The unknown gender of Baby Storm

posted at 7:30 pm on May 26, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

I had to check a couple of times because I was sure this story had to be taking place in either Manhattan or San Francisco. But no… it’s in Toronto. Kathy Witterick and David Stocker are the proud parents of a new, healthy baby. Nothing unusual so far, right? They’ve sent out notifications to all the people you’d expect announcing the blessed event. There’s one piece of information conspicuously missing from the note, though.

But the email sent recently by Kathy Witterick and David Stocker of Toronto, Canada to announce the birth of their baby, Storm, was missing one important piece of information. “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now–a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime (a more progressive place? …),” it said.

There’s nothing ambiguous about the baby’s genitals. But as Stocker puts it: “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.” So only the parents, their two other children (both boys), a close friend, and the two midwives who helped deliver the now 4-month-old baby know its gender. Even the grandparents have been left in the dark.

Stocker and Witterick say the decision gives Storm the freedom to choose who he or she wants to be. “What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.

If we were on Twitter this one would have the #headdesk hashtag. So they’re going to let the child choose his or her own gender, eh? Oh… by the way, do you folks have any other kids that you’re raising with these amazing parenting skills?

How did Stocker and Witterick decide to keep Storm’s gender under wraps? During Witterick’s pregnancy, her son Jazz was having “intense” experiences with his own gender. “I was feeling like I needed some good parenting skills to support him through that,” Witterick said.

Oh, that’s just terrific. You had to name one of your other kids Jazz? Thanks, guys. Well, at the very least I’m sure you raised the previous two boys more normally, right?

Both boys are “unschooled,” a version of homeschooling, which promotes putting a child’s curiosity at the center of his or her education. As Witterick puts it, it’s “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else.”

Because Jazz and Kio wear pink and have long hair, they’re frequently assumed to be girls, according to Stocker. He said he and Witterick don’t correct people–they leave it to the kids to do it if they want to.

For once I leave it to the Hot Air community to do the rest of the commentary on this story. I’d write more, but I need to go flush my eyes out with vodka.

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There once was a couple from Toronto,
Had three boys they were attempting to grow.
But some thought they were girls,
and the parents were real squirrels,
Because they’d put the kids’ gender into escrow.

Yoop on May 26, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Both boys are “unschooled,” a version of homeschooling, which promotes putting a child’s curiosity at the center of his or her education. As Witterick puts it, it’s “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else.”

That’s got to be illegal even in Canada. This person has previously flunked out of a 12 step program? Just sayin…it looks like these two parents can’t finish anything unschooled is just another version of child neglect. Canada has a child welfare department right?

Dr Evil on May 26, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Why not just ask the 4 month old what she wants to become, apply go a college, send him/her off on her own and be done. That is basically what the sorry “parents” are doing. God love the liberals, for they know not what they do.

skeedro on May 26, 2011 at 10:03 PM

well a couple of errors in my post… forgiveness please. this story made my blood boil.

skeedro on May 26, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Should have named it “Pat”.

parteagirl on May 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Social scientists used to push the “blank slate” theory that gender was just a social norm, but more recent science has debunked that. Hopefully, this child doesn’t grow up too damaged, and the experience will help people who still believe in the blank slate understand the issues better.

tneloms on May 26, 2011 at 7:45 PM

There was a horrible case a few decades back in which a pair of twin baby boys (from Canada, IIRC) were circumscized and something went wrong with one of the twins’ procedure and he ended up with a non-functioning penis. The parents were advised by several doctors (who believed in the “gender is just a social construct” theory) to surgically remove the boy’s genitals and raise him as a girl (without telling him or his twin brother that he had been born a boy).

The parents did as the experts advised, and the results were disastrous for the entire family. The “girl” never felt normal, never fit in at school or with other peers, and attempted suicide several times before her teen years, when “she” was finally told the truth. “She” immediately stopped the hormone treatments, and endured multiple painful surgeries to restore “her” real gender. The doctor who oversaw “her” and the other twin’s therapy was at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. The mutilated twin actually took a gun and went to this doctor’s office to kill him when he learned his identity. (He didn’t do it).

The poor kid had a miserable life. He tried to salvage his identity, even eventually marrying a woman and adopting her children. But all the years of lies and betrayals (as he saw it) by the doctors and even by his family took their toll, and he eventually committed suicide (as did his twin brother, who had survivor’s guilt). The parents were also crippled by guilt. Basically the entire family was destroyed, all because some so-called medical “experts” refused to admit the simple fact that gender is more than a social construct that can be wished away at will.

AZCoyote on May 26, 2011 at 10:07 PM

20 years ago, it was appalling for a teacher to talk to young children about homosexuality.

Now, it’s appalling for a teacher to presume that their students have a gender.

