Pow, right in the binary...

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So... I came across this the other day: - because it was being shared as something awesome; teachers being trained on how to use "gender neutral" language and how to educate children that they don't need to fit into all of the social expectation and crap that comes with the labels "boy" and "girl", that they can be perfectly awesome just as they are; whether they are "boys" that like to dress up in skirts, or "girls" that are good at math, or "boys" that like sports and cars and make up... it's all good. And I was all like "YEY"... until I broke the first rule of the internet;

Never. Read. the comments....

But I did... and I'm not going to lie it made my brain bleed. The strength of the negative reaction was pretty shocking... this being painted as "Lefties trying to indoctrinate our children", or "LOL boys are boys and girls are girls these people r so confused", and a truly woeful amount of folks who refused to accept that they did not know the difference between "gender" and "biological sex"... and worst of all, they refuse to accept that their "science" is 50 years old... and since the DNA revolution we know so much more about developmental pathways... including how biological sex is determined.. but that is a side note.
The thing that gets me, is that folks think this is LGBT propaganda, and "why can't we be like how things used to be", and this is all "new age pseudoscience". Well, for one thing, it is certainly not new. In fact, if we look at the grander scale of culture over time, we find out that our very narrow restriction on gender (that there is only BOY or GIRL) is NOT the cultural norm... This idea is fairly new (about 300/200 years old, originated from Europe, particularly Catholic Europe but it did become more wide spread), and very Western (and through imperialism and colonialism, was spread further afield much like the spread of religion).

Homosexuality falls into this category, because although they are different, gender and sexual orientation are linked because homophobia is fuelled by the belief that you are violating your gender; that you are in love with the WRONG gender and therefore you are not normal. The gender binary is responsible for a lot of sexist shit... because this binary system comes with loaded dice. In this system you can only belong to one team, but you don't get to choose. The team you are on determines everything about you, from the way you dress, to the length of your hair, to how you behave, how likely you are to get a promotion at work, whether or not you will likely be granted custody of your children, whether or not you are expected to make money or stay at home, how likely you are to get sexually assaulted, and how likely you are to be a victim of violent crime. The team you are in, determines your entire life.

But like I said; having a narrow restriction of TWO genders ONLY is not normal cultural practise for our species. States of "intersex" are being medically recognised now but for THOUSANDS (see, "Gay caveman" the poorly named but amazing discovery of intersex physiology of Homo spp. fossils dating from the palaeolithic...)of years they were recognised by a whole HOST of different cultures, all over the world....

Due to imperialism and cultural homogenisation in the 1700-1800s, most of these cultural practises are forgotten by history, but are recently being recovered and remembered, and unearthed. History is written by the victors...and we are educated by the very particular parts of history that our society is ALLOWING us to be taught... Ok, so this all comes across as a bit conspiracy theory but who amongst you can honestly tell me you were taught about intersex and biological sex development at school? Or taught about how homosexuality only existed as a diagnostic term for a type of paraphilia during the birth of Victorian psychology? We are not told it, so it feels like new information. But it isn't.

NB: this is a graphic used to promote the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia - it is NOT a full historical list, it is an artistic demonstration to show a handful of historical/cultural practises that we would consider "queer", for example it doesn't mention pederasty amongst the warrior class of feudal Japan. But it shows just how widespread the idea of "other" genders, and "other" sexualities are part of human culture.


The point is; our view of gender is wrong, and it causes a lot of suffering that is unnecessary. We need to "unlearn" it, so that we can be kinder to the generations after us, and to ourselves.

Peace and love <3

I have been meaning to make a biiiiig post about this in the CRaP section of the forums, but that's a long way off.. I want to get it right lol, so I am putting this up in the meantime if you have questions and comments, ask away ^.^

Updated 10-05-2014 at 04:35 PM by SlappedYak