Reposted from One Day at a Time.
As soon as I finished my last post, the resulting discussion with my husband (who is much more thorough and detail-oriented than I am, and who therefore read all the comments on that Edmonton Journal article I linked) led me to find the link to this article in the sidebar. It features another Canadian couple who, beginning in the early 1990s, made a decision to that of Storm's parents to keep the sexes of their two children (both daughters, both now in their late teens) a private matter.
I rather sadly wish that I had found it before I published that last post, and I've spent the last few minutes debating whether to go back and revise.
Despite the fact that I am sitting in the emergency room at the moment, waiting for my accident-prone-Army-wife friend to get herself X-rayed (yes, the ER on post has wireless internet; I can't decide whether to be quietly grateful for this fact or alarmed that I've been here enough to know it), this article made me want to hop out of my chair and do a happy-dance.
"The couple also made other decisions to keep gender stereotypes out of their household while the kids were growing up. Gender-specific toys, such as Barbie dolls, were not found in the girls' toy box.
"That came more naturally, since our priority was to provide them with toys that encouraged creativity and thought (and) stereotypical toys tend not to," he said. 'In dressing them . . . the goal was not to be somehow generic, but to put them into sensible and attractive clothing in the colours we (and later they) wanted, which meant picking such clothes off whatever rack we happened to find them on.'"
Toward the end of the article, an American psychologist named Judith Rich Harris saying "Their philosophy seems to be based on the idea that male and female are artificial categories imposed by society."
Well... exactly, in a certain sense. Denying biological gender difference, including some evolutionarily programmed behavioral tendencies, would be ludicrous, but the cultural roles we define as "male" and "female" are largely (albeit not entirely) artificial creations, and I see little point in imposing them as if they were biologically unavoidable.