May 25, 2011 1:38 am at 1:38 am #597081YW Moderator-80Member
without the Torah, anything is possible:
When many couples have a baby, they send out an email to family and friends that fills them in on the key details: name, gender, birth weight, that sort of thing. (You know the drill: “Both Mom and little Ethan are doing great!”)
But the email sent recently by Kathy Witterick and David Stocker of Toronto, Canada to announce the birth of their baby, Storm, was missing one important piece of information. “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s gender for now–a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime (a more progressive place? …),” it said.
That’s right. They’re not saying whether Storm is a boy or a girl.
There’s nothing ambiguous about the baby’s gender. But as Stocker puts it: “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what their physical attributes are.” So only the parents, their two other children (both boys), a close friend, and the two midwives who helped deliver the now 4-month-old baby know its gender. Even the grandparents have been left in the dark.
Stocker and Witterick say the decision gives Storm the freedom to choose who he or she wants to be. “What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.
They say that kids receive messages from society that encourage them to fit into existing boxes, including with regard to gender. “We thought that if we delayed sharing that information, in this case hopefully, we might knock off a couple million of those messages by the time that Storm decides Storm would like to share,” says Witterick.
“In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.” she wrote in an email.
How did Stocker and Witterick decide to keep Storm’s gender under wraps? During Witterick’s pregnancy, her son Jazz was having “intense” experiences with his own gender. “I was feeling like I needed some good parenting skills to support him through that,” Witterick said.
Stocker came across a book from 1978, titled X: A Fabulous Child’s Story by Lois Gould. X is raised as neither a boy or girl, and grows up to be a happy and well-adjusted child.
“It became so compelling it was almost like, How could we not?” Witterick said.
The couple’s other two children, Jazz and Kio, haven’t escaped their parents’ unconventional approach to parenting. Though they’re only 5 and 2, they’re allowed to pick out their own clothes in the boys and girls sections of stores and decide whether to cut their hair or let it grow.
Both boys are “unschooled,” a version of homeschooling, which promotes putting a child’s curiosity at the center of his or her education. As Witterick puts it, it’s “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else.”
Because Jazz and Kio wear pink and have long hair, they’re frequently assumed to be girls, according to Stocker. He said he and Witterick don’t correct people–they leave it to the kids to do it if they want to.
But Stocker and Witterick’s choices haven’t always made life easy for their kids. Though Jazz likes dressing as a girl, he doesn’t seem to want to be mistaken for one. He recently asked his mother to let the leaders of a nature center know that he’s a boy. And he chose not to attend a conventional school because of the questions about his gender. Asked whether that upsets him, Jazz nodded.
As for his mother, she’s not giving up the crusade against the tyranny of assigned gender roles. “Everyone keeps asking us, ‘When will this end?'” she said. “And we always turn the question back. Yeah, when will this end? When will we live in a world where people can make choices to be whoever they are?”
minimally edited to remove some objectionable languageMay 25, 2011 1:41 am at 1:41 am #770746popa_bar_abbaParticipant
If the parents aren’t encouraging the kids to pick the girls clothes, I’ll eat my hat.May 25, 2011 1:44 am at 1:44 am #770747ZeesKiteParticipant
I think the article is too un-zees. (a bit graphical) MODS, please?May 25, 2011 1:44 am at 1:44 am #770748shlishiMember
Sick!May 25, 2011 1:44 am at 1:44 am #770749essy8Member
wow. just when we think the world can’t get crazier, someone has to go and up the bar on crazy…proves the adage about being so open minded that one’s brains fall out…really. wow. i’m surprised its a “traditional” family (one mother-presumably female, one father-presumably male.) nebach the children.May 25, 2011 1:45 am at 1:45 am #770750yid.periodMember
wowMay 25, 2011 1:46 am at 1:46 am #770751YW Moderator-80Member
zeeskite you are right
i fixed itMay 25, 2011 1:52 am at 1:52 am #770752ZeesKiteParticipant
Thank you!May 25, 2011 1:55 am at 1:55 am #770753estherhamalkaMember
Wow. Just wow.
