Would keeping your child’s gender a secret from all outsiders help your child grow to be whomever they want to be?
That is the theory that Canadian parents Kathy Witterick and David Stocker are working under with their 4-month old child, Storm. They aren’t revealing Storm’s sex to anyone other than their other two children, a close friend and the two midwives that helped deliver the baby.
“If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs,” says Stocker.
“When Storm was born, the couple sent an email to friends and family: “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? …).”…
“Witterick and Stocker believe they are giving their children the freedom to choose who they want to be, unconstrained by social norms about males and females. Some say their choice is alienating.”
Storm’s siblings are both boys but are allowed to wear whatever they choose and grow their hair however they want.
“Jazz — soft-spoken, with a slight frame and curious brown eyes — keeps his hair long, preferring to wear it in three braids, two in the front and one in the back, even though both his parents have close-cropped hair. His favourite colour is pink, although his parents don’t own a piece of pink clothing between them. He loves to paint his fingernails and wears a sparkly pink stud in one ear, despite the fact his parents wear no nail polish or jewelry.”
The article says that as a result of how the boys dress most people assume they are girls and the parents don’t correct them. They say it’s up to boys to reveal to what they choose.
For example, Jazz asked him mother to write a note on his application to a nature program that he is boy because he likes the leaders and wants them to know.
OK there is so much going on in this article. Please, please click on the link and read the entire thing. There is lots more about the parents unschooling, criticisms that they hear and what psychologists think of the approach.
Then come back and tell us what you think:
Does not revealing the child’s gender make it more of an issue or less of an issue?
Does not revealing the gender put the focus on the child’s gender instead of all the amazing things the child can do? (Or will be able to do as they grow older.)
They are pretty much gender neutral with the other two children so is that a better approach than not telling?
Would it somehow confuse or hurt a child not to know which camp they belonged to?
– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania. I have increased my Twitter activity. I am sending out great stories for moms each day focusing on health, fitness, sex, entertainment, food, travel and obviously parenting! So follow me on Twitter at @AJCMOMania!)