HitNRun on May 26, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Should have named it “Pat”.

parteagirl on May 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM

That’s what my husband said.
Seriously though-those poor little ones didn’t get a say in their parents. I’m sorry for them.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 26, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Oh, my. Finally an explanation for Rywall.

Yoop on May 26, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Both boys are “unschooled,” a version of homeschooling, which promotes putting a child’s curiosity at the center of his or her education. As Witterick puts it, it’s “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else.”

She’s suppose to be a teacher…at a school…that probably has learning by rote from 9am to 3pm. How ironic that she’s too lazy to teach her own kids.

mizflame98 on May 26, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Stocker and Witterick say the decision gives Storm the freedom to choose who he or she wants to be. “What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.

No, it’s parenting. They are children, not tiny adults. What this woman is doing is depriving her children of stability and certainty, and intentionally inflicting future hardship on them, all because she thinks biology is “oppressive.”

The fact that she’s a teacher is downright terrifying. It’s bad enough that she’s screwing up her own kids; she has to influence others’ children as well?

Caiwyn on May 26, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Who names a girl Storm? Yea it’s a boy.
CWforFreedom on May 26, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Here is a girl named Storm

Gwillie on May 26, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Are they naming children or Japanese cars? I have news for these supposed parents. The kids on the playground will out these kids for who and what they are, and probably not in a nice fashion. I hope they keep a good supply of ice for black eyes and broken bones.

tcn on May 26, 2011 at 10:31 PM

This is one of those times when I thank God that I had normal parents who did a great job raising me.

Those kids are screwed.

Red Cloud on May 26, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Looks like a boy to me.

And they make homeschooling look back on top of it all. (Unschooling? Really?)

Sometimes…

Aronne on May 26, 2011 at 10:43 PM

This is one of those times when I thank God that I had normal parents who did a great job raising me.

Those kids are screwed.

Red Cloud on May 26, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Agreed. These poor kids don’t have parents.

They have zygote custodians.

dissent555 on May 26, 2011 at 11:11 PM

That child is a boy…and I didn’t even have to peek underneath the diaper.

What those self-indulgent “parents” are doing is a form of child abuse. All three of those children are being toyed with and destroyed by narcissists.

onlineanalyst on May 26, 2011 at 11:49 PM

The unknown gender of Baby Storm

Androgynous?

There’s nothing ambiguous about the baby’s genitals.

Not androgynous. Parents are fools.

“What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.

What Stocker calls obnoxious, most of us call parenting.

rukiddingme on May 26, 2011 at 11:57 PM

“What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.

These are the people who turn around and need the government to ban Happy Meals, etc. so their child won’t make the “wrong” choice.

taznar on May 27, 2011 at 12:18 AM

This can’t end well for the kid.

Read this, about a famous case where deranged researcher John Money forced a boy to grow up a girl, to “prove” that gender identity is more the result of nurture than nature. The “subject” of this horrific experiment ultimately killed himself.

From what I have heard, until his own death, Dr. Money still considered his “experiment” a success.

UltimateBob on May 27, 2011 at 12:45 AM

I recall coming across a book in a Salvation Army thrift store ten years ago about a boy, born in 1965, whose parents tried to raise as a girl after doctors accidentally botched his circumcision – yes, the cauterization tool slipped and they cut his wee wee off.

From birth he was raised as a she, and when “she” hit puberty, his parents had him undergo hormone therapy.

But.

Although “she” looked something like a girl outwardly, “she” knew that she wasn’t a she at all. The confusion brought on by this internal conflict drove the poor kid crazy, and the kid decided at age 18 to undergo corrective surgery so that “she” could become a he again.

I don’t remember the name of the book, but the premise was fascinating, if admittedly morbid.

Wanderlust on May 27, 2011 at 12:47 AM

UltimateBob on May 27, 2011 at 12:45 AM

That’s the kid in the book I mentioned just now…GMTA

Wanderlust on May 27, 2011 at 12:49 AM

That’s the kid in the book I mentioned just now…GMTA

Wanderlust on May 27, 2011 at 12:49 AM

The name of the book is As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl by John Colapinto.

I haven’t read the book, but I saw a documentary on it years ago, before David killed himself. I was absolutely horrified at what that doctor did to that boy and his family.

UltimateBob on May 27, 2011 at 12:53 AM

was absolutely horrified at what that doctor did to that boy and his family.

UltimateBob on May 27, 2011 at 12:53 AM

Oh, I completely agree. I didn’t know what had become of him, either, until I saw your Wiki link just now. That guy was never going to have a normal life, unfortunately.

I had just scanned the book in the thrift store so I had only gleaned the basics from it; I wasn’t aware of Dr. Mengele Money and his social experiment. I only remembered that the ordeal sprang from a botched circumcision.

