The Gender-Less Baby

Abuse of parental power.

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Comments (76)

(71) Anon, October 25, 2012 9:22 AM

Exaggerations of Life

I think that empowering younger children is our response to all the limitations we put on young adults who SHOULD be making their own decisions.

(70) lordcsmith, June 28, 2011 11:23 PM

limitation is good

Limitation is a good thing. An engine limits the free-flowing gasoline in it and look what the engine does. Remove the container and it wastes itself. Boundaries = good. look what happens when you prune a garden. it becomes beautiful. Leave it alone and the weeds destroy it.

(69) Anonymous, June 8, 2011 11:07 PM

Irresponsible!

Is it immaturity on these parents' parts or irresponsibility?

(68) M Lillian C, June 8, 2011 10:52 PM

So true that "parents need to grow up"

So true that these "parents need to grow up" but is it immaturity on the parents' part, or irresponsibility? Letting their children shop where they want and make decisions for themselves, without any guidance, is not parenthood in my opinion.

(67) Steve, June 7, 2011 4:38 PM

Stupid Idots !

Accidents do happen, but lets not cause them. Show a child the way to go ! My youngest sister is warped by by parents divorce. She is now acting the man in relationship with a divorced woman. I am desperately unhappy about the situation, but she is now about 50 and is set in her ways. All I can do is pray for her.

(66) Carol Posner, June 5, 2011 2:14 AM

I also agree

Sadly they are making choices for their children that can damage them. Children feed on structure. Making them internet sensations, stand outs, different from their play-mates, etc, could have some serious consequenses in the future.

(65) shulamit, June 3, 2011 3:56 PM

age

people are treated differently and sometimes discriminated against because of age. if these parents were really smart, they would have never revealed that this is, indeed, a baby. now people will treat it as such.

(64) su, June 3, 2011 3:53 PM

How I know this is not a good idea

Judaism has very specific rituals, commandments, and customs for men and women. Cutting a boy's hair at three and immediately introducing him to Torah learning. A girl's Bat Mitzva at twelve, when she is ready, and a boy's Bar Mitzva at thirteen, when he is ready. Synagogue in a quorum of ten, for the men. Candle lighting, to bring peace and repair to the world, for the women. Judaism is Truth. Anything that goes against it can be a good or bad idea, and can even come from a good place, but it is not Truth. Look at how Judaism is when men want to be women, or really, when women want to be men, instead of being proud of who they are and knowing how high this religion places them. That desire to be just like men also comes from a real place, and from looking at Judaism as if it is as sexist as the outside world really is, but the women who feel this way do so because of lack of understanding of their own religion, just like these parents probably mean the best, but are seriously misguided. Forcing a child to be genderless is not a kindness to the child. It is a lie. The child does have a gender. Choosing to pretend he/she doesn't, is mean.

Anonymous, June 6, 2011 1:04 AM

I am not entirely sure what I think of the parents' decision, but don't forget that the parents are not simply "forcing the child to be genderless." They are saying that the child should be able to decide where (s)he feels more at home. As I said before I still don't know whether I think it is a good idea or not, though.

(63) ana, June 3, 2011 3:46 PM

just give the kid opportunitites

they can dress the kid in pink and blue or pink or blue, allow the kid to play with dolls and soldiers, let the kid learn science and poetry and cooking and cleaning and math and computers--they can give this child any and every opportunity to be whomever he or she is, instead of what they are doing now--denying this child who he or she is. this is very dangerous for the child, who never had a say in this secrecy at all. why not teach this child to treat everyone well? why not take time to teach this child to be good and kind to everyone? wouldn't that be better for the child and those around him or her?

(62) Anonymous, June 3, 2011 11:21 AM

This is the most absurd and outrageous thing I have ever heard!

(61) Anonymous, June 3, 2011 6:18 AM

I agree with you.

As parents we are to guide our children to make appropriate choices according to the Torah. Letting them decide for themselves something which has already been decided by HaShem, can only cause confusion and ultimately sin.

(60) Deborah LItwack, June 3, 2011 2:18 AM

And then there are those born with ambiguous genitalia....

I've wokred with families who babies were born with ambiguous genitalia (genetically one gender but unclear upon examination). Their heart rendering decision was about whether on not to have surgery and give their child hormones to raise as one particular sex. THIS is a REAL issue REAL parents deal with!

