Toronto Parents Determined to Confuse Kid by Ignoring Baby’s Sex

Posted on by Jason Arango (jarango)
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There are plenty of parents who like to condescendingly point out that until you have kids, there's no way you can understand what it's like to be a parent. And, while this might be true to an extent, there are plenty of things so stupid they still warrant a bit of armchair quarterbacking from anyone with common sense. One recent example is a Toronto couple that has decided to conceal the sex of their baby as "a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become (a more progressive place?)..."

Refusing to bow down to societal standards dictating blue for boys and pink for girls, they've instead opted to let the child decide when it's ready to tell the world what it is. Oh yeah, and lest you think this might not be a bunch of hippie nonsense, the child's name is Storm.

From the artist's rendering, it seems pretty obvious Storm's a girl.

For these parents, warping their child's sense of identity is nothing new. Their previous children, Jazz and Kio (also awesome names) are being taught to ignore gender roles and do what feels right for them. This would be an admirable lesson, if it wasn't ignoring the harsh reality that being different, especially when you're a kid, can be extremely difficult. The article goes on to point out that Jazz, a long haired five-year-old whose favorite color is pink, is frequently assumed to be a girl. Apparently this bothers him to the point where he doesn't want to go to school:

"Jazz 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 [Jazz's mother], 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.

Not surprisingly, the kids are also being "unschooled." For anyone not familiar with unschooling (which would probably be most people), it's "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." In short, it's self-directed learning for kids who haven't yet acquired a solid foundation of knowledge.

The kids decide what they want to do, and according to the article, "They decide if they want to squish through the mud, chase garter snakes in the park or bake cupcakes." All valuable lessons no doubt...

Even as an adult, cupcakes usually trump doing math.

Again, as someone who isn't a parent, it's difficult to judge the decisions of others. However, for anyone who's been a kid, it's easy to pick apart the problems with being raised in isolation of reality. Sooner or later, Jazz, Kio, and Storm are going to be faced with a world in which sex and gender actually do matter, and Jazz is already clearly uncomfortable with the way he's being perceived by others.

Even if refusing to tell anyone the sex of your child is sending a positive message about combating negative gender stereotypes - and that's a huge "if" - there's also something to be said for raising your children to be well-adjusted, confident members of society. And these parents probably aren't doing their kids any favors in that regard.

Do you think parents should ignore their child’s sex?

1972 views & 23 votes

Debate It! 6

This was exactly my reaction when I read the news story. Teaching kids about gender flexibility and allowing them to be who they are is one thing. Providing them no guidance or support whatsoever is horrible. Why not send them off to the jungle to fend for themselves? It would save the parents from performing any other their other duties as well, such as feeding and clothing them.

Posted By Telanis,

this reminds me of an episode of star trek: the next generation where Data somehow had a child. it was just a generic robot android at first and it was allowed to observe humans and finally choose its own gender (female). it may work for androids, but i'm not sure it works for humans. my bet is all 3 of those kids will be pretty screwed up by the time they reach adulthood.

Posted By Nate,

I think it's important for children to know what their role is in a society but I don't think they should be restricted to the idea of gender roles. Kids should be comfortable doing what they like to do and choose to do what they want to do. That's part of being a kid.

Posted By belen(:,

It's great that parents want their child to chose who they want to be, but, honestly, if you're a boy you're a boy, and if you're a girl you're a girl. I'm not saying they can't cross-dress or be gay or whatever, that's fine by me, but I think parents need to wake up and smell that teasing. It's just better if the kids are at least a little bit normal

Posted By PuffleFluff,

I think kids shouldn't be shown who they were meant to by society. It's not fair that society forces these rules on us and kids who grow up with no guidance are purely doing what feels right to them, which I think is correct and fair, and society shouldn't make us feel like we're wrong for doing so.

Posted By Writer24,

yeah go make a statement but should you? as of now, your kid is not only socially-oppressed and shunned but will be uneducated too.

Posted By dylancayleb,

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