In any case, the parents in this article sound like they belong in a sanitarium or else in San Francisco.

Wanderlust on May 27, 2011 at 1:00 AM

This is almost as bad as raising a child religiously!

ernesto on May 27, 2011 at 1:12 AM

ernesto on May 27, 2011 at 1:12 AM

Once upon a time it seemed like you at least put some thought or logic into your remarks here, ernesto. Lately, though, it seems to me like you are devolving more and more into a comment troll.

You haven’t been hanging out with crr6 or Drywall, have you? Or is it that your collidge educashun is making your mind so open these days that your brain is starting to leak out?

And before you put your hands on your hips and spew indignation, I’m not attacking you as a person: I’m just addressing the fact that you are choosing more and more to abdicate logical thought and regurgitate someone else’s talking points.

Now had you said, “this is almost as bad as raising a child in a cult“, I could have accepted the brainwashing argument and would have found debating that point to be difficult.

/jeez

Wanderlust on May 27, 2011 at 1:59 AM

Who names a girl Storm?

Comic book geeks, I guess.

DethMetalCookieMonst on May 27, 2011 at 2:43 AM

blink on May 27, 2011 at 2:16 AM

Kind of like how Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s son turned out – she was an avowed atheist and William Murray became a Christian.

Wanderlust on May 27, 2011 at 2:58 AM

I first began posting comments in USENET newsgroups in 1995 and have been using the moniker L.N. Smithee since 1998, when I registered as such at the short-lived Drudge Bulletin Board and then Free Republic. Most of the threads I authored in the early going were about social issues, particularly the increasing amount of entertainment choices in which sex with minors and/or incest took place (Spanking The Monkey, The House of Yes, The Ice Storm, Wrong Turn, etc.) with nary a judgment from the characters or the critics.

FR participants focused on Clinton’s impeachment and fiscal issues chimed in to yawn, but I warned that societal drifts don’t happen overnight, they happen in tiny baby steps until you turn around and realize how far you’ve strayed. Among the things I wrote then was that unless the idea of common standards of decency was retrieved from the dustbin of history, eventually, people would not only question why people of the same sex couldn’t marry, they would question the concept of gender itself, and suggest that it is a social construct having nothing to do with Biology 101.

And, here we are. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

L.N. Smithee on May 27, 2011 at 3:29 AM

.

I have some Prager audio on this for all the bloggers looking to add a little “spice” to you post: http://vimeo.com/24253724

.

papa_giorgio on May 27, 2011 at 3:37 AM

Reading more about these pseudo-intellectual avant-garde parents reminds me of two of the people whose names make my blood boil: Lisa Blair Hathaway and her ex, Lloyd Dubroff, who believed in indulging their children’s interests without reservation.

To what point? To the point of giving their seven-year-old daughter pilot lessons and let her attempt breaking an unofficial coast-to-coast “youngest pilot” record. The media was enamored of the story, making lovely young Jessica Dubroff out to be wise beyond her years. But the Guinness Book of World Records stopped listing the category because it didn’t want to encourage younger and younger children to take such risks. The book’s editors’ superior wisdom was borne out when the plane, with Jessica, her father and her flight instructor on board, crashed nose-first into a Cheyenne, WY driveway, killing all three.

Because the clock was ticking on Jessica’s age and this would be their only chance to attempt the record, the plane took off in wind and rain against all logic. Reached in Massachusetts, mother Hathaway smiled — yes, smiled — and said to a cloud of cameras, “She died doing what she wanted to do. She said ‘I want to fly ’til I die.’”

No, I’m not making that up.

While Instant Karma took care of Mr. Dubroff, Hathaway is still alive and unrepentant.

L.N. Smithee on May 27, 2011 at 4:05 AM

My suspicion is that one or both of these parents are sexually dysfunctional and are projecting thier mental disorder on the children. I’ll make a bet if you revisit this family in 5 years, “Dad” has moved “out” and is living with his “partner” and Mom has married a blue color guy and is trying to straighten out her messed up children.

peacenprosperity on May 27, 2011 at 7:21 AM

The perfect example of a post-modern society. Gender has become a philosopical rather than biological concept.

tommyboy on May 27, 2011 at 7:26 AM

“What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.

It’s quite obvious these people are stupid libs. How do I know? One word: ABDICATION. They have both abdicated their parenting responsibilities. Parents make so many choices for their children? OH, THE HORROR!!!HEAVEN FORBID!!!

Dominion on May 27, 2011 at 8:15 AM

…During Witterick’s pregnancy, her son Jazz was having “intense” experiences with his own gender…

Because Jazz and Kio wear pink and have long hair, they’re frequently assumed to be girls, according to Stocker. He said he and Witterick don’t correct people–they leave it to the kids to do it if they want to.

