Whenever I read an article like this one, after I stop being annoyed by the use of the old “hermaphrodite” term – especially when they entirely fail to mention that intersex took its place a long while back – I always have one question: what is with the desire to “fix” something like this condition? While the experience for the individuals in question is no doubt perplexing, does it have to be stigmatized, too?
I’m thinking of an alternate, holistic way of how we might deal with genders like these:
- come up with a term for “girls who grow up to be men”
- create a coming-of-age ritual, something akin to Quinceañera or Confirmation or Bat Mitzvah, or even some secular version
- establish bureaucratic protocols for the individuals in question
- instead of copping a “wow, nature can really fuck up” attitude, try a “what amazing natural variation is possible” instead.
- stop repeating the bullshit about how they need “complicated sex change surgery to live normal lives”
That is, recognize them as a gender, acknowledge that all paths to adulthood are not the same, that penises are swell but not everything, & let them get on with their lives.