I guess raising a child to be genderless isn’t something you can do with a low profile these days. A family in Toronto with a five-month-old child, Storm, is trying to do just that – and due to the recent media frenzy, it’s pretty clear everyone and their mother is up in arms about it.
Read first media appearance, in the Toronto Star on May 21: http://www.thestar.com/article/995112
Read mother Kathy’s open letter in the Edmonton Journal, May 30: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Baby+Storm+mother+speaks+gender+parenting+media/4857577/story.html
As Kathy explains, she was open to embracing gender fluidity in her other two children, Jazz (5) and Kio (2), who are both biologically male. And when Storm came along, they decided to keep the biological sex of their third child private…and then somehow the media found out…and now the biological sex of the child is pretty much the ONLY thing that’s private about the Witterick/Stocker home.
I could talk forever about the intersection of personal (parental) politics and childrearing, because I find it fascinating. I think the tiny grain of good intention and progressive gender politics that inspired these parents to make the choices they did has exploded into a ridiculous circus of name calling and poo-slinging–even though I agree with some of those who question the effects of this well-intentioned “stunt” on the lives of Storm and their other children.
I think that’s really always the problem – what starts out as a simple decision for one family about the way they want to live their lives (food they eat, faith they practice/don’t practice, how they dress and express themselves) becomes a target for those with dissenting views to attack their parenting “for the sake of the children.” When it comes to children, personal is political – and it’s also personal to everyone else you meet.