Gender Is Not Black & White But A Color WheelYesterday, Tracie put up a video of former Top Model contestant Clark saying ignorant crap about fellow transgender contestant Isis. Clark's argument was basically that God doesn't make mistakes, and so Isis changing her biological gender was going against God. I wonder what Miss Clark would have to say about the intersex, which according to The Smart Set, "is the word used to describe people born with physical traits both masculine and feminine, or with gender variations like Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) or Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (PAIS)." It's also part of the title of a new book by Thea Hillman, called Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word).According to Smart Set's Jessa Crispin (of Book Slut fame):
In her collection of short autobiographical pieces, Hillman recounts a youth in and out of doctor's offices, her parents' acceptance of her coming out as gay, and her later involvement with intersex activism. After a lifetime of regulating her gender with hormones, she begins to wonder, what are the costs, and what are the benefits? My whole life, my CAH has been discussed as a health problem. But now I realize it's a sex problem as well. To what degree have I taken medication to maintain girl chemistry, to attain girl attributes and keep boy ones suppressed? To what degree have doctors done this, and in what ways have I become complicit? My medication suppresses the overproduction of 17 hydroxy progesterone, a precursor to testosterone. What else is being suppressed?
For people, like Clark, who see gender as black and white, this sort of complex thinking could seriously make their heads explode. As Jessa perceptively notes, not only is the portrayal of gender a spectrum, but biological sex is a spectrum as well. Crispin also mentions "Martine Rothblatt's idea of gender being a color wheel. The three primaries are "activeness (or aggression), passiveness (or nurturing), and eroticism (or sex drive)." The three elements blend together and create your specific color, which can change and blend." I think my gender is a mauve today; maybe it will be a lavender tomorrow. Let's Talk About Sex [The Smart Set] Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word) Earlier: Tyra: Isis Faces Off With "Strong Christian" Clark