The Local reported June 23 on Swedish parents who are keeping their 2-year-old's gender a secret. They're raising a not very funny Saturday Night Live Pat.
The child was called "Pop" for the interview with parents, but is not the child's real name:
Pop's parents, both 24, made a decision when their baby was born to keep Pop's sex a secret. Aside from a select few - those who have changed the child's diaper - nobody knows Pop's gender; if anyone enquires, Pop's parents simply say they don't disclose this information.
In an interview with newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in March, the parents were quoted saying their decision was rooted in the feminist philosophy that gender is a social construction.
"We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mould from the outset," Pop's mother said. "It's cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead."
The child's parents said so long as they keep Pop's gender a secret, he or she will be able to avoid preconceived notions of how people should be treated if male or female.
Pop's wardrobe includes everything from dresses to trousers and Pop's hairstyle changes on a regular basis. And Pop usually decides how Pop is going to dress on a given morning.
Although Pop knows that there are physical differences between a boy and a girl, Pop's parents never use personal pronouns when referring to the child - they just say Pop.
"I believe that the self-confidence and personality that Pop has shaped will remain for a lifetime," said Pop's mother.
The article goes on to quote a sane psychologist who thinks this is a disastrous social experiment and an insane "Swedish gender equality consultant" who thinks it "might have positive results."
Mentioned in the piece was a tragic story of which I was previously unaware:
... a controversial case from 1967 when a circumcision left one of 2 twin brothers without a penis. Dr. John Money, who asserted that gender was learned rather than innate, convinced the parents to raise 'David' as 'Brenda' and the child had cosmetic genitalia reconstruction surgery.
She was raised as a female, with girls' clothes, games and codes of behaviour. The parents never told Brenda the secret until she was a teenager and rebelled against femininity. She then started receiving testosterone injections and underwent another genetic reconstruction process to become David again. David Reimer denounced the experiment as a crushing failure before committing suicide at the age of 38.
I read more about David Reimer and found a liberal agenda was behind "sexologist" Money's treatment, which we now know was sadistic and pedophiliac, not unlike like-minded predecessor Alfred Kinsey. Read Reimer's story in a 1997 Rolling Stone article by John Colapinto, later expanded into the book, "As nature made him: the boy who was raised as a girl."
A synopsis on our point, from Reason.com:
For much of his career, Money's admirers saw him as a bold pioneer fighting puritanical reactionaries. This was his self-image as well. He touted himself as a defender of sexual liberation: for the rights of gays and other sexual minorities, for legalized pornography, for breaking down social taboos.
But... [w]hen the truth about the Reimer case was exposed, the sexologist suddenly seemed much more repressive than the conservatives he hated.
Not that he acknowledged this. He told Colapinto that the press's embrace of Diamond's exposé was a product of right-wing media bias and "the antifeminist movement," insisting that "they say masculinity and femininity are built into the genes so women should get back to the mattress and the kitchen."
By this time, though, his critics were emerging not just from the right but from the community of open intersexuals - people born with mixed or indeterminate gender. It turned out they don't like to be coerced by social engineers any more than they like to be coerced by the party of rigid sex roles....
So expect this poor child in the midst of his parents' gender-identitied social experiment to grow up messed up. And not alone. Closed The Local piece:
But with a second child on the way, Pop's parents have no plans to change what they see as a winning formula. As for Pop, they say they will only reveal the child's sex when Pop thinks it's time.