Last time I blogged before the video, I mentioned in a blog post about how the societal expectation of women is a construct, one that is expected by men and maintained by the silence of women.
Part of our western womanhood is beening taught that if we are NOT like the Barbie/June Clever image then it is shameful, embarrassing, and something that if talked about at all, is talked about, or rather TOLD to you in a female only assembly with the instruction of silence. Always told not to tell.
So who then is to blame the guys for being a little confused that women have all sorts of things they just ‘don’t talk about’? US! That ranges from disordered eating, facial hair (40% clear facial hair once a week, 5% every day), hair loss, balding, monobrows and thick eyebrows, PCOS, extreme cramps, extreme PMS, periods every 10 days or once every 2 years. Of course we NEVER fart and we don’t ‘sweat’, we ‘glow’. I am sure that each woman could list how they are not…. Fill in the blank. Is the ‘Swimmer Shoulders’ or even the host of disease which only now are not just considered ‘women’s disease’ like CFS/M.E. and fibro. Why a ‘woman’s disease’? Because it goes in the section the general population and most men either don’t understand, don’t WANT to know about, or is just part of the mystery of ‘you know, women get……stuff.’
Only in the last year or two were the same sexual disorders men have like lack of arousal (erection issue for dudes) which were present in women (no sensation or too much or constant sensation) were considered to NOT be part of a) a psychological issue stemming from the woman and b) probably Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And that is AFTER studies show MRI’s that women are telling the truth and even then, it takes on average a woman FIVE doctors before she is believed.
If we had a stack of medical diseases and conditions that women who had them were blamed and shunned for having them, it would be quite the Tower of Babel. Of course, that shunning also induces silence, when the word ‘hysterical’ is involved, or is blamed on psychological factors though that includes, or has included, MS, seizure disorders/epilepsy, Autism Spectrum, CFS, Fibro, Lupus (yeah, that used to be ‘mental’) along with most genetic disorders (now only believed due to genetic testing).
We are part of that silence. We too easily accept that there is ‘too much’ to know and that stereotypes of what we shouldn’t talk about dictate our responses. I too easily accepted that, and in parts I still do.
Intersex does not mean something where there are three boxes: ‘male’, ‘female’ and ‘other.’ Though the six to eight heavy machinery laying foundation 6-20 feet from me for 10-12 hours a day and computer problems have slowed me down, to the point of very ill and supported by Linda, I will be talking about the lie we believe, the lie of ‘normal.’ Over this and other topic specific posts. It was the reaction from the intersex issue earlier that encouraged me to start with a 'Basic' intro.
Survey after survey, do you know the first thing that parents feel when told their baby has ambiguous genitalia or an intersex condition? Shame. Shame and ‘what did I do wrong?’ That also happens to be the SAME feeling that parents with babies who have large wine birthmarks on their face feel. Does that make that little boy or girl an ‘other’? Not a boy? Not a girl? Because of a birthmark? Sure, it is different: it doesn’t involve those words: the one we get all hyper about, particularly in the USA: SEX.
First, don’t use the term Hermaphrodite. Sure, it is a ‘historically medical’ term (as are SO MANY offense terms). But the same ‘historically medical’ people who made and used the terms like Pliny the Elder also said that the only cure for a headache was tying fox testicles around your forehead (People with Migraines might be so desperate to try but trust me, or trust Stephen Fry, it doesn’t work!). So unless you feel confident enough in medicine to separate the four humours from the anatomy of melancholy and can explain the use of SRY in genitalia development, please don’t use terms that those with intersex disorders (including the 1 in 500 men with klinefelter syndrome) find hurtful. That’s why clinically now they are called DSD (Disorders of Sexual Development: which to many people SOUND like the person has some puberty problem or has become a peeper, hence not really loved by many intersex individuals). It is called DSD because most conditions stem from that time at 17 weeks when the sexual development occurs (Not gender identity, but the actual 'bits').
