Baby's Gender? Choosing Not to Share
Just when we think we have heard it all from the parenting front, another couple comes out of the woodwork with a level of extreme parenting choices that are simply impossible to get our heads around.
Kathy Witterick and David Stocker of Toronto have decided to keep the gender of their third child a secret. Yes, you read that correctly. They have a now four-month-old baby, Storm, that they refer to as... well 'it' i suppose. No, the child does not suffer from ambiguous genitalia. They have made a philosophical parenting decision based on their feelings that, “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.”
This would make a lovely slogan for a t-shirt or a gender stereotype Public Service Announcement, but a parental strategy based on this premise is concerning.
Ms. Witterick continued to explain their decision by saying, "In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, 'Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!."
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but if a person – baby or otherwise – has a penis, they are male. If they have a vagina, they are female. Period. There is no choice here. You are the equipment you possess at birth. This is not politically incorrect or insensitive; this is biological science.
If during the maturing process there comes a time in a person's life where they feel that their biological gender assignment was incorrect, modern science has afforded them the opportunity to re-engineer. Totally cool if that is what is needed to lead a happy life.
But one cannot simply choose a gender and make it so. If the surgery route is too extreme, there is the choice to be transgender, transsexual, cross-dressing, whatever gender bending style rings the bell; but to simply say I am one or the other does not make it so.
Going one step further, to empower a child to make such a falsely promised decision sounds almost cruel. At what age does that happen, exactly? And how long will the older siblings be expected to hold out on the truth... from everyone including their grandparents?!
The two older siblings, Jazz and Kio, have been raised in a less extreme version of this alternative parenting style. They have been given the choice to dress as they please, wear their hair at any length and experiment with gender stereotypes.Continued on the next page