Thursday, June 16, 2011

Child Abuse?

By Chaim G.

Jazz canoodling Storm Stocker

Breaking new ground in Genderly-confused Havdala-Obliviousness a Canadian couple Kathy Witterick and her husband,David Stocker, have decided to raise their newborn baby, Storm, "genderless". The babies sex is known only to the parents and a close friend of theirs, siblings (boys  Jazz 5 and Kio 2) and the midwives who delivered it. For the balance of humanity Storms gender will remain a mystery. That is, of course, until, if and when, it chooses to use a urinal.

In rationalizing  their decision the spokesperson for the family, Storms mother explained "I, like many parents, have taught my children that some things are private matters, (some are, e.g. ones genitalia, one's gender identity clearly is not) and when you want to share them, you need to do so honestly with sensitivity and consideration.(Checking off MALE or FEMALE on a form requires "sensitivity" and "consideration"? How much "honesty", except for perhaps transvestites, hermaphrodites and pre-op transsexuals, must one muster before checking off the appropriate box?) If I had to convince my children not to share Storm's sex (which I don't because my children simply are not interested at this point) — I would teach them that someone else's genitals (correct) and sense of how they relate to their gender (absurd) is their private business, to be shared by them or in a context where safety, acceptance and sensitivity are paramount."

And so Witterick and Stocker have chosen to cast an identity-ambiguating burka over Strom's psyche. It's hard for me to comprehend Ms. Witterick's explanation but one thing is clear; if she and her partne  are allowed to raise Storm to adulthood they will have consigned him/her to a lifetime of stormy weather. Other children will mock him/her, other genders will be repulsed by him/her and it will be terminally odd and queer (if that's the appropriate word). Storm will spend a lifetime maladjusted and insecure in its own being and most basic self-definition. Storm will be the Sartre-ian "other", ignored and marginalized at best and oppressed and demonized at worst, by the rest of society.

The only possible rationalization for raising Storm Gender-Neutral would be if the four month old was, indeed, either a טומטום or an אנדרוגינוס (Talmudic terms connoting one born with a thick membrane covering their genitalia or one born with two sets of genitalia) . While I am no sleuth, reading between the lines I have discerned that: A. this is not the case with Storm B. It is probably male and C. That the decision was based more on Jazz' negative social experiences because of his love of bright colors (especially pink) , lots of fabric (especially dresses) and growing his hair long, than on any other single factor. This much seems clear. The grandparents did NOT raise the parents gender-neutral or they'd have been the ones making headlines 30-45 years ago.

IMO these parents are abusing their child. In civilized countries Child Services have taken children away from parents on the grounds that the parents were merely too dumb or for feeding their children inappropriately. What this Toronto couple is doing to their baby is akin to a couple in New Square or l'havdil in Dutch-Mennonite communities deciding to raise their child Deism-neutral and denying it any religious education or acculturation. It's like an agrarian couple raising their baby in a barn so that when it came of age it would have an open mind to decide if it was a soul-endowed human or just another, albeit evil, weak and fur-less, animal. There are movements afoot to ban the practice of clitorectomies in developing countries and even to end circumcision in San Francisco and Santa Monica, all on the grounds of child-abuse through genital "mutilation". In both of these procedures only a portion of the reproductive anatomy is excised and yet they raise a hysterical hue and cry from progressives world-wide. Yet here we have "parents" psychologically excising their offspring's genitalia completely, leaving no trace of it.

Like the couple from Scotland Kathy Witterick and David Stocker are simply too dumb to raise children and if allowed to do so will do them a lifetime of irreparable harm. Not because they have low IQs or because they lack higher education. On the contrary, it was precisely the confluence of these two factors that produced so-called "adult" parents deaf, dumb and blind to the basic difference between the genders and the parental duty to facilitate their childrens healthy and natural assimilation of their genetically, and IMO Divinely, ordained gender identities.

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