Okay, if you, a loved one, a friend have a white spot, if you have webbing in your toes, if you have an extra nipple or like me a few extra ribs, then you have some anomalies in your 46 (or 45 or 47) chromosomes. So do people who are born with ambiguous genitalia, or people who like those with diabetes who have problems with insulin, have problems with androgen, or estrogen. Except androgen and estrogen can make you stand out as different during puberty, when you least WANT to be different that way. Of course, it also happens in male and female menopause, but we don’t email or tell all the women taking hormone supplements due to early onset or post menopause that, “It’s okay, I still try to think of you as a woman.” No more than we tell a guy with diabetes, “Don’t worry, It doesn’t matter to me...just, um, you know, use the stall shower after the game...cause, I don’t mind that you’re different but…”
This may appear to be me going wonky, but please, yes, have questions, have opinions but if you want to reassure me, question me, or others about intersex conditions, please, please put it in the comments. Why? Because so few people EVER talk about this that I don’t want a bunch of whispers in emails. When someone does a search because they just got some doctor’s report and have to wait 2-6 weeks for tests, I want them to find the questions, the things people might have already said to them in comments, and dealt with. I’m letting you know, if you email about it when I post like this, I WILL put your question/statements in the comments.
Because I wrote that three million women in the USA have just those 4 intersex conditions, I didn’t count the dozen plus other ones, and yet, I got a lot of assumption about one person: me. Yeah, because of those anomalies in my 46 (or 45, or 47) chromosomes, they are doing a genetic and chromosome work-up and a doctor seems SURE that I have condition X, another person thinks I have condition Q which is actually rare enough not to be listed in the intersex/DSD conditions (different conditions means different parts of chomosome code are missing, which means you can be prone to heart, lung or other conditions). But either way, if I have Huntington’s or other diseases found from hereditary (remember that doctor who was convinced I was inbred, my mother was not amused when I let her know my medical records sort of now indicate that her sex partner was granddad or another close relative is my ‘real’ genetic father) or other chromosomal issues, maybe it will help. For the most part, the diseases found cannot be treated, or some can, but not in Canada unless you are in Toronto. And since in this city people can’t get diagnosed for cancer because they won’t actually give them an X-ray, or follow up on blood work, I am not seeing stem cell treatment in my future oddly. But I am going to talk about it.
If you live in a city, if you know over 1000 people, including bank tellers, store clerks, managers, students, people in your high school then you already know, several people with Intersex/DSD conditions. That is what I said before and I say it again, no, not on the internet, face to face. If you feel you ‘know’ someone who has an intersex condition over the internet, I am telling you that you ‘know’ about 4-5 people minimum who have a DSD/intersex condition in your regular daily, monthly life: face to face. They just never told you. And maybe we should all ask ourselves why?
When people transition their sex to their gender identity as an adult, it is hard not to notice, not to hear about it. Because people talk, and look and have think because they saw it on a TV show they know the score. “Not a real woman”, we hear and see the intolerance of those around them. What do you think those whose earliest memories are of a gaggle of doctors examining, measuring, re-examening their genitalia while making comments to the student doctors who were watching are feeling?What do you think those men and women whose early memories are those of surgeries they were told to lie about to class mates, and were told, ‘Kept it secret’, are thinking?
Even the most basic intolences I have heard: sitting next to Linda, my spouse with a German mother, about how ‘Those Germans are heartless bastards to the last one.”, heard how “lesbians just need a good.. (arm pump)..ya know” or "all them short haired lesbians want to be men". I have been treated and all but told that being disabled and being on welfare was the same thing (and the same type of people..ya know). That drug users are a drain on society (I know a few transit workers who are steady heroin users), that people who take X should be locked up (I tell them I take drug X – “Oh, but you’re a different story”). I am pretty bold, but I didn't stop enough of that crap. I too ended up with a head full of baggage; actually I think I have an whole train of baggage cars! So imagine, in Cardiff, when an eight year old girl with leukemia finally had her hair grown back long enough to go to school and the first day her head is set on fire by her fellow schoolmates (true story), how much attention do you want to draw to yourself?
In the UK, there is anti-bullying day, and the Prime Minister wore a patch. Is there an anti-bullying day here? What kind of rape is it when classmates, children viscously open about their stereotypes, want a look and force you down to rip off clothes and check your groin? And when adults, who have the same stereotypes, just a little more restraint, just want to whisper about it, or treat a person different?
