Nne Fausto-Sterling: Many Sexes? (responses)

For the posts below write two individual responses. Write about the topic and your opinion on the issue. In the responses do not write harsh criticism regarding the writers writing or paraphrase the posts.


The posts responded to the assignment below:
It is important to realize that Anne Fausto-Sterling s article was a piece that evolved over time and, accordingly, contains terminology that was evolving and has evolved since she wrote it. The original article she refers to was written in 1993, the article you read was written in 2000, and we are now in 2014. She used  transsexual alongside  transgender, talks about the difference in philosophy between the two terms and the people who use them, and the history behind that. Were she to do another update on her philosophy today, she would doubtless use the terms that have come to be acceptable and current.
That said, Fausto  Sterling puts forward several important questions. The first is how the medical community treats intersex children, and it s interesting to note that her advocated approach has since become the standard for intersex children and their families. The second is whether we can make room for greater sexual variation. Her contention is that someone going through a full sexual transition (from male to female or vice versa), a person historically called a transsexual, only reinforced the idea of two biological sexes. The transgender community, on the other hand, accepts a great deal of variation in genitals and biological status  some people go through a full transition, while others do not; some use hormones, while others do not. Some members of the transgender community would even argue that gender fluid and genderqueer people are part of the transgender umbrella  they don t necessarily feel they have the wrong body, but their gender expression does not conform to traditional male and female categories and behaviors.
What she is ultimately asking is whether the medical community can change their theories and practices to accommodate greater biological variation of sex, and whether our society as a whole can possibly come up with a gender system that moves beyond male and female gender, whether we can or should come up with new categories or new ways of thinking about gender behavior. She gives examples of the dangers inherent in life for people whose biological sex and mental gender or gender expression don t match, and offers alternate methods of categorizing gender, ones with many more options than our current system.
How far have we come along the road she envisions, do you think? Have questions about intersex and transgender people widened our ideas about gender in society as a whole? How did you feel about the cases she cited where intersex and transgender people have adapted their relationships, or where they have found themselves in court because society says they don t  fit the definition of a biological male or female? Has the legality of same-sex marriages started to open up possibilities for transgender people as well? Do you think we need a system that gives us  many sexes, or should we simply allow each person the right to define their own sex and gender? Do we need a set of common terms, or can we allow sex and gender to become completely individualized?
If you were to create some new terms for biological sexes or gender identities, what would they be? Get creative! What kind of new categories can you come up with, based on people you know and people you ve met?


Post One
I think we have come a very long way since she created her view on gender, but we are still not quite where she thinks we can be. I think that ideas about transgender and intersex individuals have widened but isn t quite accepted to most people yet. I feel a lot of sympathy for these individuals that found themselves in court or discriminated against because of this, I just feel like these people just scare people because people aren t ready for it yet, just like how people are recently accepting gay rights, and I think the biological man or woman isn t what we have in our idea we have. I think same sex marriages is the beginning, and it will eventually lead to opportunities for transgender to be or open, and it be accepted. I think someone s sex should be their own decision, and whatever type of person they feel like is what they should be known as. I think the easiest way is to have sex individualized, and just have everyone decide themselves.
I think the evolution of the human race could be heading in a asexual direction where another mate isn t required for sexual reproduction, I think this would be a very hard concept for people to become comfortable with.


Post Two
FaustoSterling put forward several important questions. The first is how the medical community treats intersex children. The second is whether we can make room for greater sexual variation. The transgender community, on the other hand, accepts a great deal of variation, in genitals and biological status. Some people go through a full transition. I think we have come a long way. Society is being way more accepting and people are not afraid to be who they are. I think societys idea of gender has been broadened. Now there are multiple sexes and genders. Thomas Hall appeared in court claiming to be both a man and a woman. Because civil courts expected ones dress to signify ones sex; the examiner declared Thomas was a woman and ordered her to wear womens clothing.(Kolmar & Bartkowski, 2013). I thought this was just ridiculous. It should not matter what gender a person is. It is up to the person what they want to consider themselves as. Yes, I think with the openings of same sex marriage it will only be a matter of time before the legality of transgender people comes up. Society has become more accepting and our minds are more open. We should allow each person to determine their own sex and gender. It should not be up to anyone else to define it for them. I believe sex and gender should be individualized. Everyone should mind their own business and not be worried about everyone else. I think we should have the option of Many sexesbut it should be individualized. Everyone is different and has their own preferences and I think we should respect that. Society changing is a beautiful thing, it allows people to be who they are without judgment. I hope one day we can get to the point where the world is judgment free.
New terms for biological sexes or gender identities:
Beach Blonde Barbie (girlie girl)
Ken (Manly man)
Mates (Man and girl couple)
Mantrimony (Manman relationship)
Chickship (womanwoman relationship)
Kolmar, W. & Bartkowski, F. (2013). Feminist Theory (4th ed.). New York, NY: The McGrawHill companies