Wrant: "DOESN'T ANYONE NOTICE THIS?! I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!" -- The Swedish Couple Who Are Not Mocked for Raising Their Child "Gender-Free"
So, first we had fantastic tales of a "pregnant man," which centered around a woman who called herself a man, but a man with a uterus, ovaries, womb, etc.
And the press said it was good.
Now comes this, from the Land That Is Usually, But Not Always, Crazier Than California:
A couple of Swedish parents have stirred up debate in the country by refusing to reveal whether their two-and-a-half-year-old child is a boy or a girl.***
In an interview with newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in March, the parents were quoted saying their decision was rooted in the feminist philosophy that gender is a social construction.That is to say, their decision is rooted in a philosophy that has no scientific or sociological basis, but is just a sweet, sweet wish — a sparkly dream that their heart makes.
“We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mould from the outset,” Pop’s mother said. “It's cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.”And the press said it was very good. No word yet on whether anyone thinks the mom is "cruel" to treat her child as an "it."
The child's parents said so long as they keep Pop’s gender a secret, he or she will be able to avoid preconceived notions of how people should be treated if male or female.
Swedish gender equality consultant Kristina Henkel says Pop’s parents' experiment might have positive results.Children as philosophical debating fodder. Why didn't I think of that?
“If the parents are doing this because they want to create a discussion with other adults about why gender is important, then I think they can make a point of it,” Henkel says in a telephone interview with The Local.
“You can talk about there being a non-stereotypical gender [singular? — ed.]; if you are a girl you can do the same as a boy, and if you’re a boy you can do the same as a girl.”Henkel tries to separate sex from humanity, as if humanity were sex-neutral. But, except in a very rare number of cases, this just is not the case: humans are men and women.
Henkel also says a child's sex can deeply affect how they are treated growing up, and distract them from simply being a human being.
One can only experiment like this on pre-pubescent children, who don't care much about what sex they are. But does that make it right to experiment on them?
As to "if you are a girl you can do the same as a boy, and if you’re a boy you can do the same as a girl," two points (a) this is true, in a limited sense, but doesn't rely on your parents trying to mask your sex, and (b) is only true in a limited sense, as anyone who has watched the WNBA can tell you. Only people who have a very detached-from-real-life point-of-view can believe these things are true, across the board, post-puberty.
“If the child is dressed up as a girl or boy, it affects them because people see and treat them in a more gender-typical way,” Henkel explains.I quote at length to give the other side of the argument their day; I'm not trying to pick and choose to make them look bad. But this seems, to me, to be spoken by someone who has no clear idea of gender identity.
“Girls are told they are cute in their dresses, and boys are told they are cool with their car toys. But if you give them no gender they will be seen more as a human or not a stereotype as a boy or girl.”
She says that without these gender stereotypes, children can build character as individuals, not hindered by preconceived notions of what they should be as males or females.
“I think that can make these kids stronger,” Henkel says.
I have to confess:
I tried the "men and women are just alike" model for a few years there; do you want to know when it failed, finally and miserably? When I GOT MARRIED TO A WOMAN.
Then, I meekly accepted the ancient wisdom handed down from generation to generation for untold millenia. Men and women are different. The sooner "Pop" is given the freedom to accept this and grow into a young man or woman, the better, in my opinion.
That's miles better than playing a years-long prank on your kid, and the surrounding community, just to make a (hopelessly invalid) point.
It's almost — almost enough to make one leap up on the runway with Mugatu, and yell
"I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!"