Are Men Obsolete?

In the modern and ever-progressing world of science, we’ve discovered ways in which it is possible for two biological females to produce a child without the use of a man’s sperm. Along with a modern perspective on gender and feminism, we’ve seen women running for presidency to plumbing to computer science and more. So why do men even still exist? Would it not, logically of course, be more productive for a society to now ‘prevent’ men? In some nations, women already outnumber men, so it might be an easier transition from a male inclusive world to a male exclusive world than we thought. Saves time, at least?

I’ll go ahead and take my chances with assuming that, so far, someone has been offended and thought “this is so sexist!” And trust me, I understand where you are coming from. You probably should be questioning my intent of this post. But I assure you, it isn’t sexism. I am merely pointing out a reality.

The reality is that around 1.7% of children have been born “intersex.” This means their physical anatomy, hormone levels, and chromosomes in consideration do not match either “male” guidelines or “female” guidelines. They fall out of our binary concept of human sex. Yes, 1.7% is a small percentage. However, it equates to roughly 119,000,000 people. This means that about 1 in every 1,500-2,000 babies are born with genitalia that require a specialist to help determine the sex of the baby (even though these babies are the minority, as many more infants are born with subtle or internal sex differences).

Yet, instead of accepting or embracing this harmless occurence, we’ve considered it a repulsive disability. We’ve historically put these people as performers in freak shows. We’ll force expensive surgeries on people to “cure” them.

And why?

  • “They’re already a minority anyway.” It being relatively rare justifies this? But…men are outnumbered in some nations too. Is the frequency of occurrence so significant to warrant an entire exclusion of a sex of people?
  • “They’re gross/unappealing.” I’m sure lesbians could say the same of a penis, but again, should be really be considering men useless because of that? Clearly not everyone is lesbian though. And not everyone has the idea that intersex people are disgusting. Furthermore, many intersex people have subtle internal differences- you wouldn’t be able to tell if someone was intersex or not. I cannot burn every shoe store that sells Crocs just because think they’re disgusting. So what could possibly give anyone the idea that preventing an entire group of human beings based on the same concept is rational or anything less than extremely egotistical?
  • “They’re broken/a mistake.” Anyone could say the same of any other sex as well. Imagine, now that men are obsolete, attending a birth wherein instead of blue It’s a Boy! balloons, you see weeping family members. Instead of hearing “Congratulations on bearing a healthy baby boy!,” you hear “I’m sorry to inform you, but your child has been diagnosed as heterogametic. It’s an XY. The penis can probably be removed, but…” In fact, there already historically have been similar attitudes towards the births of females, due to them being economically less valued or not permitted to rule in a monarchy, or for other reasons.

And while people can continue to deny the reality, with at least some level of logic remaining visible to some people, that being transgender or queer is a choice, there is literally no question no matter how hard you pretend otherwise in this case. Most of us are aware of the fact that being queer isn’t a choice, but all of anyone with even a minute amount of sense knows that no one can choose the hormones, chromosomes, or anatomy they were born with. Sure, continue annoying everyone with “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” posters. But it’d be quite a stretch to start saying “It’s Adam the penis-having, XY heterogametite and Eve the vagina-and-breast XX homogametite, nOT ANYTHING ELSE EVER!” That’s akin to protesting anyone with blue eyes because you think Adam and Eve had brown eyes, or protesting anyone who uses the internet because Adam and Eve couldn’t back in their day. Hell, why not start naming every boy Adam and every girl Eve because it was only ever them who ever mattered…ever. (Oh, but….not everyone is born a boy or girl!)

If intersex people do exist, and they do, maybe instead of getting upset, we could finally acknowledge the persistent fact that sex is not binary, but it in reality a spectrum. The only thing that results in these illogical attitudes towards intersex people is the completely unneccessary expectation of sex to be binary. But clearly, it isn’t. I can expect a rose bush to grow where I planted any given random seed, but that by no means ensures that a rose bush will grow. So why throw a fit when a coleus grows instead?

There isn’t anything inherently wrong with wanting a daughter, or looking forward to finally having a son. The issue arises when you can only love your child if it results in the expected daughter or the expected son. The issue arises when you abuse, neglect, or disown your own child over this mere expectation.

So if the first paragraph disturbed you, you have no reason to not be disturbed by the erasure and abuse of intersex individuals.

Advertisements