At the forefront of all human rights in the world today, before we could even be scandalised by how blatantly religious leaders speak against and bully gays, lesbians and transgenders, would be women rights. In a way these battles for recognition of the most basic human rights are very similar. The first step to address the issue is for religious leaders to change their discourse and embrace all human beings for who they are on an equal basis. Pope Benedict XVI, please lead the rest of Christianity into the new millennium, embrace all human rights! After all, Jesus Christ never talked against a third gender.
I cannot remember if at an early age I stopped myself and asked the question: why are there two sexes on this planet? I believe I must simply have taken it all for granted. There were men and women, in the animal world there were males and females, even flowers have some sort of two sexes. Makes you wonder about rocks.
In French “une roche” is feminine and “un rock” is masculine. The difference being that the first one is usually small, while the latter is much larger. In English a rock is neither masculine nor feminine, it can be as small or as large as your imagination will command.
Recently at work I was asked why the French language and other languages bothered with assigning masculine and feminine to every single object and noun in existence. Good question. And there is logic to it. If the object can contain something it is usually feminine, like a house, a car, a spoonful or even and most especially pregnant women. My answer was that I didn’t know why we bothered with masculine and feminine for objects.
However it makes the language richer, and I can play on words when writing in French, referring to a tree when in fact I am talking about a male lover. It makes it possible for me to fall in love with something masculine which is not a man. I have no idea how these particular books will be translated into English. You see, in my literary life there was a time when I was still a closeted gay man. Today you would have a hard time shutting me up.
I don’t remember asking why there were two sexes early on in my existence, but I can tell you exactly when I realised that I was attracted to men whilst the rest of my gender was interested in the other sex. I was four years old, it was the end of winter, I would guess April 1976. I was playing doctor with my neighbour called Andrew, like most children do when they’re young, often with the same sex. It is part of the natural development of children, I suppose they all at that age discover their sexuality (I learnt that in a sociology class in college). If you didn’t play doctor when you were young I guess you are abnormal and probably you are still neurotic to this day, because I never met someone who didn’t play doctor with their neighbours at an early age.
Anyway, one day I told Andrew that I was also playing doctor with the girls next door, and when I asked him if we should invite them to play with us, he was so pleased that it puzzled me, because I only liked playing doctor with him. I faked a phone call to one of the girls that day and told Andrew she wasn’t there. At four years old my perception of life was forever changed, I was different, I was weird, I was queer. Even then I knew somehow it was something I could not tell anyone.
As a gay person myself, being a man only interested sexually in men, I could have wondered why we needed women in the first place. I certainly couldn’t see a reason for them to exist in my life, I had no interest in any of them. A lesbian could think the same about men, I have met a few in my days who hated men so openly, it frightened me. It is rare though that I have met a gay man hating women, quite the contrary. I have to say that I don’t really mind, I just accepted it, there were two sexes, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Of course everyone will tell you why there are two sexes, for reproduction, the survival of the species. Isn’t that obvious? So obvious, how dare I ask the question? My answer is that it is not so obvious. Some animal species and plants self-reproduce, hermaphrodite is the term, or even intersex in humans. So why should there be a need for two sexes for reproduction purposes? And why two sexes instead of three or four?
Perhaps there is a parallel universe out there where there is only one sex, where an individual can reproduce on its own. In other parallel universes, maybe you need an orgy with at least five different sexes in order to lay a huge heavily fertilised egg right in the middle that will bring about a new monster to the world.
I have to say that trying to explain biology, and why it is like this and not like that, is exactly like trying to explain this universe. Why are there planets, and galaxies, and electrons? Maybe I was right at an early age not to wonder about why there were two sexes, there is no answer to it.
Interestingly in robotics and nanotechnology, they are trying to create some sort of self-reproducing machine at a very small scale. I remember reading that they needed to ensure that the self-reproduction process could be stopped, or else whatever is self-reproducing could quickly take over the universe. The need for two sexes might prevent a self-reproductive species from taking over the world.
Apparently many animals can spontaneously change sex in their lifetime, even though they can only be of one sex at one given time. A man can be turned into a woman quite easily these days. Get rid of the penis, inverse the skin, provide hormonal pills and there you are, new breasts and a new vagina without the reproductive organs. So biologically, even though women and men can look the same, there are still anatomical differences.
