Are New Gender Labels Political Correctness Gone Awry or Valid?
It’s finally happened – the first child was born without a gender…or something like that. The child is more than likely either male or female, but being born to a non-binary trans parent, the parent felt that the baby shouldn’t be burdened by gender. While gender norms and expectations can be burdensome at best and discriminatory and restrictive at worst, gender is at the very essence of most human beings in forming their identity, how they identify with others and connect to the world.
Without gender, how will the child be affected in “their” life, and yes, the proper term would have to be “their” since we couldn’t correctly use “him” or “her.” How will teachers adapt? Other classmates? Will the child have to describe their situation with every new person they meet or every new situation they encounter?
But, what if this is the right way to go? We’ve heard so many recent stories of people who never felt like they were in the right body. We’ve heard about the people who are gender fluid, trans, pansexual, genderqueer and more. Are the labels just one more way to box us in and not allow us to be our authentic selves without fear of ridicule and persecution?
This story is likely going to be a panacea for others who are more than likely to follow suit with not assigning their own children a gender, which is undoubtedly going to have some major consequences on society and everything we thought we ever knew about gender. Some are going to be late to the party and resistant and will be called “ignorant” or “closed-minded,” but it’s hard to so rapidly turn a person’s belief system upside down, so it’s going to take a lot of patience, tolerance and understanding on both sides of the great gender debate.