Pregnant supermodel Emily Ratajkowski recently revealed, via Vogue magazine, that she and her husband won’t know the gender of their baby “until our child is 18.” She added, “they’ll let us know then.” “They’ll” let us know then? Are they having twins, triplets, or…? Oh, I get it. Why 18? How is that a magic number? What if they don’t know or reveal their gender to you until they are 32…or 48? Is that too old? If so, why? What if they are mute? How will they reveal their gender to you if you can’t assume it already? Will they write it down on the back of a napkin at dinner some day? If their actual, physical genitalia has nothing to do with their gender identity, it can get kinda confusing.
Ratajkowski disapprovingly noted "that we force gender-based preconceptions onto people, let alone babies. I want to be a parent who allows my child to show themself to me. And yet I realize that while I may hope my child can determine their own place in the world, they will, no matter what, be faced with the undeniable constraints and constructions of gender before they can speak or, hell, even be born." And “they” will also be faced with the undeniable constraints and constructions of mortality and homo sapiens’ susceptibility to disease, depravity and inanity.
Ratajkowski then switched gears, pivoting from bemoaning the archaic notion of two sexes to lambasting white men. And boys. She said, "I've known far too many white men who move through the world unaware of their privilege, and I've been traumatized by many of my experiences with them. And boys too; it's shocking to realize how early young boys gain a sense of entitlement — to girls' bodies and to the world in general. I'm not scared of raising a 'bad guy,' as many of the men I've known who abuse their power do so unintentionally. But I'm terrified of inadvertently cultivating the carelessness and the lack of awareness that are so convenient for men. It feels much more daunting to create an understanding of privilege in a child than to teach simple black-and-white morality. How do I raise a child who learns to like themself while also teaching them about their position of power in the world?"
Incredibly, she wasn’t done with her woke sermonizing. The wealthy white supermodel went on to share a story about a friend’s struggle with her husband and baby boy: “My friend who is the mother to a three-year-old boy tells me that she didn't think she cared about gender until her doctor broke the news that she was having a son. She burst into tears in her office. ‘And then I continued to cry for a whole month,’ she says matter-of-factly. After a difficult birth experience, she developed postpartum depression and decided that she resented her husband more than she'd ever imagined possible. She told me she particularly hated — and she made an actual, physical list that she kept in her journal, editing it daily — how peacefully he slept. ‘There is nothing worse than the undisturbed sleep of a white man in a patriarchal world.’ She shakes her head. ‘It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I was bringing yet another white man into the world.’”
These are repulsive and terrifying thoughts. Ratajkowski’s friend resented her husband for giving her a baby? Hated that he slept peacefully? Wasn’t happy about delivering a white baby “into the world?”
Fortunately, the women I’ve been close to in my life have been the exact opposite. Have cherished their husbands and their children. Been thankful to God for their blessings. And, while not afraid to teach simple black and white morality, have been forgiving, supportive, loving. They have been proud of themselves, their children…and their men. They have been tender, nurturing…and tough. And selfless. Utterly selfless.
And they have made this a world worth living in.
If you have a mother like this, don’t wait until you are 18 to tell her how much she means to you.