A child called X

In several feminism – women’s studies classes we read the short story ‘a child called X.’

The story centers around a family whose child is being raised without a gender. Because of this, X is able to excel in many different areas, including sports, cooking, and school. I have always liked the story, because I myself believe that gender is socially constructed. In fact, the definition of gender is the social construction of the sexes. Sex is defined as the biological male or female.

However – I always took it as just that. A story. A nice idea. An extreme to illustrate a point. Until I heard a news story about how this concept is on the rise in Sweden. How parents are actually raising their children without a gender (ze’s instead of him or hers), and sending them to gender neutral preschools.

As much as I am a feminist, I still feel, for some reason, that a part of my identity is based on being a woman. A strong, independent, woman. A woman who has carried a child, who takes care of her family. I realize that those adjectives might as easily be applied to the word ‘man’ (except for ‘carried a child’).

I feel like the actual execution of this idea is taking an issue to the extreme. In a world where everything is split into male/female and sexuality, I think these parents may be setting their kids up for alot of confusion and social problems. Just as there is no reason to place your children into predefined boxes and gender roles, I also don’t think it is ideal to place your child into a world that is so different from surrounding society.

What do you think? Crazy or genius?

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