Regarding Z’s “Privates”

Regarding Z's "Privates"


When referring to a child’s genitals, it is common to call them “privates.” We are taking this practice beyond the traditional level. We, as parents, have decided not to reveal Z’s sex to anyone outside of their care-taking circle, we have also decided to not assign a gender to Zoomer. Zoomer will learn about physical anatomy and gender probably even more so than most children. However, we do not feel it is necessary to tell people whether Z has a vagina, penis, or something in between.  

We have kindly asked that if people know Z's biological sex that they don't share that information with others and they continue to interact with Zoomer in a gender creative way and use the gender-creative pronouns they, them, their and Z. 

I’ve increasingly noticed more ultrasound snapshots of fetal genitals with arrows pointing between the legs and declaring “girl” or “boy” on my social media feeds. I couldn’t imagine posting a picture of Z’s genitals on Instagram the day they were born (or ever) as most parents probably agree, so it also didn't make sense for us to do it a couple months before their birthday. Knowing the sex of a baby is just that, knowing the sex. The sex does not tell us anything about the child’s personality, temperament, favorite color, dietary preferences, sense of humor, attitudes toward climate change, or any of their other unique traits, just like the fact they have two arms doesn’t tell us anything else about them, except they have two arms.


If people don’t know Zoomer’s sex, they can’t treat them like a boy or a girl, but rather, Z gets to be treated like the awesome little kid they are and experience a stereotype-free early childhood.


Generally, when people know the sex of their baby, they assign one of two genders: penis = boy, vulva = girl. As soon as a baby is assigned a gender, people tend to treat them in specific, gendered ways. Gender socialization contributes to sex segregation, sex stereotypes, and micro-aggressions that result in gender inequalities in childhood and adulthood. If people don’t know Zoomer’s sex, they can’t treat them like a boy or a girl, but rather, Z gets to be treated like the awesome little kid they are and experience a stereotype-free early childhood. By all means, it is completely possible to have stereotype-free interactions with children who have an assigned gender. I am constantly impressed by parents who treat their gendered kids in really gender creative ways that blow stereotypes out of the water! That is the way we hope the future continues moving. For us, not gendering Zoomer helps raise awareness about the importance of gender creative childhoods as a solution to gender inequality.

Zoomer will most likely choose a gender by the time they are three or four. We simply don’t believe that is our decision to make on their behalf. By not revealing their sex, and by treating them in a gender creative way, Z will have the freedom to explore and create their own identity, outside of the restrictions and expectations of traditional gender norms.