Thursday, May 26, 2016

Personality Ambiguity

There is a very difficult discussion I would like to broach.  Some discussion have easy answers, at least they do when one's politics and belief are aligned with the problem.  Some issues are either black or white, like the issues of voting for a conservative or a liberal when you clearly identify with one or the other of those specific philosophies.  
There are some issues that are much more difficult to ascertain like the issue of womans rights over the rights of the unborn child and it’s one of these types of issues that I want to bring to your attention.  The issue of gender association was to me a black and white issue.  My initial perception was that everyone is either a male or female with no variance allowed for crossover discussions needed.  I based my preliminary opinion on the now faulty genetic predisposition of all newborns being either a boy or a girl and in part upon my own experiences having ten children.  Each of our children were born without any issues about their sexuality and no need for genetic testing to ascertain their true gender identity, that was my experience and so it should have been for all.
I have since learned that 1 in every 1,200 to 1,500 (this number varies wildly depending on the statistics used) but I have decided to use the WHO (World Health Organization figures) babies born are born with an Ambiguous genitalia (Ambiguous genitalia is a birth defect of the sex organs that makes it unclear whether an affected newborn is a girl or boy).  The ambiguity is often very easy to ascertain with some parts much more pronounced than others making the choice by the parent’s fairly straightforward.  For example: a child maybe born having both a vulva and testicles. Associated intersex conditions for male babies include hypospadias, where the urethral opening is located in an unusual position such as the underside of the penis.
Further diagnosis then becomes important and this may include: physical examination hormone tests using blood, urine or both, genetic tests using blood, urine or both, ultrasound scan, x-rays blood tests, genetic testing.  For most of the aforementioned tests, I could not a find a definitive statistic to verify the results.  Most ambiguous genitalia births are easily solved through the use of testing with most children, again no verifiable conclusion, living normal and productive lives.
The issues arise when parents and doctors rely upon feelings and wishes or hopes rather than the science to determine sex.  A mother may wish to have boy and pushes the boundaries of the ambiguity toward her choice rather than the scientific conclusion of genetics.  See the story of Jim Bruce
There are many stories just like this one and it brings to mind the problems associated with making important decisions based on desire.  The parents in this case desired that their child be a girl and had his male parts removed.  There were no genetic tests done at that time and in their defense they did what they thought was prudent but that choice was wrong, at least according to their now identified male son, having come to the conclusion that he always felt like a male.
In tackling the issue of gender identification the desire to be something regardless of the reality of the science has become an issue, not just genetic disposition but an issue of rights and freedom. The rights of choice of an individual vs. the rights of society and the morality of that society.
I can hear the anti-moralist screaming now.  How can you bring morality into it?  How dare you suggest that my choice should somehow be mitigated by society?  “I am what I am” and  “I am what I feel I am”.  If we can simply choose to be what we want to be then why can’t a 45 year old, overweight sexually stifled male decide to be a teenage female and walk into the girl’s locker room? 

Facebook has joined the confusion by listing every gender choice available to date….Agender, Androgyne, Androgynous, Bigender, Cis, Cisgender, Cis Female , Cis Male, Cis Man, Cis Woman, Cisgender Female, Cisgender Male, Cisgender Man, Cisgender Woman, Female to Male, FTM, Gender Fluid, Gender Nonconforming, Gender Questioning, Gender Variant, Genderqueer, Intersex, Male to Female, MTF, Neither, Neutrois…..The list goes on and on.
Despite the complexity of understanding the various choices what does one do when they use the Neither choice?  What does neither mean in this context?
My concern over this overly permissive process is in the long term effects it will have on our society.  Again with the Society….Society in any form is the process of grouping individuals into an agreed convention of behavior.  Some will wish to argue that there is no need for society and that anarchy should be allowed but even those who want too, not belong, will eventually have to associate in order to protect themselves from the brutality that will assuredly develop in the absence of a social order.  
Everyone has the choice to be whomever they wish to be.  There are obvious limitation in opportunity, however there are limitations in wanting to be whatever you want.  I want to be a fighter pilot (not really) but if I did I would have to look at the reality of what it takes to be a fighter pilot. I am too tall, I am too old, I get motion sick way to easy and I doubt if any government or major airline (not that they have guns mounted on their wings) would give me the chance.  But my desire to be a pilot should supersede all else.  I WANT TO BE A PILOT ….I AM A PILOT SO TREAT ME LIKE ONE is simply not realistic.
I want to be a billionaire, or a great artist.  I want to be a woman….or I want to be a man.  We know there are some real issues with a portion of our population and these individuals need our help and our understanding.  Most scientific research agrees that the number of affected children with Gender Ambiguity is closer to 1 in 4500 rather than the W.H.O. 1 in 1200, but the numbers are not the issue  The issue is getting better at determining the predominant sex of an individual and assisting that person to become what they were designed to become.    
Choice is not the issue.  Especially when that choice has social ramifications that will eventually destroy the very fabric of any given society.  I know there are some very small societies that allow for a more permissive life and are to some extent gender neutral but women still are the only ones who give birth and men are needed to inseminate, both sexes are essential and are defined in their distinct roles and those roles will remain distinct and different despite the roles one wants to personally assign themselves.  
If we continue down this road of personal ambiguity the defined lines of gender may be blurred and the roles of men and women may change but nothing will ever change the natural facts that woman bear children and men inseminate.  I don’t want to hear from those women who say they don’t need a man.  They may not need a man but they need men in some capacity in order to be inseminated or adopt from some previous insemination etc….
What will change is the focus of morality and the blurring of a society that supports those most basic, fundamental and natural roles that have been placed on all of us, even for those who start life with some ambiguity the need to be defined is essential not only for the individual but for family and the societies that are built upon those essential family foundations.  If you want to be considered Neutral just remember what the word means ... having no strongly marked or positive characteristics or features. "the tone was neutral, devoid of sentiment"
You may want to consider being nothing of neutral instead, that might make it easier on everyone else who actually see’s you as somebody.

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