Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Gender, Tolerance and Parenting

The first thing I want to say is that I'm overwhelmed by the response to "Gender Isn't Simple" and I want to thank everyone for their comments, feedback and, holy shit, the link love!

Butchtastic Kyle's "Link Love for Memorial Day Weekend"

Beautifully Invisible's "Link Love with a Twist, May 30, 2011" (and I could just die over Bella's comments!)

Deanna's "Congratulations It's a ???"

And I have no idea how I ended up on SacConnector linking to Beautifully Invisible's post, but, hey. I'll take it?

I also got several "retweets" and a couple of re-postings on facebook.

I'm still not entirely sure how I ended up involved with such awesome people, but I'm pretty grateful.

I wanted to say a few more things on the subject, less related directly to gender and more related to the "mom eat mom" world of mommy bloggers.

The biggest issue I see here, the big, fat elephant in the room that everyone seems to be missing or avoiding is


As a mom, I am well aware that the society we live in seems perfectly entitled to cast judgement on any number of parental transgressions, whether real or perceived.

As a parent, you're wrong if you cloth diaper and you're wrong if you disposable diaper.

You're wrong if you bottle feed and you're wrong if you breast feed.

You're wrong if you breast feed too long and you're wrong if you don't breast feed long enough.

You're wrong if you vaccinate and you're wrong if you don't.

You're wrong if you homeschool and you're wrong if you public school and you're wrong if you private school and you're wrong if you Montessori and you're wrong if you Unschool.





Because that's not enough, we have to seek out things parents do that seem odd or "wrong" to us and then we all feel free to jump down their proverbial throats because, obviously, we know best.

Do I know if my way is better than their way?

No, I do not.

Do I know if their way is better than my way?

No, I do not.

What I know, I know for certain:

These parents are doing their best to raise their kids the best way they know how. Not because society has said they should raise them a certain way. Because their hearts, their educations, their instincts have told them to how.

I believe that some people misunderstand what they're trying to do. I've read posts that sound like Storm's parents have said "no gender for you!". The impression I get, however, from the main article and from the words of Storm's parents contradict this.

It's not that they want Storm to live completely free from gender. Rather, they want Storm to have the opportunity to discover who Storm is without the underlying and overt societal pressures that dictate how boys and girls should be.

Who am I or you or her or him to say they're wrong? Who are we to say they should be parenting differently? What right have any of us to judge their decisions as parents?

And my questions to the doubters remains the same:

Why does Storm's gender matter?

What changes then?

PS: I found this incredibly interesting and remarkably timely. It seems like what Storm's parents are doing is closer to "traditional" parenting.

1 comment:

CJ said...

I have said, many times, our lives would be so different if we spent as much time BUILDING ONE ANOTHER UP as we do tearing one another down.

What works for one mom/family/kid is what's RIGHT for them. Regardless of what another mom/family/kid does. Finding what works for YOUR family is what matters...not getting your nose in what someone else does!