(Margaret Wente – The Globe and Mail) “Men and women exhibit significant behavioural differences not (or not only) because they’re socialized differently, but because they’re wired differently. Give a girl a pot and she’ll play house. Give a boy a pot and he’ll beat it like a drum.”
When Storm was born seven years ago in Toronto, he or she became the most famous baby in the city. That’s because Storm’s parents announced that they were going to raise the baby as gender neutral. “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs,” Storm’s father, David Stocker, told The Toronto Star. In an e-mail, Storm’s parents told their friends, “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now – a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation.”
Storm’s parents, it turns out, weren’t oddballs. They were pioneers. More and more progressive parents have decided to liberate their children from the chains of gender. They give their children gender-neutral names such as Zoomer or Scout. They refer to them using gender-neutral pronouns. They buy them gender-neutral toys and scrupulously avoid pink and blue. They tell people that it’s up to the child theirself to decide what gender they identify with.
These parents don’t like the term gender-neutral, explains New York magazine. They prefer gender-open, gender-creative or gender-affirming. For them, the gender binary is a trap constructed by society to imprison their children and restrict their human potential. Gender is a spectrum, not a binary, they argue. They hope that freeing our children from the shackles of arbitrarily imposed gender norms will be the first steps in a sweeping cultural change to create a better, fairer, more egalitarian society.
Progressive parents are not alone in this Utopian project. Sweden is also engaged in a deliberate experiment in social engineering. Instead of “boys” and “girls,” teachers are urged to call the children “friends.” Many Swedish preschools have dropped gendered pronouns in favour of the newly invented gender-neutral term “hen.”