Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gender-neutral children?

Gender is a very controversial issue in today’s world. Many women find themselves more masculine than what’s acceptable in the society, and many men find themselves more feminine that what’s acceptable in the society as well. These rules that society forms creates many stereotypes about the two genders that may limit the chances they have in life. For example, the glass ceiling prevents many women from achieving high management position just because of their gender. Likewise, in some countries, men are forced to serve in the military for two or more years, which takes a lot of the time they can use for studying or working.

Despite these rules that society entails about gender and identity, many people choose to deviate. Some females and males dress and act in the way society thinks how the opposite gender should. So, because these people are breaking social norms, they get sanctioned, formally or informally. If these deviations happen in Saudi Arabia, for example, as a sanction, these deviators will be sent to the authorities. On the other hand, if these deviations happen in Lebanon, the deviators are likely to get sanctioned informally from people around them.

Moreover, a number of parents have been trying to raise gender-neutral children. They refuse to tell the gender of their baby. They dress them in both female and make clothes. Paint their room with gender-neutral colors, as well. One of these parents live in the United Kingdom, and they taught their kid, Sasha, to absorb both genders into his identity. They tried to keep their child’s sex as a secret, but once the kid entered school they had to announce that their kid is a boy.




Many people critique these parents who try to raise a gender-neutral children. They claim that its unfair that parents make these decisions for their children, because it may make them look as freaks in the eyes of their schoolmates and get them bullied at school. When they grow up they can choose to adopt some aspect of the other gender or change their gender if they want, as they say. But even if the parents choose to raise their child according to the gender rules assigned by the society, they are still making the decision without their kid’s approval. The only difference is that the chances are less that they will get bullied at school.




The question still remains whether it’s possible to raise a gender-neutral child in today’s highly gender-polarized world. If the person is gender-neutral, which restroom will he/she use, and which gender should they check in application or official records?

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