It’s fairly well known in Single-Mum circles that, broadly speaking, I am a subscriber to the ‘whatever makes you happy’ school of thought.
Think about the people that stand out in our culture, they are, without exception the boundary-pushers; the individuals that do or say things that are so socially outrageous that, love ’em or hate ’em, they claim a definitive and more importantly, a thoroughly personal identity.
They run their flag up the pole and leave it there for the world to make of it what they will.
Me personally? I happen to love all that.
I said it. I meant it and I’m here to represent it.
Having said that, in my opinion, raising your kid as ‘gender neutral’ in some pseudo statement of your libertarianism is a total crock of shit and I’m gonna tell you why.
These parents (Blogger-Becky and Software Designer Kieran) may have been patting themselves on the back at left-wing dinner parties for the last few years, pontificating (and boy, I bet the lunatics pontificated the shit out of this one), over their tofu cheesecakes, about how they’d gone off the grid with their new approach to parenting but, bless them, they’ve totally missed the point.
What they’ve done is not at all about encouraging personal choice in their child, it’s actually about witholding it.
Friend-Karen used to buy her boys Barbie dolls, if they wanted them.
Friend-Gemma had a son who enjoyed dressing up as the Pink Power Ranger.
I myself was the proud owner of a toy-box that housed one of the largest collection of toy cars in Europe.
No dolls, just cars.
Allowing your kids to play with whatever the hell it is that will keep the little sods quiet for an hour or two is not hot-off-the-press information.
Annabelle once spent a week only answering to the name of Mark and the Teenager has been addressing me in a Polish accent for quite some time now (seriously, you should hear him, he cracks me up).
The point is that in all of my examples, the kids in question knew the basic framework in which they were working, i.e; their name, their sex and the colour of their skin, and were then taught that it was up to them to colour in the rest of it.
What Blogger-Becky and Software-Designer-Kieran have done is remove the very healthy framework that is the starting point for a human-being to decide where it wants to go from there, in terms of forming its own personality.
No doubt, great fodder for Blogger-Becky to utilise to make all the other muppet-mummies on the playground feel soooo last year, but unequivocally an experiment that says more about Becky’s lack of identity, than her desire for her offspring to form one.
So, for the benefit of Becky and Kieran, here’s a proper news-flash.
Boys and girls are different.
Tree-hugging, hippy parenting ideals notwithstanding.