I've talked about Intersexed on this blog several times, primarily because one of the major characters in my novel Wild Child is Intersexed. In her case she has Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). The degree of virilization (or masculinization) can be measured using the Prader scale (which I have already discussed). This information tends to be hidden because of the Judeo-Christian aversion to sex and sexual organs. I do not support this attitude and believe in informing people of the complex reality of human sexuality. So, in the spirit of openness here is a very clear photo of a young Indian [...]
I haven't seen this, but it looks incroyable. Tomboy tells the story of a girl who decides to masquerade as a boy. The young actress, Zoe Heran, who plays the tomboy Michael, does an extraordinary job and has received high praise. Of course, given the Anglophone sexualisation of prepubescent girl's chests, it is refreshing to see the freedom given to Michael, because she is male, to run around topless. There is a scene where she puts on a pair of red boy's bathers and uses plasticine to create a fake penis and yes, she looks like a boy. Of course [...]
Or is she? This one is a bit odd because some have questioned if Shotaro (nikumanguitar) is really a male who enjoys female cosplay. The controversy was sparked by the fact that Shotaro first posted her clips without showing her face, then she wore a surgical mask to hide her features. Weird. Anyway, her more recent clips show her (or his) face. I'm also fascinated because she chooses a fashion style called Loli-Goth (see here). So here it is, kawaii shredding (transexual or otherwise). I can't say I'm a fan of her style though. It's very cold and technical. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqYpeULHffU&list=PLA7F75B2FF6A42E29&index=1 [...]
Despite recent advances in the West, people with ambiguous gender identity still find themselves on the margins of society. Not so in Japan. There they can become popular and successful. The Japanese have a curious name for the transgendered - nyuhafu or newhalf (I don't know the etymology of the word). Most of the nyuhafu seem to be transgendered but no doubt some are intersex. Here are two of the more well known.
We've been lied to - things have been kept hidden. All to serve the prejudices of the Judeo-Christians. These things weren't hidden in other cultures, in fact they were celebrated - for example the Native American berdache or two-spiritpeople. I was taught that gender was determined by chromosomes: xy you were male, xx you were female. What they didn't tell me, what was never spoken about openly, was that up until around 3 months inutero, male and female genitals look the same. Both male and female genitals are made from the same cells. The presence of the SRY gene [...]
Bought a fascinating book yesterday, Sex and the Floating World by Timon Screech. It's a detailed, academic look at sexuality during the Edo period. Lots of interesting detail about erotic symbolism and sexual manners. It also provides a valuable contrast to Western assumptions. The author says that sexuality during the Edo period was a kind of fluid bisexuality. Both men and women could and often did, take same sex lovers. Indeed, homosexual relations were common and even institutionalised in some circumstances. 'Heterosexual' and 'homosexual' were not fixed, distinct human types, rather they were understood as activities. We could say the [...]
One of the characters in my novel Wild Child is the brilliant Korean violinist Boi. Boi is Intersex and androgynous. I made her Korean because, despite its deeply conservative culture, it seems to have a fascination with androgyny and gender ambiguity. One of its more famous singers/models is Harisu. She was born male and underwent gender assignment surgery. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8COg0jniJs
Delusions of Gender is the title of a new book by Dr Cordelia Fine. It challenges the current theories that gender differences are hardwired. The evidence from anthropology is that gender is largely defined by culture. Fine argues that some of the 'science' has fallen into the old trap of recapitulating cultural beliefs. She also argues that girls are taught from a very early age to suppress their abilities. For an excellent overview look here.