I read this article yesterday on Yahoo.com.
It's about parents who have decided to keep their baby's gender to them selves, thus allowing the child, Storm, to make their own decisions about who he or she wants to be.
The father stated "If you really want to get to know someone, you don't ask what's between their legs."
I dealt with this topic in class a lot. While the discussion was meant to be in terms of gender roles in sport it was an eye opener to how much people care about which societal box the people they know fit into. I remember one student getting into a 'heated debate' with my humanities professor about how football should remain a man's sport because men were 'genetically designed to play a sport with hard hitting, running and quick thinking'.
I may or may not have exploded and gave that kid a set down he didn't expect coming from the girl who came dashed into the classroom at the last moment and always colored in her date book with florescent colored highlighters during class discussions.
I'm amazed by the outburst of negativity in regards to Storm's parents. It's not surprising, because everyone feels that they have a right to make open observations on how other's parenting styles.
Has no one else noticed that people almost get mad/upset when the gender of a baby isn't stated on a baby shower invitation?
Why is the gender neutral selection for baby clothes so limited.. And even then the colors may be neutral, but the print, animals or cut of the item leans toward one gender or the other?...
Have you ever noticed how quick some people are to correct an assumption of gender when it's wrong. This goes for babies and pets. Then once they're corrected embarrassment follows? Why should someone be embarrassed. It's not like the assumption that your little girl is a little boy will shape how the girl feels about themselves when they're 20...
Or will it?
I respect Storm's parents. It's taking a societal observation a little further than I would... But Damn. Someone has to do it. Why not?! Are they truly hurting anyone else? Is it a random stranger's place to tell them that keeping their baby's gender to themselves is part of some harmful parenting style.
The parents are letting Storm decide who he or she is. They aren't putting any gender restrictions on their child. Why should they? Storm is a baby. Whether boy or girl, it doesn't matter at this point. What matters is that Storm is healthy and being properly stimulated so that he or she can grow up with an inquisitive mind.
Is it really our place demand Storm's parents to place a narrowing gender onto their baby if they don't believe it's anyones business but Storms?
I can't criticize a parent who lacks the general societal fear that their child will be different. Heaven forbid a little boy plays with Barbies and play dress up and house , or a girl like dragons, football and cars. Just because a child is different, doesn't mean the parents did something wrong...
And when did it start being wrong to be different?
All in all, I really want to hear more about this family as the children grow. I want to know if this breakdown of society's general rules for gender really helps the children of this family, as adults, be more open and accepting.