Storm Stocker, The Baby Who’s Gender We Don’t Know … Does It Matter?

Posted: June 14, 2011 by Zeddington in Uncategorized
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By now, you’ve probably read about Storm, the baby who’s parents have caused quite the controversy by not sharing the baby’s sex with the world, for now. For me, this is a non-story. It’s a peculiarity, and something a bit strange, but the media shitstorm that has been stirred up is, sadly, not surprising.


Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, the parents, sent an email to friends saying “we’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now – a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation”. Considering the baby is far too young to know what sex or gender even is, there’s nothing here really. While I agree with many of the comments made that raising a baby ‘genderless’ is a dangerous experiment, I’ve read nothing from the family that suggests that this is their attention.


Patricia J. Williams, regular contributor to The Nation Magazine, makes some interesting observations at are worth reposting:

While it seems to me that “not sharing Storm’s sex for now” is hardly a full-fledged commitment to lifelong gender suppression or neutered identity, I will leave to mental health experts the propriety of Storm’s parents’ stance. As a purely philosophical matter, however, the situation is intriguing. After all, it is a much under-interrogated political truism that “we’re all just people,” or “we’re all equal” or “it doesn’t matter what your religion is” or “I don’t see race.” Who cares about anything else if “we’re all American citizens”?

Yet when some intrepid souls actually follow such identity-erasing truisms to their logical, uncomfortable ends—refusing altogether to engage in the conventions of gendered identity, as with baby Storm—it is profoundly unsettling.


And this:


 In English, there is no adequately humanizing yet universal pronoun, no general reference to common humanity; in order to speak comfortably, we automatically must yield to the partitions of him, of her, of gender. In the absence of pronouns, address necessarily becomes specific, individual, even intimate.


The idea of raising a child genderless (which, again should be stressed, is not what the parents said in their email) is something that goes against all our common perceptions of raising children. Could there ever be a world where that is possible? Probably not.


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