We can see the problem here

A couple are bringing up a gender-neutral child by keeping its sex a secret even from close family.

Hobbit Humphrey, 38, and Jake England-Johns, 35, call their 17-month-old by the pronoun “they” and dress them in both girls’ and boys’ clothing.

Calling a girl Hobbit was always going to cause trouble now, wasn’t it?

Still, if lots of people do this we’re going to get, soon enough, a useful answer to that socialisation of gender thing, aren’t we?

Because there are going to be some very annoyed people when the pubertal hormones kick in and nature reasserts.

45 comments on “We can see the problem here

  1. It’ll kick-in even before puberty. Boys tend to fight and to like contact games. Girls tend to like combing their dolls’ hair and making things pretty.

    Etc. etc. forever and ever.

  2. I bet the child waits until the age of 18 years is reached and then changes the name to something sensible, and in keeping with family values. Modor sounds about right.

  3. Btw, it’s an interesting generational comment on the infantilisation of a part of the culture that Hobbit was born in 1981. So the deadbeat faux intellectuals who landed her with that name, if we assume they were about 27 at the time of her birth, would’ve been born in about 1954.

    Pause there. Might it in 1954 have been foreseen that a baby of that vintage would grow up (in a manner of speaking) to name a child, ‘Hobbit’? Theoretically the formative years would’ve been the still repressed late 50s. In reality, it was Woodstock, the Age of Aquarius, prog rock’s fascination with warlocks and all that tosh, which proved the more enduring pull (I speak as a teenage fanboy of Tolkein, who grew out of it by about 18 or 19).

    On the other hand, Keith Richards, born in 1943 to parents of presumably almost Edwardian vintage, was a choirboy at Westminster before developing his career as the wrinkliest, rockiest debauchee in town. Who could have seen that coming, either?

    But I wonder where it goes from here….

  4. The parents also refer to their child as “it”. Clearly there are situations where it becomes confusing to address or refer to a single person with a plural word.

    In some ways it is a triumph of our culture that we allow obviously deranged people to become parents but you can’t help wondering what the costs will be

  5. I thought circus performers were usually of the travelling community (because circuses do indeed travel), and therefore immune from all the PC nonsense?

  6. Edward Lud,

    “It’ll kick-in even before puberty. Boys tend to fight and to like contact games. Girls tend to like combing their dolls’ hair and making things pretty.”

    You can observe it from about age 5. You even observe kids going against the norm, like girls who are interested in going to the science museum, and boys who like cooking rather than football.

    I suspect all of this stuff comes from Clean Slate thinking, that parents have a big say in the direction their kids follow. And they don’t. Your job is keeping a roof over their heads, feeding them, getting them to school, buying toys, taking them to movies, and a bit of expanding their minds.

  7. Quite agree, Mr M4.

    My daughter was bored rigid by most of the Science Museum. But either there or next door in the Natural History Museum (can’t recall which) there’s an extensive collection of sparkly semi-precious stones. You should’ve heard her squeal with delight. She took quite literally hundreds of pictures of them on her tablet.

    Lesson: girls are pre-programmed to like jewels.

  8. they hope the decision will enable the child to “grow into their own person”.

    Whose person would the child otherwise grow into? Saddam Hussein?

    Westerners have got this mind-body individual/dividual dichotomy thing all wrong, and the middle class hippies are just taking that illogical misunderstanding of self to its logical conclusion.

    But there’s no such thing as an “authentic” self, because there’s no such thing as an “inauthentic” self. The mind/brain/self isn’t a software-like abstraction, it’s an emergent property of the biological system that is you. Chasing your “real” self is a road to narcissism and despair, it’s the worst type of navel-gazing, the sound of one hand fapping.

    Gender may indeed be (partially) socially constructed, but it’s just a proxy for sex, which isn’t socially determined or mutable. And you’re part of society too and probably wouldn’t like it is you escaped that. Fundamentally, as a wise old sailor noted, you yam what you yam.

    Andrew – definitely not gyppos: Ms Humphrey, who lives with her husband on a houseboat in Keynsham, Somerset

    They sound like characters from the Titania McGrath cinematic universe.

  9. Funny, I thought male Hobbits went off on Adventures with dwarves, or a mixture of (male) dwarves, Men and Elves, while female Hobbits stayed at home.

  10. BoM4 – You can observe it from about age 5

    Closer to 18 months.

