Those are the kinds of praises this little guy/girl is probably getting from its friends and family. I know whether I’m baby-talking to an infant, dog, cat, or petite lap giraffe, I tend to whip out the, “Who’s a good girl/boy?” So this situation would set me up to spill the beans.
If you haven’t heard about this yet, a Canadian family has decided to raise their baby, ambiguously named Storm, without a gender. Not surprisingly, this has provoked a negative uproar from psychologists and parents everywhere. The couple’s rationale? They want Storm to be able to decide for itself which gender he or she will choose. (Wow, I even feel bad calling an unborn baby an “it.” Here, we’re talking about a four-month old infant. I mean, just look at that cute little…person.)
Of course, the parents, Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, know Storm’s gender, as well as its brothers Kio and Jazz. But they all make a point not to use the distinctions “boy,” “girl,” “he,” or “she” when talking to or referring to it. The couple wants their pristine newborn to remain untainted from gender stereotypes.
Many are applauding the parents’ desire to keep their baby free from the constraints of stereotypes, but most believe they’re going about it in the wrong way. Especially since infancy is a critical time in a child’s development. One child psychologist even said the parents are “creating, in some sense, a freak.”
The couple’s parenting techniques are being called into question in regards to their older children, as well. Both sons are allowed and encouraged to dress and act in any way they want, including wearing dresses and growing their hair long. (My computer froze for 20 minutes trying to add a picture, maybe I’ll add one later if it’s up and running.)
I wonder if even Lady Gaga would approve of leaving this baby in the dark in regards to its gender. After all, how’s it supposed to know which “way” it was born? Maybe what this couple is doing is the ultimate application of her “love yourself the way you are” declaration.
Here’s the popular excerpt from the e-mail the couple sent announcing their experiment to their family and friends:
We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now — 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? …).
Anyway, it’s ultimately the parents’ decision — No amount of outrage or speculation from people like me who have no bearing over their lives can change their decision. But, who cares, it’s still a heck of a talker.
What do you think?