By: Rachel Womek
Good News! Kiki and I have started our vaccination process! We will both need to get a few more shots in a month or two but it is nice to know that things are underway. My right arm is very sore and I’m feeling a little lethergic but otherwise O.K. While I’m not really a fan of vaccinations (and by that I mean the vaccine itself, Kiki is the one who doesn’t like needles) Typhoid Fever doesn’t sound very fun. It was also worth the eight hours of travel to the ABQ and back if it means us getting one step closer to Cairo.
My head’s a bit groggy but I’ll attempt to write something comprehensive.
Today I am going to talk about briefly human sexuality, gender identity, and cultural perspectives on these topics. Today, in industrial western society, people are struggling to comprehend and categorize human sexuality, gender identities and gender roles. The answer is: There is no easy answer. These things are as diverse as individuals are, I would venture to say that each person has their own personal brand of sexuality and that no two are identical. In the words of Spock: “Infinite diversity, in infinite combinations”. There tend to be different categories that sexuality can fall into which can be helpful, to an extent, but of course these categories are very generalized . In Red blood, Red state, Red meat America only two forms of sexuality are recognized as acceptable: hetrosexual females who identify as females and hetrosexual males who identify as males. The rest of us recognize more although the number of varieties we recognize vary widely.
The practice of only recognizing heterosexual males and females only is actually rather new. Many cultures today and historically have recognized different sexuality and different behaviors. Many cultures historically, and some today, recognize multiple genders, 3-5 rather than the two recognized in our western industrial society. Now gender identity and sexuality are not the same thing, although they can be interconnected, so it is important to also note that in different cultures a wide variety of sexual behaviors are accepted and practiced…what’s socially acceptable may vary.
Some places that recognize 3 or more genders are: India, Pakistan, Thailand and Nepal. Many indigenous groups the world over also recognize multiple genders. Historically Mayans, Egyptians, and Isrealis have also recognized gender diversity. In ancient Israel 6 genders were recognized!
Varied sexuality has also been recognized. In ancient Greece it was believed that originally there had been three sexes, each person was comprised of two individuals: either two males, two females, or one of each. Zeus grew angry because they were too prideful and punished them by splitting them in two. The two halves of one whole were forced to spend their lives searching for each other. This myth was the basic foundation of belief regarding human sexuality.
One myth surrounding American culture is that America is built on the premise that “all ‘men’ are endowed…with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”. Unfortunately this myth apparently doesn’t apply to those who don’t fit into the boxes conveniently provided by conservative society.
Off the soapbox (for now).
By the way the views expressed in this blog are not journalistic in nature and should not be interpreted as such. They represent my personal opinion.