In social life in history there were matriarchal and patriarchal societies. However matriarchal societies don’t seem to have gained much popularity in recent years. Even though in history men were physically stronger, which might begin to explain why they were mostly always in power whilst inspiring fear around, as society developed in time intelligence became perhaps more of a factor in deciding authority, in the Western world anyway. I believe somehow this is a fair statement?
I don’t think I ever thought in my youth that women could be less intelligent than men, contrary to what was thought for a very long time on this planet and still is in a large percentage of the population. I even thought as I grew older that women could be more intelligent than men. I believe now that statistically there may not be much difference. I always thought that gay people were more intelligent than most, I could also be wrong on that one.
The struggle for women to gain rights is very similar to the struggle gay people have to endure. You probably would disagree with me on this, like you will probably disagree with most of what I write. I’m used to it by now, everyone seems to think differently than I. I wonder why it took so long for women in the West to gain the same rights as men. With half the population as an army, why has it been so long in coming? Two world wars were necessary to change a few things, because then women needed to join in the effort of making ammunition and bombs, most men were needed on the front or were already dead by then.
I’ve been known in some of my previous books to be quite the feminist, but also quite misogynist. It was irony of course, my misogyny has always been in reality feminism, in order to make a point about who we are. My feminist colleague today at work asked me how a man could be feminist. Good question.
Are you not bothered when you witness any kind of discrimination in this world? Don’t you have some sort of conscience telling you that there should be fairness and justice for everyone on this planet? Or who are you, and do you deserve the title of being a human being, no matter your gender or religious background? Do we even need you in our society, the society of the future, if we wish to live in peace within a fair world for everyone? Or are you a relic of the past, living by the rules of the Old Testament which can only lead to a permanent state of war? Do you wish to be forever at war, forever alienating half the population of the planet?
There is something that supersedes religious law, it is the law. You better read again the Constitution, written or not, the International Bill of Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Because if you cannot reach the right conclusion on your own, one day you may face charges, you may be accused of crimes against humanity.
I am a law abiding citizen of the world, are you? And whatever your attempts to change any constitution, any bill of rights or any human rights charter, it should only be met by failure. It took us that long to gain those rights, we will not lose them now without the fight of the millennium. One way or another, no matter what might float in your outdated brain, we will not go back to the dark ages. So you better update yourself, readjust your position, and change your discourse. It could make quite a difference in the world, whilst preventing you and your religion from becoming ever more archaic and out of place in our society.
Should we just be uneasy about some of your questionable philosophies of life, or should we reject you outright? We will let you think about it. There may come a time when religion will no longer be acceptable in our society, and we’re close to reaching that point, if you continue to diverge from international laws the way you do. Get the message, discrimination of any kind is not to be tolerated any longer.
I don’t feel like I am man, but I don’t feel like I am a woman either. I can share traits with both sexes, perhaps I have the best of both sexes, or the worst depending on the viewpoint. I am perhaps a bit too emotional, it turned out in time that many heterosexual men are more emotional than I am. I have also met women with less emotions than you would have thought possible. Quite often we act very much like we believe people think we should react. It no longer applies nowadays. We can all be as emotional or emotionless as we want, no matter our gender. I suppose it is a good thing.
If I had created this world, I don’t think I would have thought of creating two sexes in order to permit reproduction. I would have gone for hermaphrodites, intersex and self-reproduction. I would even have gone for spontaneous generation of life out of nothing, instead of this idea of needing life to create life.
Many people believe, since Pasteur proved it, that life cannot be created spontaneously out of non-living matter. They claim that there must be a God with supernatural powers, or else, how would you explain how the first cell came into being? Very good, but what about God? Was he spontaneously created out of nothing? Spontaneous generation of Gods in some other weird realm of existence outside our universe? It is all opened for debate.
So God here does not stand as an argument or explanation as to how life appeared in this world. We still have no clue about how life came to be in the first place, and why there are generally speaking two sexes with a string of anomalies in between, which are also part of nature since they exist in nature in large numbers. What, God could make mistakes? I say all mistakes were intended, for some unknown purpose. What is in nature belongs to nature, it is natural. How can it be otherwise since it is within nature? Women cannot be a mistake of God, can they? Should we ask Alanis Morissette that question and see the answer we get? Fasten your seatbelt and brace for impact, we’re about to crash.
