Gender Neutral Parenting

Have you heard about the Canadian couple who has decided not to tell anyone the sex of their new baby?  I mean not anyone.  Not even the adorable munchkin’s grandparents.  Way to alienate your loved ones, guys!  Evidently they want their baby, who they named Storm, to decide for Storm’s self who Storm wants to be.  I have some strong feelings about how ridiculous that name this whole situation is, but in the interest of not acting like an asshat, I will try to, you know, not insult them simply because their opinions are stupid different than mine.

Even electronics cables have a sex. You can cover this one up, but it is still a male. He likes soccer and decorating shows.

This family with the genderless child made the ridiculous decision to keep the baby’s naughty bits a secret (and the decision IS ridiculous) as “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? …).”  That quote is from their email birth announcement, btw.  Not exactly the typical celebratory joyful notification, is it?  Hey friends and family, we don’t trust you and your sexist ways enough to even tell you whether our kid’s genitals are innies or outies.  You are lucky we even tell you our email address.  But we have good spam filters, so whatever.

This electronics cable is the female. She likes soccer and decorating shows, too, even though electronics society would rather she be more submissive.

Is it progressive to pretend that everyone’s bodies are the same?  Why does gender have to be a limitation?  I like to think it as more of a specialty.  Ladies, you can give birth to babies.  Yay for you!  Gestating and delivering babies is your specialty.  But, you can’t knock yourself up without a man’s help.  Sorry.  Not your specialty.  Gentlemen, you can get a woman pregnant.  That’s your specialty.  Rock on!  As a group, you also biologically have more upper body strength than women.  Way to go.  A woman can overcome this by extensive strength training if she really wants to move heavy stuff or kick some guy’s ass, but it isn’t her specialty.  Those are really the only things etched in stone.  Seriously.  Everything else is variable.  So why the fuss?

Gotta go? Gotta choose.

Who gives a rat’s rooty toot what color clothes a kid wears?  While I don’t get the opportunity to shop for girls very often, I did a little research at some online retailers and I can assure you that there are plenty of non-pink options for girls, and non-blue options for boys, too.   All three of my boys are color blind and the older boys and I have an agreement that if they choose an article of clothing that is a feminine color, I will tell them so they can make an informed decision.  They are okay with floral-ish prints on swim trunks, but they draw the line at pink.  And they don’t know pink from a hole in the ground.  That was the choice that they made around 8 years old or so.  Letting your child pick their clothes is great!  Why not?!  Having dress up clothes of all colors and styles available is great, too!  Why not?!  Why is this an issue?  Do their boys really want to wear dresses, or do they want their sons in dresses to flip the bird at us nonprogressives?  (Motto:  Our sons will wear dresses to flip off non-progressives).

Good parents provide their children with all sorts of opportunities, regardless of their gender.  I have all boys, but they had and continue to have ample opportunity to nurture their stuffed animals, pets, brothers, house plants and friends.  If one of them had ever shown an interest in a doll, I would have been happy to provide one.  I would even have let him drag it around by the hair to the grocery store if that was what he wanted to do.  I have a cousin who did that when he was little.  I don’t think his mother loved it, but she let it happen because that is what good parents do.  Even in the 1970’s.

I know lots of parents who have managed to raise their girls to be physically strong and emotionally independent despite any societal pressures in opposition.  Provide your children with lots of opportunities to grow to their strengths and they will!  Sports?  Absolutely!  Gun battles?  Unavoidable in our house.  Science and cooking?  Rock on!  We even dance and snuggle!  There is simply no reason to deny a child his (I have decided that Storm is a boy) gender so he can decide for himself.  Decide. for. himself.  I know, it sounds like absolute crazy talk.

Poor Pat. Pat lives in a world with no gender.

Lots of scientists have figured out that boys’ and girls’ brains work differently.  In general.  I am not suggesting that all boys’ brains work the same and all girls’ brains work the same.  That is as ridiculous as pretending that a child’s boyness or girlness doesn’t matter.  A child comes into this world as a male or female.  Sometimes some wires get crossed and decisions have to be made, but you gotta pick one.  Even Pat had to pick either the girls or boys bathroom.

