Genderless Child?

Have you heard about this? There is a couple in Toronto that have decided to raise their third child genderless. Kathy Witterick and David stocker who already have two sons, Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2 and now baby number 3 Storm… who they have decided will remain genderless. WTF! Excuse my abbreviation! Witterick says “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now—a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation”

umm… sorry to break it to you but physical gender is not a choice. What you’re saying is like me saying “I’m going to raise my child as an armless one” well… he has an arm, two in fact. Now if he grows up and decides not to use them then I can be the supportive parent and be all for his freedom of choice and stuff but you are not giving him/her a choice if you hadn’t noticed. The utter ridiculousness and cruelty of this baffles me.

The couple seems to think that children are not given enough freedom of choice. They practice “un-schooling” for their elder children which follows the philosophy that learning should be curiosity led. They dress their boys in both girls and boys clothing.

Stocker says “What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” Having a penis or a vagina is not a choice. They are born with it. They have to have to ability to deal with the HUGE differences of being a boy or a girl. Boys and girls are not the same, physically, mentally they are different creatures. There have been many studies conducted and millions of years of evolution to support this.

If this was a gay or lesbian thing then I would get that you want to support your child in their choice. Or if your girl  wanted to work in a field that was mostly a “man’s” job then she should have the right to do that and vis versa. BUT THIS IS A PHYSICAL PART OF THEM THAT YOU ARE DEPRIVING THEM THE ABILITY TO KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH!

Children have enough insecurities to deal with without you giving them huge mountains more. Children need to belong, they need to feel that they bond with their peers, they need the feeling of camaraderie between people of their own gender. I am not saying they need to be carbon copies of every little girl or every little boy they see. I am saying it is your responsibility to give them the tools to be able to handle what life throws at them. You are throwing them blindfolded into an already intolerant world and making sure they do not fit in.

I am not against being unique and not having to conform but seriously, what you are doing is a form of child abuse. in one article I read the reporter said “They believe children can make meaningful choices for themselves, like choosing their own clothing and how to wear their hair.” yes I TOTALLY agree. But choosing if they are male or female when obviously they are one or the other automatically is not part of this.

The parents say that when they went on a vacation to Cuba they flipped a coin to decide what gender they will tell people baby Storm was. The choice was a boy. They noticed that immediately people started saying “what a big, strong boy”. Ok, yes, boys and girls all get categorized in certain ways from the second they are born. Believe me, as a woman in the middle east I know this. But this is not the way to solve this problem.

I live with people saying  “We hope to see the day S graduates” and saying “We hope to see the day J gets married”. I know more than they do how differently people view the sexes here. The way to change that is to change the way we raise our children. My daughter is physically and emotionally able to be a mother. That is something my son cannot do. It is a beautiful thing and I hope she gets to become a mother one day. There is no reason this should hinder her in anything else she wants to do in life!

It is our role to teach our girls that being a woman is not a disadvantage or a hindrance. And to teach our boys that being a man does not give him the upper hand in life  in any way. I do not understand what they plan to do… they have to give their children the tools to be able to live in this world, in their community, to be able to prosper and thrive in the real world.

And why is it so bad to be a boy or a girl? It’s not saying one thing is better than the other but they are different. What if they just wanted to be boys? Would you accept that or be disappointed that they were not genderless? By asking the two older siblings to keep this a secret don’t you risk them feeling that being a boy or a girl is a bad thing? What kind of message do you send them when they know that you disapprove of conforming in this way. What if they just want to be?

What if they don’t actually give a damn about the whole things and are just trying to please their parents. Why don’t you both shave your heads and facial hair and bind you chest and tape up your private parts and live genderless and leave the poor kids alone?

You are depriving your child, making a choice for them that they are too young to make because you want to use them as your experimet. You want to use them to prove a point they are way to young to understand let alone care about

There is a recent uproar about circumcising baby boys in california and they are trying to ban it. They say that religious beliefs are not enough reason to give parents the right to “mutilate” their children. Well, you are emotionally castrating this child and leaving it neither here nor there, how is that ok?

For a full article with more explanation from the parents (and less personal opinions, but that’s what the blog is here for) click here.

15 comments

  1. It’s a crying shame…. and hopefully the authorities will step in ….this kind of parental foolishness will ensure these children have huge insecurities …. true individuality develops with strength of character ……something these ‘parents’ obviously lack and are certainly not capable of encouraging in their offspring.

    • “true individuality develops with strength of character ……something these ‘parents’ obviously lack and are certainly not capable of encouraging in their offspring.” exaaactly!

    • Hello Laylah, True. But what I’m talking about is nothing medical, it’s a couples choice to mess up their child. I read both articles you sited in your post and could not find any reference to “inbreeding”. Although lots of intermarrying in one family do cause a lot of genetic problems as we all know.

  2. It will be interesting to see how all that turns out for that particular couple. I know plenty of parents who tried to raise boys without guns for example, only to find them ‘shooting’ one another with their toothbrushes. My sister was adamant that her girls not have pink clothes and yet both have turned out to be real girly-girls! I’m sure society plays a part but so does our genetic make-up.
    The more I read about the ‘radical unschooling’ approach to life, the more I am concerned about the long-term outcomes for the children. You’re so right here. Really, really, really like this post. :)

    • Could you imagine your life without school? I hated school and I do not remember a thing I learned from textbooks but my God it taught me about life! And social skills… And so much more. This situation is really bothering me!! Boys will be boys, girls will be girls. And if the situation is different let it be naturally. Irate when parents make their children’s lives more difficult.

  3. You’re right about school! Yes, it really bothers me too, when parents can’t see the long term damage they are doing to their children. You have to wonder at the agenda of the parents in this case. What are they *really* trying to achieve? They certainly aren’t raising children who will be able to cope when they leave home, that’s for sure. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  4. It is frustrating! And I remember hearing parents doing the same thing a while back. Can you imagine the teasing their kids need endure when arriving at school dressed in boys and girls clothing? The unneeded distress that all this is causing their children. Its a shame that as parents they are allowed to play such a nasty role in massacring their kid’s childhood. Where is the Children Aid Society in this case? Will they force their child to hide their own gender when the time comes? Anyway, thank you for sharing your views on the subject, I read about it earlier this week and was saddened that such things are ‘OK’ in the eyes of many :s

    I am one annoyed Torontonian atm!

  5. Oh what a load of crazy mixed with delusion. I just don’t believe for a second, that the parents are really allowing the children to be gender neutral. As a parents we shape our kids behavior in a million different ways, mostly in non verbal ways. I honestly believe that the boy who prefers pink, gets a lot of positive reinforcement for that choice. On the flip side if he choose blue the reaction would not be so positive. As for letting a 5yo choose if he wants to go to school or stay home is nuts. Please excuse my ranting I like you hate it when parents intentionally make their children life difficult,because it serves some weird compulsion they have.
    Btw I love your blog.

    • Yes! Children are made to look up to their parents, elder siblings, the people around them to know whats right and wrong, whats good and bad and non verbal cues do shape them probably more than the verbal ones. And thank you for the support :) I’m glad u enjoy it!

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