So yesterday I wrote a big long post outlining my feelings about that couple in Canada who are choosing to keep their baby "gender neutral" by not revealing the baby's boy/girl parts. I went on a rant about what the difference between gender and sex is, and why I felt this couple was mistaking their own social issue for parenting. Read the blog below for a synopsis of the story and someone else's opinion:
I read it again this morning and deleted the whole damn thing. Not because I disagree with myself today, but because rantings are rarely kind, and without knowing this couple I don't feel like I can make a judgment call on their motives. They could be just as selfish as I accused them of being, but they could also just truly want what is best for their kids and with all the lunatic parents out there smoking crack and dangling their babies over pits of crocodiles, maybe I should just remember that not everyone parents like me.
I do still want to comment on the story, because that is what blogs are for and this story is big news. SO here are my thoughts, in summary.
1. I think this couple is confusing sex (penis/vagina) with gender (boy/girl). Society has built stereotypes of gender and what boys and girls should like, play with, dress like, act like, etc. If they want to fight the stereotypes and let their children discover who they are apart from society telling them, I would think it would make more sense to allow their children to decide what their outward expression is going to be, not take away their sex.
2. I feel very sorry for a 4 month old child who has been so exposed to scrutiny, opinion and public media. Doesn't seem nice.
3. These parents obviously feel very strongly about something, which is fantastic. But they are not affecting only themselves- they are forcing their children to live out their opinions. Their oldest son wears his hair in three braids and likes a pink skirt. He is old enough to go to school, but they keep him home because of the teasing he got from his classmates. So essentially, his "freedom" is keeping him housebound. Is that okay? It feels a little like his parents are sacrificing a greater good. Part of my goal is raising Purslane is to make her relevant to her culture- I want her to be able to hang with anyone and do whatever she wants to do- not because she blends in and looks like everyone else, but because her sense of self is not a detriment to making whatever choices she wants to make.