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The Real Wizard user is on Queenzone.com
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Posted: 21 May 11, 12:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/babiespregnancy/babies/article/995112--footloose-and-gender-free

Much food for thought here.


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Posted: 21 May 11, 18:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is truly ridiculous on every level imaginable.  The only purpose this exercise serves is to make the parents look stupid and make the kid and siblings in question targets for bullies.  Unless "Storm" is treated like Prince MJ and is hidden under a veil for te next few years, folk, neighbours, friends and family alike are going to work out the kid's gender and, come nursery or even school time, it'll be the worst kept secret since, well, erm, the last worst kept secret.  It doesn't matter if people know, and I hardly think it's intrusive for folk to ask.  And if it's a case of the parents believing that society will shape the kid's identity as he/she grows, that's absolute nonsense -  regardless of whether it's tutus or trucks he/she is showered with in their younger years, they will still grow to know their true inner identity/sexuality or whatever the concern is about sooner or later.


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Posted: 21 May 11, 23:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Storm is off to a stormy start as their unwitting "statement baby."  So weird ... as it began. 
Reminds me of a certain Queen song ... "Tried to be a son & daughter rolled into one."


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Posted: 22 May 11, 03:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Without the retarded new-age names, this could actually work.  I definitely think there's a case for this sort of thing in China, where 'baby girl' is synonymous with 'accidentally lost in the laundry chute'.


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Posted: 23 May 11, 21:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think most people, myself included, have to get through a fairly forceful negative gut reaction to this in order consider it a little more carefully.  Still, what I was left with in the end  was the sense that these parents were conducting an experiment with all these kids that would never meet ethics requirements if proposed by a research body. That alone gives a stark picture of the power and responsibility of parenting that I don't think is well summed up by referring to most guiding of one's small children as 'obnoxious'.

The biggest problem I see with this is that I very much doubt that the older boys are simply being their unadulterated selves.  They're much more likely to be responding to a combination of conscious and unconscious positive reinforcement for wearing dresses, braids, sparkles and pink.  Paradoxically the whole thing including the mystery baby ends up putting a hyper focus on gender.  I have to think that there are many less radical ways to effect the important parts of this if it's just about their own children's freedom from social pressures relating to gender.  If they're volunteering tiny, dependent people to make their own socio-political points at the potential social expense of the little ones I think that needs a stronger moral defense than an article in the Toronto Star.

When my son was four all he wanted for Christmas was one of those dolls that eats and drinks and poops and pees.  He thought it sounded icky and cool and somewhat scientifically probative.  So Santa didn't blink an eye and brought it.  He named her Sarah after a red headed girl in his Junior Kindergarten class he was fascinated with at the time.  She happily coexisted for years among the trucks and cars and other boy stuff.  He went through alternate periods of ignoring her, playing with her, and something like fathering her.  I'm very confident that it's one of the lines along which some of his empathy and compassion developed and it's one of the toys that I've tucked away rather than toss just because.

One of the more challenging days of parenting came for me when he wanted to bring her for show and tell in some grade that was high enough to make me concerned about peer reaction.  I told him that he might be teased and was he prepared for that or did he want to bring another toy.  He said he didn't care what people thought and wanted to bring Sarah I think in part because he knew it was different. So I let him bring her, and I think it worked both for and against him.   Like the story in the article it kind of both fascinated and repulsed. I still don't know if I did the right thing.  The teacher wasn't happy with it, which made me feel guilty. I still don't know if she was right either.  Anyway, my boy is all boy and survived having a doll for a few years just fine, along with an early phase where his favourite theoretical colour was pink.

He's sixteen now and the other day he came home from school and told me about how he's unhappy if his hands aren't greasy after his auto shop class. I asked him if that was because it made him feel cool and he said no, that it was because it made him feel useful and that he had accomplished something.  That is just one of the endless brilliant glimpses I've been privileged to get over the years into a developing and intrinsic way of thinking that is almost completely unintuitive to the female heart and mind.  I find it humbling and inspiring, and I admit I can't quite grasp why these parents are on the path they're on.