Tracy, June 14, 2011 2:06 AM

Not Totally Genderless

Medical history has shown that even though a child may have both genitalia at birth or with "ambiguous" genitalia, that is not the same thing as having no (pre)set sex (gender). When the child hits puberty, hormones determine the body development of the child; that is, the body will develop into one sex or another at puberty. Choosing to alter the baby surgically to a parental preference should not be considered.

(59) nancy, June 3, 2011 12:16 AM

OY

I can hardly wait to see the results of this ridiculous idea for raising a child. I have a former sister in law who once stated, "We don't say no to our children." Geez, that worked out well, too....one just got out of prison. Need I say more!

(58) a. egelman, June 2, 2011 1:31 AM

it won't work

Years ago we had an "oh so progressive" neighbor who decided to let their third daughter ( about age 3) be untrammeled in her gender decisions. Instead of a doll the kid was given a toy truck.She cradled the truck in her arms (like a baby) and sang to it. So much for the mother's nitwittedness.

(57) suzzanne nemick, June 2, 2011 1:10 AM

go Toronto, How To Raise Your Children Even More Confused Than They Already Are. Good bye Stability.

It seems as though children will experiment with different modes of dress on their own. and different modes of play and while I agree with freedom of choice.....a child needs to know the way they were physically born. Any changes can be made when they are old enough to get it. Otherwise they ARE being abused by parental ambivilance, lack of guidance.That's my opinion....so far...try to change my mind.

(56) ana, June 1, 2011 7:57 PM

Potty Training Can Cure The Parents' Problem

Will they have a boy sit down or a girl stand up? Won't it be apparent to them that there is such a thing as nature and gender? Or would they like to keep this going throughout puberty? Keep the body from changing, the voice from deepening, hair from growing? Stop a male child from having a girlfriend? Refuse to allow the female child to become pregnant? After all, it would be pretty obvious someone is female if she is pregnant, and we wouldn't want a society that notices such a thing--we want everyone to be equal. So no more children! Didn't these parents learn from the feminist movement that men are not women and women are not men and that we can each be treated well and be given the same opportunities and loved for who we are, but that we are not and should not be the same? It would be like telling grass to be trees and birds to be butterflies. Pointless, limiting, and cruel. I guess this family would have a one color, one type of food, one type of person world. They are actually limiting their child by their actions. Also, a simple check on the birth certificate can stop this,

(55) Anonymous, June 1, 2011 5:36 AM

Good grief. My, my, my............I think they have forgotten something in obliging their child to be without any limitations. Will they really go so far as to allow their child to acknowledge that 'it' is human, instead of human-less? But then, perhaps I am being hasty. No doubt they will take that away too.

(54) Anonymous, June 1, 2011 2:35 AM

I cannot agree more. None of it makes any sense.

I did notice this story in the newspaper. Your article clears things up for me. I don['t understand parents doing anything like that to very young children and infants. I wish them luck. They're going to need it.

(53) Anonymous, June 1, 2011 2:14 AM

i do agree but...

I come from a very liberal community and took many courses in the study of transgenderism in our society and have always felt a pull to help the trans community and really thought that a gender-less society would be the answer. This is how I was educated. As I expand my knowledge and learn more about Judaism, I am changing my thoughts on this and while I still want to respect the transgender community in every possible way, I do believe there needs to be limits. If we let everything and anything be "acceptable" then we are creating a confusing place to live. I will say, however, that there are some people in our commuity who identify with a gender not assigned to them at birth. These individuals, transgender by identity, are proven to be happier and more successful when they are embraced as the gender they identify with, I do agree with setting limits, especially as a parent of a young child, but when an individual identifies as another gender, I personally don't feel comfortable telling them that their identity is not valid. I don't feel like it is my place and I feel like I would be harming them to do such. I honestly believe that the transgender community needs support, understanding, validation, and most importantly respect as the HUMAN BEINGS we all are.

(52) J. Green, June 1, 2011 2:12 AM

Be practical

Is the child a guinea pig? The parents are stacking the dice that their child will suffer from lifelong gender confusion. Gender role definitions are an essential way of making meaning of the world. The parents are to be condemned for not prioritizing their child's happiness and health.

(51) ana, June 1, 2011 1:06 AM

why don't the parents experiment using themselves and not tell anyone if they are male or female?