    You generally don’t have to persuade little boys to play with cars or think the binmen are legendary heroes who arrive in a steel chariot of amazingness, they tend to do that all by their tiny selves.

    Little girls are precocious and tend to pick up language much, much quicker than boys. In a group of 2 year olds, the girls tend to be able to express surprisingly complex sentences while the boys are still basically the monosyllabic Minions from those cartoons, giggling at their own fart noises.

    Female tot: “Daddy, can we go to the park and play on the swings?”

    Male tot: “Da! Pahk! Swing!”

  11. Edward Lud – you also get girls who are tomboys – they like to fight, they like to be adventurous and so on.
    My wife is all woman, growing up she was a tomboy until age 15.
    Including getting in fights – she was in a gang.

    As for semi precious stones? If I had been there I’d be the one focusing on them and doing loads of photos. As a crafter of necklaces and wristbands I spent a lot of time learning about semi precious stones.

    People are not programmed to like stuff, society may try forcing them into roles but the forcing often does not work fully.
    Give a bunch of male and female 2 year olds a bunch of army toys and dolls – the gender use does not apply. Unless the researchers are interfering.
    By the time the kids start school in many instances the parents have pushed the kids in one direction or another based on gender. And the babysitting service we call school reinforces this.

  12. Steve: anecdote. When my niece was 2 we took her to Blackpool & driving in, we pointed out the Tower. She remarked ” would it be difficult to climb?”. Cue gasted flabbers all round.

  13. My boys are all a lot older now but i well remember the astonishing difference between the little girls and boys at their endless parties ( bouncy castle goody bag disco crayons ).
    I can only go by what I saw and that was girls drawing and gluing glitter while the boys threw the crayons at eachother and generally indulged in an orgy of crayon themed violence.

    I was genuinely amazed at the time

  14. OT. The SJWs have triumphed again. Richard Stallman has resigned from MIT and the FSF. He made comments supporting Marvin Minsky who was maligned as part of the Epstein fallout. So RS has been thoroughly shat upon by some unknown SJW and it snowballed from there.

  15. In some ways it is a triumph of our culture that we allow obviously deranged people to become parents

    I’m not convinced.

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad,
    Especially if they’re hippy clowns.
    Why would they make a small boy sad
    By clothing him in frocks and gowns?

    But wouldn’t you grow up deranged,
    If your Mum called you “Hobbit’, hey?
    The lunacy gets handed down
    And never seems to go away.

    Eugenics is a dirty word,
    But surely there must be a place,
    For cleaning the gene pool of turds,
    To benefit the human race?

  16. Tractor Gent – Awww 🙂

    Newmania – an orgy of crayon themed violence.

    Exactly this.

    MC – This is the best poem I have read since the one about the young fellow from Ankara.

    Speaking of blond poetasters, anybody see the ambush the Prime Minister of Luxembourg set for BJ yesterday?

    The press are predictably jezzing themselves over Boris’ “humiliation”, but that’s not how Mrs and Mrs Normal of Wifeswap Drive, Swindon will see it. They’ll see a screaming rentamob of IRL trolls being allowed to shriek and spit at our PM on foreign soil, while he tries to negotiate in good faith.

    Yuge, bigly own goal I reckon, and another data point to suggest there’s not gonna be the semi-mythical “deal” many are worried about.

    If you were trying to do a deal with the British PM, would you behave like this? Was Treeza ever subjected to an attempt at public shaming by the Eurotwats?

    Nope.

    #beofgoodcheer

  17. Steve/Lud,

    “Lesson: girls are pre-programmed to like jewels.”

    Most girls. My daughter wanted a birthday cake with The Iron Giant on it as a kid, is doing 3 sciences at A level. Her current obsession is strange marine bacteria.

    Simon Baron-Cohen’s stuff seems to fit for me. As an industry, IT pumps a ton of money into getting girls into it and most aren’t interested.

  18. Thanks Steve – story in the Graun today:

    Bettel’s anger highlights a bleak truth: the EU27 just wants Britain to go

    Looks like someone there agrees with you. I hope you’re both correct…

  19. It always amazed me that hippies liked Tolkein, because despite the surface fantasy appearance his books are not hippy at all. And certainly not SJW. As Witchie says, there are very clearly defined gender roles in Tolkein. In fact, there’s hardly any women characters in there at all (Tauriel was made up by the film-makers).

