Saturday, May 19, 2012

GENDER BLENDER



Ever wondered what would have happened to Marlin, father of Nemo, once his beloved wife died, if the story was not conceived by the biased perception of a human mind? He would not have stayed Marlin, but become Marla instead. Marlin and Nemo belong to a strange species called Clown-fish who are sequential hermaphrodites. This means that they have the freedom of changing their sex without the need of costly, far from perfect, surgeries. Once the female dies the largest male undergoes a sex change and takes her position. Marlin's position in turn would be taken up by the non-mating males in the group. Some animals and plants seem to give their species gender flexibility. Human beings, unfortunately, do not enjoy that luxury. To humans, uncomfortable with things that are different, flexibility of gender is considered an abnormality. Our modern culture classifies human beings strictly into two genders – the male and the female. This unnatural classification has no place for those who do not naturally fit into these two pigeon holes, leaving them with a life of shame for no fault of their own.

Our ancestors recognized and respected the entire spectrum of human gender. Each person enjoyed special roles in the society. Genders other than male and female finds place in ancient mythologies of both East (Ardhanarishvara) and West (Aphroditus). ‘Triteeyapakrti’ is mentioned in Hindu texts as old as 2nd century BC. In many places around the world we still find the customs of transexuals  like Samoan fa'afafine, Indian Hijra, Kathoeys of Malasia and ‘Two-Spirits’ of Native America. However their status has gone down drastically over the years and now they have to struggle to find a proper job and a proper life. It happed because modern people found it difficult to place them in their strict gender classification scheme making these perfectly natural human beings an anomaly. That so-called ‘anomaly’ might be as high as 10% of world population. We are missing all the productive work they can do make our planet a better place.
Indian Hijra [http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericparker/2175623092/sizes/m/in/photostream/]

Some cultures recognize more than six genders, which might seem absurd to the modern mind. But when we look at the realities a strict binary classification seems irrational. Let’s try to look at the spectrum of gender  based on biology, psychology and social conditions to appreciate it further (this is not a classification, but just shows the variety in the spectrum).
  1. Masculine Male: People with male body who prefers females
  2. Feminine Female: People with female bodies who prefers males
  3. Lesbian: People with female bodies who prefers females
  4. Gay: People with male bodies who prefers males
  5. Bisexual: People who likes both male and female partners
  6. Transgender: People who consider themselves neither male nor female
  7. Pure gonadal agenesis: People in whom the testes or ovary never develop.
  8. Klinefelter’s: The phenotype is male but the sex chromosome pattern is XXY instead of XY.
  9. Turner’s: The phenotype is female and the chromosome pattern is XO instead of XX.
  10.  Male pseudohermaphroditism:  The genetic sex is XY and the gonads are exclusively testes, but, the external genitalia are either ambiguous or completely female.
  11. Female pseudohermaphroditism: The genetic sex is XX and the gonads are ovaries, but, the external genitalia are either ambiguous or virilized.
  12. To add to that there are people who are forced by society to behave like a gender that they were nor born in like the Eunuchs and Sworn Virgins.

A strict binary gender classification puts immense stress on persons who cannot place themselves into either of the two categories. Even a third category isn't enough. This results in them trying to force themselves fit into one of the two categories. They are left with no options but to go under the knife and change their sex to something more acceptable to the world. In that process many lose their own identity and spend rest of their life under immense mental trauma. This trauma can become physical as 76 countries around the world still consider homosexuality as illegal, with five of them having death penalties as punishment. In countries where it is legal many still make fun of them and are portrayed as comedians even in movies. Until and unless we find a way to erase this binary classification of gender from our mind these people will remain without justice, left to suffer in silence in the dark corners of our society.