Why don't they just keep the baby's eye color a secret and cover up its eyes? Or cover up its skin color in order to see how people treat a race-less child? Why not keep it a secret if the child has a certain talent or gift and cover it up to the world and not let anyone know? The child is either a girl or boy, and by not allowing the child to just be that, these parents are denying who the child is and therefore taking away from it's own identity.

(50) Carol C., June 1, 2011 12:56 AM

Ultimate, in child expression

It is ultimately too far to allow children/babies to "express" thier selves. The Bible says" train up a child the way he should go" ; "...it is He that hath made us and not we ourselves."

(49) Yael, May 31, 2011 11:36 PM

the whole thing is just utterly cruel. how can parents treat their child like some sort of social experiment that they can just toy with? i feel such pity for this poor baby and the years of humiliation and confusion it will inevitably have to suffer through. i feel terrible that this child is going to grow up with no mother and father to be a loving role model and guide to them, they will have no steady rock to turn to to give them answers when they are feeling lost. its utterly cruel. these parents need their child taken away until they realize that babies are not just objects there for their own amusement, they are HUMAN BEINGS who deserve so much more.

(48) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 10:13 PM

Wow! that is just crazy and so is much of this world,... Billy Joel sang it......We didn't start the fire!

(47) Robert Walton, May 31, 2011 8:50 PM

Why is a baby's gender the business of stranger's.

It is sufficient the parents and doctors know the infant's gender. To be sure, eventually the child will know it and he/she can disclose it to whomever.

(46) Marion, May 31, 2011 8:22 PM

confusing gender with behavior

This is not completely new. My daughter is 26 years old and when she was an infant we had neighbors who dressed their baby in clothes of either gender, though they did tell people he was a boy. The idea was not to limit the child's behavior by having them behave in gender stereotypical ways. As a progressive, feminist i could support that goal, but why not each boys and girls that they can make choices NOT based on those stereotypes. It seems that the behavior of those parents only reinforces the limitations that they are trying to overcome.

(45) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 8:10 PM

Intentions

I think one other thing we can consider is what the true intentions are of the parents for the child. The child's welfare comes first before any political or anti social statements they want to make. In the same way that a judge does not allow their kid to be named Hitler. It is in the best interest of how the child will be affected by this. And overrides the parents need to make a statement to the world about anything.

(44) Hannah, May 31, 2011 7:53 PM

Its ok to raise a genderless child

I don't see a problem, with what the parents are doing. As a transgender person, I lived most of my life hating my body. Yet since I have transitioned I have lived a better life. To say to someone you must be unhappy and miserable, in order not to offend someone else, speaks of hubris. Sometimes society gets it wrong and must change.

(43) Aaron, May 31, 2011 7:53 PM

Culture Wars

The desire to eliminate sexual differences is a part of the cultural wars dominate in the West since the 1960's. It started in part when it was determined that women were not being treated fairly in the market place (which included our educational system). Much of the feminist rhetoric which asserts there is no difference between males and females was designed to make political points. Language has power of its own. The failure to understand that is the source of the promotion of this confusion.

(42) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 7:42 PM

Hermaphrodites only

I think these parents stance is nothing short of abuse unless their children are all hermaphrodites. Only then should there perhaps be a "wait and see" approach to the sexual preferances/leanings of the children early on with the help of trained professionals. But this approach to child rearing is so far off base, I can only see psychological harm to the children in the long run. This just isn't parenting!

(41) Maria, May 31, 2011 7:40 PM

Gender-less?! baby

What these parents fail to understand is that you don't "choose" your gender, it is a given. You are BORN male or female. Your sex is biological fact, not a choice. Now, whether you like it and are happy with it is another story. In this case, having to hide their gender as if it were something shameful won't lead to a happy ending. It will probably make it a lot harder for those kids to define their sexual identity and their sexual orientation. What these and all parents need to do is accept their children for what they are, and love them unconditionally. And avoid stereotypes such as: 'real men don't cry', 'a woman's place is in the kitchen', 'girls can't understand math', 'art is for sissies', 'women must be faithful, but men must be about town', etc. Those are limiting attitudes. Teach them with your example that humans have immense G-d given potential and capabilities that can be developed for the good of all. Create a nurturing environment that foster self-knowledge, self-acceptance, self-love, respect,and the recognition of your own dignity and that of others.

