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Monday, April 16, 2018

Reasons to raise kids with gender neutrality

Raising kids with gender neutrality is no easy task. Even if parents raise their kids with neutrality in their homes, it becomes challenge for kids to survive with the standards and expectations of the society when they go out. Gender neutrality focuses on eradicating the bias and stereotypes based on gender. For instance, all roles can be performed by anyone, pink or blue can be worn by anyone. A boy can learn any dance and a girl can show interest in machinery. Some of the reasons to raise kids with gender neutrality are:

1. Gender neutrality promotes gender equality.
2. Give child more choices to choose from.
3. Enables holistic development of a child. 
4. Provides more exposure hence instills more confidence in children.
5. Makes it easy for the child to communicate with all types of people. 
6. Removes gender biases and prejudice from mind. 
7. Boosts creativity. 

Raising a child in a certain way is the dream of every parent. For instance, dressing up kids in a particular fashion or teaching them their native language (many languages unlike English use gender-specific verbs). Hence, if not completely, raising kids with neutrality can be done partially. For instance, not restricting a child to the activities based on gender, rather providing them with all available options can boost her/his creativity and widens interests.
There should be a balance of yin and yang, of femininity and masculinity, of nurturer and protector to balance the universe around us. However, many roles that define femininity are socially-constructed rather than biologically. Our society focuses on gender roles, and then typecast people who do not follow them. During our evolution some of the activities were divided among genders due to biological reasons, which hold least or no value in today’s world. Today most of the jobs do not require physical strength but experience, expertise and technical know-how. And hence age-old gender-roles can be twisted, swapped, and traditional norms can be broken. Many men at present look after kids at home, and women are breadwinner of the family. A large chunk of conservative, patriarchal society would find it absurd, but evolved one would see it as normal. Anyone can be the breadwinner, and anyone who is willing to leave or is less ambitious can raise children, irrespective of their gender.

Bringing up a child with gender neutrality (partially or fully) can help them in respecting everyone equally. Together we can make small efforts to create a society where no daughter gets harassed and no son troubles or stalk anyone’s daughter. Do not let the daughters pay a price because for a biological reason, y chromosome didn’t meet x. It is nature’s work. Every kid is important, irrespective of his/her gender. 

P.S. One of my closest friends, who is from Iran inspired me with her to write this post. A special thanks to her for bringing up this topic in our discussion.

Image courtsey:


  1. Very valuable and useful thoughts, so very important specially at this time where girls/women are not safe and with the recent happenings of Arifa -I am so very disturbed with the plight of children in our country, specially the girl child. Thanks for shairng !

    1. Same here Angela. What happened Asifa is disturbing for everyone. It was the new height of human brutality, of criminal mind, and verdict is still yet to come.

  2. As parents, we need to practice and preach gender neutrality in our homes. After buying all things in blues for the boys and pinks for the girls, you cant expect children to be gender neutral. Our society needs to radically transform and play an important role in bringing about this change. What saddens me is that despite the advancement in every field, we still accept the regressive stereotypes and continue to propagate them.

    1. So true Shilpa. When we were kids, I dont remember if any parents from our generation restricted the color choices to male or female gender. We wore all types of colors. We take one step ahead and four backwards!

  3. I fully support gender neutrality. I would even say make gender less important. As Helen Thomson wrote: Instead of saying what a smart girl you are, say what a smart kid you are.

  4. In today's times, gender neutrality should be the norm rather than being dictated by patriarchy's false norms. Very well said. Change must happen.


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