Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's a Boy! Gender and Sex

The room is poorly lit and humid. Kimeisha lies on the bed, legs spread, panting heavily. The midwife hovers over her, insisting that she remain calm, for increased apprehension will make the process more difficult. She manages to inhale enough air to push feebly. Her energies are spent. "Again...Push! Puuuush! Puuuush! I see th...there we go!”



(without hesitation)

"It's a BOY!"


A day later



It’s a boy, so give Aunt Donnette all the pink and yellow chemises for her daughter. Oral wont need them, of course. “He’s so cute. All the girls ago rush im. Den nurse, a how fi im likkle buddy big so? Dat normal? Heh! Like father like son.


2 years later



Oral cries constantly (…who knew babies do that). His mother snatched the ball away from him, because “im ramp tumoch! Tap di bawlin to man…yaa gyal pikni?”


1 year later



“Gwaan go play wid Stefani, shi pretty. Man fi lov ooman. Yu si how shi sexy? Watch yaaaaa… a di real man dis yuno. Watch how im whole on pan ar frack tail. Big op Oral! A my bwoy dat.” (The mother smiles proudly)


***



Gender. So much of our understanding of the term is based on cultural practice, yet we consider gender roles to be essential. From the moment we are born, we are typecast into roles that we have no choice in shaping. All men wear blue, because men are the same. And all girls wear pink, because girls are the same. Personality traits are irrelevant to this. By virtue of one's having a penis, or a vagina, they are bonded to all others with the same sexual organ.

There will be effeminate boys and masculine girls, but dealing with them is easy. All we need is for them to fit the gender binary we have created. Each time they exhibit tendencies considered to be typical of the opposite gender, we must chastise them. Forget the potential hurt your insensitive words might inflict. This is for their own good.

So gender benders get ridiculed...so long as they choose to defy the norm. Their only escape is reformation, migration, or slaughter.

You choose. Because obviously your sexuality is a choice. You decide which of the escape routes best appeals to you...



Will societies ever learn that gender and sexuality are not as rigid as they would like it to be? I doubt it. Surely it is easier to assume that everyone belongs to one of two distinct gender descriptions. And surely, a homosexual individual who might not identify with the stereotypes of "their gender" will contribute to social chaos and anarchy. God forbid "normal people" be influenced to engage in homoerotic activity. We don't want you here...I am normal, why can't you be?



I have managed to suppress aspects of my personality that society deems objectionable- why can't you?

You disturb my Christian sensibilities...

You disgraceful excuse for a human being...why would you ahhh! I don't understand you. I want nothing to do with you.

You cannot be my friend anymore. You are no longer my child. You aren't even a citizen of this country. Go away, to debased societies where you can be appreciated. No here...not Jamaica.

FINE!

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