Genderless child


Gender: is the range of characteristics that distinguishes between male / masculinity and female / femininity

There has been a media frenzy in Toronto as it has come to light that a local family, is choosing to raise their children – genderless. Apparently, what that means is that the children are allowed the freedom to express theirselves more and to make their own choices as to how they present themselves. The family are so determined to follow this genderless model of child rearing that they have not even informed the grandparents of the gender of the latest edition to the family. It is supposed to be the best kept secret, however we are aware that the eldest child, who wears dresses, pink feathers and paints toe nails is in fact male. He is 5 years old and as yet has chosen not to attend school as he is worried about the reactions of others! Children in the community are reluctant to play with what they call a he/she.  Now I’m all for self expression. I have two girls and if they want a train set or to be an Engineer, they will have my full support. However am I wrong in thinking that by forcing their children to non conform they are in fact creating a bigger issue than there would probably be if they let things be? 
For the most part gender usually follows the sex of the individual. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule. Ensuring that these Children are not labelled with a nice blue or pink stereotype from birth is a bold move. Our expectations of how the sexes should behave has been established for centuries and as society doesn’t take too kindly to changes  is this family setting these children up for failure and creating outcasts?
There is such a vast difference in the opinions surrounding this story, some people are outraged and feel strongly that the children are being used like a lab experiment. Like many other type of experiments you can not see the damage inflicted until it’s too late. Others are calling this style of parenting a brave move.
I know one thing for sure, they are much braver than me. Just thinking back to when both of my girls were new babies, I was upset when I was constantly asked, “is it a boy?” was I wrong to be so proud of my daughters that I was happy to shout it from the roof top, while they were head to toe covered in pink?  One of my roles as a parent is to provide the support, guidance and skills to enable my girls to function independently in the real world when they are all grown up. I want them to have the confidence to succeed and a clear and strong sense of identity. I’m ok with them wearing pink and having shiny shoes and pig tails, but I’m also ok with them flying a kite, playing with cars and dressing like a super hero. Surely it’s just all about balance?

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About yorkshiremummy

Born and Raised in Yorkshire, Now at Large in North America. Working Wife and Mum of 2. Occasionally sarcastic, Often inappropriate, but always real! Having snorkeled with sharks in the Maldives, ridden an Elephant in Sri Lanka, swum in an underground river in Mexico and played with Lion cubs in South Africa, currently enjoying the crazy adventure of motherhood!
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7 Responses to Genderless child

  1. Dianne x says:

    I totally agree, when my son was younger he wanted a kitchen, hoover and a doll. Some members of the family did suggest I bought him something else but I bought him them. I think children should be aware of their gender but have freedom of choice to play with what they want. My son is now an 11 year old rugby playing boy.
    Like yourself I have two girls and loved dressing them in pink and my two boys were dressed as boys (yet still people asked the question, is it a girl or boy).
    I think the family are making a big mistake.

  2. Him Up North says:

    I think all parenting is a lab experiment. This is just a different one to the ones we subject our children to. We all force conformity on our children in one form or another too. I’d be interested to know how this laissez-faire concept works in practice. Very young children don’t pick what to wear do they? The parents must be taking some decisions on their behalf, surely?

    • That is just what I thought. Where are the dresses and nail polish coming from? I agree with the parenting is an experiment but I think some things can go too far. I’m genuinely worried sout how these children will manage later in life.

  3. Mark says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with this blog, shocker eh!
    This sentece says it all for me “For the most part gender usually follows the sex of the individual.”
    We should never force anything on our kids, least of all them not having a gender at all.

  4. Mandy says:

    My boy is 5 and plays with his sister’s dolls, prams and his own play food. He is currently on his scooter with his footy kit on and nailvarnish on his toes !!! Let them do what they want I always say !

    • Thanks for the comment Mandi. I think as long as we allow them to experiment and experience things we can’t go far wrong. It’s when people deliberately try to force kids in a certain direction or completely disregard preferences that worries me

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