Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gender neutral family avoiding gender stereotypes... Must be nice

Boy or girl? No one knows except the baby's parents, and their two sons. This story of a genderless baby has made headlines the past few weeks across the world.

I'm sure it's not the first time a parent has decided to leave their child's gender unknown to friends and family, but for some reason this is a hot topic right now in mommyland.

One of the first things I thought when I first heard of the "gender neutral" philosophy was "these parents must have all boys." Let's be honest. You've seen me and how I dress Lil' J. There's no way I could have stuck to dressing her up in neutral clothes and skipped the dresses and bows. It's not to say I think she shouldn't wear pants or clothes in colors other than pink, but it's just my preference (not the pink, the dresses). And her room is like an explosion of pink. But what else would you expect when that's my favorite color? I've always been a girlie girl and I wanted to experience that with my daughter.

If I had had a son I wouldn't have stuck with blues and greens, but I probably wouldn't have decorated his nursery in pink frills; but I will admit, if I had had son after son and was still longing for a girl, I'd be totally cool with painting my boy's toenails and get them some dolls if that's what they wanted, and called us a gender neutral family.

I'm pretty sure that's not how it works, and that there's more thought behind this lifestyle rather than the color and style of their wardrobe and what kinds of toys they play with. So I'm trying to see where this Canadian family is coming from.

38-year-old Kathy Witterick and David Stoker have only allowed their midwives and two sons to know the gender of their third child Storm.

"The idea that the whole world must know our baby's sex strikes me as unhealthy and voyeuristic," Witterick said in a letter to ABC News.

Personally, I don't know who this lady or her kid is. I don't care if she wants to share or not nor do I care if her child has a penis or a vagina. I also HIGHLY doubt the whole world really cares, in fact, I don't think it matters. To anyone. I think people are just curious. For heaven's sakes, sue us for asking a common question about a cute baby, sheesh.

I mean really... Do they believe strangers are dying to know what their child is so they can buy the baby a frilly tutu if it's a girl and plan her future career as a homemaker? Or if it's a boy so they can say how great he'll be at sports and how manly the little-tike looks?

My guess is this mom is doing this partly to raise attention to her "gender neutral" beliefs and to show that girls and boys don't have to fall into certain gender roles yada yada yada. But deep down I truly believe there is a bigger motivation here. Motivation to do what she thinks is best for her baby. Trying to protect her baby from something she sees wrong in the world. And I can't really blame her for that. In fact, I'm a little jealous it's that easy for her.

I don't know if I witness gender stereotypes in the same light she does. I don't think boys or girls have to act a certain way. Maybe I'm missed this drama when I was in school because any stereotypes targeted toward my gender were overshadowed by a whole other issue--Racial stereotypes.

Wouldn't it have been nice for my mother to have decided before my birth that no one would know my race. So no one could judge me right off the bat for the way I looked and decide whether or not they were going to like me based on the color of my skin.
Yep. That's me.
So no one else could say I was ugly because I was different. Or that they didn't want to be my friend because I was black.

If my mom could have shielded my race from the world maybe I wouldn't have had to deal with the questions about why I "talk white." Or why I didn't listen to rap. I mean, all black people like rap right? And wear weave?

Maybe if no one knew I was black I wouldn't have been told how I was supposed to talk and supposed act because black people are suppose to talk and act the same. Every single one of us.

Wouldn't it have been nice if only she, my doctor and siblings new my identity, and I could reveal to the world, when I understood, and when I was ready to share my racial genetic make up?

But no. Its not that easy. I, like everyone else in the world had to learn through experience how tough the world can be. How crude and stupid some stereotypes are, and how you cant let them define you.

And that's ok. Because it made me who I am today...

Read the rest of my post today on MyBrownBaby.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home