parents sending to their older kids?

Read my view on this one at Trending Now, No Gender Baby

Aunt LoLo said...

SJ wears princess costumes DAILY...and then continues to terrorize his imaginary villagers. I think his idea of perfection is a pink TANK. (Because, let's face it, he wants to do everything his sister does...which means pink and princess. But, inside, he is still SJ...and he really REALLY enjoys watching stuff be destroyed.) My only thoughts when I read this article a few days ago was that....I am a woman. And I'm really PROUD to be a woman. I am doing my BEST to help my kids to be proud of what they are - Eurasian boy and Eurasian Girl. It's just what they are, and it's never going to change.