This is just too bizarre to pass up. A Swedish couple has long opposed “the artificial construct of gender.” So, they have refused to disclose the gender of their child, who is being called Pop in the Swedish media. They are dressing Pop with dresses as well as non-dresses — and have given the child feminine and non-feminine hair styles alternatively. Only a few close relatives know the child’s true gender.
Pop’s mother insists “[w]e want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mould from the outset. It’s cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.” She insists that Pop is currently “genderless.”
The parents have announced that they are going to have another genderless child so Pop will be either a brother or a sister. It appears the parents were able to overcome their own artificial constructs of gender.
I must confess that I find this all to be unmitigated bunk. As the father of four children (three boys and a girl), I have been most struck by how hard-wired gender preferences are from playing with pretend weapons to playing dress up. For an earlier column on raising boys, click here. There is nothing, in my view, artificial in this construct. Rather, there is no reason not to relish the difference between boys and girls. Since Skinner, parents have been treating their kids like experiments in social engineering rather than allow kids to develop naturally.
To be sure, society creates many negative stereotypes for children, particularly girls. Anorexia nervosa is one such outgrowth of such socially reinforced images. However, there is no such thing as a genderless child absent a physical anomaly.
With the exception of watching It’s Pat, the child will have few movie options for Friday night.
For the full story, click here.