Parents have decided not to share the gender of their baby (17-months) as they want to protect the child from ‘unconscious gender bias’.
The couple Hobbit Humphrey, 38, and Jake England-Johns, 35, have said that they dress their baby Anoush, in gender neutral colours as well as both boys and girls clothes.
The parents, who live on a houseboat near Bath in the UK, have requested that family and friends address the child as ‘they’ and ‘them’, rather than gender-revealing pronouns, as reported in the Daily Mail.
One grandparent of the child shared that they only discovered the toddler’s gender after 11 months, when changing a nappy.
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The married couple were interviewed on BBC One’s Inside Out and has explained that they made this decision to ensure that people wouldn’t treat Anoush different based on gender. They have said that the child can decide itself what gender it would like to go by.
Create A Bubble For As Long As We Can
“Gender neutral refers to us trying to behave neutrally towards the child, rather than trying to make them neutral. We’re not trying to make them be anything. We just want them to be themselves,” said Mr. England-Johns.
“So much of gender bias is unconscious. When I got pregnant we then were having a discussion about how we were going to mitigate the unconscious bias. And we figured that the only way we could do that was just not to tell people,” added Ms. Humphrey.
“To use the they/them pronoun for as long as we can, and create this little bubble for our baby to be who they are.”
“Eventually they will get told by somebody that pink is only for girls and blue is only for boys, and you can’t play with that because you are a particular sex.”
“That’s still a thing that happens these days. We’re just trying to protect Anoush from that,” explained the mother.
The couple are both performers in the circus and have said they receive many confused looks from people.
“We are quite good now at holding space for people’s discomfort in us saying, ”Actually, we don’t tell anyone, we’re not telling anyone for now. We’re just letting Anoush be a baby.”
“Anoush is the most lovely little human. They’re into everything, they’re really active — just a delight,” said Ms Humphrey.
It’s A Beautiful Thing
“It was tricky at first when not only were we new parents, but also new parents who had the problem of people getting upset about our baby being gender neutral. But in the end it has proven to be a really beautiful thing and we’ve had a lot of important conversations from it.”
“It has had the effect we wanted, of letting our baby develop its own interests regardless of gender. So, for example, while they love having a doll’s tea party every morning, they also are really fascinated by motorbikes and machinery.”
“Eventually once our baby is old enough, they can obviously decide for themselves what gender they want to be, but for now we just want them to be able to grow up in their own little bubble,” the parents shared.
Do you think these parents are deluded in their vision or do they have a point? Tell us in the comments below.
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