“What gender is your baby?”

Gender, gender, gender. Why is that the question people really want to know the most, the gender of a person not born yet? Why is it not more important to ask if it is healthy, how it feels for me being pregnant and so on? The question about if the baby has a penis or vagina seems to be more important then everything else. It even mattered for me once.

I really wanted to know which gender the little sprog had in the beginning, as I was curious. Is it a boy, girl, what are we going to name it, dress it in, teach it?  But we could not find out as the baby is lying behind the placenta and seems to be really good at hide and seek already, and I felt a little sad about this, but then I started to think, why am I sad that I don’t know which sex my little sprog has?

The realisation came in week 20, where I once more got asked the question which gender. I was thinking entirely wrong! Is it not more important that the sprog is alive and well? That it doesn’t matter what we name it (except naming it awkward names like Liquorice, but that is another matter). It doesn’t matter what clothes we dress it in, as long both Adam and I like them and it keeps the little one warm. And teaching it, that is something that life itself will do. I do not have to worry about that. I gained quite a lot of maturity that moment and during these weeks afterwards. I realised that it is a baby first and foremost, with it’s own personality and independence.

In Swedish we have a word, “hen” which is a gender neutral word you can use about a person. I am not sure if I like the particular word itself, but the idea behind it is great, as a baby is just a baby. My baby is just my baby. It will have a long life time of being placed into certain groups of society, getting certain labels. I’m not going to do my baby any favours by categorizing it myself.

To the question whether it is a boy or girl, I have not yet answered anything else than “I don’t know”. But I do hope, one day that I can work up enough courage to say:

I don’t know what gender my little sprog has, if it is a boy or girl, and to be honest I do not care. My baby is a “hen”.



  1. It’s sad that people cannot relate even to a baby without knowing its sex. They don’t know how to behave towards someone, how to speak to them, how to touch them, without that information. But if you ask people if they treat boys and girls differently they say they don’t! Of course it’s well documented that people talk more, and more gently, to girl babies and cuddle them more than boys but we do it unconsciously. Consciously, we can try to resist and think of “hen”.
    Liquorice as a name at least would be gender neutral! Only I don’t like the stuff.

  2. Hen… I´m not sure I like it or the idea.. Why is it wrong to say different to boys and girls? Does it matter? Really? Is not the most important that you give your baby boy or girl a good base to stand on? That the child have the same value as any child. Is a good base to let your child know that she or he is not a girl or a boy only a hen?

    It take along time for children to even notis that it is two different gender, they don´t care why should we?. For example you was my little girl and liked to be a princess when you was small, It was a phase in your life and you left it for other things. Boys goes trough the same phase. I don´t think that you did get any harm or think of you less even if you did get the opportunity to dress you to a princess. =P

    I think it is making your child a “björntjänst” (don´t know any english word for it) if you just give them something in the middle. I have been talking alot of this in my course on my university as you know =)..

    With that said I just want to say.. I don´t care if your baby is a boy or a girl.. Most important if you and you husband and the baby is healthy =)

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