Tuesday, 7 June 2011

(Brewing up a) Storm

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while. Then I read THIS post by Petty Witter over at Pen and Paper and I figured that I should (finally) write this, instead of just commenting on her post (it would have been a looooong comment!).

All of you have probably heard about baby Storm by now, the genderless baby. The child is not genderless because of a medical condition, but because the parents won't tell the world whether it's a boy or a girl. They want Storm to choose for himself/herself when he/she gets older; what he/she wants to wear, play with, look like etc. As you can probably guess many people thinks this is wrong. Probably because of the society we live in today we're all used to knowing what gender people are.

When I first read about Storm a few weeks ago I thought it was kind of wrong of the parents to keep the gender a secret as well. Why couldn't they just do what they have done with Storm's older brothers? When I first saw a picture of them I thought they were girls because of they way they dressed and wore their hair. They're allowed to wear what they want and play with whatever they want etc. Why couldn't they just do the same with Storm instead of keeping the gender secret?

My mind has kind of changed now that I've had some time to think about it though. Personally I still think it's strange that the parent's has chosen to keep the gender a secret, but at the same time I can kind of understand it.

Storms older brothers often get told to act more like boys and to change their appearance. They probably get teased and bullied by the way they choose to look, just because it's different than what people want them to look like. I hope they keep their own styles, and if they change it, that they change it because they want to, and not because of what other people say. At the same time, I hope they don't get any problems later in life because of other people's comments.

Storm on the other hand can dress in whatever he/she likes, because people people won't know what he/she should dress like... For now anyway... I wonder how long they manage to keep it a secret. Since the children are unschooled or home-schooled, whatever you want to call it, I guess it will take longer before anyone finds out... I don't think Storm will get any problems later in life just because it's gender is kept a secret,although some people might make problems out of it...

Everyone says "be yourself" to people. Why won't we let them do it as well?

I have nothing against not knowing Storm's gender, I think it's nice that Storm and his/her brothers are being raised in a way that makes them more open to gender roles and also hopefully more accepting to everything else as well.

Writing this post reminds me of part of the lyrics to a Madonna song.

Girls can wear jeans
and cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
'Cause it's okay to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading

I don't care about the rest of the lyrics, but these 5 lines always make me think. They're very true, aren't they? Why is it wrong for boys to dress like girls, but it's fine the other way around? Just because we're not used to it doesn't make it wrong.

All this being said though, I don't know if I could ever date a guy that dressed like a girl, I think it would feel kind of wrong since I'm not lesbian or bisexual. But I don't know though... I've never met a guy dressed as a girl... That I know of... You can probably tell I' one of those "never say never" people.

Anyway. What are your views on the whole Storm/genderless people issue?


Kaby said...

Lilly. Excellent point. I'm also a 'be who you want to be' sort of person. I have two sons and tried so hard to let them always make their own choices - didn't go as far as Storm's parents. When I used to take them toy shopping when they were little, they were allowed to choose whatever they wanted. I remember when my younger son was about 5, he was determined to get a Barbie doll, so off we went. Spent forever choosing between the Barbies - ages and ages. In the end, he chose some kind of traditional boy's toy. Even by that age with a year of kindy and pre-school, he'd been too socialised as a boy to get the Barbie. I felt kind of sad. A couple of years after that, though, when he had the Spice Girls craze, he actally bought a Ginger Spice doll, which he kept in its original box because it was an 'investment' not a toy. Bless him.

....Petty Witter said...

A wonderful post, many, many thanks for taking the time to share your opinion. I do agree with you in that I think all this gender stereotyping (pink and dolls for girls etc) is nonsense BUT I also believe it is the job of parents to make their children proud of who they and what they are and like it or not these children are of a certain gender and should be made to feel proud of that.

....Petty Witter said...

PS I hope you don't mind me including a link to this post on my blog.


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