Gender Neutrality

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Gender Neutrality

Postby Scumfish » Thu May 26, 2011 1:47 pm

http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/babi ... der-secret

Above is a link about a Canadian couple that is keeping their child's gender a secret, wanting to let the kid choose for itself when it's old enough. Now, as a gender-neutral myself (I'm a hermaphrodite, as some of you may/may not know) though I identify as male, this is fascinating to me.

One part of me is saying that it's a wonderful idea, that no one should be bound by what society dictates as a 'norm' just because you're born with specific genitalia. In a perfect world, this sort of thing would be amazing, having no constraint to your own personality and no feelings of being 'outside' just because of being yourself.

However...on the flipside, by doing this, are the parents taking away that choice for the child? Are they pressuring the kid into being different because the family is? What if the child should decide that actually, they want to be what society deems is normal. Will s(he) be branded a black sheep? And then there's the social impact. I know myself through harsh experience that society does not like those that are different. What sort of problems is this child going to have growing up? Is the child going to refer to him/herself as 'it'?

As I said, this is lovely - in a perfect world, but this world is far from perfect. What do you guys think?
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Gender Neutrality

Postby Ferguson » Thu May 26, 2011 1:53 pm

It is a very nice ideal but by doing this it would seem they're setting their child up for isolation (s)he may not have to face. By allowing your child to live life as born isn't removing a choice but by not allowing the child to live without that even being an issue would seem to me to rob the child of a lot of experiences that would help him or her make that decision. I don't really think our identity is decided only internally so by cutting off the external it's seems like it's cutting off the environment to grow in. So I can't see that it would make a choice like that any easier in the long run. The support, however, is fantastic and that part should be the main focus instead of creating a bubble.
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Gender Neutrality

Postby Angelique » Thu May 26, 2011 4:11 pm

While I agree that forcing roles upon children based on gender is a problem, I think the parents may be overreacting a tad, and as the article I read indicated, one of the boys proves that there is no way one can keep a child completely sheltered from social expectations. I think the thing to do is to not raise the children in isolation from those expectations, but teach them about those expectations, how to think critically, and to accept or reject those expectations based on their own merits.
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Gender Neutrality

Postby Elfdame » Fri May 27, 2011 11:47 am

What synchronicity! I was thinking about that Free To Be show yesterday.

I think the parents are placing somewhat unrealistic expectations on Junior. (Sorry, when I say Storm I think Ororo, and I call ALL my grandkids - 3 boys & 6 girls - "Junior.") It was very interesting that people place certain values or expectations on gender ("What a big, strong boy"). I understand a bit about Scummy's sitch and have a hermaph acquaintance, but if the kid in the story has particular plumbing, why not raise him/her as a boy/girl, but perhaps not laden it with the pink/blue doll/truck stuff, as they have with the previous two? I know I always wanted to be a boy (kept hoping I would change genders at puberty) and resented my mom making me wear super-girly dresses and not letting me play with G.I. Joe or Tonka trucks, and that I never looked like Barbie (do NOT get me started on Barbie dolls!!!!!). But hey I am a girl. Even if I had gone the route of liking other girls, I'd still be a girl. Let it happen, Parents. Let the kid enjoy what s/he was born with.

As to lifestyle, I consider my Dad a "manly man," but he was waaay ahead of his time (or maybe Mom was pushy?) because he (for example) diapered us and regularly did housework in addition to being the family breadwinner, is not afraid to hug or cry, and is both tough and nurturing.
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