    And hippy men have always loved Gandalf and saw themselves as him, despite the fact that Gandalf went around fighting and killing and leading armies. So in the daytime they’d wave placards saying ‘Make love not war’, while in the evening they’d read Lord of the Rings and imagine themselves in the heat of battle cutting heads off.

    What hippies say, and what they’ll do given a chance, are two very different things.

  20. I agree on the Tolkein and hippies thing, it’s a bit of a puzzler. There’s also the race issue. Not that I read it this way as a teenager, simply did not occur to me. But in these more sophisticated times (ahem), it’s hard not to see the various races of Middle Earth as proxies for whites, hottentots and so on.

    I think what does it for the soap-dodging crowd is the anti-industrial theme and being at one with nature. Mind you, the industrial types in LotR and the other books were the primitive hottentot proxies. So I’m probably talking balls.

  21. Hector Drummond,

    I think they just liked being able to grow beards long, drink out of pewter tankards and sing songs, and what Lud said about the anti-industrial thing.

    I do find the whole attitude that people like Tolkein had to be rather intolerable. He paints the hobbits (who are basically the rural working class) as happy with their lot, farming by hand all day. The only people who seem to hold this view are people who’ve never had to do it for a living (see also: William Morris and Prince Charles).

  22. Steve

    “Was Treeza ever subjected to an attempt at public shaming by the Eurotwats?”

    She was in Salzburg, which gave her her only small squeak of public sympathy. As you say, the effect on the non-bubble normies is exactly the opposite of what the bubble believes.

  23. Hector – I’m surprised Tolkien hasn’t been unpersonned as a reactionary. He’d never get past the publishing gatekeepers if he was a new author working today.

    See also: Robert Ervin Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, and Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s cat.

    MC – I’m actually surprised at how cack-handed and gay Monsieur Bettel’s petty stunt was. I know Luxembourg isn’t a real country, but this was meant to be a Serious Meeting between Serious People, and the Euros deliberately sabotaged it with shouty-crackers undergrad student politics stuff. Absolute cringe.

    Even semi-retarded tinpot dictatorships like Cuba and North Korea don’t behave like this.

    The smoke signals don’t look favourable for a “deal” other than the unacceptable surrender treaty Treeza “negotiated”, which was never going to happen.

    The Guardian’s analysis is still pretty lol tho:

    Twenty-six member states will, first, never abandon Ireland when it insists on the need for an operable backstop

    People who remember what the EU did to Ireland in 2010 will beg to differ.

  24. Steve: anybody see the ambush the Prime Minister of Luxembourg set for BJ yesterday?

    I thought I was unstaggerable by now and inured to all the anti Brexit tricks and then this: a concerted noisy mob assembled within yards of where two podiums were in place for a press conference, a bloke with a megaphone coaching the mob and after Boris Johnson declines to take part, a petulant monopodial address from the appropriately named ‘rubbish’ Lux PM, X Bettel.

    Fantastic and transparent misbehaviour and who is prepared to believe that this is a Lux initiative rather than something purposefully orchestrated by Juncker and his Commission?

    The only questions are who was this meant to impress and what effect is it meant to have? Happily, Boris Johnson looked perfectly poised throughout.

    I hope he can spend a few minutes today assigning the UK holding in the European Investment Bank to the Federal Reserve.

  25. Twenty-six member states will, first, never abandon Ireland when it insists on the need for an operable backstop

    People who remember what the EU did to Ireland in 2010 will beg to differ.

    They’ll fuck Ireland over for a bent 500 euro note, and after the way that bellend Vradkar behaved recently we should sit there, watching and smiling.

  26. It appears very very early. My son and niece are the same age. When they were 2 they were given a toy consisting of a zipped box filled with a family of toy mice in little beds. My niece played for ages taking the mice in out and putting them to bed. My son also liked this toy. However he could not have cared less about the mice. He wanted to know how the zip worked.

    Around the same age a friend of mine who had a 2 year old son was invited on a picnic with some other mothers and their children, all girls. She declined saying to me “what’s the bloody point? They’ll have a lovely time sitting on the rug with their daughters, chatting, and I’ll l be leaping up every 30 seconds to haul Leo out of the lake.”

    I worked in a pre school at that time which was pretty right on in a relaxed kind of way. Children chose whatever activities they liked. Sure, children vary – they are small humans after all. The general trend was blatantly obvious though. There were major sex differences. Actually they are observable in utero – on average boys are considerably more active.

