Free To Be X, Y, or Z?

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Many of you have heard the news story recently about the couple who have chosen to keep the gender of their 3rd child a secret.  Yes, a secret.  The child’s 2 older brother’s, the midwives who were there, and one close friend are the only one’s who know the gender of Storm.  They are keeping it this way so Storm can grow up and be whoever he or she wants to be without the limits of gender.  Here’s the full article and it was pretty interesting!

Where to even begin!  I can see the point of wanting your child to grow up and be whoever they want to be.  We all want our children to be happy.  I get that sometimes all it takes to change something is one person to start the movement.  I understand that we all are entitled to our own opinions, viewpoints, ideas, hopes and dreams, but that doesn’t mean I will agree with you.

What do you think?  Do you think their gender neutral parenting is going to work?  Do you think society puts too much emphasis on your gender?  I don’t want to influence anyone’s thinking with my own opinions of this, so I’ll wait to comment until you’ve had a chance to read the article 😉

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15 Responses to Free To Be X, Y, or Z?

  1. mssc54 says:

    I seriously think that one day this kid is going to buy their therapist lots of very nice things!

    What if the kid decides that acting and living like a dog is more fun than acting human? WOOF, WOOF!

  2. Jenny says:

    I think the parents are nuts!

  3. SKL says:

    This has been tried before, and I read that it simply didn’t work. Much to the chagrin of certain people, many gender traits are inborn.

    I always shake my head when I read bloggers saying things like “much to my disappointment, and despite my attempts to stop it, my daughter likes princesses / my son makes pretend guns.” It’s one thing to avoid pushing your child in a certain direction; it’s another to actively prevent her gravitating that way. As for pink – it’s just a color! So what if a girl (or boy) likes it? Does that really matter in any way?

    So they say they are NOT hiding the gender from their 5yo and 2yo but the kids are not supposed to tell anyone else. Isn’t that kind of a weird burden to place on a preschooler?

    One also wonders whether these people really just want a girl-baby so they manipulating their sons.

    In short, I really don’t think these folks are playing with a full deck.

    In terms of what’s best for kids, I think at least little girls really have the best of both worlds, at least into puberty. They can play with dolls AND trucks, take up karate AND ballet, like pink AND blue. My daughters have mostly unisex stuff and play with the full gamut of toys. Boys may have it a bit tougher because some parents freak if their son gravitates toward “girly” stuff. But nowadays, there are so many unisex options for young kids, even boys should have plenty of opportunity to explore the full gamut of stuff before anyone starts judging them. And after they’ve had that opportunity, usually they are happy to put on boy clothes and have their hair cut to go to school. I’m pretty sure it’s rare for kids of any upbringing to demand to be cross-dressers once they are of school age.

    The other thing that makes me uncomfortable about this story is the way the parents are all “whatever they want.” Can’t really tell if they are like this about “everything,” but I don’t think it’s healthy for kids to be left out there to decide everything without guidance. Little kids like the world to be somewhat concrete. My kids are always asking me to define for them the unwritten rules, even ones I’ve never alluded to. “Whatever, honey” just doesn’t cut it.

    And lastly, I really don’t understand why some people think surface things are so darn important to identity. What I wear isn’t “who I am.” I mean yeah, I pick stuff that is modest and doesn’t draw attention. But does the choice of a skirt over pants really change who I am inside? To the point where if I wear a dress on my kid, I’m denying who she is? Really? Funny, my kids play exactly the same way whether they are in a Sunday dress or shorts and a t-shirt.

    • Joy says:

      I really agree with the point that girls do get the best of both worlds though I do think that’s changing somewhat but not very fast. I think now, unless an infant, boys can wear almost any color but with some toys, people are so weird with boys playing with any kind of a doll or stuffed animal. It’s almost thought of if a boy does that, he’s weak or a puss. I remember when Jason wanted a boy cabbage patch doll Paul really got mad that I got him one. I think a lot of father’s might still feel that way though I didn’t and I still have that doll. I still think nothing’s wrong with it but I’ll bet he still thinks boys shouldn’t play with dolls.

      Fathers out there. Would you care if your son played with a doll?

  4. Sue says:

    I also think the parents are in la la land. Why did they wait until their THIRD child to decide that gender wasn’t important so they weren’t telling? They are letting their other two children be who they want to be even though the world knows they’re boys, so what’s different now? The whole ‘unschooling’ thing really irritates me! I just don’t understand the concept and see how it can be beneficial. This one just makes me shake my head!

  5. Laura says:

    Ok, haven’t read any other comments, I’ll fire mine off, then go look.

    These parents are idiots. That pretty much sums it up. However, I will elaborate…

    On the surface, I admire the concept. I think it’s ridiculous for little boys to be tormented because they happen to want to play the flute (personal experience plenty of times with that one), or they like to cook, or sew, or like the color pink. I think it’s ridiculous that it’s “sexy” for a girl to be a “tomboy” but a boy can’t have feminine traits or interests without being called “gay” or “homo” or whatever, even though he’s straight as an arrow.

    However, this is going overboard. Our gender is as much a part of who we are, how we see ourselves, as our body shape, the color of our eyes, and the length of our nose. And whether we like them or not, life dictates that we accept those things or be miserable.

    Just because we’re identified as male or female, that shouldn’t be a handicap, it just is. And that’s what these idiots fail to understand.

    I also want to know – if they plan to raise Storm in a truly “genderless” world… do they call the brothers, “siblings”? Have they eliminated “Mommy” and “Daddy” (and g’ma/g’pa, aunt/uncle, etc) from their vocabulary? And if not, won’t it screw the kid up even more if everyone around him/her has a gender and he/she does not?

