Gender Bending Babies.

Gender-neutral baby Storm, son/daughter of Canadian couple Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, who have two other children whose genders are known, is the subject of Good Weekend’s “Newspaper Clipping of the Week”.

The article is a very interesting one, for those who have and haven’t heard of the baby whose gender has been kept a secret from the rest of the world in a bid to let Storm grow up making choices about who he/she wants to be without the confines of gender.

While I think gender-neutral parenting is a good idea, to an extent—letting your child choose whatever they want from the toy store, as opposed to letting them choose whatever they want from the boys/girls section—one has to wonder what effect being genderless will have on Storm as he/she grows older. It’s hard not to think that this is just a social experiment on the part of the parents, with no regard for the child.

What do you think? Would you ever consider keeping your child genderless to the outside world?

4 thoughts on “Gender Bending Babies.

  1. Shouldn’t their parenting abilities have come into question when they called their ‘gender-neutral’ child Storm? Perhaps something more gender-neutral would be more appropriate. And I agree it could have more detriment than benefit, like a lot of experimental parenting, as most other children from more conventional upbringings will find it hard to understand Storm’s (or Storm’s parents) stance. And fear and prejudice stem from a lack of understanding. I do hope it works out for the best for the little one’s sake. I must say I also agree with giving the child the right to choose from a gender-neutral world rather than a boy/girl selection when it comes to clothes, toys and the like. Another thing this made me think of was the issues related to gender selection by parents with babies both with both genitals present and also the lack of genetic testing for gender related issues. Think the girl in Grey’s Anatomy who turned out to be genetically male.

  2. I think children who go to school with Storm when he/she is of school-age will actually benefit from his/her gender-neutrality. Kids who are four and five probably won’t notice much of a difference and will therefore willingly accept Storm into the fold, therefore enabling them to become more accepting as they age.
    The world is a lot more diverse and integrated than it was when Storm’s parents went to school, I would imagine, so I think it will be beneficial to other kids for Storm to be integrated into their society, along with kids of different races, genders, etc.
    But who’s more important here: the kids who will have their thinking changed by Storm, or Storm, who is potentially being used as a scapegoat to further acceptance of “the other”?

  3. I am still so undecided as to whether this would be actually something I would do, but I really wish they’d do a documentary about it!
    I feel that given Storm’s gender neutrality, the girls might disassociate from her/him because girls are more drawn to things like cultural capital (ie: who has the best barbies and shoes etc), whereas because Storm does not have these things, the boys might be a bit more inviting.

  4. I would never do that to my child, but I think it’s a step in the right direction, especially for transgendered people, who really don’t get a choice in the gender they were born with on the outside, and the one they identify with on the inside.
    I hope by the time I have kids (5-10 years), “cultural capital” will be less important to kids. But I guess it’s really what they’re raised to value… Barbies vs. acceptance!

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