A Space for Intersexuality Essay

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A Space for Intersexuality

In the video Hermaphrodites Speak, many of the individuals present stated that they felt something was missing and wished to convey to others that the surgery is unnecessary and a violation of their bodies, that something is now missing from their lives. In my paper, I will be looking at the circumstances and policies surrounding the birth reassignment surgery to which they are referring. In addition, I want to examine how this relates to our need for categories, specifically the gender categories of male and female. Why is it that we need to perform surgery on babies with ambiguous genitalia in order to somehow make them fit into these black and white gender categories? What would be the consequences of
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As a noun, a hermaphrodite is defined as: 1. A human being, or one of the higher animals, in which parts characteristic of both sexes are to some extent (really or apparently) combined. (Formerly supposed to occur normally in some races of men and beasts; but now regarded only as a monstrosity.) b. an effeminate man or virile woman. c. A catamite (a boy kept for unnatural purposes). As an adjective, a hermaphrodite is defined as: 1. Of men or beasts: Having parts belonging to both sexes (really or apparently) combined in the same individual.

My dictionary search led me to make several interesting discoveries and serves to illustrate a point about how intersexuality is viewed in society. The first discovery was that intersexual as a noun has yet to gain its own place in our language, that it is still unworthy of having its own place in the dictionary. My interpretation of its inclusion as a noun under that of the adjective is that to be an intersexual is to be one without acceptability, without agency, that even the dictionary has yet to welcome the presence of intersexuals as subjects. It was surprising and disturbing to see that the word "monstrosity" was a part of the definition for hermaphrodite. The fact that the human race had once recognized intersexuality as occurring normally and now considers it a monstrosity seemed to demonstrate to me that we are indeed regressing. The

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