Parents Who Hid Child’s Gender for Five Years Now Face Backlash

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by moneoa, Jan 25, 2012.

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  1. moneoa

    moneoa Vita!!!!!!! Staff Member Moderator

    When Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper had their son, Sasha Laxton, five years ago, they decided that rather than make a big splashy “It’s A Boy!” announcement, they’d keep the news to themselves. Instead, they only told a select number of relatives that little Sasha was a he; to everyone else the child was referred to as “the infant” and described without gendered pronouns.

    “Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes?” Laxton told her local news outlet, Cambridge News. “It affects what they wear and what they can play with, and that shapes the kind of person that they become.”

    Sasha’s unique upbringing went beyond language. His bedroom was painted yellow, he was encouraged to play with all types of toys, including dolls, and he wore whatever hand-me-downs fit him, whether they were his older stepbrother’s or his older stepsister’s. While around the house, Sasha was even known to dress up in a tutu and wings or a pink two-piece swimsuit. His mother said that she saw no problem with the whole thing, pointing out that, “We don’t make Sasha go out in girls’ clothes. We are not forcing it.”

    (LIST: The Best and Worst Moms of All Time)

    In fact, the only reason that Sasha has even entered into the gender foray is that he has entered primary school and Beck felt it would be too difficult to continue to hide it. Yet now that Sasha’s gender has been revealed — and his story has hit the British papers — everyone and their mother seems to have an opinion on it. Critics and Internet commenters (which are practically synonymous these days) have labeled his parents everything from abusive to crazy, with calls that little Sasha should be taken into child services.

    The reaction seems quite extreme, considering Sasha himself has said that he thinks gender-based rules like “pink is for girls and blue is for boys” are silly. Laxton also noted that neither her son’s gender-neutral upbringing nor the big reveal has perturbed the child much. “I don’t think I’d do it if I thought it was going to make him unhappy, but at the moment he’s not really bothered either way. We haven’t had any difficult scenarios yet.”

    So what is it exactly that’s setting people off?

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    Sooo what do you guys think? I think the concept is a bit of made up bullshit in that pink is for girls and blue is for boys for example. What is the limit here?
  2. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I've seen some convincing arguments on the side of how gender is mostly socially constructed, actually.

    Yes, biologically speaking, there is a difference between males and females - not just in terms of organs, but chemically as well. But really, people put infants in pink or blue clothing right away, they are given toys based on gender, and, generally speaking, parents tend to treat the different genders differently from a very early and critical developmental stage of a newborns life, so there is a LOT of cultural training (with lack of a better word, tired this evening) from the get-go.

    On a side note, race is technically socially constructed. Differences typically don't extend much beyond physical characteristics. Everything else is purely social construction when it comes to differentiating race.

    So, going back to the original point, unless it is actually harming the child in some way, I see no problem with such an upbringing.

    It is really starting to bug me when I see crap like that inserted in news articles. Either it's a general and conveniently vague statement or the comments being made is framed in such a way to be representative of the whole internet community. It's OK to include comments as a sampling, but trying to suggest that a few comments is representative of the whole internet community is very VERY rarely accurate. It is WAY too easy to manipulate this sort of thing to frame the article in whichever form you want.
  3. moneoa

    moneoa Vita!!!!!!! Staff Member Moderator

    I will agree completely though you know as well as I the mainstream media looks down on independent news reporting and blogging as inferior when compared to them. They have to try to make them look like Hacks because the power of the mainstream media to shape opinion and thought is something they will defend to the end, it enables the power structure to do their bullshit unopposed and indeed sometimes be urged on by the masses.

    1984 is alive and well in the 21st century my friend. I think Orwell would have been sad to see it pass.

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