It's a hot topic this week after singer Paloma Faith said she is raising her child to be gender neutral
Gender Neutral Parenting is a hot topic this week with the news that singer Paloma Faith is raising her child to be gender neutral. But what does that mean? Well for Paloma it's as simple as not dressing her child in clothing and colours that typically correspond to a specific gender. Many people will view colours like blue as being male while pink is typically female for example.
Other aspects of it are not so simple. Paloma has vowed to raise her child with little pressure regarding “gender identification”. Her baby, born almost 11 months ago, has not yet been revealed as being male or female.
Many people who choose to raise their children gender-neutral believe that gender is something completely learned or influenced by culture. A large portion want to allow their children the freedom to develop naturally and to experience the world this way rather than in a way that is somewhat prescribed and already written.
Many will argue that gender neutral parenting is not anti-feminine or anti-masculine. But instead it aims to break down the need to categorise people as fitting in to one or the other and expecting them to follow a certain path or set of behaviours associated with that gender.
Viewing gender as something fluid is relevant for gender neutral parents. They want to see this reflected in society – for example not having boy or girl marketed toys but rather just toys that individuals can pick and choose from according to what they are drawn to.
It also relates hugely to the future and the way in which gender stereotyping often negatively impacts the lives of adults. We grow up with clearly defined cultural expectations of certain genders and often these can be greatly limiting.
In a nut-shell it relates to their identity and the way in which they respond to other people and the world in general. Other celebrities such as Russell Brand are also vowing to raise their children in this manner.
Written by Tracey, mummy blogger and staff writer at www.familyfriendlyhq.ie.
Check out her own blog at www.loveofliving.ie