Sign up for our newsletter and get a curated list of the top trending stories and exclusive rewards every day.

Trending Topics

Get the MTL Blog app

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
Opinion: Here's Why We Shouldn't Be Gendering Meghan Markle's New Royal Baby

The announcement that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, had gone into labour this morning sent media outlets around the world into a frenzy. 

With parents (one American no less!) committed to a "modern upbringing," "Baby Sussex" is the latest addition to a new generation of royalty that marks a split with the conservative past. 

So the mode by which the Sussexes reported the birth was perhaps a bit surprising.

There, plastered on the couple's new, rule-breaking Instagram page was the official announcement: "It's a BOY!"

READ ALSO:We Now Know When We Will See Meghan Markle's New Royal Baby For The First Time

While, using only the Sussex's trademark blue, the post is free of the gendered frills that charactrize most "reveals," the label is nonetheless striking.

Shouldn't we resist assigning a gender to a newborn? Doing so could make life difficult, and create potentially threatening situations, once the child is old enough to voice its own gender identity.

Gender has, of course, been of heightened significance to the royal family. The former rule of male primogeniture placed more importance on the birth of male heirs. Though the royal family abandoned that system in 2013, the spectacle of the gender announcement persists.

I, too, am guilty ofparticipating in the presumptuous gendering of this newborn. It is difficult to abstain when the baby's parents have endorsed the label and "baby boy Sussex" has already entered the popular lexicon.

The Mirror reports that the birth announcement actually represents a departure from Meghan and Harry's commitment to a gender-neutral childhood.

Toys and decor in the royal household are reportedly free of the trappings of gender. Yet, "Baby Sussex" is decidedly "a boy."

If anything, this case well demonstrates the degree to which, despite our best intentions, assumptions of gender still dominate the conversation surrounding birth annoucements.

My intention is not to offer a solution, nor is it to chastise Meghan and Harry, who have consistently shown their progressive values. 

I just hope that while we celebrate the birth of Baby Sussex and recognize Meghan and Harry's effort to be responsible parents, we also realize that there is much work left to be done in our society.

Read Phil Hill's HuffPost article, "Why We Need To Stop Assuming Babies' Gender," for more information about the effects of gendering newborns.

Stay tuned.

More from MTL Blog

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.