Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gender Neutral Debate

I recently read an article about a baby in Toronto who is being raised gender-neutral. At first I thought it was a crazy thing to do, but when I kept reading the piece, the parents started to seem less and less crazy. Basically, the couple want to raise this child to figure out his or her gender preference without society pressures. Here's the article.

When I talked to Peter about this, he was all, "Uh, don't get any ideas of doing this for any future children."

I don't see that there's anything wrong with sending out a birth announcement with just a name and a picture. If people want to find out what gender, they can come over or pick up the phone. While we're going that route, we won't let them know what ethnicity the baby is either.

In theory, I think that this is a great idea and it would be great for people to get over the old-fashioned notions of what's right for girls vs. what's right for boys. I went to a Catholic school where boys and girls had their gender-specific uniforms. We had to line up with one line for girls and one line for boys. They also separated us in the classrooms--boys on even rows and girls in odd rows. I always felt that sort of gender-specific classroom placement so oppressive. That separation kind of reached its way into the playground--boys never played with girls. I had only spent a few years in a public school in NJ where all the boys and girls played together (mostly because there were 19 girls and 3 boys in the class--girls ruled that grade!) and it wasn't a big deal.

Intellectually I think it's great that the parents of this kid are trying this out, but I wouldn't feel comfortable about it because I also don't want people in my neighborhood thinking I'm a total freak. Maybe this is just something that you can get away with more in Canada.

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