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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:37 pm 
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littlebird wrote:
oh good. i typed this reply last night and for some reason it didn't show up til now. it's meant to appear on the first page. now it's totally out of context.


Even though it appeared late it totally resonated with me. I wish I could be in the financial position to provide this for my kid-to-be.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:38 am 
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choirqueer wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
And about the strictness of registering laws and procedures... A friend of mine named her daughter Linell - at least that was how she wanted it to be spelled. The authorities said no, so she had to spell it the French way, Linèle. As a sort of revenge she gave her daughter a whole lot of complicated middle names.


Yeah! That is exactly what I'm wondering about, in a situation like that, what would happen if the parents were like "No, we're naming the kid Linell"? Would the authorities change the spelling for them? Would they have to pay a fine? Would they go to jail? Would the kid get taken away? How serious would be the consequence of someone saying "No, I will not give my child a gender-specific name"?


Now I get it. I don't think this has ever happened. I guess it's very Austrian to get told you can't do something, then just go along with that and very quietly bisque about it at home. Because, you know, we can't change anything anyway.
Sigh.

I really wish I knew what would happen. Maybe there is a way to change things, if you do it right, without offending anyone. At the right time, obviously.
Still doesn't make me want to be a mother.


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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:49 am 
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Phoenix, I was going to say exactly the same about us Germans. Ha, ha.

You can always go to court. Then it would depend on the judge. In the case I linked to above, an Indian couple wanted to call their child Kiran. The registrar refused to register that name because he thought it wasn't gender-specific. He wanted the couple to give their child a second, gender-specific name. They refused to do that, went to court and won.


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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:01 am 
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Phoenix wrote:
choirqueer wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
And about the strictness of registering laws and procedures... A friend of mine named her daughter Linell - at least that was how she wanted it to be spelled. The authorities said no, so she had to spell it the French way, Linèle. As a sort of revenge she gave her daughter a whole lot of complicated middle names.


Yeah! That is exactly what I'm wondering about, in a situation like that, what would happen if the parents were like "No, we're naming the kid Linell"? Would the authorities change the spelling for them? Would they have to pay a fine? Would they go to jail? Would the kid get taken away? How serious would be the consequence of someone saying "No, I will not give my child a gender-specific name"?


Now I get it. I don't think this has ever happened. I guess it's very Austrian to get told you can't do something, then just go along with that and very quietly bisque about it at home. Because, you know, we can't change anything anyway.
Sigh.

I really wish I knew what would happen. Maybe there is a way to change things, if you do it right, without offending anyone. At the right time, obviously.
Still doesn't make me want to be a mother.


I think most Americans would just go along with it too. It's just that Americans don't (and as far as I know) have never had any laws governing the naming of children; we've always just been allowed to name our children whatever the hell we want. So to me as an American, trying to imagine someone telling a parent what they are allowed to name their child is like trying to imagine someone saying you're not legally allowed to wear a green shirt or you're not legally allowed to eat a donut.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:47 am 
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The German and Austrian requirements remind me of an article I once read about the German sense of Ordnung . I identified with it because while I'm American, I'm from German ancestry, and I'm really weird about following procedures to the T. I think it's nicer to think that I'm identifying with my heritage than to think I'm anal retentive. (No disrespect to Germans or anyone else of course.)

Here's a link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/weekinreview/05KULISH.html

What is the process like for changing your name in Germany or Austria? Like say if you didn't identify genderwise with the sex you were born? I'm curious because I know in Brasil, it's nearly impossible to change your name unless you can prove that you are in danger or being harmed because of it. Which I'm sure you could argue if you are transitioning to your true gender, but it seems really rigid. I guess I think that because my husband's father registered him with one of the wrong last names and registered his brother with the wrong first name (or it wasn't spelled correctly or something). And that's just how they have to be called now.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:14 pm 
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I was referring to the transgender law that makes it easier for people who don't think their first name represents their gender to change it.
Generally I think it is not that hard to legally change your last name if you can give a good reason (Wikipedia lists at least 12). In case of your family, I think they wouldn't have had many problems to change their names. So we may have many rules, but they can flexible.

