Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Masculine, Feminine, or ?

This proposal has also caused some extreme concern in both Intersexed and Transsexual groups. The fear is that men and women with a minor somatic anomaly will be categorised by others, quite against their will, as "Intersexed", and so denied human rights on that basis.

Given the past treatment of such people by medical and legal authorities, this fear is by no means unreasonable. It needs addressing. Here's what I wrote about the subject on another discussion group, where grave fears and even outrage had been expressed:

Having an official "3rd sex" merely regularises the situation for the tiny, miniscule minority - most notably Alex MacFarlane et al - who have X on their BCs out of their own choice. Or at least, that is the intent.

I think this should be an option for Intersexed people who identify as neither male nor female. It most certainly and emphatically should NOT be a "default' for Intersexed people, most of whom identify as either Male or Female. There is a strong danger here, and we must tread most carefully. It also has some interesting legal ramifications, vis a vis marriage etc. Again, I cannot stress too highly that this must be an exceptional and entirely voluntary SELF-categorisation, not something others put us into. This categorisation is entirely consistent with existing international law, and the ICAO standards for passports. We must be extremely vigilant that the APO and others do not use it as a tool of oppression.

Basically, an intersexed woman is a woman, an intersexed man is a man. Only those intersexed people who are androgenous or neutrius, neither M nor F, would find this categorisation useful to them. They are few, but they exist.

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