(40) Penny, May 31, 2011 7:23 PM

I agree with you 100%. God is the one that choose the gender for each person. We, or the parents have no choice in the matter. These parents are being very irresponsible and are not guiding their children at all. That is why children have parents. To love, guide, and nurture them as they continue to grow, and to make decisions according to their age and growth, with their parents by their side, making sure they are making the right decisions according to God's will for them. These parents are neglecting their role as parents, and are ultimately hurting these children. If you are a girl, you should be brought up as a girl, and also if you are a boy, you should be brought up as a boy. That is what God intended as we all know, and their is no choice.

(39) Marleen Perret, May 31, 2011 7:14 PM

Gender confusion

After years of teaching psychology, I can tell you that 'gender confusion' is a major predictor of suicide! Sex change operations, far from "solving the problem" have often added to it and led to more emotional upheaval. What perfect idiots some people are! Parents are given children to make the world more perfect, not create more chaos with confused mentally ill adults.

(38) Grace Fishenfeld, May 31, 2011 6:59 PM

Why look for complications?

There are so few things one can be certain of in this life. The anatomical structure given at birth identifies whether we are male or female. Why would parents make a puzzle out of gender? Yes, what the adult and child does, male or female is the important thing. Being told that they are good boys or girls is a comfort. If the child is born with anatomical uncertainty, we may support these parents from Toronto. If Storm was born with all the structure in place, the parents are looking for special attention for themselves and is pure narishkeit.

(37) Leah, May 31, 2011 6:34 PM

Shades of Logan's Run

Does anyone remember a movie called Logan's Run about a futuristic society? There were hints of this sort of thing in the movie but not quiet to this extreme. However, I think it shows that it has been evident for awhile that we're moving in this perverse direction. How did we let it get this far? As parents we have let modern society dictate the norm in our fear of speaking unpopular ideas in the name of political correctness. Become outspoken, we need it!

(36) Golda, May 31, 2011 5:10 PM

Re genderless baby.

I totally agree with everything you said. The world is losing sight of right and wrong.

(35) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 5:07 PM

What's the problem?

The parents are choosing not to share the gender of the child with everyone else - which surely they have the right to do? The other example given by Rabbi Salomon - Indian girls being aborted simply because they're girls - strikes me as the consequence of being obsessed with gender as most societies are. These Canadian parents are doing the opposite of that - they're saying they love their child as a human being, and the gender isn't relevant. Good for them! I can accept that that may be against the tenets of Judaism, Islam, Christianity and perhaps some other religions, but if the parents don't follow those religions that's not really an issue for them - and I think they've behaved far more ethically in choosing not to share their child's gender than they would have if they'd aborted the child purely because they wanted one of a specific gender.

David Tzvi, June 1, 2011 4:03 AM

Good argument

Annon points out the logic gap in Rabbi Salomon's piece.

Anonymous, June 2, 2011 1:30 PM

No, David, Anon does not point out the logic gap

Strictly from a secular point of view, why do these parents have a right to make a decision on behalf of a child about something that is so important? Biology and chemistry tell us that there are distinct differences between the sexes. (Think puberty.) That has nothing to do with religion. That is not socialized. These people are part of a culture and as such they have elected to participate in it. For some strange reason they decided to have children and for that to take place both the mother and father were willing to cooperate in this wonderful experiment. Why would they want to deny this form of relationship to their children? How do they know that they will not seriously scar the children to such an extent that the children's lives will turn out to be much worse? Who gives them the right to experiment with their lives? Are those parents aware that the very fact that they are parents in the form of mother and father automatically negates the whole experiment? And yes, it is an experiment. (I am sure that I do not need to explain that one regardless of how those two behave.) We also know that far to much influence comes from outside the home. Do tell me how will these parents be able to control this situation? You just go on the street and you will be exposed. It takes two things to set the bio-chemistry on fire: inside and outside. Combine this with the communication explosion (computers, television, smart phones, music, games, etc) and how can anyone escape this? How about schooling? It is impossible unless they wish to make freaks out of these children and in which case they shall be scarred as I said. There is no logical gap. As usual Rabbi is right on.

