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  1. #61

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    I see a lot of people automatically assuming that home schooling = social awkwardness. It all depends on the outside activities. My mom homeschooled us through grade school and enrolled us in a lot of extracurricular activities to develop friendships. She was a certified teacher and felt she could provide a better education than the schools in our area.

    I asked to go to the high school because I wanted to be part of a graduating class and she had no problems with that. However, I did skate through the 1st 2-3 years in most subjects because I already learned them at home in grade school. It was a little depressing to feel that I wasn't learning anything and almost reconsidered attending school. I already knew most of the kids in my class from the extracurricular activities so the whole social aspect wasn't really making up for the lack of mental challenges. I did end up with some more advanced math classes, which my mom wasn't good at teaching, so I stayed in school in the end.
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    Why is it they need to tell people that Storm is a boy or a girl in Cuba?
    My guess is that it's because Spanish is a language that has gender--nearly all the words are masculine or feminine. A child is either a nino (boy) or nina (girl), for example, but there is no gender-neutral term.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    My guess is that it's because Spanish is a language that has gender--nearly all the words are masculine or feminine. A child is either a nino (boy) or nina (girl), for example, but there is no gender-neutral term.
    Good point! That may be it, although the wording in the article implies that the parents are willing to answer the "boy or girl?" question in Cuba (with an answer determined by coin flip) but not in Canada. Could just be the writing, I guess.
    Creating drama!

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    I noticed someone mentioned the trip to Cuba and need for a passport. For sure there are other people who know what Storm is, because there's no way to a passport without a birth certificate and it's only M or F on the birth certificate.

    I think the parents are activists and by their actions are influencing their children, although they're trying really hard not to influence anything. This itself is an influence. In Toronto, Storm of the hipster parents will be as normal as the next kid.
    Last edited by minx; 05-26-2011 at 06:11 PM.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    Back to the article. Interesting read. I'm not really sure what I think about it. I think you can allow your kids to be who they are without making such a big deal about it. Sure, some parents really lay on the roles, but lots just let their kids be kids. Both my girls played with boys and girls when they were young. Now they are older (teen and preteen) they still hang out with both. One likes typically girl type clothes, the other like sweats in black, black, and well, black! Toys were just toys in our house. They played with what they wanted and the ones that were never used went to goodwill.
    ITA with this. Growing up, my brother did traditional boy things but was also really into playing with barbie dolls and sometimes liked to dress up in girls' clothes. My parents didn't have a problem with it and were happy to buy him the toys he liked, both "girl" and "boy" toys. And this was a conservative Christian household. I think most families like to see their children do what they like to do and aren't trying to shove them into a pink or blue box.

    It's nice that the parents in this article are supportive of Storm, but all the fuss about not revealing the sex of their child is ridiculous and doesn't help their cause. The people that have a problem with children breaking out of traditional gender roles aren't going to suddenly see the light just because these crazy parents are keeping little Storm's gender a secret. This strikes me as a huge plea for attention.

  6. #66

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    The parents need to read this book ASAP:

    http://www.amazon.com/As-Nature-Made...6349848&sr=1-1

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marge_Simpson View Post
    The parents need to read this book ASAP:

    http://www.amazon.com/As-Nature-Made...6349848&sr=1-1
    That is a totally different situation from what the parents are doing.

    David Reimer's situation is incredibly tragic and shows what happens when society tries to tell you what gender you are when deep down you know it's the wrong one for you.

    With these parents, all they're doing is trying not to implement a gender label onto the child until later on when the child can tell the parents what he/she prefers for himself/herself. They aren't dictating what the child is or who the child should be. I think all the assumptions that the parents are never going to tell the child the differences between the sexes or allow him/her to know what sex he/she is are really baseless. A lot of the worries I've been reading in this thread really have nothing to do with what is actually written in the above article.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    A lot of the worries I've been reading in this thread really have nothing to do with what is actually written in the above article.


    I agree. there's nothing in the article to indicate that the parents are keeping the sex from the child him or herself, just that they prefer not to have strangers or society try and dictate how the child behaves wrt traditional gender roles.

    I think a lot of the decision they've made with this younger child stems from the problems their older son has had. I just think they're trying to avoid that, as misguided as some might this it is.

    But I agree with Jenny. Once someone starts giving interviews to the media, and I believe I saw something one the front page of the Toronto Star today, I lose a little respect for them.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    In a rare event, a yahoo poster summed this up:

    one should not conduct social experiments on one's children.
    But we DO conduct social experiments on children everytime we change how they are schooled/educated. People try different method of socialising children all the time, and collect data on the results. Look at just the stories from the small amount of posters on this board. These parents are not doing anything that threatens the welfare of their children.
    Quote Originally Posted by oleada View Post
    All the homeschooled kids I've met have been SO WEIRD and socially awkward is puttIng it mildly. Some succeeded academically and some didn't.
    I don't see how a set of homeschooled kids, as a group, would not stand out as different from a group of children who've been in public school. Their parents are different, and people tend to inherit their personality traits from their parents. The ones who were weird would probably be just as weird had they gone through formal schooling.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

  10. #70

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    This is completely whacked. These parents are completely selfish and most definitely NOT doing what's in the best interest of their child.

    There are definitely some weirdo hippy types in various areas of Toronto so somehow this does not surprise me much.

  11. #71

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    Was there any indication that the parents had decided not to tell anyone the child's sex before the birth?

    If not, my lingering suspicion is that the child is intersexual.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    Was there any indication that the parents had decided not to tell anyone the child's sex before the birth?
    Probably, since these people are way flaky:

    The only people who know are Storm’s brothers, Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2, a close family friend and the two midwives who helped deliver the baby in a birthing pool at their Toronto home on New Year’s Day.
    There is so much wrong with this sentence.
    Last edited by heckles; 05-26-2011 at 03:26 AM.

