They say they don't want to intervene and make choices for their newborn, choices like gender. Here's what they said in an email to family and friends: "We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...)."
Let's go with that for a moment. "A tribute," in their own words, "to freedom and choice in a place of limitation." Why pick only gender to fail to impose limitations on? How about freedom and choice in other areas where parents normally impose limitations for the child's good, such as:
- What foods to eat, or not eat? Can he/she eat five chocolate donuts for dinner if that is what the child chooses and feels like?
- What time to go to bed?
- What kind of movies to watch? Will the child be allowed to watch x-rated films if he/she would like to?
- What words to use (and not use)?
- How to speak to one's parents and elders?
Since they homeschool (unschool, they admit, where the child's interests drive learning), it will be up to them to teach their children math. Are they going to "impose" rules like 3+2=5, even if the child feels like it should be seven. What about language? When their kids are learning to write, are the parents going to offer corrections such as, "No, that's not how we write an 'a.' This is what an 'a' looks like." Or will they say, "That looks wonderful! That squiggle is an 'a?' Fabulous. Great job figuring it out on your own." If they parent that way, where the child is free to create his or her own mathematic equations and language, the child will fail to fit into society. The child will never thrive, because how can it? It has failed to have been taught the basics.
Shouldn't gender be just as absolute as math and language?
Sure, I am approaching this argument not from an evolutionary position, but from a strong belief that we were created male and female in the image of God. Our anatomy was decided for us in the womb, and in all but the rarest of medical instances, our gender follows suit. Coaching your child in basic common-sense about being a boy or a girl is no different than teaching a child basic societal expectations, like, "No, you can't go to the store naked", "You can't take that without paying for it", and "No, that is not the way you behave in a public place."
There are rules set for us, for the good of society. Helping a child figure out what it means to be a boy or a girl is no different, and is a necessary part of good parenting. And yes, I believe the source for how we raise our children into strong, virtuous men and strong, virtuous women is the Bible. If that makes me horribly unprogressive, so be it.
The funny thing is, the article states that the parents, "believe kids can make meaningful decisions for themselves from a very early age." The children's father said, "What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious."
Ok, so fail to provide any parental guidance on an issue as important as gender, but prove yourself a hypocrite by choosing to make "obnoxious" decisions regarding food, bed-time, underage drug and alcohol use, sexual activity, and other things that caring parents set "limitations" on all the time. Or...don't make any of those "obnoxious," "limiting" choices for your child and wait for Child Protective Services to show up.
Children need guidance in all sorts of areas. This couple's children are begging for gender guidance. That's why the boy admits he doesn't want to go to school and that it bothers him to be called a girl. The mom admits: "When I was pregnant, it was really this intense time around Jazz [the 5-year old] having experiences with gender and I was feeling like I needed some good parenting skills to support him through that.” Could it be that he is struggling so because being a boy is his created, God-given instinct? Yet, he doesn't know what it means to be a boy, because his parents refuse to nurture him in that regard. I'd say that would cause some emotional turmoil.
So, as the mom states, "culture...narrowly defines what he should do, wear and look like." Yet, a California-based psychologist who wrote a book called Gender Born, Gender Made ("a guide for parents of nonconforming kids") admits "there is something innate about gender." She is quoted as saying that gender-neutral experiments during the 1970s “only worked up to a certain extent. Some girls never played with the trucks, some boys weren’t interested in ballet ... It was a humbling experiment for us because we learned we don’t have the control that we thought we did.”
If a liberal psychologist admits "there is something innate about gender," then these parents are doing a grave disservice to their children by forcing them to ignore their innate gender. I steer my kids' choices all the time. We all do. It's called parenting. Good parenting demands we teach our children not only about who they are, and how they should behave, but we coach them into who they are meant to be--gender roles and all.