As a sidenote I think it is funny that so many people seem to be fascinated by the stereotypical German Ordnung (and I understand that the article is 95 % tongue in cheek). Germans used to be like that but there were two developments that changed the way we look at rules. In Western Germany it was the student movement that made many young people start questioning them. In Eastern Germany it was the dictatorship. People learned how to bend the rules just a little bit right from the beginning. Of course they did live in that dictatorship for fourty years. But then bending the rules just a little bit was an important part (together with many other factors of course) of ending that dictatorship (e.g. going to protests and demostrations) /end of threadjack


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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:51 pm 
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Storm’s mother wrote an exceptional letter in the Toronto Star newspaper today, in an attempt to correct factual errors in the blow-up of media coverage. Hopefully the many people who viewed the original story will read and think about the issues, values and challenges she so eloquently presents.

'Genderless' baby's mother responds to media frenzy
Toronto Star, Saturday May 28, 2011

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/998 ... renzy?bn=1


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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 2:07 am 
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Padraigin wrote:
Storm’s mother wrote an exceptional letter in the Toronto Star newspaper today, in an attempt to correct factual errors in the blow-up of media coverage. Hopefully the many people who viewed the original story will read and think about the issues, values and challenges she so eloquently presents.

'Genderless' baby's mother responds to media frenzy
Toronto Star, Saturday May 28, 2011

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/998 ... renzy?bn=1


I don't know. I don't believe people inquiring about the sex of a baby are being "voyeuristic." To me, that's silly. They are not saying, "Please describe your baby's genitals to me." They're saying what you say to be polite. Believe me, if someone I don't know has a baby, and I ask, "Is it a boy or a girl?" it's not because I care. I ask because that's what you/some of us ask. It's a convention, not an attempt to reinforce rigid gender roles or the idea that 100% of people's sex and gender are in alignment.

"It's a girl."
"That's great. What's her name?"
"Tabitha."
"Well, I gotta go now."

"It's a boy."
"That's great. What's his name?"
"Enrico."
"Well, I gotta go now."

This has been another episode of FootFace Theater. Join us next week for a stirring discussion of the weather.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 6:36 am 
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But people aren't just politely asking. Some are, sure, but others ask, and when they don't get the answer they wanted, they ask again and again and get angry. Like the neighbor mentioned in the first article.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 12:16 pm 
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I don't want to talk shiitake about anyone's babies, but just saying, Enrico and Tabitha are forking brats, man.


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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 12:34 pm 
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Thanks for posting that Padraigin!

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 12:58 pm 
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It must be terrible to have your parenting decisions questioned in such a public way but no one forced them to allow pictures of their children to be published in a newspaper or to talk to a reporter. It appeared as if the parents cooperated with article CQ posted. I can't believe that the parents are shocked that there has been a backlash.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Padraigin wrote:
Storm’s mother wrote an exceptional letter in the Toronto Star newspaper today, in an attempt to correct factual errors in the blow-up of media coverage. Hopefully the many people who viewed the original story will read and think about the issues, values and challenges she so eloquently presents.

'Genderless' baby's mother responds to media frenzy
Toronto Star, Saturday May 28, 2011

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/998 ... renzy?bn=1


Anyone else notice the sidebar? "Have Your Say: The Star's reporting on a Toronto couple who have decided to raise their baby 'genderless' has elicited a firestorm of responses. After reading the story, do you think Storm is a boy or a girl? ( ) boy ( ) girl".

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 7:23 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
Anyone else notice the sidebar? "Have Your Say: The Star's reporting on a Toronto couple who have decided to raise their baby 'genderless' has elicited a firestorm of responses. After reading the story, do you think Storm is a boy or a girl? ( ) boy ( ) girl".



It appears to be a disappointing new addition that is attempting to sensationalize the story to boost coverage. I read the online paper early Saturday and it wasn't there then.

Baby Storm is not genderless. Storm's mom clearly articulated why they are doing what they are doing - yet The Star is encouraging others to 'guess' gender.


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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 8:17 pm 
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Padraigin wrote:
choirqueer wrote:
Anyone else notice the sidebar? "Have Your Say: The Star's reporting on a Toronto couple who have decided to raise their baby 'genderless' has elicited a firestorm of responses. After reading the story, do you think Storm is a boy or a girl? ( ) boy ( ) girl".



It appears to be a disappointing new addition that is attempting to sensationalize the story to boost coverage. I read the online paper early Saturday and it wasn't there then.

Baby Storm is not genderless. Storm's mom clearly articulated why they are doing what they are doing - yet The Star is encouraging others to 'guess' gender.

Again, I remind you that Storm did not ever need to be a public person. Eventually another story will attract the media attention but for now...