Huh, you don’t say…I wonder why Jazz is having difficulty with his gender…

Seriously, these parents must think very little of their children. They must think (if they are capable) that the kids are immune to social pressures and can handle such forces on their own (…leave it to the kids to do it if they want to…), it’s difficult enough for kids to deal with social pressures when they are young adults, let alone when they are in elementary school. These kids either sense that they are being looked at like ‘girls’ or are being identified outwardly as ‘girls’ by others and questioning what is wrong with themselves. I can just see these kids looking to their parents for guidance in handling their confusion and the parents offering no support or else telling that other people are the screwed up ones that judge people on appearances.

It’s not that I hope for it, but I think this is going to lead one of two directions; (1) suicide, or (2) anti-social behavior. Even if these kids don’t go to high school or college, eventually they’ll be out on their own and when that happens they’ll be forced to deal with society’s reaction to them and once that occurs, things will unravel quickly. I’m not one to have kids taken away from parents for their upbringing choices, but hopefully they will be held responsible for their poor parenting. I just feel terribly sad for those kids…

Geministorm on May 27, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Im sure these kids will really appreciate this some day when they turn out to be total freak shows with serious arrested development issues. Plus as the story points out the only way to continue to promote this sort of weirdo life is to pull your kid out of any normal public activity that would require them to use a public restroom, or fill out any sort of official paper work.

snoopicus on May 27, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Child abuse.

petefrt on May 27, 2011 at 8:34 AM

facepalm….

jeffn21 on May 27, 2011 at 9:11 AM

“Gender is a social construct” my fuzzy backside. Give a six-year-old girl a box of toy trucks and she will organize a tea party. Give a six-year-old boy a Barbie and he’ll fold her over and shoot her like a pistol.

God save those children.

skydaddy on May 27, 2011 at 10:52 AM

re “unschooling”, that’s actually not a bad thing when it’s done intentionally and not simply out of a desire to be free-spirited. You let the kid explore his or her own interests, but you still make sure he or she learns to read, write, calculate, and think. You just turn everyday life into lessons.

skydaddy on May 27, 2011 at 10:54 AM

“Gender is a social construct” my fuzzy backside. Give a six-year-old girl a box of toy trucks and she will organize a tea party. Give a six-year-old boy a Barbie and he’ll fold her over and shoot her like a pistol.

God save those children.

skydaddy on May 27, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I used to run over my Barbies with my Hotwheels.
Just sayin’.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Gender is not a social construct, gender roles are. Any parent who confuses the two is in dire need of a sit-down. That poor kid will likely be a headcase in later years because his handlers were utterly clueless.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 27, 2011 at 12:36 PM

the decision gives Storm the freedom to choose who he or she wants to be

What if the child wants to be a puppy?

Insanity

shick on May 27, 2011 at 12:37 PM

What if the child wants to be a puppy?

Insanity

shick on May 27, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Heh. Me and all of my siblings wanted to be different animals when we were kids. Mom, dad, and family friends played along and we got over it in time with no harm done. Furry-ness must run in the family or something.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 27, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Jazz: Mom I want a toy truck and a toy gun.
Kathy Witterick and David Stocker: Now Jazz, you don’t have to want a truck just because you are a (whispers) boy. Sorry, toy guns aren’t for boys or girls. They are only for killers…unless you want assisted suicide later.

shick on May 27, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I think “it” is cute. I wonder how it is going to like being referred to as an “it” until it figures out sex it wants to be. :\

Polynath on May 27, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Heh. Me and all of my siblings wanted to be different animals when we were kids. Mom, dad, and family friends played along and we got over it in time with no harm done. Furry-ness must run in the family or something.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 27, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Playtime is fine. But these nutball parents might go along with it claiming it normal.

shick on May 27, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Playtime is fine. But these nutball parents might go along with it claiming it normal.

shick on May 27, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Well, we took it pretty serious, but my family is weird anyhow and that’s beside the point.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 27, 2011 at 12:50 PM

I’m a boy, I’m a boy, but my Mom won’t admit it…

crazy_legs on May 27, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Looks like a boy to me.

Funny, though, kids don’t know right or wrong, up or down, without someone teaching them. They don’t even know what male or female is for along long time, unless someone teaches them.

And if nobody teaches them they have to find out on their own, and you never know what strange means they will use to find something out.

And if someone else teaches them wrongly, or the learn wrongly, they’ll never know the truth of something.

Very dangerous to just turn a child loose in the world with no clear guidance regarding their place and their status within that world.

In short, these parents are bonkers if they think this is in any way good for this child.

Lawrence on May 27, 2011 at 1:59 PM

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