(34) Rachel, May 31, 2011 5:05 PM

Surreality

My guess is that these 2 are looking for a "reality" tv show deal. They certainly want attention and have gotten it! (And I'm not sure why you drag in the abortion of Indian female fetuses, which to me sounds like the exact opposite problem.) I think it's weird that most people commenting here are blaming some immoral, amorphous "left" or "liberals". I'm a liberal, and to me, that means you value each person equally before the law, and evaluate each person's individual strengths and weaknesses based on objective criteria and not things like gender, race, religion, etc. If I'm a defendant, I want the best lawyer; if I need surgery I want the best surgeon; if I'm adding a wing to my home, I want the best builder -- and I could care less about their skin color, chromosomes, etc. AND obviously, unless the parents plan to lie to the kid, the child is going to figure it out when the child starts interacting with others -- including the first sitter who changes the diaper!

(33) Gloria, May 31, 2011 4:57 PM

Laws of Nature

You can break the laws of man, but you cannot break the laws of nature. Neurophysiological research over the past 20 years or so has clearly shown that the brain is sexualized even before birth. Male and female brains develop differently because of the existence of genetic differences between the sexes. These genetic differences play out in the womb, prepare the body before puberty for the changes that will take place then, and even play a role in the expression of adolescent and adult behaviors, such as aggression and nurturance tendencies. The sin/crime of these parents is their arrogance in thinking that they are more powerful than the natural bodily processes that occur in human beings. A person can decide to wear pants or skirts--that aspect of life is humanly constructed. A person cannot decide which chemicals circulate in his or her brain, and that brain really is a "his" or a "her."

(32) Rosally Saltsman, May 31, 2011 4:17 PM

Which diapers are they buying?

If I remember correctly there are boys' diapers and girls' diapers. Are they letting the baby choose? Buying one of each? Friends of this couple should look in their supermarket carriage to see whether their diapers are pink or blue. Maybe they use cloth to help save the environment . I hope the baby is choosing wisely.

(31) avraham m, May 31, 2011 3:53 PM

California teaching

There is an elementary school in California where they teach it's ok to feel like a boy or a girl or both!! They call it gender diversity. HaShem created a boy(man) as a boy and a girl(woman) as a girl !! We can't change that and shouldn't try!! It's sick to me and a form of child abuse or neglect. My daughter played soccer, yet she wore dresses also, my son NEVER wore a dress!!

(30) Isabel Benson, May 31, 2011 3:53 PM

Sometimes children are born either or sex and the doctor or whoever tell the parents to chose. Rare I know but have heard of it happening. Still why go so public? Just trying to not be too judgemental.

(29) Kitty, May 31, 2011 3:35 PM

embarrassed?

I wonder ig the parents have baby of Indeterminate sex and are too embarrassed to tell people that while waiting for the genetic studies.It is a sad picture of 'society' where children are given freedom rather than the guidance and correction needed to grow and develop.

(28) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 3:30 PM

Not completely whacko, but

I actually do understand, to a small degree, what the parents are rallying against. This is a generalization, but quite often, when we see little girls, we remark about how pretty they are. When we see little boys, we remark about how smart they are. Therefore, kids receive the message that the ideals for girls revolve around their physical appearances and for boys, their brains. And, we should all object to those stereotypes. Incidentally, I have three children and gave them all dolls as toddlers. The boys were interested for a day or two, my daughter a little bit longer, although dolls were really never her "thing." Their favorite toys were items with which they could build: blocks, Legos, Lincoln Logs, cardboard bricks, and so forth. Restricting choices in how children dress or with what healthy toys they play is limiting to young minds. However, giving children choices for which they are mentally unable to make is hindering their growth and development. I often wonder if we're ever pushing a child -- who may have slight inclinations towards homosexuality -- into thinking that he's gay, by all the "explorations" that schools are now conducting. If a five-year-old needs surgery, who should make the choice: the child himself or his parents? Is it not limiting to the child not to make such a major decision? The "gender-less" (it should be "sexless" because gender refers to grammar) parents have some tough questions to ask themselves. A baby, male or female, is a beautiful gift from Hashem. I am enormously grateful for my beautiful and brilliant children.