That sidebar by the Star is stupid and offensive but I am hardly surprised.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:10 am 
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Okay. Here's my thought and I've been thinking about this a lot, which is easy because it is blowing up the media. I personally don't give a crepe if these people want to keep their kid's gender a secret - it's their kid! But my thought is - how did the entire forking world hear about this? If I had wanted to keep Livi's a secret, then I would have and I'm pretty sure the entire world wouldn't find out. So it seems like these people must have been "LOOK. Look what we are doing."

I did like their line about a person not being defined by what's between their legs.

Also, Livi is currently wearing "boy" Scooby pajamas and her tiny little female friend wears "boy" Scooby underwear.

My random observations on other gender neutral kids - the kid with the braids has bad bangs, and I want those fixed. And Pop is a dumb name. Otherwise, whatever :)

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:40 am 
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If parents decide not to disclose their child's sex ... okay? I don't have a burning desire to identify every little kid I see. I don't think it's something you can do long-term. Eventually, the kid's going to drop hir pants and run around naked in the yard or something. I distinctly recall my little bro's streaker phase.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:20 am 
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appifanie wrote:
Okay. Here's my thought and I've been thinking about this a lot, which is easy because it is blowing up the media. I personally don't give a crepe if these people want to keep their kid's gender a secret - it's their kid! But my thought is - how did the entire forking world hear about this? If I had wanted to keep Livi's a secret, then I would have and I'm pretty sure the entire world wouldn't find out. So it seems like these people must have been "LOOK. Look what we are doing."


Book release in 5.. 4.. 3..


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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:14 am 
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fezza wrote:
appifanie wrote:
Okay. Here's my thought and I've been thinking about this a lot, which is easy because it is blowing up the media. I personally don't give a crepe if these people want to keep their kid's gender a secret - it's their kid! But my thought is - how did the entire forking world hear about this? If I had wanted to keep Livi's a secret, then I would have and I'm pretty sure the entire world wouldn't find out. So it seems like these people must have been "LOOK. Look what we are doing."


Book release in 5.. 4.. 3..

Damn you, Oprah, for ending your show!

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:16 am 
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Vantine wrote:
fezza wrote:
appifanie wrote:
Okay. Here's my thought and I've been thinking about this a lot, which is easy because it is blowing up the media. I personally don't give a crepe if these people want to keep their kid's gender a secret - it's their kid! But my thought is - how did the entire forking world hear about this? If I had wanted to keep Livi's a secret, then I would have and I'm pretty sure the entire world wouldn't find out. So it seems like these people must have been "LOOK. Look what we are doing."


Book release in 5.. 4.. 3..

Damn you, Oprah, for ending your church built on books & sketchy advice!


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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Maybe this is really selfish, but I'm glad they were willing to publicize that they are doing this. I wonder if other parents have quietly done it too. It makes me as a transgender person feel better about the world to know that there are parents who are raising their child in the way that would have been most affirming for me if I had been raised that way. It might be challenging for their family right now, right this moment, but I feel like in the long term, it will set the stage for other families to resist the pressure to assign genders to their children.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 2:34 pm 
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It just sucks at that the heart of this campaign by the parents to go public, there's a kid who everyone wants to know what's in their diapers. I feel sorry for hir because of that, because they didn't choose that publicity about their junk.

ETA: Interestingly, I went to school with a non-specific gendered person in junior and senior kindergarten. They had a non-gendered name, and I remember them getting in trouble from the teachers for using the wrong bathroom. From my very young mind at the time, though, they seemed happy and well adjusted, aside from the bathroom issue. Then again, their parents obviously didn't decide to make a thing out of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 3:33 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
Maybe this is really selfish, but I'm glad they were willing to publicize that they are doing this. I wonder if other parents have quietly done it too. It makes me as a transgender person feel better about the world to know that there are parents who are raising their child in the way that would have been most affirming for me if I had been raised that way. It might be challenging for their family right now, right this moment, but I feel like in the long term, it will set the stage for other families to resist the pressure to assign genders to their children.


I have to agree with you in that I'm glad they did go public. Sure, it's inviting a lot of scrutiny, but it's also opening a discussion of something that I'm willing to bet never even would have considered doing this.

A lot of times I think of the scene in Dead Poet's Society where Robin William's has the students stand on their chairs or desks or whatever so they can have a different perspective.

This is one of those chair standing moments for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:34 pm 
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I like this: http://www.raisingmyboychick.com/2011/0 ... less-baby/

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 Post subject: Re: Parents keep child's gender secret
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:57 pm 
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b.vicious wrote:


That was an interesting read.


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