Imagine a world without gender. Wait, can you imagine a world without gender? What if a person was just a person and that’s it.
As Storm’s parents stated: “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.”
Now, this takes you back to the idea of how much we associate gender with personal identity. Isn’t it funny how so many assumptions are created within the mind of a person only by gender?
I mentioned Storm’s parents above, but who is Storm? Storm is the baby that made headlines in Toronto because Storm’s parents refused to share Storm’s sex with the world. They weren’t crazy; instead, they were setting a stage for what would become a significant movement.
So what does allowing a child to be gender neutral entail? Gifts for these children do not consist of blue or pink toys. Instead, they get to choose whichever color they want to associate with, ultimately allotting them with the power to decide. These children are also addressed through gender-neutral pronouns and given gender-neutral names.
Parents that take part in this movement view the term gender as a limitation placed on their children by society instead of empowering them. Others also feel that terms like gender-open, gender-affirming, and or gender-creative might be a better way to refer to this movement.
Sometimes, I do wonder the kind of impact this movement would have if it were taken on by every single parent not only in the states but internationally as well. Would all gender-related problems cease to exist? Margaret Wente, the author of this insightful article, mentions the importance of structure for some. Will this gender-neutral attitude interfere with the comfort using gender terms to label everyone? This labeling then leads to a pre-set path or should I say life for most? Is this the path taken most times because it does not require as much planning. Everything is already set in place if one is a male or female. Where would a gender-neutral world leave us?
Sweden has adapted to the idea of gender-neutrality and has seen excellent results. In Sweden, children are encouraged to refer to their colleagues as “friends” instead of using terms like “boys” and “girls.” Boys are also taught to take roles in the kitchen while girls are taught to be outspoken by shouting “No.”
Indeed, it is hard to tell whether a gender-neutral world may make things more comfortable or complicated. One thing is for sure – a gender-neutral society will assist in understanding people solely by who they are as opposed to setting pre-conceived notions in place because of their gender.
Have a fantastic day ahead. Manisha is sending a lot of positivity your way!