    I’m sure I have more to say, but that’s what’s popping around in there right now.

    • Laura says:

      Ok, I remembered. SKL reminded me, thank you.

      What kind of a lesson is this for the brothers. It’s never ok to lie, except to your own sibling, about something fundamental? Then it’s ok to lie?

      The ‘unschooling’ thing – that’s ok when they’re 2. maybe even all the way through kg. But after that? Unless you are a seriously dedicated teacher/parent, and have the materials ready and available to turn every interest into a full-spectrum learning opportunity (one that includes language, writing, mathematics, scientific principals, geography, history, etc), so that you make sure you hit all the basics and get everything done, those children are going to have some very serious problems. I have my issues with the schooling system, but at least it IS a system. It does plenty of things RIGHT, and unschooling incorporates none of it, as far as I’ve seen.

      These kids are in for a rough ride. I hope they’ll be ok.

    • SKL says:

      I don’t think they are hiding from Storm his/her gender. But you make a good point. As long as they refer to others in male/female terms, Storm will pick up on learned gender norms. And I don’t see how you avoid that without seriously handicapping your kid. Also, are they planning on banning all screen time from their kid? Never letting him/her go out and observe how other people work / play?

      My kids at 4 are very curious about gender norms, like it or not. In the past week, I’ve had questions ranging from “can boys marry boys?” to “do all boys go to Hell?” (LOL). In no way does my informing them of gender make them feel restricted as to what they can do.

      As an aside, the name “storm” doesn’t sit right with me. If anything, the way they are raising their kids is going to be restrictive when it comes time to look for a job. What if (much to the parents’ dismay) the kid decides to do something conventional with his/her life? Will s/he even be able to secure an interview in, say, accounting or law?

  6. Joy says:

    I’ve been trying to think of how to answer this and what to say. Pretty much how I feel has been stated by everyone above. I guess my main question here is what’s wrong with who we are and how we were born? Is this then to say that women and men are the same? We all know we’re not. What wrong with being either one? I’m happy to be born pink. I was happy I had two who were born blue. It’s what God wanted me to be and what he wanted me to give birth to. I think this is just nuts. We are free to be who we want but we are born *something*

  7. Nikki says:

    I feel like these parents are doing more harm than good. This child, Storm, will grow up very confused. I’m all for doing things a little different, but this is going too far in my opinion. You’re made a certain way, it’s more like they are teaching them to be ashamed of it.

    The “unschooling” I have a huge problem with. That is setting them up for failure, and that isn’t right!

    I had/have so much more to say, but this morning is not a good one and I can’t sit here anymore. 😦

  8. SKL says:

    After posting my comments last night, I thought, maybe this couple just happened to get that rare true cross-dresser / transexual child in Jazz, and they think that’s what all kids will be like (free of gender norms) if given the chance. I think they are wrong. Most kids are happiest just figuring out what they are and working with that, as long as parents are reasonable. I’ve never met a boy who wanted to even try on a dress after the age of 5. And I really don’t think every boy I know is forced into a box.

    Hard to really tell, but Brangelina’s Shiloh seems to be a similar case. Just feels more natural dressed like a boy. I have no problem with this, as long as it isn’t the parents subtly pushing it. But I think it’s rare. My own girls happen to love wearing dresses and pink and purple, though they get none of that from me.

  9. Phyllis says:

    What are these parents thinking? I read the article and I STILL think they are doing more harm than good here. What’s wrong with letting boys know they are boys and girls know they’re girls? It is part of who and what we are. It’s not really limiting children in any way that I can see.

    Either gender can participate in whatever activities they might feel most comfortable with. There’s no right or wrong in that, and being in the 21st century sure helps with that. And the colors a person chooses to wear is just that… a personal choice that really doesn’t need to take anyone else’s opinion into consideration.

    All that said, however, doesn’t change the fact that males and females are inherently different. Our brains are wired differently, our emotions react differently, etc. That’s the way our Creator planned the human race. Each gender has pros and cons. Certain females are really comfortable and excellent with all things mechanical, mathmatical, or scientific. In the past these were considered “male dominated” activities. A lot of males are excellent chef’s, players of musical instruments, and are really comfortable with all areas of homemaking. Does this make them any less male or female? No it does not! There aren’t any limitations to what any person can be or can do unless someone else limits them with criticism, and other forms of negativity.

    Toys? Boys have been playing with “action figures” for generations. If they’ve got sisters they’ve been playing right along with them. The same goes for Barbies, etc. If the girls have brothers the boys play right along with them. Often they will incorporate both types of dolls, and what’s wrong with that? NOTHING!

    Personally, I feel these parents are doing their children a huge disservice. It seems to me that they are unintentionally setting the kids up for future failure. If Jazz shows up for an interview with his hair in braids, wearing a dress can you even begin to imagine how THAT will go? Not too well, I’m thinking. I’m thinking that most employers are interested in hiring the best people for any job, but are they really going to go out on a limb and hire a person that is such an nonconformist that it causes a distraction in the work place? I seriously don’t think I would.

    As for the parents thoughts on “unschooling” …. isn’t this a little like putting animals in charge of the zoo or letting the inmates run the jail? Should the children have input concerning the lessons? Sure, but all the “regular” subjects need to be taught, and it’s human nature that if any of us don’t like something we’re going to try to put that thing off as long a possible. It’s the adults who know what is important to learn, not the kids.

    MSCC is right, one day this whole family will make some therapist”s life very comfortable indeed, providing all the perks life can possibly hold for that dr.

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