I recently read a news story about a family who was going to raise their newest child genderless. The parents and two siblings know the gender, but are not telling anyone else; given the child a gender-neutral name and going to allow the child to pick the gender that he or she so desires. The reasoning behind this is because they believe that gender is a societal label placed on children and who are we to say who a person is or isn’t? Now, I know we’re not supposed to judge, but seriously? This is nuts! Nothing bad will come of this, I’m sure. (note sarcasm)
As a mother to boy/girl twins, I’ve seen firsthand the clear differences between boys and girls, even though we raise them with the same rules, standards, and overall treatment. We respond to their individual needs, but I don’t think we’re forcing one to be a girl and one to be a boy. They just are who they are and as they are getting older, you can really see how truly different they are.
• Maria loves babies. When my niece, Leah, was born, we went to visit and ever since, Maria has been intrigued. She loves to look at pictures of Leah and now points out other babies that we see. Grant shows very little interest.
• Grant loves tools. My dad regularly helps with handy man projects at our house. Most recently, Grant sat in awe as dad drilled into the wall. Maria wasn’t interested.
• Maria is VERY opinionated about her clothes, shoes, and hair accessories. We’ve gotten to the point where we give two options and she gets to pick. Although sometimes, I just have to tell her, “I’m the mom, this is what you are wearing.” We’ve had several LOUD meltdowns over her wardrobe. Other than his Justice League shirt, Grant has no preference on shoes or clothes.
• Grant is into trucks, cars and construction equipment. Last week there was a utility bucket truck parked a few houses down. He ran to that driveway and stood mesmerized for at least 5 minutes and it took me an additional 5 minutes to get him to come all the way home. Maria was more interested in pushing her cart up and down the sidewalk.
• Grant is into sports. We went to the park this weekend and there was a rugby game going on. He ran across the field to watch and would have happily sat on my lap for much longer. Maria, on the other hand, was more concerned about walking in the tall grass than watching any rugby.
Every child is different and some girls might not be as finicky about their hair and other boys might not be as stoked about tools, but I don’t believe that gender is something forced by society. Boys and girls are wired differently and that’s all there is to it.