What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Frankly, I couldn’t believe this when I first read it.
“Nahhh, somebody hacked this page, or I’ve been somehow re-directed to the Onion” I thought to myself. But, no, the page was still Yahoo! News. I literally could feel my blood pressure pulling into the left lane and putting the pedal to the metal toward Stroke City. But for a brief few moments, I didn’t really understand what it was that bothered me so much about this. I literally had to read it three or four times before it dawned on me; this is the intersection of two really frightening roads we as a society have traveled. Allow me to walk you through my discovery.
When many couples have a baby, they send out an email to family and friends that fills them in on the key details: name, gender, birth weight, that sort of thing. (You know the drill: “Both Mom and little Ethan are doing great!”) But the email sent recently by Kathy Witterick and David Stocker of Toronto, Canada to announce the birth of their baby, Storm, was missing one important piece of information. “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now–a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime (a more progressive place? …),” it said.
That’s right. They’re not saying whether Storm is a boy or a girl.
This is what initially threw me off the trail. First of all, these parents should be tossed into the slammer just for the name “Storm” alone. I’m sure in twenty years, regardless of gender that kid will be grateful for having been given a name which makes it impossible for anybody to ever take them seriously.
Then there’s that whole bullshit line about “the world becoming a more progressive place.” This is the stuff that makes my blood pressure ring the bell. Do you know who says shit like this? That pretentious ass-loaf at your office who bitches at you about recycling your Mountain Dew cans and acts all “holier-than-thou” because he drives a Prius. This is the same guy who wears one of those ribbons/wristbands/whatever to show you that he cares about some cause so much more than you do despite the fact he never lifted finger number one to support that cause other than put on that useless ribbon/wristband/whatever.
Follow me close on this, because the key is coming, but trust me, it is easy to miss.
There’s nothing ambiguous about the baby’s genitals. But as Stocker puts it: “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.” So only the parents, their two other children (both boys), a close friend, and the two midwives who helped deliver the now 4-month-old baby know its gender. Even the grandparents have been left in the dark.
Stocker and Witterick say the decision gives Storm the freedom to choose who he or she wants to be. “What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.
I wish I could ask these parents what the weather is like on Planet Delusion. I really have to wonder how this kid was even conceived; I’m sure that when Daddy was looking for a Mommy, it was a prerequisite that any potential Mommy had working Mommy parts. In other words, we are only four paragraphs into this story, and we can already see how it is never going to hold water.
Even if you buy the “what’s between their legs” argument, let’s talk about the feasibility of keeping this all a secret. The simple problem here is too many people know about it. I have a rule about keeping secrets: any three people can keep a secret as long as two of them are dead. Think about it for a minute…don’t you think the grandparents might want to know if they have a grandson or granddaughter? Don’t you think the grandparents might be able to worm the truth out of one of the other kids? Even worse than that, it also has to mean these grandparents have limited access to this kid because the first time Grandma changes a diaper, the jig is up.
So, the first two components in my discovery are Delusion and Denial. Remember these, because there’s more coming.
The quoted paragraphs above also contain the framework for the next components. Re-read the last sentence in the last quoted paragraph. Do you find it a bit curious these parents are whining about parents making choices for their children being “obnoxious,” yet, that is exactly what they are doing. Sorry, but choosing not to play by the existing rules is still making a choice.
They say that kids receive messages from society that encourage them to fit into existing boxes, including with regard to gender. “We thought that if we delayed sharing that information, in this case hopefully, we might knock off a couple million of those messages by the time that Storm decides Storm would like to share,” says Witterick.
“In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.” she wrote in an email.
This is the part where pretentiousness enters the picture. These two idiot parents have deluded themselves into believing what they are doing is good for this child, and it is that same “do-gooder” cloak in which all those “progressive thinking” people wrap themselves.
Add Hypocrisy and Pretentiousness to the list of established components.
Were in the home stretch here…just tow more pieces of the puzzle are left to expose.
How did Stocker and Witterick decide to keep Storm’s gender under wraps? During Witterick’s pregnancy, her son Jazz was having “intense” experiences with his own gender. “I was feeling like I needed some good parenting skills to support him through that,” Witterick said.
Stocker came across a book from 1978, titled X: A Fabulous Child’s Story by Lois Gould. X is raised as neither a boy or girl, and grows up to be a happy and well-adjusted child.
“It became so compelling it was almost like, How could we not?” Witterick said.
The couple’s other two children, Jazz and Kio, haven’t escaped their parents’ unconventional approach to parenting. Though they’re only 5 and 2, they’re allowed to pick out their own clothes in the boys and girls sections of stores and decide whether to cut their hair or let it grow.
Both boys are “unschooled,” a version of homeschooling, which promotes putting a child’s curiosity at the center of his or her education. As Witterick puts it, it’s “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else.”
Because Jazz and Kio wear pink and have long hair, they’re frequently assumed to be girls, according to Stocker. He said he and Witterick don’t correct people–they leave it to the kids to do it if they want to.
So, genius parents, let me get this straight…you have male children, ones that you’ve admitted are male children (apparently a big step for you), you let them wear girls’ clothing, you don’t correct people who think they are girls, and then you can’t figure why these kids have gender-identity issues? Are you fucking kidding me? This is the part where I thought I was reading The Onion; I thought there is no way this could be true.
