Parents Keep Child’s Gender Secret

Storm, of course, is the “genderless” child that a Canadian couple are hoping to bring up so that it is free from any sort of influence on its personality regarding gender. Apart from different views on society that people might have, the sheer impracticality of this task strikes me; the mother already had to rush one of her sons out of a shop because the shop assistant wouldn’t sell him something that was for a girl. While it is categorically unfair and possibly illegal, this sort of thing is going to happen. It is a fact that a boy who dresses like a girl in school will be isolated and discriminated against, unless all of the children are brought up in the same ultra-liberal way.

While I agree with the principle, that people should be allowed to do and be what they like, the reality is quite different. People do discriminate against others who do not dress in line with the “trend”, especially if it is as obtuse as the case of the Canadian couple and their children. While it is fine for these parents to bring their children up in this way, I just wonder if the children actually grasp the level of  discrimination they could face, and whether they would change their habits consciously if they did. While, (I repeat) this is wrong, society is too large and too inflexible for a few children to change the whole system.

Unless there is widespread support for gender-neutrality, this is probably going to have very little effect on the way that people run their lives, and it will probably cause more problems than it will save for the children involved. I’m no expert, but living your life in the knowledge that everyone else is wrong and bad, like they will have to do to justify their actions, is very similar to the mindset of some fundamentalists, and cannot be healthy or easy.

Also, the parents of the child, if this is an attempt to start a campaign for gender neutrality, they do not seem to be going about it that well. Kathy Witterick (Storm’s mother) said that wanting to know what is between a person’s legs is unhealthy and voyueuristic. Surely gender is not simply about that? Isn’t that what they are trying to escape? And surely by making choices for their children, they are doing the same thing they are trying to prevent?

Gender in my mind is just a societal grouping that has a physiological basis (men and women are different, there is no point ignoring that), and so by rejecting it, in a way they are rejecting society. To choose to reject gender then is fine, but you cannot expect society to change to accommodate you. It has to work smoothly and easily for the other millions who conform to gender.

There is also the possibility that this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. I mean, for one thing it is only one family, and there are much more important things have happened lately. Like the Fukushima nuclear plant being hit by a typhoon, and the realization that democracy from the Arab spring will take a while to work.

September 5, 2011 / Jack Pickering / Download PDF

One thought on “Parents Keep Child’s Gender Secret

  1. Pingback: Opinion: Parents Keep Child’s Gender Secret | The Open Wall

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