  13. #73
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    This conversation is very timely, considering an article in this months' Smithsonian Magazine about when girls started wearing pink and boys wearing blue. I thought this was particularly interesting:

    ittle Franklin Delano Roosevelt sits primly on a stool, his white skirt spread smoothly over his lap, his hands clasping a hat trimmed with a marabou feather. Shoulder-length hair and patent leather party shoes complete the ensemble.

    We find the look unsettling today, yet social convention of 1884, when FDR was photographed at age 2 1/2, dictated that boys wore dresses until age 6 or 7, also the time of their first haircut. Franklin’s outfit was considered gender-neutral.
    And there's a great photo of FDR in a dress and long hair.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    And there's a great photo of FDR in a dress and long hair.
    The dress and hair are nothing compared to those shoes!
    Creating drama!

  15. #75
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    I have a strange need to run off and play with my Barbie dolls after reading this.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    This conversation is very timely, considering an article in this months' Smithsonian Magazine about when girls started wearing pink and boys wearing blue.
    Proof that pink does not hinder a man's manliness:

    This somehow turned into this. (and this, and this.)

  17. #77
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    I love pink dress shirts and a nice tie and suit on a man.
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  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    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:
    I don't see the big deal either. If it's important to the kid, he or she will tell everyone "I'm a girl/boy" when the subject comes up. If it's not important to the kid, then it really doesn't matter what the parents do or did.

    I have to say, having one kid of each gender and having an interest in gender issues, that it's very clear to me that society puts kids into boxes based on their gender and it's very hard to overcome those messages.

    As an example, many pre-school aged boys are attracted to bright colors including neon pink. The boys in Mini-Mac's class would fight over who got to wear the yellow bathing suit covered in sequins from the dress-up box. (They considered it a super-hero costume, from what I could see.) All the parents in this school would have told you that they wanted their kids to follow their own interests and not be bound by society's conventions. But most of the parents were made very uncomfortable by the boys wearing the woman's bathing suit. They just couldn't help it, I think. And I think it wore off on the boys because they stopped playing with it pretty quickly, more quickly than you'd expect based on their initial level of interest.

    The unschooling sounds similar to Montessori method btw (or at least has some things in common with it).
    No, it's nothing like Montessori. Montessori is actually quite structured in some ways. The puzzles and games the kids work on all have a "right" answer and "right" way to do them, for example. Unschooling is more like a Sudbury school. Basically, you take your kids with you as you live real life and they learn from those experiences. For example, you take them shopping and have them figure out prices or keep a running total of what you've put in the cart and that's how they learn math and reading.

    It's actually quite a bit of work to do properly, too. More than sending your kids to a school.

    WRT the bullying comments, I think some sentiments expressed are at odds with those posted in this thread. 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.
    Word.

    I find this kind of argument to be rather passive-aggressive myself. I think the people using it are uncomfortable with the gender-bending behavior but rather than copping to it, they play the "the child has to live in the real world" card. Yes, the child has to live in the real world, but it's not like a 2 year old isn't constantly shielded from most aspects of the real world. Why not shield a kid from this aspect? They can "live in the real world" later on when they have no choice in the matter.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

  19. #79
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    It seems to me that the parents see a lot of rigidity in the world and would prefer to see more warm, relaxed-ness. So they want a better world for their children. I commend them.

    Some random thoughts about the article Cyn shared with us...

    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? ...).”
    It does not sound to me like they have a rigid plan on how long this decision (of keeping the children's gender a secret) will last. They're just taking some time to give people space to think about why they cling so tightly to needing to label someone by gender.

    And from some of the responses, people definitely cling very tightly to the idea of gender.

    It sounds like the parents want the world to be a better place for their children, and they are taking action. I commend them for the strength of their convictions.

    The grandparents were supportive, but resented explaining the gender-free baby to friends and co-workers. They worried the children would be ridiculed. Friends said they were imposing their political and ideological values on a newborn. Most of all, people said they were setting their kids up for a life of bullying in a world that can be cruel to outsiders.
    The resentment of having to explain... (whatever, fill in the blank) seems to me to be about someone actually have to think anew about a subject that has previously been labelled, sealed and packaged in an easy way. Now we have to stop...think...and re-think previous ideas and beliefs that we have been taught - which might not actually make sense. This takes everyone out of their comfort zone. Which makes some people angry...defensive... (this could go on and on)!

    When you think of previous groups of oppressed individuals, looking back now it's clear that the abuse directed at these people was wrong. But it took someone to stand up and say that something needed to change. I'm wondering if the phrase, "don't shoot the messenger" is apt. I'll have to think about that one. Your thoughts?

    Bullying. I find it interesting that most people in this thread seem to be angry at the parents for letting their children be whoever they are as opposed to be angry with anyone who would dare to direct any form of mis-treatment or abuse at a child. It seems to be blaming the one receiving the abuse, rather than directing anger towards someone who is acting in an improper, hurtful way. (There, I've managed to explain that without using the words, "blaming the victim"...oops!!!)
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  20. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    This conversation is very timely, considering an article in this months' Smithsonian Magazine about when girls started wearing pink and boys wearing blue.

    And there's a great photo of FDR in a dress and long hair.
    This was common for males in the 19th century - Victorian era
    If you've seen any portraiture/photos of children you might assume males to be females up until about age six.

    Then, upper-class boys were dressed in short pants and ruffled shirts - think "Little Lord Fauntleroy" - until they were young men,

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