Sex, Gender and Rainbows Sept 4, 2017

Sex, Gender and Rainbows
Today’s topic introduced by Catherine Sword is the multiple facets of gender. Gender as you know is the perceived identity a person has of his or her or their life.
Sex is what we are born into: we are born into a female body or a male body or in some rare cases a body with both sets of genitals. When a doctor screens a pregnant belly with the jelly and the imaging machine, what she or he or they are looking for is the sex of the baby in utero.
Gender is what happens after you are born. Whether environmental influences play much of a part, no one can say. Recently parents have tried to guide their offspring into more fluid sex roles through for instance keeping all guns and all dolls out of the house, so children play with more “gender neutral” toys. One doctor reports her experience in this way. She says she stopped by the playroom door listening as her two-year old daughter crooned away in sweet, soft tones. Since no dolls were in the house, the Dr. was intrigued and peeked inside. She saw her toddler lovingly cooing to a firetruck which she had wrapped up in a blanket. She was saying, “There, there little truck. It will be all right.”
Since gender identity comprises the largest part of how we identify in our lives, it makes sense those who have come to a different sense of themselves will struggle in our culture. This is because our culture was birthed out of the early Christians who believed God allowed, sanctioned, forgave, showed mercy for and interest in only heterosexuals. Further, He only showed those qualities and more to white heterosexual males. That’s the bottom line, you’ll forgive the pun.
Now the white male pays for all the history that has come before. It’s a bad time to be a white heterosexual male, but it’s still better than being in the fluid category or any other category. Our teens are in angst and those for whom gender is a question are more at risk for suicide than those who believe themselves clearly in the category of hetero.
One final comment: we are all confused. Heterosexuality was never the only choice, it was always just the only choice for being in public. Anyone who was different and public such as Oscar Wilde, paid deeply for what was seen as a social transgression.
It was of course simply that Oscar and his ilk made the white heterosexual males feel insecure. If you think about it nearly everything makes the white heterosexual male insecure except a case of 24 and a rifle. But I digress.
The history then of Western European development is strewn with the bodies of those who bravely tried to define themselves differently and received the blows and wallops for it.
Consider the word faggot. It is of course deeply contemptuous and therefore to be stricken from use for any person who calls him or her or themselves human. But the word does describe what happened. When the wood piles were gathered to incinerate gays and lesbians, the arm loads of wood were called faggots. Faggots of wood crisped the skin and cooked the bodies of these people, because the white heterosexual male community (there were white hetero women who believed in the same things, but they had no power) decreed them wrong.
Now we, the white heterosexual community, must make room: in our bathrooms, at our tables, in our hearts and minds for the explosion of descriptors around gender. If we are confused and maybe even a bit scared of these changes, we must take a deep breath and make room for everyone.

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