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Parents withhold telling anyone the gender of 4 month old child Options · View
lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:57:27 PM

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Even grandparents left in the dark about whether they have a grandson or granddaughter.

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 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? ...)," 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 genitals. But as Stocker puts it: "If you really want to get to know someone, you don't ask what's between their legs." 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?"



Good parenting or hogwash?





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2:13:15 PM

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well this just makes me giggle a little...these people must be really bored. hahaa
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 3:20:34 PM

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Those parents must have no real problems in their life if this is the best thing they can come up with to be their personal drama.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 5:19:04 PM

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I can dig where their coming from but not the approach. I have a feeling that these little people are going to have some issues later on in life.

You can teach your kids that gender bias is wrong, and not to view all things as gender specific, but there are genders. It's just the facts of life.

Along the lines of the other thread concerning overpopulation, I think people should have to take an IQ test before procreating.
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 5:21:39 PM

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eviotis wrote:
I can dig where their coming from but not the approach. I have a feeling that these little people are going to have some issues later on in life.

You can teach your kids that gender bias is wrong, and not to view all things as gender specific, but there are genders. It's just the facts of life.

Along the lines of the other thread concerning overpopulation, I think people should have to take an IQ test before procreating.



I agree on all points. Except that if an IQ test was required for babydaddies, I wouldn't be here to annoy all of you.

icon_biggrin
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 5:28:06 PM

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You got a lot of smarts, and I think both of them would have done well.
Juicyme
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 12:44:32 AM

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There's a difference between sex and gender; sex=anatomy gender=behavior. I think that there are some points that they are doing right such as letting their kids decide on clothes, colors hair cuts ect. Allowing their kids to make those choices is giving them responsibility and allowing their brain to develop faster in the decision making process. As for not telling the sex of the baby, I would be highly annoyed. I wish they could use the same vigor and determination to actually do something more productive.
Magical_felix
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 8:41:03 AM

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The kids name is Storm? That already is gonna get it teased... I'm taking these people don't live in an urban environment?



Dancing_Doll
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 10:07:11 AM

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This sounds like a very hippie dippy approach to parenting. The whole "choose what you want" and "learn by absorbing your environment" is a surefire way to cause problems for these kids later.

The rest of reality doesn't operate like this, so they are doing the kids a disservice by not giving them the tools to integrate into a "real" environment. Unless they plan to live off the land in a commune for the rest of their lives, they are missing the education smarts that require discipline and structure and the ability to 'fit in' and 'socialize' with other kids their age in a successful way.

Kids crave structure. When those boys look back at their childhoods, they are more likely to remember how they felt about getting teased or being ostracized or gawked at more than how "great" it was that they could choose to wear pink sundresses and ponytails. At that age, kids are more concerned about making friends and wanting to 'fit in' with their peers.

Parents need to give kids the tools to be able to socialize properly at such a young age. That's not stifling them by their gender... that's just giving them basic guidance before they even understand the implications of what gender means.

lafayettemister
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 11:28:02 AM

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I always thought it was parent's job to make choices for their kids when they are so young? Within reason of course. "Discover what he/she will be"... the child is what he is. Granted there are exceptions to the rule and some people are born in the wrong body. But as the article says, there is no ambiguity in the child's diaper. Storm IS male or female. I'd be more comfortable with these kids discovering WHO they are. Sounds to me like these kids are not out in the world learning how to interact. And in the few instances where they are in public, the other kids aren't sure what to do or say. Parents should parent and teach their kids... not leave it to them to learn everything on their own.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
MMonroe
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 12:26:50 PM

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eviotis wrote:
I can dig where their coming from but not the approach. I have a feeling that these little people are going to have some issues later on in life.

You can teach your kids that gender bias is wrong, and not to view all things as gender specific, but there are genders. It's just the facts of life.

Along the lines of the other thread concerning overpopulation, I think people should have to take an IQ test before procreating.


This. That poor kid is gonna have so many issues when he/she is older



*Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?*



nicola
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 5:01:24 PM

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Sounds like a storm in a teacup.
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 7:14:37 PM

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That's how we roll, baby. Take a small thing and blow it up. Take a big issue, add some sugar, and hope people will swallow it.
cokeheadbarbie
Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 9:56:30 AM

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I like the name Storm. Its wicked sexy!

I dont think its so bad if these kids are crossdressers. Most crossdressers dont know they feel this way about clothes til later in life. I think you guys are discrimanating against the kids just coz they want to be different. It doesn't matter what age CDs are they have a right to wear what they want imo.

This society needs to stop judgeing!

xx B.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:09:03 AM

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Quote:
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.