(27) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 3:28 PM

maybe the child has both sex organs.it's happened before

I AGREE 100 % WUTH YOUR RESPONCE T THAT COUPLE'S DECISION. A CHILD ABSORBS THE WAY IT IS TREATED, EARLY ON,AND NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO RESPOND,

(26) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 3:21 PM

Gender-less Babies

This story reminds me so much of a former neighbor who years before this sort of stuff became the "norm" said she wanted her children when she had them to make their own decisions if they wanted to be male or female, to discover themselves if there was a God. She believed herself to be modern and "with it" and unlike other parents.The strange thing is she was never able to have children and financially unable to qualify for adoption. I can't help but wonder if God being the wise and loving God that he is saved a baby from this fate? I guess that isn't exactly the way I want to word it but I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

(25) Emily, May 31, 2011 2:58 PM

crazy

You are sooooooooo right. What crazy thing will individuals think of next. They don't have enought to occupy their minds. We had depression, WWII, and the Holocaust to think about, so our brains had no room for such nonsense to take root. What next?

(24) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 2:30 PM

I once bought my daughter a truck, that she never touched, although at the park she played with other children's trucks. She wanted dolls and girl oriented toys. When my son was a little over a year, we were at a toy store where he saw a doll, he screamed until I bought it for him (a boy cabbage patch doll). He didn't want the doll, he wanted the box that had a very shiny clear plastic window in the cardboard! So without being pushed toward gender specific toys, my kids knew what gender they were! Hopefully these children will figure it out on their own.

(23) Kath, May 31, 2011 2:28 PM

The world is converging into a state of exponential confusion!

People keep redefining everything to the point that it is getting ridiculous! As an example: just *stick* the term dysphoria (which is a mental state) in front of the word gender and you get a bunch of people believing that a child whom is born a boy is born in the "wrong body" . Even if the child is biologically born a boy! am telling you, insanity has hijacked the world!

(22) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 2:23 PM

It won't work anyway...

I am sure that this child is a girl and the mother is trying to have her daughter grow up not being "treated like a girl" because she has some idea that the social factors that make women who they are all all nurture and not nature -- when in reality quite the opposite is true. She may feel that women are not as privileged as men or that women's roles are somehow inferior. However, since she and her husband and their midwife know the gender of their child they are just trying to prevent the outside world from treating her differently, but it won't really make a difference because our gender is inborn and not created by the larger society.

(21) Leah, May 31, 2011 2:01 PM

Hermaphrodite perhaps??

What if this child is one of the rare babies who are born Hermaphrodite, or with an odd XXY chromosome mix? What then should a parent declare? Such things do happen... and I accept that Ha Shem does not make mistakes. What is the rabbinic attitude to those who are neither male nor female?

(20) John, May 31, 2011 1:59 PM

what's the big deal?

Rabbi: I haven't watched your video, I'm just recovering from a computer crash, and haven't finished all the installs. Other than that, I would rather read a submission than watch a video clip. That is solely personal preference and not grounds for all those pop psychologists to latch on to. For starters, I get my news feeds from Yahoo, I don't have TV hooked up, and there are no major newspaper deliveries in my city. The story as I read it in Yahoo, says the parents declined to tell anyone the baby's gender. That's all. From that we have every supposed expert under the sun looking for their 5 minutes of fame by telling the world how wrong this is. What is wron with society that this becomes earth shaking news? Whose business is it? What next? Some child "advocate" apprehending the child so the world can know whether it is a boy or girl? I think it far more important for the child to grow up secure in his parents' love and care. Put a bunch of toys in a room, and watch which the childeren gravitate to. We're hardwired in our gender roles. 99% of girls gravitate to "girl" activities, and 99% of boys gravitate to "boys" activities. For the other 1% is there really an issue if a girl wants to play with a fire truck, or a boy cares for a doll? What is G.I. Joe, other than a doll? I worked renovating a church basement. All the daycare boys from single parent homes would come and watch me work,. Who told them that it was "man" work? Or was there an instinctive gender identity? I'm running out of room andaam going to start babbling here, so I guess I'm done. Thanks & feel free to tell me how wrong I am, without yelling.

(19) Scott Edelman, May 31, 2011 1:54 PM

Proper Order?

Rabbi, Excellent! Really puts these situations in focus - especially the line about choosing a bathroom!!!! One minor critique - it seems to me the murder by abortion of girls in India is far more important than the parents refusing to reveal the gender of Storm. Maybe this should have been mentioned first?

