HAVE you heard the one about the couple who are refusing to reveal the sex of their 17-month-old toddler, even to close family, to protect them from “unconscious gender bias”?
I know — hilarious, right? Well, perhaps it would be if it were a joke. But Hobbit Humphrey and Jake England-Johns are real people who have decided to dress their real baby, Anoush, in both boys’ and girls’ clothes.
They are asking friends and family to address the toddler using the gender-neutral pronouns “they” and “them”. One of the child’s grandparents said they only found out the baby’s gender after 11 months when changing a nappy.
I’m sure I’m not alone in asking whether the world has actually gone mad?
Before anyone starts accusing me of intolerance, let me say this: I know some people feel they have been born in the wrong gender.
I’m an advocate of the “live and let live” school of thought. Everyone has a right to feel comfortable in their skin.
There are plenty of people who would like not to be pigeonholed or restricted by the words “he” or “she” and we all need to respect that.
Indeed, we are lucky enough to be living in a society where there are “safe” spaces for people to explore their identity and to be accepted.
Singer Sam Smith, who recently declared on Instagram that their pronouns are they and them, is a case in point. Isn’t it great that we are all so open-minded and accepting? But to impose a “gender-free” state on a child as young as this is madness.
It’s doing nothing to scratch the real itch — which is gender inequality. And it’s probably likely to cause as much confusion in this poor child — if not more — as having a gender “imposed” on them.
BORN MALE OR FEMALE
Imposing your own politically correct gender on a toddler by denying them any gender at all, years before they have any idea what gender actually is, seems at best delusional. At worst, it’s deeply selfish.
Yes, we all make assumptions about people based on a hundred things, from their gender to the way they talk or dress. And yes, the world is not yet an equal place for men and women.
But the way to change that is not to pretend gender does not exist.
I know not everyone will agree with me about this, and perhaps this is an old-fashioned point of view, but the way I see it is that we are born male or female. And there is nothing demeaning, belittling or reductive about calling someone he or she.
How little Anoush goes on to live their life — whether they choose male or female partners, wear dresses, trousers or boiler suits — will be entirely down to them. That is the beauty of individual choice, which comes as children’s personalities and identities unfurl.
SARAH SO INSPIRING
NEXT time you’re struggling with a run or a swim, spur yourself on with the thought of ultra-marathon swimmer Sarah Thomas.
This week, the 37-year-old from Colorado in the US became the first person to swim the English Channel an astonishing four times in a row, non-stop.
Swimming it once is beyond most of our imaginations. Doing it four times non-stop – just a year after treatment for breast cancer. . .
This woman gives new meaning to the words resilience and determination – and courage. Bravo.
Pig sick of activists
AN animal rights activist who wore a pig’s mask and spread fake blood across the floor at a McDonald’s restaurant has accused the legal system of “wasting public money” after she was sentenced to 60 hours’ unpaid work.
Dylan Roffey wore a pig’s mask and spread fake blood across the floor at a McDonald’s restaurant in Brighton[/caption]
Dylan Roffey, 24, who went into the Brighton branch of the fast-food chain with a crew of other protesters in May, also said people should not be arrested for “having basic compassion” as she was convicted at Brighton magistrates’ court of criminal damage.
I beg to differ. Look, it’s fine to be vegan – that’s an individual choice. But we all need to live and let live. And that doesn’t include using pigs’ masks and fake blood to try to intimidate people into coming round to your way of thinking.
SHOULD HAVE BEEN 40 YEARS — NOT 40 MONTHS
THERE was a shocking domestic abuse story this week about Danielle Thomas, whose boyfriend beat her with an iron bar, leaving her covered in cuts and bruises, broke her jaw then forced her to lick paint off the floor.
The pictures of her injuries are sickening.
He got 40 months in prison for inflicting these horrendous injuries. What the heck is wrong with the system? He should have got 40 years.
Yoga dad bending the rules
ANYONE else catch this week’s episode of BBC’s Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over, on W?
Stacey met Brighton couple Matt and Adele Allen and their three children – eight-year-old son Ulysses, daughter Ostara, four, and baby Kai.
The family lives in a council house and Matt, who works a few hours a week as a yoga teacher, says he has “no intention” of finding full-time work as it’s “not in his psyche”.
The three children decide what they want to eat, have no fixed bedtime, aren’t allowed mainstream medicine and haven’t been vaccinated.
Matt is an advocate of fasting, apparently, so sometimes the children – and even the dog – do not eat all day.
I’m sorry, but what a joke. People who are capable of working and not actively seeking work should NOT get benefits.
Benefits is not a lifestyle choice. The system was invented to help those in the short-term who could not help themselves – not those who please themselves.
In the meantime, we are all working so this bum doesn’t have to.
As for the Allens’ “parenting” style, to me it sounds like a dose of laziness.
It’s hard to discipline kids, hard to say no, hard to hear the moans when you put them to bed, feed them greens and make them go to school.
These two have chosen to opt out of all the hard stuff.
And they are creating a problem for society too.
Children who come from a family where neither adult works are more than likely not to work.
Oh, and making their dog “fast”? Well, that’s just cruel.
Les-son on lips
WHEN Leslie Ash says grow old naturally, it’s time to listen.
On TV’s Lorraine this week, she said of lips: “What’s sad is there are girls of 18 having fillers. A lot of people see what happened to me and are more careful, which is good.”
Yes, it is. Leslie had fillers in her 30s but on the second round it went wrong, resulting in the famous trout pout, right, instead of her previous natural look, left. Let’s take a leaf out of her book – and forget the fillers.
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NO LIP SERVICE
ANOTHER day, anoth- er seemingly mad craze on Instagram – this latest one being the technique of using GLUE to coax your top lip into a fuller pout.
Now seriously, has anyone thought this through?
Yes, it might look good for a couple of seconds on Instagram.
But gluing your lips to make them bigger is hardly a sustainable beauty treatment. Also. . . ouch!