REFERENCES
Third gender
Hermaphroditism
mosaicism
Heteronormative
Two-Spirit
Ardhanarishvara
Aphroditus
Others

You React:

35 comments:

  1. Wow!didn't know so much about the classification...thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks a lot for sill remembering KHOJ :)

      Delete
  2. remarkably informative. man is a wonder himself:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. true....and woman...and everything else :)....thanks so much Sush :)

      Delete
  3. Very informative. I wouldn't about this had I not came here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's sad to think of the plight of those who have had to face untold hardships because of this rigid classification. That was really informative. Thank you :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes indeed....
      thanks Ashwini :)

      Delete
  5. wow! how much clarity you bring in. Actually I had written on homosexuality too long back but from a different perspective. u have made me rethink. Thanks
    http://jerlyt.blogspot.in/2009/07/homosexuality.html
    http://jerlyt.blogspot.in/2009/07/cause-and-cure-of-homosexuality.html

    I might not be totally right in what I have written, but I would like ur view on these

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. will sure visit...thanks Jerly :)

      Delete
  6. A post from you after ages .. and that too with so much info in it ..

    you know I had no clue about any of this not even that little infor about the clown fish ..

    I still cant understand why there are classification based on gender etc like this .. Why cant it be just Human's

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes...after a long long time:)...thanks :)
      true...i wish :)

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. An amazing post again...There shouldn't be any binary gender classification. Every human should be respected the way they are, regardless of gender

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. true...wish everybody understood :)
      thanks Delhi Rocker :)

      Delete
  9. wow....what a detailed post. had read about trityaprakruti in vararuchi's ban natak 'ubhay abhisarika'. There was some debate about it but from your post it seems that other literatures also confirm the early presence of genders apart fromn male & female. Great writing, very informative!

    ReplyDelete
  10. For some people, writing works..for some it does not...you dear friend, work for the writing...which makes it even better privilege for the reader to read what you write...commend your honest efforts :)

    Nice article...only two questions though-1. Does classification of human race also means classification of Human rights???...
    2. What binds the classification together if it ever has to happen??? Marriage???

    And I also liked new background for the Khoj :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks a lot for the appreciation Rohan :)
      1. yes it would...but, i am against any form of classification as it gives people excuse to exploit....what i gave is not a classification by few extreme varieties from a continuous spectrum...
      2. no. it is love and faith that binds, not a man-made custom...
      those are just my views...not necessary right...you are free to express yours :)

      thanks again..
      Cheers!

      Delete
  11. They r born like this... but ppl treat them like some curse or deformed object.. they r forced to live a life of disgust.
    Even well educated ppl find hard to accept the fact that their child if lil different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea...true...most of us become uncomfortable and insecure when we see something different from what we know...

      Cheers!

      Delete
  12. Can only hope dat someday (don't know when it'll come) people will be so sensible

    ReplyDelete
  13. No one better than you could have handled the topic with such responsibility and seriousness. We want variety in life but refuse to accept variety in God's decision to create.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i am sure you could have done well :)....thanks so much Neeraj.....

      so true :)

      Delete
    2. Thanx for rating me that high but I still feel yours interpretation and articulation about a topic is by far the best in the business.

      Delete
  14. this was a seriously informative post Sub. Never knew these categories. And I totally advocate that the rules of the society are too rigid and awareness should be spread to let all the genders co-exist happily and peacefully.

    Thanks a lot for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear khonjtheeternalsearch blog author,

    I am hereby contacting you, following a visit of your blog, which I find very appropriate for a publication.

    I am an employee of Bloggingbooks publishing house, which is the new publishing brand of the well-established scientific publishing house, known as SVH Verlag. We are currently actively looking for new authors.

    Bloggingbooks would like to broaden its publication's portfolio and in this respect, comes my question: would you have any interest in publishing your blog posts into book format?

    You will find information about bloggingbooks on our homepage (bloggingbooks.net). The best way to get in touch with me will be per e-mail.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    contact email: m [dot] gorbulea [at] bloggingbooks [dot] de

    ReplyDelete
  16. Completely agree with you.. life for people who are stuck in the middle or in an undecided territory is not easy. If you go to see, these anomalies were more acceptable during ancient times. That's because we respected nature and did not want to rebel against it. As society was pushed more and more towards civilisation, we have become all the more orthodox.

    And India was one of those countries which gave status and much power to people of this kind. Beliefs changed once we were plundered and ruled by the Mughals and to a large extent, Britain, they are a homophobic society. Extremely rigid. They've cast deep seated prejudices in Society which will be hard to erase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so true....though the western invasions, and resulting rigidity, took place much before the Mughals...

      Delete
  17. Splendid! Informative and analytical....thus must have entailed a lot of research to come up with this awesome write up


    wwww.stutidhyani.com

    ReplyDelete

Leave a piece of you mind here...