Thursday, May 26, 2011

Storm in a gender teacup

Welcome Storm, he, umm, she, umm, well, no one really knows so they call Sotrm she/he.

Kathy Witterick, 38, and David Stocker, 39, a Candian couple has decided to keep the sex of their newborn third child a secret from the whole world. Only they and the siblings will know, as they themselves put it "what is between their legs". They feel that gender creates restrictions which would damage and constrict children. Theirs is 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? ...)."

Very unlikely that the "world" would see any revolutionary progression in the next 50 years. The change is probably more evolutionary. My mother wore sarees and was confined to college and home by the time she was 16. Even a movie had to be watched in secret. Boyfriends were taboo. My mothers mother died for want of a kidney. She refused treatment, not taking the medicines meant for her. They say she died of a broken heart when her youngest daughter would not end an affair. My other grandmother baulked when our fridge was bought, when we were just kids, saying, that my dad should not spoil us, just in case we dont get the same luxuries in our in laws house.

My generation has seen a different world. In my economic class, girls mostly have been given equal opportunities as boys. Even though I have been reminded again and again by aunties sundry and even by my mother what "good" girls do as opposed to "bad" girls.

I know I wont create girl- boy issues with my daughter. But somehow I also happen to dress my daughter in androgynous fashion. She is mistaken for a boy often among strangers. I dislike her girlie traits, she loves wearing bangles at the age of 4, and screams at very small things... but I dont discourage her. Maybe she is learning it from her girl friends in school. But she will absorb everything and retain what her nature allows her to retain. Thats fine with me. I will be the eternal tomboy mum with a girlie girl daughter!! EEEEK.

Isnt the key term "choice". Storms parents have decided to have Storm decide what she/he wants to be when the time comes- girl or boy. Thats too progressive, even by my standards, but what if my daughter said one day (aint gonna happen, given her present behavior, but just hypothetically)- I am a man trapped in a womans body. What am I supposed to do. I will really really mourn the loss of my beautiful daughter, but maybe I will celebrate the birth of a son. Who knows. I sometimes wonder what is left to shock our generation of parents with. Free love, drugs, hippiehood, fast cars- The Baby Boomers have been there, done that. Drugs, homosexuality, raining money, sex change, rock stardom- we have done it all. What else is left for them to do? In 10-15 years we will know.

Till then, let us continue our experiments with gender, freedom, hope and not judge... we are all our parents children and every generation of parents have to make their own mistakes.

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