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.

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.

Parents keeping child gender secret

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.

 More On Mouths of Mums

 

  • …and it so also exposes this child to grammatical difficulties later in life.
    PS: referring to your child as a plural pronoun seems bizarre (apart from everything else)

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  • What a load of hippy trippy verbal garbage. Kids are kids, let them play with whatever, encourage them to be whatever. But not letting people know whether you have a son or daughter…….for all they know, they could be causing more chaos and hardship for their kid by going down this ridiculous path

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  • I think they are taking things are bit out of control.

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  • They say that their child likes to play with a tea set but is also fascinated by motorbikes, why did they have to hide their gender to do this. My daughter is 3 months old and sometimes wears her brothers hand me downs but she is still female. I think they will make more of a problem.

    Reply

  • I know where they are coming from but I think they are going way overboard.
    They dress their child in blues and pinks. I think they are going to confuse their child as what gender they are.

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  • I think they’ve taken it too far

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  • I find this bizarre, but I guess their the parents

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  • In the long run, it’s their choice. But I’d find it hard to stick with calling their baby them, or they. Sometimes I think things are taken too far.

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  • I guess its their choice, but I find it annoying… having to refer to a child as “they” or “them” makes it seem like there is more than one child.
    I think its important for children to know the difference between sexes, boys have a penis, girls have a vagina… What will they tell Anoush when older? That it doesn’t matter?
    It does… our bodies wrk differently…
    If the child wants to be one sex over the other, thats fine when old enough to decide, but they should also know the differences between the male and female…

    Reply

  • I guess it’s up to them. What I find interesting is when others have done this and their child (daughter) has gravitated to pink and girl-skewed things. I think there is something clearly inate and ingrained in babies/children no matter their environment and surroundings.

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  • It’s up to them.

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  • Um sorry but this is crazy….why would you do That

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  • Think this speaks volumes about the parents! – just let children be children – let them be boys and girls as they were born. Sure let them play with what ever they want and dress how ever they want – but ultimately let them choose rather than choosing and enforcing it on them. This fluid gender and neutral gender idea is really quite silly to be imposing on such a young age. When they are older and can understand and identify with a particular gender then support them and encourage them to embrace themselves but not before they can fully comprehend it.

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  • Everyone has their own way of parenting. It would be interesting to see how this goes

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  • It will be interesting how Anoush develops there own identity. I’d like to see a follow up on this story in a few years :)

    Reply

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