Have you heard about Baby Storm? The 4-month old from Toronto is being called the “genderless” baby, which I don’t think paints a very nice picture.
Basically, a couple from Toronto gave birth to their third child and decided to keep the child’s sex a secret. Their birth announcement email said, “We decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a standup to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime.”
The point is to keep the child free of societal gender norms.
Is it worth it? Does it even make sense?
I’ll tell you one thing: I can’t help wondering whether it’s even possible to raise a child without specific gender tendencies. I know the nature-versus-nurture question has been debated for decades and that there’s no real answer either way. Plus, you’ve got transgendered folks who search for and find meaning in associating themselves with a specific gender. Why then, would you want to take that away from a child?
I’m writing this after coming home from a shopping trip with the family where all of our car time was spent looking for buses and trucks—Caden’s favorite activity. He started his large-vehicle-fascination months ago, completely unprompted by us (as far as we know). Interestingly, when we get together with parents of other little boys, we’re told their kids do the same thing.
While Chloe, at just a few weeks old, is too young to be showing any gender-based tendencies, we have noticed a few other changes that surfaced now that we have a little girl. For one thing, there’s the pink explosion that’s taken place in our laundry baskets. When I dump the clean laundry out on the bed to start folding, it’s glittered over with every shade of pink and a little bit of purple. There’s also quite a bit of lace and flowery things.
My husband and I are not really keen on the idea of raising a girlie-girl. I don’t want a kid who cares more about her hair and makeup than about having fun and running around with her friends. I’m not much of a girlie-woman, to be honest. I don’t put a ton of effort into staying in fashion or following makeup trends. Maybe I should, but I don’t.
On the other hand, I grew up playing dress-up and painting my nails with my sister every now and then, and I still turned out to be non-frilly. So, I guess if Chloe wants to do super-feminine things I’m okay with it … but I also won’t mind if she takes a liking to watching garbage trucks go by, like her big brother.
For me, I guess it’s just a balance of being open-minded and setting the right limits. It’s fine if Caden wants to play with a doll and it’ll be fine if Chloe grows up to be rough-and-tumble. At the same time, both grandmothers are under strict instructions to quit buying us things with fur, feathers, or fringe. Because, seriously — baby girls can be pretty in pink, but they certainly don’t need all that excess to be perfectly lovely and squeezable!