Diary of a Darklady
Are You a Sex, a Role, or a Person?
I love 11th hour miracles. Hell, I depend on them. In fact, it’s possible that an untold number of butterflies are actually in serendipitous control of my life. With a beat of their beautiful wings, my reality changes. Although often traumatic, the overall results of those slender-bodied diurnal insects’ interventions have been largely positive.
I hope they’ll be as kind to the world at large.
Like many others on the planet, I’m experiencing a sense of dread as I watch the American Two Party System roll its massive Presidential election machine across the country as though it owns it. I, too, once believed that it really was a matter of either one political party (“the good guys”) or the other political party (“the bad guys”). Right now it looks like it’s more a choice between invading Iran or invading Saudi Arabia. There’s much talk on both sides about making war and precious little about making peace. And even the lesser of two evils promotes the idea that a family structure largely constructed to make the Soviet Union jealous during the Cold War is somehow a “tradition” that spans the millennia and should for some reason be enshrined in the Constitution – a document designed to outline the rights of the citizenry, not their limitations.
The kind of “what about the children/won’t somebody please protect marriage from the faggots and the dykes” thinking that argues against acceptance of same-sex relationships stems from an oversimplification about the reality of the universe and the living creatures that populate it. Nearly all of us have been raised with the notion that, just as there are the good guys and the bad guys, there are boys and there are girls. There is no middle ground. You’re one or you’re the other. You play on the pink team or you play on the blue team. “Male and female he made them” [Genesis 1:27] has been a fundamental assumption held by billions of people.
Odds are that most of the people you meet on the street are either one or the other, right. Which would means that it’s not an entirely stupid assumption. Instead, it’s an assumption based on innocence, on ignorance, on lack of information. Although there’s unquestionably something reassuring about believing that the universe shakes out so nicely, so neatly, so evenly, it ain’t necessarily so. There are too many butterflies flitting about for such social niceties to be entrenched in something as indifferent as genetics.
The issue of boys that like boys and girls that like girls aside, one in every 1,666 babies doesn’t belong to either the XX or the XY team (http://www.isna.org). One in 1,000 births result in a Klinefelter baby (http://www.klinefeltersyndrome.org/), meaning that the cooing bundle of little boy cuteness has an extra X along with his XY set. Sometimes Klinefelter over achievers (http://home.att.net/%7Eamazonb/index.html) get an extra Y in addition to their extra X, giving them 24 sets of chromosomes instead of the more standard 23. Whoops. And these are just the easy ones to explain. Ultimately, it’s estimated that one out of over 100 births results in a child whose bodies doesn’t quite fit the whole Us or Them ideal. Maybe the odds of meeting someone on the street who isn’t one or the other is higher than we thought.
Even with this knowledge, many continue forward, passionately promoting a world where there are men and there are women, where only men and women have a “sacred” right to bond, and where the government has a vested interest in making sure nobody else has equal access to that bond or the special legal rights and perks that are associated with it. Further complicating things is the fact that some countries have been not only obsessed with the notion that there are only boys or girls to choose from, but that boys are the better choice. It shouldn’t take an Einstein or a Hawking to figure out that, in time, that’s going to create a social imbalance likely to make sustaining the ideal of a woman for every man something of an impossibility, genetic typing aside. Such is the case in China and India (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/040809/usnews/9spotlight.htm), where 113 – 117 boys are born for every 100 girls. Some regions in India are believed to have even more off-kilter ratios.
Meanwhile, the Vatican, instead of cleaning up its own mess, has released a 37-page document that points an accusing finger at feminism and demands that the world both acknowledge and “exalt” the differences between the sexes. Knowing what we do about “the sexes,” an educated person must ask which one the Vatican is talking about. There are, after all, clearly more than two. According to the booklet-letter written by the infamous hard-liner Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the world’s bishops, feminism’s emphasis on equity between all people, regardless of genital configuration, is to blame for any number of social ills – including the acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriages. Naturally, this threatens what Ratzinger and others whose idea of “tradition” doesn’t go back very far insist is the “traditional” concept of family. Now, I will readily admit that feminism has been clumsy and occasionally even offensive in its attempts at elevating the status of women and yes, I will again admit that this desire for parity puts many supposedly “traditional” roles for men and women at risk but, of course, those roles were based upon a unscientific criterion based purely upon appearance and peer pressure.
In reality, it is this persistent and all-consuming biological fetish for assigning human beings rights and roles based purely upon their genitals that puts marriage and humanity at risk. In a world that assigns value contingent upon whether you can pee standing up, we cease to be humans or individuals with unique personalities. The role becomes master with people existing as servants. This refusal to see each person as unlike any other person fuels situations such as those being experienced in China and India, where untold numbers of men are expected to live their lives alone — or turn to violence, either within society as members of the military or outside of it as criminals.
And that is why I hope that the capricious 11th hour miracle butterflies that I depend upon so much will look upon the world with compassion. Surely only a flit of their wings would be required for us to see each other with newer, clearer eyes. As long as we continue to trap ourselves inside of definitions too small to contain our varied nature we will see one another as good guys or bad guys, us or them, condemned to a solitary life or blessed with divine favor.
If we want to attract butterflies, we must strive to create an environment in which they may flourish. In spite of the bitterness that often seeks to confine us, we must search for and nurture the nectar within ourselves. Perhaps then our 11th hour miracle will arrive and our sense of dread will retreat.