The responses regarding a few paragraphs of about intersex and that, yes, I am being tested for one, depressed me to the point that my health deteriorated because of what people thought, in a post about me having a fever. No one seem to care about the fever. But over a dozen emails, from people I had not even had an email before to let me know their ideas on a topic they knew next to nothing about. We keep the silence, and we enforce the silence.
Linda said not to write on it again, because of the pain it put me through. She did want to have to pick up the pieces, she doesn't want to see me hurt. She remembers the fragility.
I lost my will. But I'm back.
And maybe I will lose some readers, or be hurt or burned again, but I will talk about this, about FSD, about all the things women are supposed to enforce the silence about. And convince others to STOP the silence about it: Neither I nor the women who get clothes from the men’s section (or the men who get clothes from the women’s section - go androgyny, YUM! Okay, terrible clothes for an archer but he is looking good!) want to be a the opposite gender (at least that is the majority – male cross dressing is primarily a heterosexual ritual for reasons I am still trying to figure out – 10% of hetero men do it regularly, (two dudes, deal with it)
almost ALL have done it at least once for some reason - whether sober or otherwise). As for women and crossdressing: we steal everything that might make us look good – your shirt is our sleepshirt, your sweater…MINE NOW! We are crows, if it is shiny, it is mine, if it smells good, it is mine! Mens socks are thicker…mine! I used to buy my shoes in London at a store for gay guys, because it had FAR better selection in better colours (pink, powder blue, a velvet burgandy) for larger feet and wider feet. Hey guys: we saw your tights and high heels in the 18th century to make your ankles look svelte and we have been wearing them ever since, same with the eyeliner we stole in Egypt. And the corsets to keep a gentleman slim in 1895-1910 have become the underlining of today’s goth girl corsets.
Sorry, clothes…got distracted.
Okay, research done, articles being written, now time for kittens and cats. Oh geez, out of room kinda. Um, I hope more tomorrow if the fever isn’t back, but this here is Oreo, a black and white cute little cat that likes me, hates all other cats and isn’t too fond of Linda. Also my purple Skelanimal top which I like a lot because it helps show off my…um, kittens? Oh, the reason that Oreo isn’t fond of anyone else is a territory issue. You see, Oreo walked into my lap and made herself comfortable. She rode everywhere with me, the only problem is that every time I got her off, she would just figure a way to step back on as I wheeled past something. When she got on the first time I said, “Oh, do you want me to be your owner?”
As you can see by the look she is giving Linda, I got that relationship wrong, as she is saying, “This is MY property, back off!” But still a very good lap cat and 10 years old, though she looks much younger.
There were also two twins, the one in black is the dominant one, female and is bigger (and a bit of a bully). They need to be adopted together. Alex, the boy, was very, very cute and inquisitive, but we could only see him while throwing treats to the back of the area. Here Alex is very interested in the Camera.
Very, very interested.
Okay, that was your ‘AWWW!” moment. Back tomorrow with some lighter stuff I hope. With all the noise, earth shaking and heavy equipment so close it is hard to maintain my health and my state of mind.
For those of us who have hard to diagnose diseases, how often has the ego of the doctor been of more importance than our well being? How often has what they ‘feel’ been our commands? Now try to imagine living 15 years ago, pre-google (yes, I know, PRE-google?), and before genetic testing was available and imagine what it would be like to see those doctors 2 hours after the birth of your child. Imagine being a child and having five or more of those doctors telling you what to do, what to think, how to act, and how often to come and be touched by them, from earliest memory. Imagine pictures of you, your genitals being passed around at conferences, being taken against your will, at four, at six, at 12. Never get between a doctor and his ego, his paper, his publication, his test theory.
Without diversity, there would be no wonder in the universe.
I'll let you in on a secret: Women fart. Linda doesn’t of course, but OTHER women. Women can have PMS so bad, or mood swings from it so violent they scared me (how can a woman that small scream so much!?). And women can miss a period while hetero partner is away without it being a virgin birth. Oh yeah, and some of us women have little mustaches, and some of us have fuzz, and some of us have lots and lots of black hair all over, and big sideburns. And we are still loving and lovable.
6 hours ago