What I love most about my Women’s and Gender studies minor is that I come across readings I normally would not. I recently read “The Story of X” by Lois Gould. In short, this story is about a baby who is raised genderless. It is referred to as “it” and is simply called “X.”
Recently, a non-binary trans person by the name of Kori Doty, chose to not assign their child a gender at birth, like baby X.
This caused quite a controversy, as many experts believe this to be detrimental to the child’s development.
Many people I know to be accepting and inclusive of all genders alike were upset by this.
I don’t really agree with it either.
I liked “The Story of X” because it showed all of the different ways we gender things as a society. “And did X have a short girl’s haircut or a long boy’s haircut? As for the games X liked, either X played ball very well for a girl, or played house very well for a boy.”
Why can’t X just have had a haircut? Or just played ball very well? Or played an awesome game of house? Why are these things gendered?
To me, it is still important to assign a gender at birth. However, if I ever have a daughter, for example, and she wants racecar pajamas instead of princess ones, she can get them. If I ever have a son, and he would rather take art lessons instead of play soccer, he absolutely can (here I am picking gendered activities, but I think you get the point I’m trying to make). I think if a child is genderless, they will end up becoming very confused. Having a girl doesn’t necessarily mean all unicorns and rainbows, just as having a boy doesn’t equal football and video games.
‘The Story of X” isn’t to try to persuade society to have genderless babies; rather, it is portraying all of the ways in which society is gendered, and why it doesn’t necessarily need to be.