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Posted: 23 May 11, 21:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Zebonka12 wrote: Without the retarded new-age names, this could actually work.  I definitely think there's a case for this sort of thing in China, where 'baby girl' is synonymous with 'accidentally lost in the laundry chute'.
=====================

Similar problem in India.  As low as 300 girls to every 1000 boys in higher caste familes.  It's a terrible situation for the remaining young men of marriage age, not to mention the girls who never had a chance.  I saw a heart breaking doc on it a couple of years ago.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7466916.stm

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Posted: 24 May 11, 14:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Very interesting... slightly disturbing... i really don't know what to think about this.  In a way, I can respect their wish to have their child ungendered (especially if its a girl, its no harm to have her learn some 'masculine' ways, because masculinity is an advantage in society).  On the other hand, won't it screw the child's head up?!  Society isn't very forgiving regarding gender issues, and we want people to fit into a pre-determined role to some extent.  And if the parents are wanting the child to have the chance to achieve whatever it wants regardless of its gender, then why not raise it as a boy or girl and make sure they have the same chances, and have opportunities to gain skills 'outside the box.' 
It does bother me how much we adjust depending on whether speaking to a boy or girl.  i work with 2 year olds, and am conscious of gender issues, but still catch myself saying 'good morning, don't u look pretty today' versus 'good morning, look how big and strong you are,' or similar.  And every time i hear other people doing it (if drastic) i cringe.  I don't think there is anythign wrong with telling a girl she is pretty, or telling a boy he is strong, but not EXCLUSIVELY, which is the tendency, and it does send strong messages regarding what is important to get affirmation, and what is valued.  But i don't think the answer is in making the child gender-less.  Surely the answer is in reinforcing strength and power in girls, and gentleness and empathy in boys?  On the other hand, i know some parents who have tried that only to have their house taken over by Disney Princess 6 months later.  :/

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Posted: 24 May 11, 14:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

oh, and someone (can't remember who, sorry) remarked on parents inflicting their political and ideological values onto the child - but don't we all do that?  Maybe not to quite such an extreme, but we do all act according to our values and ideals.  Well, ok, maybe not quite that drastically, and a lot of people have ideals but don't live them out on their own children, but still!  I guess what i'm trying to say is, what else would a parent do but live out their values?  Although, the parents don't withold their own gender, so its maybe a bit hypocritical to expect the baby to.

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Posted: 24 May 11, 19:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GratefulFan wrote:   "Still, what I was left with in the end  was the sense that these parents were conducting an experiment with all these kids that would never meet ethics requirements if proposed by a research body. "
____________________________________________________________________

Exactly - a very good point.   Perhaps one day this child will runaway from these games. We have to live our lives in reality, not theory. When people try to live theory as their reality ... trouble, especially if it's not free choice, but imposed/compulsory.   Who will pay for therapy later?  Not because of the gender mess up - but because of the controlling environment.


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Posted: 25 May 11, 13:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

queenUSA wrote: GratefulFan wrote:   "Still, what I was left with in the end  was the sense that these parents were conducting an experiment with all these kids that would never meet ethics requirements if proposed by a research body. "
____________________________________________________________________

Exactly - a very good point.   Perhaps one day this child will runaway from these games. We have to live our lives in reality, not theory. When people try to live theory as their reality ... trouble, especially if it's not free choice, but imposed/compulsory.   Who will pay for therapy later?  Not because of the gender mess up - but because of the controlling environment.

I agree with this to an extent, as i'm sure ethics boards wouldn;t allow a child to be raised 'indeterminate' indefinately, but experiments of this nature have been done.  I can't remember the name of the experiment tho, but im gonna look it up.  i remember coming across it in a psych book in college.

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Posted: 25 May 11, 13:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

OOPS! Ok, ignore what i just said!!!  I found the part in the book, and it wasn't an experiment after all.  It just talked about it based on various studies, and there were some illustrations regarding the issue, which is presumably why i thought it was a study.  Sorry about that!

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Posted: 30 May 11, 11:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A follow up about the readers' response to the story: Star readers rage about couple raising genderless infant

And a reaction to the reaction by Storm's mother: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/canada/Baby+Storm+gender+parenting+media/4856804/story.html

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Posted: 30 May 11, 12:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think it's disgraceful that they refer to Parents making decisions as 'Obnoxious'.
As long as children are dependent on their parents, some decisions must be made by parents or through parents.
You can't hand a child his/her independence from when they are born, and these two seem to be trying to get the point across that people shouldn't judge them for how they raise their child, so why are they lashing out at other parents for how they raise their children.
Cos they're hypocrites, that's why!!!!


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Posted: 03 Jun 11, 17:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

.

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Posted: 06 Jun 11, 14:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Djdownsy wrote: I think it's disgraceful that they refer to Parents making decisions as 'Obnoxious'.
As long as children are dependent on their parents, some decisions must be made by parents or through parents.
You can't hand a child his/her independence from when they are born, and these two seem to be trying to get the point across that people shouldn't judge them for how they raise their child, so why are they lashing out at other parents for how they raise their children.
Cos they're hypocrites, that's why!!!!
hahaha, good point.

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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 22:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That kinda thing annoys me though, don't try and force your opinions on other people if you're not willing to at least respect the decisions they have made so far.


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Posted: 19 Jun 11, 00:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ugh, there are enough emo kids in the world.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller