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Cyn
05-24-2011, 11:51 PM
It's a rare day when something renders me completely gobsmacked, but this article succeeded.

I have no words…. (http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/babiespregnancy/babies/article/995112--parents-keep-child-s-gender-secret)

Some excerpts:


While there’s nothing ambiguous about Storm’s genitalia, they aren’t telling anyone whether their third child is a boy or a girl.


“If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs,” says Stocker [the father].

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 [the mother] 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.

“What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” says Stocker.


“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?!.” Witterick writes in an email.


Witterick practices unschooling, an offshoot of home-schooling centred on the belief that learning should be driven by a child’s curiosity. There are no report cards, no textbooks and no tests. For unschoolers, learning is about exploring and asking questions, “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else,” says Witterick.


Jazz [the oldest child] was old enough for school last September, but chose to stay home. “When we would go and visit programs, people — children and adults — would immediately react with Jazz over his gender,” says Witterick, adding the conversation would gravitate to his choice of pink or his hairstyle.

That’s mostly why he doesn’t want to go to school. When asked if it upsets him, he nods, but doesn’t say more.


“We spend more time than we should providing explanations for why we do things this way,” says Witterick. “I regret that (Jazz) has to discuss his gender before people ask him meaningful questions about what he does and sees in this world, but I don't think I am responsible for that — the culture that narrowly defines what he should do, wear and look like is.”

Call me kooky, but I think these parents are incredibly selfish and irresponsible. While I understand the point behind their reasoning, they are living in a delusional world and are setting these kids up for a childhood filled with isolation, harassment, and bullying. And this concept of "unschooling?" :rolleyes: GMAFB.

JMO, but this article could be titled "Progressivism Run Amok."

Thoughts?

ilovesalchows
05-24-2011, 11:59 PM
There's nothing like using your children to experiment with changing the world's attitude towards gender issues...

genevieve
05-25-2011, 12:02 AM
The unschooling thing sounds pretty wacky (although I can see it working if the kid is ambitious/curious/engaged and the parents are really focused on it...but it seems ilke a zillion times more work than regular school), but I support the underlying reasons for the genderless philosophy.

I do agree that behaving so far outside of people's expectations can cause a lot of anger from people who aren't being the least bit affected by this couple's choice, which can backfire onto the kid. unfortunately the kid has no say in how s/he is being presented to the world.

taf2002
05-25-2011, 12:08 AM
More proof that you don't need brains or even common sense to reproduce.

BigB08822
05-25-2011, 12:14 AM
That is all fine and dandy in theory but those children are going to have to live and work in the real world. The real world doesn't think like their parents, for the most part. I don't think they are doing their children any favors and are doing the opposite, actually.

PDilemma
05-25-2011, 12:30 AM
In a rare event, a yahoo poster summed this up:

one should not conduct social experiments on one's children.

ilovesalchows
05-25-2011, 12:32 AM
This kid will probably end up being the girliest girl or most boyish boy that ever was when it has a choice. My mom used to make us eat all this healthy food, and then the moment she left town we lived on Fiddle Faddle and Red Vines as if our lives depended upon it. I still have a need to hide candy when I eat it, lol.

oleada
05-25-2011, 12:35 AM
These parents are ridiculous. Way to use your kids for your own ridiculous social experiment :rolleyes:

The parents give me the impression that they are forcing their older boys toward picking things that are traditionally femenine to make a point. And I won't even start on the unschooling...that should be child abuse.

I'm all for fighting some gender stereotypes, but biologically vagina = female and penis = male. They're not doing their child any good by keeping that from him/her.

numbers123
05-25-2011, 12:46 AM
The cynic in me says this is an incorrect statement:


While there’s nothing ambiguous about Storm’s genitalia, they aren’t telling anyone whether their third child is a boy or a girl.

I would guess that perhaps there was a question as to the sex of the child. And if so, they may have not said gender to begin with and now they want to maintain the non-genderness for whatever reason. I cared for a baby about 30 years ago who was named boy at birth and then was admited to the hospital for some medical condition about 6 weeks later. Since the baby was from a small community and admited to a regional medical center. One of the physicians suspected that the sex was declared wrong. DNA testing showed that the baby was female. That caused huge issues - the birth certificate, the baptism, the naming, etc.

vesperholly
05-25-2011, 12:47 AM
JMO, but this article could be titled "Progressivism Run Amok."

That's not progressivism (reformation), that's anarchy (absence).

Hannahclear
05-25-2011, 01:13 AM
I would guess that perhaps there was a question as to the sex of the child. And if so, they may have not said gender to begin with and now they want to maintain the non-genderness for whatever reason. I cared for a baby about 30 years ago who was named boy at birth and then was admited to the hospital for some medical condition about 6 weeks later. Since the baby was from a small community and admited to a regional medical center. One of the physicians suspected that the sex was declared wrong. DNA testing showed that the baby was female. That caused huge issues - the birth certificate, the baptism, the naming, etc.

Unless it was a scenario like this one you discuss above, I can't see the reason for doing this, other than trying a bit too hard to make a point, in a way that might not be good for the child in the long term.

However, the medical treatment of intersex people is a far greater crime/travesty than these misguided, but probably well-intentioned parents. Not saying I agree with what they are doing, I don't at all, but when you compare to the things that are done to children to enforce (rather than subvert) gender norms, this doesn't come close.

agalisgv
05-25-2011, 01:25 AM
I don't see it as a social experiment. It seems like these are the parent's values, and the parents are raising their children according to them. I don't see the big deal personally :shrug:

The unschooling sounds similar to Montessori method btw (or at least has some things in common with it). FWIW, research I've seen has shown Montessori students tend to test higher than students taught in a traditional school environment.

WRT the bullying comments, I think some sentiments expressed are at odds with those posted in this thread (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=78808). OTOH, people were saying in the bullying thread that students need to be taught to respect diversity, but in this case some are arguing a child needs to fit in with others to prevent from being bullied. Seems like a mixed message.

jmho

danceronice
05-25-2011, 01:37 AM
Montessori teaching is run by people who actually know how to manage a relatively free-form classroom. This just sounds like parents who are idiots. No child's going to learn everything they need from "letting their interests dictate."

For all the yakking about "gender expectations", your DNA is what is, you're either female, male, or have something seriously awry (it's not an intersexed person's fault, but it is a defect.) What are they going to do when the inevitable, ie puberty, happens? There are some basic PHYSICAL realities a kid needs to hear about themselves before they start happening. And refusing to tell people just seems like being pretentious. Saying a child is male or female is acknowledging reality, not a mandate to buy frilly pink dresses for girls and mini three-piece suits for boys. IME, kids play with what they want to play with if that's how you raise them. My parents didn't have any wacked-out political agendas and yet somehow my brother and I shared toys and games without either of us having any problems because the toys might be a "girl toy" or a "boy toy." They just never made an issue of it one way or another, so we didn't.

Of course forget any of that, the kids are going to get beaten up for their stupid names. Storm? What, are they fans of X-men? These people aren't being principled, they're just using their offspring to show how speshul and smart and unique they are, AREN'T WE? LOOK AT HOW DIFFERENT WE ARE...sheesh.

AxelAnnie
05-25-2011, 01:47 AM
^ Yep to all you said.

What morons. You are so born with your gender. What, are they gonna keep cute little Strom (geesh) from spilling the beans?

rjblue
05-25-2011, 02:11 AM
I think they look pretty silly to outsiders. And the kids have to endure some teasing/explaining. But it's not any sillier than an Amish or Hasidic lifestyle. The kids are not forced to use any sort of gender category when making choices... I too don't see any harm in it.