Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Do you know your gender?

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Baby Storm, born to Canadian parents Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, does not know if he/she is male or female. The parents decided to keep Storm’s gender a secret so that gender would not influence his/her decisions. They want Storm to come up with his or her own gender identity. Personally, I think this is a very interesting outlook, however, I do have my questions. It has been revealed that both of Storm’s older siblings are males, yet in pictures they are dressed in female clothing with long hair. The one gaining the most attention is Jazz. Jazz is in all actuality a male, however she has decided to take on the gender role of a female and prefers being referred to as such. The middle child Kio also wears his hair long and dresses somewhat feminine. My question is, have the parents unintentionally pushed a female role on these children? If you are trying to be open minded about gender then you are going to make sure that you don’t push your child in either direction, but by doing so, do you go over and beyond? If Jazz’s parents wanted him to explore both sexes did they unintentionally push the female gender on to him? If he knew what most boys liked would he have gone another route? When he is older will he wonder what it would have been like to be raised as male instead of female? These questions all lead back to baby Storm. What if Storm takes on the gender role of male but is in actuality female. When she is little she will play with cars, throw baseballs, and wear blue. No big deal. Plenty of female children do these things anyway. But what happens to Storm when she starts developing breasts and other undeniable female characteristics? Will she become confused and question her identity even more? Will she become resentful?  There are so many questions that come up when we don’t know what we are. I will go even further to say that our knowing our gender does not automatically define our gender roles. I have a one year old son. He is not old enough to know the physical difference between boys and girls, however, when he sees a male he automatically says Dada. He never says this to a female. When we are at home he is constantly looking for a ball to throw. When we are out shopping he goes to the girls section. He looks at dresses and pink toys. Does that mean he wants to be female? No. It means he’s curious. He doesn’t know what gender means yet. He is still learning. Does throwing a ball mean he wants to be male? No. Only he can decide in the future and nothing I say or do is going to take away from who he truly is. Eventually, I think Storm’s parents will see that regardless of how he/she is raised, Storm will be his or her own person.

 

Davis, Linsey, and Susan Donaldson James. “Canadian Mother Raising ‘Genderless’ Baby, Storm, Defends Her Family’s Decision.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 30 May 2011. Web. 12 Sept. 2014. <http://abcnews.go.com/Health/genderless-baby-controversy-mom-defends-choice-reveal-sex/story?id=13718047&gt;.

News Staff. “Baby Raised without ‘gender’ Sets off Debate.” CTVNews. N.p., 26 May 2011. Web. 12 Sept. 2014. <http://www.ctvnews.ca/baby-raised-without-gender-sets-off-debate-1.649286&gt;.

Waverman, Emma. “Genderless Baby Storm Is Still Genderless – Embrace the Chaos – Embrace the Chaos.” Genderless Baby Storm Is Still Genderless – Embrace the Chaos – Embrace the Chaos. N.p., 27 Nov. 2013. Web. 12 Sept. 2014. <http://www.embracethechaos.ca/blog/2013/11/27/genderless-baby-storm-is-still-genderless.html&gt;.

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One thought on “Do you know your gender?

  1. these are excellent questions & observations!

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