  27. “I suspect all of this stuff comes from Clean Slate thinking, that parents have a big say in the direction their kids follow. And they don’t.”

    I think this becomes quickly obvious to anyone with more than one child.

  28. Rob,
    Maybe Varadkar hopes for this?
    Those of us who don’t much go for that sort of thing will be looking the other way, and not just smiling, but cackling!

  29. “But in these more sophisticated times (ahem), it’s hard not to see the various races of Middle Earth as proxies for whites, hottentots and so on.”

    Hence the “orc lives matter” and similar memes, that were both funny, and kind of sad as well, aptly illustrating the madness of the current times.

  30. Did I read last night that Titania has been suspended from Twatter?

    If so, good for her/him/it.

  31. But in these more sophisticated times (ahem), it’s hard not to see the various races of Middle Earth as proxies for whites, hottentots and so on.

    It’s more explicit. The main group of humans who support Sauron are the Southrons, described as having “dark faces, black eyes with long black hair, and gold rings in their ears” and bringing elephants with them. I wonder who JRR could have been thinking of?

    Whereas the good guys are all variations on different Anglo-Saxon themes, and even the hobbits are based on typical salt-of-the-earth middle Englanders (of the period).

  32. @Tractor Gent

    I’m surprised that Stallman lasted as long as he did considering his “problematic” views.

    The #metoo evidence of his harassment of women is particularly laughable though. The only real example I’ve seen is a single anecdote about him awkwardly chatting up a student back in 1985.

    Other than that you just get stuff like him putting up a door sign jokingly calling himself a “Knight for Justice (also: hot ladies)” – not exactly assault.

  33. People who remember what the EU did to Ireland in 2010 will beg to differ.

    And who their friends were when the decided to stay in the Euro. This 2017 Irish Times article even tries to make out they did us a favour by taking the loan and paying ineterest:

    Ireland has now paid £358 million (€428 million) in interest to the UK on a crisis loan it gave to the State in 2010.

    A total of £3.2 billion was lent by the UK to the Republic as part of an international rescue package of the State’s collapsing economy. The latest report from the British treasury says Ireland has now paid the UK £358 million in interest since 2011.

    Since June 2014, the UK exchequer has received an interest payment of around £42 million every six months.

    It will be March 2021 before the bilateral loan’s term is up. The final tranche of money was paid to Ireland in September 2013. The document said: “The [British] government agreed to provide a bilateral loan to Ireland because it is in the UK’s national interest that Ireland has a successful economy and a stable banking system.

    “The links between our financial systems, particularly in Northern Ireland, mean that there was a strong economic case to provide financial assistance to Ireland. By being part of the international financial package, the UK indirectly supported the very many businesses across the UK that trade with Ireland.”

    The loan was made at the same time as a bailout by the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank and at a time when the country’s banking system threatened to implode.

    In 2012, then chancellor George Osborne reduced the rate of interest on the loan in line with euro zone lenders.

    Also further evidence of Osborne being a tw@t.

  34. Did I read last night that Titania has been suspended from Twatter?

    If so, good for her/him/it.>/i>

    Seven days. Andrew Doyle’s just as good in his own name so still plenty of amusement to be had.

  35. Teachers I know often comment that kindergarden isn’t so bad, but after that you start to see a distinct split, girls get more clique and bitchy using social exclusion and passive bullying, while boys just run around hitting things. They say it’s more the girls withdrawing from mixed play than the boys as the boys don’t care as long as you play like a boy.

  36. Seems like we have the BBC briefing against the U.K. PM and for the EU at the moment, the worst line being that this is the UKs problem and we have to fix it.

  37. “Because there are going to be some very annoyed people when the pubertal hormones kick in and nature reasserts.”

    Mainly because the little house-apes will be so confused they’ll be running around trying to shag the neighbor’s slower pets and anything else that doesn’t run fast enough

  38. @Steve

    “Was Treeza ever subjected to an attempt at public shaming by the Eurotwats?”

    Yes. She was commanded to fly to Brussels at 4am by Junker

    Silly cow complied, I’d have said FO

    “anybody see the ambush the Prime Minister of Luxembourg set for BJ yesterday?”

    When Johnson saw and heard that crowd led by a Canadian, he requested speeches be done inside; Lux PM (pop 600,000) refused

    Set up? Yes. Johnson correct to not take part

  39. Every time I read about one of these “social experiment” parents, I think of what that (recently deceased) replicant did to his ‘creator’ in Blade Runner.

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