Little Storm, Big storm

I was watching The Agenda on TVO the other day. They were debating the ethics behind a couple's choice to keep the gender of their newest child, a secret from the public. 
I guess only a few close family members and the doctors know whether Storm is a baby girl or boy. 

At first I thought that maybe the child was born as a hermaphrodite, and that the parents are going to wait to see which gender the child wants to be before they treat him/her a certain way. Meaning, which role he/she gravitates towards. I guess that's not the case. Biologically, Storm is one or the other. The parents are just choosing not to tell people. Their reasons for doing this was described as such:

They don't want to subject their children to a specific gender roll. They have two older boys who they have treated as such for their entire lives. One of their sons took a liking to the colour pink at a very young age. His parents didn't seem to have a problem with this and let him wear pink shirts and have pink toys, if that's what he wanted. They were very surprised at the response they got from people. Some people were genuinely concerned and even angry about them dressing a little boy in "girly colours". Everyone seemed to have an opinion on what a little boy should be. 

It made them really think about how culture defines gender. They decided that what gender we are shouldn't determine what we should be exposed to and influenced by. They opted to not tell people whether Storm (their youngest) is a boy or a girl, as a way to almost liberate him/her from categorization, and make him/her free to be who he/she wants to be, without having to be conflicted by the expectations of others. It's left an astounding number of people curious not only what gender Storm is, but also as to how this is going to turn out. 

Anyone who's interested in behavioral science is intrigued by this story. Unfortunately this has lead to a lot of unwanted attention by the media and such, and it's put a bit of a dent in their plans. Regardless people can't help but think about how this will impact Storm. Some people have doubts as to this being possible. Their choices does not isolate Storm from all influences. They can't control what people are going to think and express to him/her. They can't shield his/her eyes from the media and all social settings. They can't control how Storm reacts. Will Storm be resentful? Will his/her parent's efforts amount to anything? 

Will he/she disagree with culture, or accept it? What if Storm just chooses to go with nature and fall into that cultural role out of convenience or disagreement with her/her parents opinion of culture? Will he/she be confused by that lack of structure? What if he/she intentionally fights both gender rolls, because of his/her parents wishes. I'm not going to question whether his/her parents have ulterior motives... 

Storm is less than a year old right now, so chances are she/he is not aware to the uniqueness of this situation. 
There's no doubt that if his/her parents follow through with this, that it will impact Storm's life in one way or another. This is definitely uncharted territory.... 

There's a lot to talk about here so I'll leave my opinions for the comments.

Wondering aloud

Uploaded 07/04/2011
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