What the hell does this mean? He's 5 for pete's sake. What kind of "intense experiences" can he have? Oops I just peed my pants? Oh noes, I have a Cheerio up my nose? Jesus, she over thinks everything.
lafayettemister
Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:11:32 AM

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cokeheadbarbie wrote:
I like the name Storm. Its wicked sexy!

I dont think its so bad if these kids are crossdressers. Most crossdressers dont know they feel this way about clothes til later in life. I think you guys are discrimanating against the kids just coz they want to be different. It doesn't matter what age CDs are they have a right to wear what they want imo.

This society needs to stop judgeing!

xx B.


Not judging the kids.. they are kids. If they grow up to be cross dressers that's fine. No such thing as a 4 month old RuPaul. The parents may need some judgement though.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
cokeheadbarbie
Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:19:56 AM

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lafayettemister wrote:
cokeheadbarbie wrote:
I like the name Storm. Its wicked sexy!

I dont think its so bad if these kids are crossdressers. Most crossdressers dont know they feel this way about clothes til later in life. I think you guys are discrimanating against the kids just coz they want to be different. It doesn't matter what age CDs are they have a right to wear what they want imo.

This society needs to stop judgeing!

xx B.


Not judging the kids.. they are kids. If they grow up to be cross dressers that's fine. No such thing as a 4 month old RuPaul. The parents may need some judgement though.


But how do you know? It could be that RuPaul wished he could wear a cute frilly pink romper when he was a kid but his parents won't let him and then he suffers from growing up and hiding his true nature. He could have freed up years of therapy if he could have express himself from the start. We cant be so close-minded to say that CDs dont know they are CDs when they are kids. Most gay people know they are gay way early on. We shud support our kids not shame them. Thats why everyone is so fucked up with bad self esteem later on IMO.

Their just clothes anyway. Whats the big deal?
lafayettemister
Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:38:09 AM

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cokeheadbarbie wrote:
lafayettemister wrote:
cokeheadbarbie wrote:
I like the name Storm. Its wicked sexy!

I dont think its so bad if these kids are crossdressers. Most crossdressers dont know they feel this way about clothes til later in life. I think you guys are discrimanating against the kids just coz they want to be different. It doesn't matter what age CDs are they have a right to wear what they want imo.

This society needs to stop judgeing!

xx B.


Not judging the kids.. they are kids. If they grow up to be cross dressers that's fine. No such thing as a 4 month old RuPaul. The parents may need some judgement though.


But how do you know? It could be that RuPaul wished he could wear a cute frilly pink romper when he was a kid but his parents won't let him and then he suffers from growing up and hiding his true nature. He could have freed up years of therapy if he could have express himself from the start. We cant be so close-minded to say that CDs dont know they are CDs when they are kids. Most gay people know they are gay way early on. We shud support our kids not shame them. Thats why everyone is so fucked up with bad self esteem later on IMO.

Their just clothes anyway. Whats the big deal?


They are just clothes. But the bigger issue is not letting anyone know what their gender is. Like it or not, people do have genders. People look at us and know what to expect. We'll just have to disagree on this. These kids are going to grow up and not know where to go in society. How to interact with either gender becuase they have no social skillset to rely on. IMO, this is a form of abuse.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Guest
Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 11:52:12 AM

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chefkathleen wrote:
Quote:
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.


What the hell does this mean? He's 5 for pete's sake. What kind of "intense experiences" can he have? Opps I just peed my pants? Oh noes, I have a Cheerio up my nose? Jesus, she over thinks everything.


hmm, my son was about 5 when he started getting random hard ons...and noticing them. maybe the parents just couldnt deal.
Southern_Sass
Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:04:44 PM

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Maybe just their 15 minutes of fame? I am all for kids expressing themselves, but we, as parents, need to guide them. Thats our job.

Guest
Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 2:00:11 PM

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What kind of parents makes their 5 and 2 or 3 year olds lie to everyone as well? No no! Don't tell anyone you have a sister/brother!
Guest
Posted: Sunday, May 29, 2011 5:47:12 AM

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Has anyone else noticed that whilst these parents are saying stuff like their kids "need to make their own decisions", they are in fact making a major decision for their child which -given the untested nature of this parenting technique- could have a negative outcome on their psychological development?

I think the idea is great, gender SHOULDN'T matter because everyone should have the same opportunities whether is be philosophical or physical. At the end of the day gender stereotypes are just labels people use to make their lives easier.

