Baby Storm (4 months) & Older brother Jazz (5 years)
I simply can't stop thinking about the latest ridiculous couple to make a misguided attempt at raising their child without gender. In 2009, I railed against the 'original' newsmaking Scandinavian couple who called their child Pop and kept him/her in an endlessly changing array of clothing and hairstyles.
Now another couple has jumped on this bandwagon. Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, a canadian couple who already had sons, one of whom likes to dress in stereotypically girlish clothing and hairstyles have made the decision to keep the sex of their third child a secret. Witterlick (because, to the best of my knowledge, we haven't heard from the father) intends to shield her newest child's identity from all possible societal tainting by keeping it under wraps: "…if you really mean what you say about being kind, honoring difference, having an open mind and placing limits thoughtfully where they help children develop competencies and be safe, then you better walk the talk."
I love when other writers/bloggers draw my attention to interesting things that I would probably never have come across on my own wanderings of the world and web. Debra Nussbaum Cohen, in an article in the online incarnation of the Jewish Daily Forward, writes about a couple in Sweden who have chosen to raise their child without revealing his/her gender. As a former student of drama and perfomance studies, I find myself morbidly transfixed by this story. How will life unfold for this child who has deliberately been denied a gender identity? Though I definitely think that so much of the gender nonsense that we impose onto our children is societal construct (Why can't my son wear the Dora swim diapers that he prefers?! He is no less of a boy because he has worn a pink Dora Pull-Up), it seems really strange to me to refuse to give your child a gender-identity at all. Is this the urge to avoid pink/blue stereo-typing taken to a whole new sick level?