I am also surprised as to how women could have gone so low in history, to virtually be the slaves of men for so long. I could not have thought of that on my own, growing by myself without any teaching or example, and suddenly come across women later on and decide that they were inferior to men. Then again, I am not a real man, and so perhaps I cannot understand the instincts of real men. Maybe for them it is only natural and logical that women should be inferior, and only through the force of law can they be made to understand that it cannot be this way, because half the world at least will not stand such an idea.
In fact, growing up with my sister who is 3 to 4 years older than I am, and being much more powerful physically than I was for many years, I could have thought that women were born to rule over men, men being destined to be their eternal slaves. I have been beaten up by my sister for long enough to have thought that, if society had not told me otherwise eventually.
When I was a child, I was always potentially afraid of other boys, but I was never afraid of a girl. It is also true that I have been bullied by many boys, but never by a girl. I have seen many girl bullies bullying other girls though, so it is all the same isn’t it. In my adult life I have witnessed bullies of both sexes, and they were bullying males and females without discrimination.
Brute force is the law, how big you are, how powerful you are, you are the winner, you are the leader. In politics, in the work environment, in any couple, the one who runs the house is often the most intelligent one, the one being the most knowledgeable, or even often the most physically powerful one capable of intimidating the others. Could be a man or a woman.
So where does this lead to, these simple observations about sexes? Women in the world still have a long way to go, because globally they are still way behind men when comes the time for emancipation, human rights and power. What women have gain today in the West, just like for gay rights, they could also lose again eventually.
When it comes to human rights it is never forever granted, it is only always on loan, and stripped away as soon as some bullies see an opportunity to do so. It is a constant battle. Women are usually more religious than men, and yet, religion is very much for reiterating women as what is called, in religious terms, the weaker sex. Fighting religion might be a starting point for women to gain more rights, just as it is for gay people.
I find it weird that there are two sexes in this world. I cannot explain why there was a need for two sexes for procreation to exist, whether there was a creation or an evolution, or both. I am puzzled by the idea that sexes could be considered not equalled just because one sex can be more physically threatening than the other. I am surprised women worldwide are still struggling hard to gain any sort of rights.
I cannot explain why I am gay, attracted to the same sex as mine, though I know I was born that way and science at least appears to have verified that point. It seems natural, since in the animal kingdom homosexuality is also common. Perhaps it is just one more way of controlling the overpopulation, by having a certain percentage attracted only to the same sex.
These damn biological functions that caused me so much trouble in my youth, and still today. Sometimes I wish there were no sexes, males or females or gay people or transgenders. How nice would that be? No discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. No half of the population serving as slave to the other half for centuries. No sex and all the related problems that these out of control biological and sexual urges can cause.
Imagine a world without gender or sex. Just all the same sort, all identical, all capable of self-reproducing without the need from someone of the opposite sex. I wonder what kind of world that would be. Like a world where everyone would be the same colour. Why not be multi-colours, as many colours as certain animal species are, like marine fish and birds for example? If humans were all identical, there would be no racial problem. A world without discrimination. That would be something worth living for, or would it?
We would all be the same, conformists to the max. I don’t know about you, but I like my aquarium to reflect all the colours the human eye can see. Everyone just love a universal rainbow flag crossing all boundaries and all nationalities, right? Or are you colour blind? Black has always been my favourite colour, many cannot see the black colour, I’ve always wondered why, it makes absolutely no sense does it?
If there was a creation, this is where God failed miserably. No sexes, no different races based on skin colour, and then we would only have to deal with the other sorts of discriminations. For example, are you stronger or weaker than I am? Were you born here or there? Are you more or less intelligent than I am? How rich and powerful is your family? How beautiful and young are you?
I guess there will always be discrimination for as long as we can compare ourselves to others. I wonder if God could have done it right no matter what he could have come up with. But two sexes was definitely a huge mistake, an obvious one at that, unless the only reason was to limit the reproduction process somehow so we do not take over the universe any time soon. For the overpopulated planet however, I’m afraid it is too late.
“Without irony, this life would hardly be worth living.”