Yet again, it seems that kids need some boundaries, and when it comes to defining their identity, surely it would help to have some sort of guideline.... lest they fall into a state of perpetually shifting consciousness. Which could be really confusing for a seven year old....
I would like to know how Storm turns out, curiosity is an intchy thing.
XX
BB
irishmik60
Posted: Sunday, May 29, 2011 10:32:20 AM

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seems to me these two are using an infant to get their own 15 minutes. The more the media makes this an issue, the more you'll hear about it


Irishmik60
Mike Corkran
Guest
Posted: Sunday, May 29, 2011 6:25:07 PM

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I think these parents need to get over themselves. They are creating drama where there doesn't need to be any in young childrens' lives. No gender identity may seem ideal in their miopic little world, but eventually these children will have to deal with the real world. And it seems to me that they will be ill-prepared to do so.
AppleOfYourEye
Posted: Sunday, May 29, 2011 11:26:12 PM

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Here I think is proof that a child is either male or femle on the inside and I don't mean because they have a penis or vagina.

David Reimer, named Bruce at birth, underwent the first infant sex reassignment ever reported on a gentically and hormonally normal child. When he was 8months old his penis was accidently severed during circumcision. Soon afterwards his desprate parents tookhim to a psychologist, who sent them to John Hopkins University, where at 22months of age, Bruce had his testicles removed and genetils made to look like a girl. They renamed him Brenda.

She resisted her parents efforts at making her into a girl, she was not interested in dolls and dressup but wanted to play with dump trucks and play in group sports like baseball. She walked like a guy, talked like one and played as one. This lead to enormous amounts of teasing by her classmates. At medical visits for psychological monitoring she always drew herself as a boy.

As puberty struck, she began to fill out muscularly, and began taking the form of a "man" her parents wanted her to take estrogen therapy, which caused her to grow breasts and accumulate fat around her midsection, because of this she began to overeat and become even more reclusive.

Finally a psychologist encouraged her parents to tell her she was in fact a boy. Once she heard this she wanted to under go surgery again to be "fixed". He picked out the name David. He was 14 years old. He had to undergo androgen therapy and surgeries to remove his breasts and create a penis. His teen years were still troublesome but things looked up when he was in his 20s.

He married a woman, who left him after a few years becuase he was swindeled out of his money by someone else. His twin brother committed sucide shortly there after and two years later on May 4, 2004 David shot himself ending his life, telling people he had no desire to go on living his life. He blamed all his problems on his medical mishaps.

David's story is proof that his genetic sex and prenatal hormones overrode any gender reassignment surgeries or training by outside influences.

I think this is very simular, by not giving thier child a gender and keeping them away from society (and even parts of the fmaily) they are doing just as much damage as David's parents did when they had him made into a girl. Your gender is based on your actions and thoughts, not on what is inside of your pants. I think david's life is a testament to those ideas and should be used as an example of how harmeful it can be to a child's life when you mess with thier gender perceptions.

My 2 cents

Apple
Guest
Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 1:40:03 AM

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good concept, uncomfortable with the technique. If the parents were smart enough, they'd understand that the world may have tons of "boxes" that a person is supposed to fit in, but their child has the ultimate decision that they can change later on in life, if the child wished. As for the Reimer case that AppleOfYoutEye brought up, I think that it only proves that humans have the ability to over exaggerate natural things into generalizations for the world. Unfortunately, Storm's parents have it in their heads that hiding the Storm's sex will solve this problem.
thesilkyknot
Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 2:50:54 AM

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lol, the kid will stay confused about himself till he reaches his 5th grade. All he will do is tally with the checklist of the criteria that go for boys and girls.
And whoever said that its the thing between the legs that govern the sexual inclinations... needs to get their scientific facts straight!!!
Daddyskitten
Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 3:48:44 AM

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I think by hiding the childs gender they are forcing people to judge the child on character and their actions rather than set gender roles. Will the child be teased? Some yes, and some will accept that they dont care what gender their friend is and all that matters it that they are friends.

Pelicanbill
Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 1:45:47 PM

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Total Balderdash!!!! Parents have got to get over themselves and grow up
myself
Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 2:45:29 PM

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So many kids already don't have enough direction in the their lives and it confuses and frustrates them.

In a restaurant parents pester the poor two year about deciding what he wants to drink and run off five choices for him to choose from while he cries and points over and over at the picture of nuggets saying over and over, "I want chicken nuggets." A simple example. The baby is hungry and really can't think about what he wants to drink but only what he wants to eat.

Now, there's idiots out there that want a baby to choose his gender? Not so funny or smart. "Are you a boy or a girl today?" "Pony tails or a cap today sweetheart." Talk about confusing and setting a child up to be made fun of while putting all the responsibility smack on the child's shoulders- stupid. What are parents for?



Torture the data long enough and they will confess to anything.
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