(18) Anonymous, May 31, 2011 1:49 PM

Refer to the Mother's Words

Her eloquence, articulation and grace under fire makes reveals nothing but all of your smallness for your judgment. You need to retract your thoughts and look at your own issues, prejudices and problems before judging anything. http://www.thestar.com/news/article/998960

(17) Rafi, May 31, 2011 1:28 PM

But why is it wrong?

Dear Rabbi, I can understand your gut reaction to this matter, as it certainly flies in the face of something that has been assumed for most of your life. One view which has gain much more prominence is this: sex is a biological trait, gender is a social trait. In fact, historically we've seen many cases in numerous societies throughout the world in which males took on traditionally female roles, and visa-versa. In present times, we've also seen a near-annihilation of the dichotomy of male/female, in favor of continuum based scale of identity traits, with people of both sexes identifying as being anywhere on that scale. The question I keep hearing non-answers to are as follows: Why is one mode of behavior, dress, fashion, or set of interests inherently "male" or "female?" Is the problem that the children will face hardship due to intolerant society members, or is it mark that society is not demonstrating the ability to love and accept a person for who they are? I have a feeling that they asked these very questions and drew the same blanks that I've drawn. It is most likely for that reason that they see determining their child's gender as being an abuse of parental power. When something hits us in such a gut way like this, it is a sign that we must push it aside, read as much as we can on both sides, question proponents from both sides, and then draw conclusions. Arguments from emotion may be passionate, but hollow at their core. They don't hand out the Rabbi title freely, so you must have worked hard to earn it. I would love to hear a reply, public or private via email. -Rafi

(16) Dorothy Frances Goldstein, May 31, 2011 1:17 PM

When Too Liberal Becomes Too Little Responsibility

An awesome illustration of abdication of parental influence. I confess this makes me seriously rethink of all the times I've defended parents of mixed faiths who planned to "let the children decide what to be when they grow up."

(15) Leah, May 31, 2011 12:58 PM

Thank you Rabbi Salomon! I have been trying to come up with a way to think about htis from a Jewish perspective and I was close, yet no cigar. my guess is like this. The mother is liberal due to both her lack of understanding that has been fostered by poor parenting form her own parents or modern society that has challenged her. The baby, in my opinionis a girl and this stirs up serious emotions in the mother. The baby's name is Storm. Now I am defintaely admitting to reading into things, yet I think the name Storm suggests tumultuos thoughts from the mother's emotional being. Sad, truly sad. I believe the wording gross exaggeration and abuse of parental power and a farce are the more apt descriptions of this situation. Yasher Koach, Rabbi Salomon. It's just sad that it's the truth.

(14) Saul Pillai, May 31, 2011 3:40 AM

So disturbing on so many levels…

The poor baby is going to be a confused child/adult !!! Why can’t parents just be parent in the same way their forefathers were? It’s a tried and tested method and it works before all this free rights went out of hand. Gender is a gift from Hashem, embrace it and be thankful. Baby boys and baby girls are gifts and blessings, not dolls we buy off the shelf.... Completely agree with you… it’s a case of the world gone amok ! Keep up the good work….

(13) Anonymous, May 30, 2011 6:16 PM

I agree. I'm not Jewish and even I think it 's crazy to do this to your kids. It's hard enough growing up and to put a gender issue on top of it, is just going to make things more confusing. Parents are supposed to guide them and help them make the right decisions, omitting yourself completely from the child's life in these adult like issues is ridiculous. I'm for questioning some of society's norms and challenging them, but I think this would have the opposite affect by not letting the child know who he/she is. When it comes to picking out colors or favorite flavors of ice cream then fine, but gender, No.

(12) Anonymous, May 30, 2011 11:17 AM

How did I miss this?

http://www.kiruv.com/forYourInspiration/movies/iprod.asp What a wonderful video! Thank you! I hope that Aish makes it available for it.

(11) Anonymous, May 30, 2011 10:44 AM

Parenthood is not for everyone.

In a society where having children is encouraged, I believe some people are not fit to be parents. The parents of the genderless baby is one of them.The poor kid will grow up with many complexes.People with a mental illness also shouldn't have the privilege to reproduce.Nor should unmarried 18 year olds. I read disturbing things about parents raising their son as a girl. They think its cute how he runs around with long hair and a dress and this kid was 6 at the time.Who knows what sexual qualms he has now.Children are not pets.They are in most cases what we mold them to be.If you are incapable of demonstrating your parental skills properly then maybe its best that you don't have kids.

