Post # 1
I just finished reading a couple articles on the Witterick family and their decision to keep the gender of their child secret until he/she is ready to tell people him/her self. The parents are wanting to sheild their children from the gender roles our society has labelled appropriate for “male” and “female.”
What are your thoughts on this?
Post # 3
I saw them, and their theories on “unschooling” as well. Personally, I find them to be… nutty.
Post # 4
there was JUST a thread about that. I personally do not like it at all…
Post # 5
I cant open the link at work but I am soo curious!! Can someone sum it all up for me?
Post # 6
the craziest part of this is that they allow a young child to choose whether or not to attend school. i feel like there are some things in life that you shouldn’t have a choice as a child – school being one of them. who as a child wouldn’t choose to eat candy all the time? i mean, that’s not a good choice. at some point, parents need to step in and make a decision that’s the best for the child. as far as gender goes, i get what they’re trying to do but i think it might cause confusion and identity problems later in life. i guess to each their own.
Post # 7
They aren’t telling anyone what the gender of the baby is and it’s 4 months old. Its name is Storm, and no family members besides them know if it’s a boy or girl because they think gender is “restrictive” or “oppressive” or some crap and they want Storm to figure it out for itself.
Post # 8
I just don’t see this experiment working out so well for the kiddo.
Post # 9
I think there are a lot of problems with gender expectations and roles. I don’t really think what they’re doing solves anything though. The baby is going to start asking questions about its genitalia at some point, and from that will extrapolate whether it is a “boy” or “girl” and then conform how it is supposed to act to what it sees in society. Of course, I don’t know how isolated these kids are. It’s an interesting idea.
Post # 10
@cyndistar3: Oops, I checked to see if there was but I didn’t see one! Thanks for the heads up.
@PitBulLover: The parents have three children who they are raising with alternative parenting ideas. Their youngest is 4 months old and they have chosen not to allow people to know his/her gender. The reason for this is that they believe sex and gender are two different things and they don’t want society influencing their child’s true self and true gender identity. They want their child to grow up to be the person that they would be without the constraints of society. This couple allows their two older boys to dress how they please wearing clothing from either sex. Their one little boy also has long hair and wears it in braids etc. They also practise other alternative parenting ideas like a large shared family bed and loose rules and regulations.
It’s a good idea in theory, but it makes me wonder how these children are treated by more main stream peers. I think it’s a wonderful idea to want your child to be who they are naturally, but at the same time I can see a lot of challenges with this because of how conformed society is. I would be afraid that the children might suffer from this. At the same time I guess they are teaching their kids to be comfortable in their own skin, so maybe they won’t be phased by others reactions.
Post # 11
Keeping bio gender a secret seems less powerful to me than saying, baby girl, this is how you were born, and people will tell you all kinds of things about what it means to be female, but we think it’s best to just behave bravely, honorably, intelligently, kindly, and every other good way that one can behave without concern for whether or not you are doing so in a gendered way.
I wish that we had a more open society, but the truth is that my friends who are not fully identified with a particular gender have a much harder row to hoe than they might if they didn’t feel oppressed by living with a gender that is not one that they full claim.
Post # 12
I’m sure in the long run it’ll make Storm a stronger person- but at what cost?
Post # 13
I agree that sex and gender are two different concepts, but I think this will do more harm than help. IMO the best thing you can do to ensure your kid is comfortable in his/her own skin is be supportive and open-minded.
So much of our experience and decision is affected by what we perceive as “right” or “wrong” for us; if this kid is not treated as one gender or the other, how are they going to have any basis for comparison? Either they will choose to remain genderless or they will have to “try out” being male or female in order to figure out what feels right anyway.
I would say it’s better for the child to be raised as a male and realize it has more female tendencies (or vice versa) than for it to be raised as genderless and not really understand what it’s like to live as a male or a female at all.
Post # 14
And we wonder why society is in the shape it’s in?
Post # 15
Um. I get it, I really do. I studied a lot of this in school, but… I do think it’s a bit dangerous. Of course, they can do whatever they want, but it seems like it may just be confusing for a child. Having seen a few different variations of this in the past (such as transgendered children having their gender decided at birth and then it being the opposite once they hit puberty) I just think this type of thing can get very complicated very quickly.
Post # 16
I commented on the other post but I’ll chime in here too…
I think the whole thing is ridiculous. I don’t see how this is going to help their “cause” at all. If anything, I think the kids probably going to be more f’ed up than he/she would have normally been. These parents are totally off their rockers!