These outdated ideas about gender need correcting if we are ever going to really solve a lot of the problems in society. One couple decided to raise their child genderless. They didn’t tell their family or even the school what gender the child was. The child was never given any gender biased signals from the parents. It played with whatever toys it wanted to play with. They referred only to the child as “the infant”. They did of course use the name, which was Sasha. The child was a boy. The mother made the following comments when questioned about her decision:
“I wanted to avoid all that stereotyping,” she said. “Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes?”
“I don’t think I’d do it if I thought it was going to make him unhappy, but at the moment he’s not really bothered either way,” she said. “All I want to do is make people think a bit.”
Personally I’m a little bit disappointed that I was beaten to being the first to raise a child this way. I absolutely would want to do this for my child. Especially in the first few years that are so important. Society will eventually try and make us conform in one way or another because that is exactly what it does. Those that resist by dressing as they choose or behaving as they choose are derided. I’m even guilty of doing this when the reality is I don’t care. People can behave however they want within the laws of the country that they are in (and even sometimes break them depending on where they live).
The child will grow and have little regard for what it “must” look like. Maybe it will never look in the mirror and feel less than what it really is like so many of us do. Perhaps it won’t seek the impossible form that eludes most of us. As we lie our way through Instagram photos, with filters and tweaks (or the one of the many hundreds of apps on the App stores designed to enhance your selfies) trying to show the best, most fun version of ourselves to others did we never stop and think about what that says to everyone else? If you keep raising the bar ever higher there is an argument for the case that eventually nobody will be able to meet it.
In a society that sees so little merit in individualism or non-conformity is it any wonder that cosmetic surgery and body dimorphic behavior is on the rise now even amongst men? When we flick through the celebrity magazines and judge those who seek surgery are we not culpable for these actions they are forced to take? To what end will this pursuit of conformity lead us? Is it just really the case that one day we will all be designer babies?
Amazingly I can still bring this back to the world of comics. In the far off planet of Krypton there have been no natural births for hundreds of years. Everyone is born with a predefined role. Only those skills for those roles are acceptable. Those in power are stubborn and those who seek power are ruthless. You are not encouraged to be different. They finally destroyed their planet and everyone on it. It is a lesson that we must learn before we go too far.