What will be next?May 25, 2011 1:59 am at 1:59 am #770754UnderstandMember
Can’t even think straight after reading this. There a real crazy people in this world. Would love to read a follow up about when the kids are teenagers and see what all this “freedom” gave them.May 25, 2011 2:04 am at 2:04 am #770755ItcheSrulikMember
esther: You don’t want to know. Trust me.
Understand: My guess is if Jewish they will become baalei teshuva, if not they will become geirim, or lehavdil Muslims or a mind control cult. They’ll spend their lives looking for anything that will give them more order.May 25, 2011 2:27 am at 2:27 am #770756OfcourseMember
I’d love to see studies on children raised with no gender orientation, whove now become adults, and see if they’re more successful and happier adults or more confused. Id love to see whether there are more avantages or disadvantages.
Seems to me, in this case, the parents are giving this child lots of unwanted attention that the child might me mocked for at some point in the future. That doesnt sound so healthy to me.May 25, 2011 2:34 am at 2:34 am #770757mikehall12382Member
All aboard the crazy train…too bad you don’t need a licence to have kids!May 25, 2011 2:36 am at 2:36 am #770758mikehall12382Member
On a lighter note I have a dog, but have yet to give it a name. We are waiting for him to choose one itself. If the dog wants a female name we will be ok with that as it is the dogs way of expressing himself.May 25, 2011 2:40 am at 2:40 am #770759always runs with scissors fastParticipant
This just reaffirms what my husband has always said “THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF CRAZY PPL IN THE WORLD”.
The parents mentioned above, are going to go roughly through life, because every event or normal daily occurance such as a simple check up at the pediatrician will produce hosility and animonsity on behalf of the parents against any party who assumes and refers to the patient as a male. Whether it be in school or in a social game, extra curricular activities, They will constantly be at war against society’s norms. This is the most telling as far as what damage they are doing as far as putting the child at psychological risk.May 25, 2011 3:30 am at 3:30 am #770760gefenParticipant
OK – this is too weird for words!!!May 25, 2011 4:12 am at 4:12 am #770761truthsharerMember
I would put money down that they are against vaccinations until the children are 18 and they can make their own decisions.May 25, 2011 4:12 am at 4:12 am #770762oomisParticipant
Whoa! A whole new level of crazy. Let’s botox the toddlers for beauty pageants, and raise kids without telling Gramma and Grampa whether they have a grandson or granddaughter. I guess the grandparents don’t babysit much.May 25, 2011 4:30 am at 4:30 am #770763HaLeiViParticipant
This is too wierd to make a difference to me. It is simply funny. Did they teach the baby where it’s feet are?May 25, 2011 5:31 am at 5:31 am #770764m in IsraelMember
always runs — You’re absolutely right except for one thing — these nuts are not simply against “society’s norms” — they are trying to fight physical reality!! Last I checked there were very clear biological differences between male and female . . . it is not a “choice” that parents (obnoxiously) make for their children.May 25, 2011 6:30 am at 6:30 am #770765sof davar hakol nishmaMember
this is so sick. i can’t believe we’ve actually come to THIS!May 26, 2011 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #770768always runs with scissors fastParticipant
You know what? I think that Child Protection Services might/should/could/would step in, as the kid gets older and is affected by this.May 26, 2011 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm #770769☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Oomis, look at the bright side, the grandparents won’t be asked to change diapers!May 26, 2011 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #770770SacrilegeMember
If they think their kids are going to have anything to do w them once they get older…
Kids crave stability and acceptance. If someone wants to be an individual once they can make that decision THEN let the parents support it no matter how outrageous. But this isnt for the children its for the parents, they are being selfish, they are probably hippies, probably high and probably looking for their 5 minutes of fame.
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