By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK
"Is it a boy or a girl?" Inevitably this is the first question people ask upon hearing that you've had a baby. (In my world the first question people would ask is "Can I bring you dinner?" but whatever.) Our curiosity about a person's gender starts from the very beginning-or even before, if you're like me and are so bent on knowing what you're having that fork over the $30 for the Intelligender early predictor kits. (Because I know you're curious - yes, it was accurate!) But one Canadian couple has turned this question on its head by refusing to disclose the sex of Storm, their newborn baby, igniting an international uproar.
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The question here though isn't how they're keeping the secret but why. Kathy Witterick and David Stocker said in an email, "We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now-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? ...)." Just the fact that they chose to take this stand now after having two boys makes me think little Storm is a girl but there I go trying to impose my gender-normative logic on others again. Anyhow, I figure so many people have pointed out the problems with their approach that I thought I'd try to see the advantages of being a parent to a gender-free baby beyond the toys. My top 5:
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1. Way more clothing options. Other parents are locked into whining about how all little girls clothing is too sexy or how the clothing options for boys haven't changed in 50 years (plaid button-downs, tee shirts, jeans and cargo pants are all you get) but these guys have the best of both worlds.
2. Pat on "Saturday Night Live" isn't just entertainment, he/she is a role model. And doesn't everyone need more SNL in their lives?
3. You can just smile and say thanks to all the old people who will stop you in the store to say "Your little boy has the longest eyelashes-he should be a girl!"
4. You'll never be tempted to pay $20 more for a car seat because you had to have the pink plaid one with orange polka-dotted sun shade.
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5. Nobody will ask you if you circumcised your baby.
What do you think about this family's decision? Will all this focus on non-gender have the intended effect?
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.