Rather than force the world (and Storm’s grandparents) to refer to him/her as either “him/her” or even worse, “it”, hows about raising a nurturing son who has a working vocabulary of feeling words and knows how to clean?  Or bring up a strong, independent daughter who can kick an ass if she wants to while wearing her fav marabou boa.  That is why children have parents.  You know, to teach them what is important!  But where’s the opportunity to feel superior and flip the double birds at mainstream society in that?

(Image Credits:  Electronics and Pat from Wikipedia.  bathroom signs available at naagtag.com)
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About Adventures From Cloud 8

I am a stay at home mom who now and again sneaks away to be an in-home family therapist. My husband and I have 3 boys: Sweet Pea (12), Pickles (9) and Pumpkin Pie (4). Oh yeah. We have Doodle Dog, too. You guessed it! He’s a boy. At least he pees outside.
This entry was posted in Funny Parenting Blog, Gender Neutral Parenting, Parenting Boys and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Gender Neutral Parenting

  1. Faith says:

    “Do their boys really want to wear dresses, or do they want their sons in dresses to flip the bird at us non-progressives? ”
    I am absolutely convinced that this is actually what is happening in the case of their older kid who loves pink nail polish, etc. I’m sorry, but very few people short of say, RuPaul, *actually* love to wear that much drag on a daily basis. Even RuPaul, I’m sure, just throws on a pair of jeans and a tee when running to get some more milk. What are the odds that a little boy who genuinely loves tutus would just so happen to end up with a family who, for political reasons, is invested in him wearing tutus? I seriously doubt that the kid is acting and dressing the way he does out of a sincere love for pink and sequins. It’s just that he has just picked up on the fact – because kids are VERY smart, smarter than we think they are – that it pleases his parents enormously when he likes the things they want him to like. And so his parents get to be smug and self-righteous about how much better they are than the rest of us – because pretending that the world that your kids WILL have to live in someday doesn’t exist is GREAT parenting – and the kid suffers. I don’t know much about child development but at this age, this kid’s parents are his entire world — and will continue to be so if he stays out of school (the whole ‘unschooling’ thing being even MORE upchucky to me, if you can believe it).

  2. Agreed. Their idea of ‘unschooling’ sounds remarkably like life with babies and young children. Past 6 years old, you gotta get a little organized if they want to, you know, learn how to *read*. That is a whole other issue. One that possibly involves truant officers.

  3. Nannette says:

    God help them when their kids are rebellious teenagers.

  4. I wonder what they are going to do to rebel? Cut their hair and stop wearing dresses, maybe?

  5. Tricia says:

    Just a couple of parents who want to “buck” society. I have a girl who loved to play with cars as a child. Would I ever discourage her from doing that? NO. And a son who liked to wear dresses here and there inside the house, when he was 3. Would I ever encourage him to do that, no. Would I ever chastise him for doing that, no. HE WAS 3! Is he doing it now? NO. He’s 4 1/2. He gets that he is a boy. Would I ever ask him if he wanted his nails painted? NO! If he did (as I am a hairdresser), I may say, how about clear? As parents, it is our job to guide our children in the right direction. I wouldn’t even encourage a sport or hobby if I didn’t think that my child would do ok in it. As parents, it is our job to guide (again) our children to things that may not only be of interest to our children, but that they may do well in also. My biggest gripe with this is when they are out I am SURE people don’t even know what to say if they are at the park playing with other children. EXAMPLE…”Go over and play with that little ?” I have seen children who are dressed/hair ect. in such a way, that you don’t know if they are a girl or a boy. I simply feel that it makes them more unapproachable. Why do that to your child?

    • Good point. I can’t see how these kids will not be alienated by their parents’ choices. Maybe that is part of the grand scheme to live in a different world by denying the world they live in now.

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