But these vapor-brains honestly believe this. They read this shit in some old book and thought “Hey, here’s a great way to abdicate any of our parental responsibilities. We can pretend we are making some powerful social statement!” Guess what, guys? There was another book written in the 20th Century that advocated a major change to the social construct. It was called “Mein Kampf,” and it turned out to be not such a great idea, either.
Just in case you think that is a little too heavy of a rap to drop on these people, further consider the effects of this on the children.
But Stocker and Witterick’s choices haven’t always made life easy for their kids. Though Jazz likes dressing as a girl, he doesn’t seem to want to be mistaken for one. He recently asked his mother to let the leaders of a nature center know that he’s a boy. And he chose not to attend a conventional school because of the questions about his gender. Asked whether that upsets him, Jazz nodded.
As for his mother, she’s not giving up the crusade against the tyranny of assigned gender roles. “Everyone keeps asking us, ‘When will this end?'” she said. “And we always turn the question back. Yeah, when will this end? When will we live in a world where people can make choices to be whoever they are?”
Wasn’t the whole point of this to let these kids “decide” what their gender is? So why is the kid asking his mother to define what he is? Doesn’t that in and of itself tell you this is headed for abject and catastrophic failure.
Then, consider the mother’s “crusade against the tyranny of assigned gender roles.” Nobody assigns gender, you are born with it; this woman is swimming upstream against nature, and both these parents seem comfortable using their kids as pawns to further their own cause. This is the problem with these so-called “progressive thinkers.” You would be hard-pressed to find a more self-righteous, self-centered group of people. These parents have no problem forcing their kids to be social outcasts based on their socio-political beliefs. Worse yet will be the time when these kids fail at living in the real world because their parents spent so much time creating their own reality they neglected to prepare the kids for the real deal. When that happens, you just know these are the kind of people who will blame everybody except themselves.
This brings us to the last two components of why this is so onerous. We’ve already established this story contains Delusion, Denial, Hypocrisy, Pretentiousness. Now we can add Selfishness and Lack of Accountability to the mix.
This is the part where you are thinking “why the hell are you ranting about this in a sports blog?” Look at those six components again. Youth sports and the NCAA are full of all six of them. This is the intersection I referred to at the beginning of this piece. If you stop and think about it, it is the attitude we have taken toward youth sports in this country that has allowed the NCAA to get away with a lot of the crap it has been peddling for the last 15 years. Let’s run through the six components to see how it has happened.
Delusion: In youth sports, there are far too many parents using their kids to live out their own alternate reality just like the parents in the quoted article. But instead of gender, it’s all about how little Timmy is going to become a pro athlete. As far as the NCAA is concerned, a lot of Division I recruiters play to this mentality by telling kids “you have a much better shot to be a pro if you pl;ay at our university rather than at (insert competitor here).”
Denial: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the parent who can’t come to terms with the fact that little Timmy just may not be very good at the sport said parent has chosen for him. It always the coach who sucks, or the league, or the sports program, or the facilities, etc…In the NCAA, the denial is all about not recognizing that sports like men’s ice hockey, men’s basketball, and football, are businesses that generate billions of dollars in revenue.
Hypocrisy: Sadly, we are getting to the point where youth sports, particularly at the high-school level and the NCAA can share the root cause of this – the phrase “student-athlete.” Much like the big universities act as feeder programs for big-league sports, there are high schools lining up to perform the same function for those universities. Naturally, this arrangement exists due to the money, not for a benefit to any of the kids involved.
Pretentiousness: This is really an off-shoot of Hypocrisy, and it can also be shared. Both youth sports and the NCAA love to pretend they are funneling benefits of their activities into programs for “students/youth,” when in reality the vast majority of any resources generated are most often pumped back into “feeding the beast.”
Selfishness: This may be the purest example tying the parents in the article to youth sports and the NCAA. There are too many parents in youth sports using their kids for some vicarious purpose, and they simply do not care about how that effects the kids. At the D-I level, it is crystal clear the NCAA couldn’t care less about the “student-athletes” they both profit from and hide behind.
Lack of Accountability: Nobody in this article, be they the gender-eschewing parents, the youth sports’ parents, or the NCAA have any idea what to do with the kids who don’t successfully navigate their “systems.” Nobody wants to talk about what to do with a kid who has been raised to be a social outcast, and who will completely lack any social skills to remedy that problem. Nobody wants to talk about the high-school athlete who can’t get a D-I scholarship and who is woefully unprepared for life because he is functionally illiterate. And certainly nobody wants to talk about the college athlete who doesn’t make the pros and who is woefully unprepared for life because he is functionally illiterate.
In all three cases, nobody wants to have that conversation about what to do with the kids who have been failed by their parents and the NCAA because wants to admit they exist. In all three cases, everybody will find somebody other than themselves to blame, will offer no solution to the problem they created, and will do nothing to change a broken system so long as it continues to benefit them.
Perhaps it is time as sports fans that we let this pair of moronic and dangerous parents act as a wake-up call for us. Much like Child Protective Services ought to snatch the kids away from these knuckleheads, perhaps we should take steps to fix the monsters we as sports fans helped to create.