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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore

Archive for May 26th, 2011


Would you raise a “genderless” child

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Honestly, when I heard this mentioned on the radio yesterday, I thought it was a joke. Then I remembered where I live (Massachusetts) and how close I live to places like Cambridge (3 miles) and Amherst (72 miles), where the looniest of the left congregate, and I just had to jump online to see 1) if it was true; and 2) where these space-shots live. It turns out it is and they live in Toronto, Canada.

Parents keep child’s gender secret

“So it’s a boy, right?” a neighbour calls out as Kathy Witterick walks by, her four month old baby, Storm, strapped to her chest in a carrier.

Each week the woman asks the same question about the baby with the squishy cheeks and feathery blond hair.

Witterick smiles, opens her arms wide, comments on the sunny spring day, and keeps walking.

Storm in red, gets a cuddle from older brother Jazz. Kathy Witterick, 38 and David Stocker, 39 are raising their four month old child, Storm, to be genderless.

She’s used to it. The neighbours know Witterick and her husband, David Stocker, are raising a genderless baby. But they don’t pretend to understand it.

While there’s nothing ambiguous about Storm’s genitalia, they aren’t telling anyone whether their third child is a boy or a girl.

The only people who know are Storm’s brothers, Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2, a close family friend and the two midwives who helped deliver the baby in a birthing pool at their Toronto home on New Year’s Day.

“When the baby comes out, even the people who love you the most and know you so intimately, the first question they ask is, ‘Is it a girl or a boy?’” says Witterick, bouncing Storm, dressed in a red-fleece jumper, on her lap at the kitchen table.

“If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs,” says Stocker.

When Storm was born, the couple sent an email to friends and family: “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex 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? …).”

Their announcement was met with stony silence. Then the deluge of criticisms began. Not just about Storm, but about how they were parenting their other two children.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

To say that what Witterick and Stocker are doing to their children is bizarre seems an understatement.

What are these poor kids going to do when they are old enough to hop in the car and head out to the mall, Jazz with his mustache, pigtails, and pink dress and Storm in who-knows-what?

Is he going to have to suppress his true identity and feelings in order to get a job? Well, maybe not, if he moves down here to Cambridge or out to San Francisco.

Gender is the single most important part of a human being’s identity. It’s so important that some people have the outside of their bodies chemically and surgically altered to match the gender they feel inside.

We learn about who we are, and the basics of how girls and boys behave as we grow from infancy to puberty. What will Jazz and his siblings learn, other than how it feels to be ridiculed all the time by your peers?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just stuck in the past, when men were men and women were women and both enjoyed the difference.

What do you folks think?

Are Witterick and Stocker on to something?

Or just on something?



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