Friday, January 20, 2012

Gender neutral

'All I want to do is make people think a bit.' The words of Beck Laxton who decided that for 5 years they would bring their child up gender neutral alternating between girls and boys clothing and keeping a lot of people guessing.
A couple who concealed the sex of their child and raised it as ‘gender neutral’ for five years have finally revealed - it’s a boy.
Beck Laxton, 46, and partner Kieran Cooper, 44, decided not to reveal Sasha’s gender in the hope it would let his ‘real’ personality shine through.
They referred to him as 'the infant' and allowed him to play only with ‘gender-neutral toys’ in their television-free home.
For the past five years Sasha has alternated between girls’ and boys’ clothes, leaving friends, playmates and relatives guessing.
However Beck and Kieran, from Sawston, Cambridgeshire, decided to reveal Sasha's masculinity to the world after it became harder to conceal when he started primary school.
Yesterday Beck, a web editor, said: 'I wanted to avoid all that stereotyping.
'Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes?
'It’s like horoscopes. What could be stupider than thinking there are 12 types of personality that depend on when you were born? It’s so idiotic.
'Gender affects what children wear and what they can play with, and that shapes the kind of person they become.
I suspect "the infant" might just have quite a few serious issues in the years ahead relating to one sex or another if only because gender rolls are a source of tension for kids.
Kids as a group tend to be merciless little savages when dealing with anyone different amongst their peers and no amount of supervision is ever going to change that. All most teachers can do is try to keep a lid on things in the classroom, outside of the classroom though, it's a bit of a jungle and I suspect this kid will struggle to cope with the differences as he'll have no idea of just how real life works.
Beck and Kieran strike me as being either amongst the most selfish people on the planet or the biggest idiots and what they've done is tantamount to child cruelty as they've imposed an artificial awareness on their child that bears no relation to real life. Sure we all like to protect our kids and keep them safe, but this hasn't kept him safe, it's kept him in ignorance. Still we can all hope that as kids do that he'll be able to soak in the necessary gender cues to at least help him survive without becoming a neurotic basket case.
No, this isn't about him becoming gay (if that's what happens) it's about dealing with an important part of society and being able to relate to it. If he can't and he has had no opportunity to do so, then he's in for several shocks and quite possibly a world of pain as he gets older.
I might be wrong, but I cannot for the life of me see this going well for the poor little chap.

3 annotations:

Anonymous said...

As the father of four children, I can say - absolutely - that this will fuck the kid up for life.

Captain Haddock said...

Pure & simple child abuse ..

andy5759 said...

CH, quite correct. Where are the Social Service Child Snatchers, they would hot foot over to steal children from 'normal' people quick enough.