Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gender Bender

If you haven't heard about the "storm" Storm and his/her parents have been causing through the Toronto Star, check out this video:

I've been following the story through the Star since it came out and been paying attention to some of the fallout.  Without getting into a debate about gender, parenting, children, Canadians, or the flack that man who lets his boy wear dresses probably gets from his own parents, or anything in between, I'm going to say that this is pretty much an open and shut case.

Yes, gender is a social construction, and outside of standing up and peeing or pushing out babies, a woman can do anything a man can do.  And vice versa.

But I think this debate centres around the child's sex and not his/her gender.  They say only one family friend outside of the immediate family knows the baby's sex, but unless babies are still being delivered by storks or grow in cabbage patches, this "secret" isn't much of a secret.

I really don't care what the child's gender, sex, species, colour, blood type, is.  And for a four month old, all it really knows how to do is pee, poo, vomit, dribble, and cry.  And it's safe to say that baby boy and baby girl bowel movements are equally as delightful.

I have no children, so I can't tell someone else how to raise their child.  But when I do have kids, I'll force my son from young to kill what he eats, wear Old Spice, and pee outdoors.  Why?  Cause that's what men are supposed to do, right?


  1. Social experiment... Poor kid.

  2. The interesting thing is that the family has to remove the kids from society at large (i.e. no public or private education) in order to maintain their happy, genderless world.

    Unless this genderless movement gains support, and the family can move to a gender-free commune, it will be a lonely life for those children if they can't identify with and fit into a social group.

  3. I agree. Or what needs to happen is that we create a third gender category: female, male, and not applicable or male/female.

    Almost like how "mixed race" was a category on the census. Well not anymore because the short form Canadian census is going to screw our country.

  4. What happens if there is a SEX box: M/F... not a gender box.. then what do you check?

  5. I'm also a bit surprised this is being made SUCH a big deal. I worried about gender construction when I was having kids as well. I didn't find out my first child's sex before birth because, as I said, I wanted to hold my baby at least once without knowing.
    I have heard of social science experiments in which adults play with babies and their style of play is analyzed based on what sex they think the baby is. Even with very young babies, people played more roughly and spoke less to babies they believed to be male and were less likely to offer hard toys (like trucks) to baby girls.
    At the same time, brain plasticity studies have shown time and again that our brains change their structure as they learn and are expose to different input and experiences. If this is the case, AND boys and girls are treated differently from the time they're babies, is it any wonder that after a few years their brains are different?
    I actually wish these parents luck with their experiment. I think the reality is that Storm's gender will become important to Storm in the years to come (this is difficult without pronouns), but by then he or she will not be so rigidly bound by either (or any) gender role as are those of us who are pigeonholed as soon as we're born. Maybe that will work in Storm's favour.

  6. Hopefully this story gets picked up in 5 or so years and we can get some answers to these questions.

    But in true fashion, this storm might just blow over.