Genderless Baby

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: May 24, 2011

by Lianne Castelino

An article about a couple, parents of 2, who have opted not to disclose the gender of their third baby to the world, outside of their older children, a close family friend, and two midwives,  appeared in a weekend newspaper and has drawn the ire of many a reader.

I read the article in Saturday's Toronto Star with awe and fascination, thinking “how bold of this couple” to chart a brave new course of thinking for themselves and the world at large.  They are not asking that anyone follow them, nor did they choose to keep their baby's gender a secret without much thought and analysis.

Whether we want to admit it or not, and there are plenty of people out there who live with their heads firmly planted in the sand, the world is set up, divided, organized, categorized along gender lines.  I've worked in a man's world for most of my career as a television sportscaster so I have experienced it first-hand. Yes there are those who toil away with trying to delete these gender lines with some success — but the fact remains.  

Why do girls have to do only girl things and boys only boys things — what happened to let them be whomever they want to be?  This in my opinion is the central message of this type of thinking and certainly of Kathy Witterick and her husband David Stockers' decision to withhold the sex of their child to the world. The couple have also gone the extra mile by allowing their oldest sons Jazz, 5 and Kio, 2, to make certain decisions on their own.  For example, Jazz is allowed to decide whether he wants to grow or cut his hair.  How progressive.  Especially in an age of hyper-parenting, over-coddled kids and increasingly dependent teens and young adults.  Do not do for a child what they can do for themselves is the old adage — and oh so wise it is.  More parents should follow it.

I applaud Witterick and Stocker and hope their decision is an eyeopening experience for themselves and the close-minded people around them.  It already has given the flood of reaction to the article.

And two more points —- surely these parents would never put their kids directly in harms' way.  And also it's no one else's business, is it?

Related articles:

Star readers rage about couple raising genderless infant

Parents keep child's gender a secret


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