Rachel, May 31, 2011 4:58 PM

Parenthood is not for everyone -- but who decides?

I'm horrified by your suggestion that the mentally ill, unmarried 18 year olds, etc "should not have the privilege to reproduce." The government of China has a one-child policy (resulting in abandonment of baby girls), the rabbi mentions the aborting of female fetuses in India (though what that's got to do with the undisclosed gender of "Storm" is beyond me), and most sinisterly, the Nazis engaged in forced sterilizations of persons deemed "undesirable." By the way, I was placed for adoption as an infant because my parents weren't married, and I have a beautiful family and a law degree from a top university. So I think you ought to reconsider your comment.

(10) B, May 30, 2011 7:20 AM

choices

are they letting them choose what foods to buy and eat, when to cross the street (at 2 and 5 years old!!), if to go to the dentist...ridiculous!

(9) Moshe, May 30, 2011 6:29 AM

This is ridiculous

Parent's don't have the right to choose their kids gender and neither do kids, the only one who has that right is Hashem.

(8) TMay, May 29, 2011 7:35 PM

I wonder

Does their "freedom" extends to their friends. E.g. my guess is that since they are talking empowerment that the child is female because Leftists see women as weak therefore if I knew them I would treat the child based upon my bet as a female and give it female pink stuff and dolls. Would that be acceptable to them or does their freedom mean that all their friends have to give the baby green and yellow and unisex toys. IMHO it borders on child abuse. What about language? if they speak to the baby they are predetermining the child s mother language. Maybe they should present the child with all the options and have records speaking all languages and each day they could speak a difft language to the child and let the child decide what language it wants to speak. IMHO I think their friends and family should conspire and not speak English to the parents or whatever language they speak and see how the parents like finding themselves in an undetermined social situation. Also they are hypocrites IMHO because they told the sex to her brothers and since the nuclear family is the most important environment for a child , they have already "infected" her environment with "sexist expectations". Certain female Komodo dragons can produce offspring without a male and all the babies will be male, and certain wasps as well, using parthogenesis. So these parents do not acknowledge that the child is human. IMHO this is harmful to a human child.Socialization is important to humans, as it is to most mammals and birds. An unsocialized human is handicapped IMHO. We don't know the truth about children allegedly being raised by wolves or whether it was autism not recognized at the time. The child will find out what it is, from other children playing dr, so the parents are making the decision that they would rather their child learn from the streets and not from them. If they did not want respons. they should not have had the child. Medl issues differ for the sexes.

(7) Chava, May 29, 2011 7:16 PM

Amen, Rabbi!

(6) gm, May 29, 2011 4:13 PM

mind-boggling

I had read about this a few days ago and could not stop thinking about it. It boggles the mind to think about the power that the parents are exerting on their children, in their quest to do the opposite!! They are already shaping their destinies by the very withholding of information, of structure, of guidance. yes, it is wise to give your child the freedom to explore options and not limit them; however, not in an unlimited way. Children need parents to give them a basic shape, to teach them; only then can a child have the ability to make decisions. I am very disturbed by this; not just because of this one isolated incident; but because of the era that has heralded this, and also because it is likely that this has opened the doors to more lunacy in the lives of others who will feel the same way as those parents. If one could even call them that...

(5) Daniel Morgenbesser, May 29, 2011 4:01 PM

Oh, the looney left

This is an example of the far left way of thinking. So sad.

(4) Refael, May 29, 2011 3:09 PM

Rabbi Solomon sounds as wise as King Solomon

Your comments on the world we live in are so well expressed. It is so important to hear "Sechel Hayoshor" expressed in this age of idiocy! Please keep up your good work!

(3) Anonymous, May 29, 2011 2:16 PM

What in the world?

This is so bizarre - how could people be permitted to do this to their child, i think it is abuse of the worst nature, and this child should be put in a normal home.

(2) sara, May 29, 2011 11:54 AM

These kids are going to have major issues when they grow up.

(1) Alan S., May 29, 2011 10:36 AM

Rabbi, as usual, your comments are excellent. However, I think you are giving too much credit to this specific couple from Canada. You make it seem as if they think rationally. They sound like idiots. Nothing more.

 

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