i apologise if this headline has been used before but i could not resist it. isn't this just the cutest 5 month old ever? i read the article in sunday's newspaper after michael's mom asked me some questions. the dear lady had read it a couple of times and it was clearly bothering her. eventually we had to remove the paper from the coffee table as she kept picking it up and re-reading it in disbelief and horror. "how can parents do such a thing?" she asked over and over again.
my initial feeling was not really of horror. i remember being amused when my boys hated barbie dolls but were happy to play for hours with their gi joes or ninja turtles. although i did not buy them guns they instinctively knew how to make a gun out of a stick or even a doughnut. pink and blue stereotypes also do nothing for me and i know for a fact that if i had had a little girl pink would have not featured until she was old enough to choose pink. i am just not a pink person (dalene will confirm, she received the "i love pink" gene). i would have hated to have pink walls and stuff around me. in fact i still prefer to see newborn babies dressed in white. the witterick's have chosen to dress storm in red which is the colour that has no gender. hectic. imagine if my mother had dressed me in red? i have serious colour issues without having been dressed in red and probably should be in therapy.
i was fine with the article until i read that the older son, jazz (who has long plaits, wears pink and has an earring) chose not to go to school anymore and was now being home schooled. how can kathy and david think that they are doing the right thing when already their children are being labelled as "different", "girl-boys", being laughed at and are not happy at school (and that at the age of 5). to quote the dad, david witterick "Our family practices unschooling, an offshoot of home-schooling centred on the belief that learning should be driven by a child’s curiosity. There are no report cards, no textbooks and no tests. For unschoolers, learning is about exploring and asking questions, “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else”. david also had a brother who, in his teens, started wearing ladies clothes and make-up.
kathy with kio, storm and jazz
the whole point is that the child does have a gender and that boys and girls are different. i do not think that gender has anything to do with sexuality and personally think that kathy and david are O double D. is there a hidden agenda? the story was on the front pages of newspapers all over the world - the family cannot be contacted for interviews - a movie or reality show? then you read how many people are praising their actions and it makes you think a bit more:-
“Bravo to these parents for bravely taking on the gender-biased world that labels children with stereotypes and gendered assumptions before they are even born! All parenting is an experiment — but most people are happy to let Disney or Mattel run the lab. I hope your beautiful little family will stay strong against the conservative attack.”
after starting off as an idealistic parent myself with dreams and plans for my children i now have only one wish for them and that is that they are happy (a cliche, i know) - there are other things of course that i wish for them but being happy is top of the list. i have friends who have children who are questioning their sexuality. they feel the same way as i do - we will love them whatever and if they are happy within that is what matters. a large part of being and feeling happy is the way that you are accepted by your family and friends. we need them to know that happiness is not about being top of the class, getting that degree or fancy job; it's about connecting to yourself, connecting to others and to this world that we share.
these 3 young children are not being given the right start especially when even at their young age they are not accepted in the playground. children can be cruel but are honest and will call things as they are. i don't think that i could be happy without friends. what about you?
on another note completely, i am sure that storm is boy.