The big, block headline in the “Nation & World” section of my local newspaper read: “How To Decide A Person’s Sex?”
Well, that certainly is a puzzler, a nearly existential poser that has baffled and buffaloed the best and brightest of us over many millennia. Philosophers and sages have spent countless ages attempting to unravel this riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. But perhaps there is a key: our species’ self- interest. It cannot be in accordance with natural law and our survival that we don’t readily know nor take our sexes seriously and believe them to be ephemeral and irrelevant.
I’ve got an idea. How about we agree that a female is deemed so because she has breasts and a vagina and therefore can potentially bear and feed children? A male would then be one who has the potential to fertilize the female’s eggs so that she can potentially bear and feed children. Radical, I know, but surely my progressive reputation proceeds me.
If this is not, in fact, the case, then words- and concepts- have no meaning. Why do we call a horse a horse? What differentiates plants from animals? Why do we even try to do so? Is everything solely an artificial construct? How could that be? Why do we distinguish between the elderly and pre-teens? Who does it benefit? (You can bet it is the evil white male capitalists!).
What should it matter if an adult has sex with a child- or a horse? Surely proscriptions against these love choices are just more forms of sexual discrimination perpetrated by uptight, conservative Republican traditionalists.
Fortunately, in the past, our ancestors somehow puzzled out the mystery of male and female and the yin and the yang of the (then only) two sexes. If they hadn’t, we wouldn’t be here.
Progressive? In light of our apparent difficulty distinguishing bad from good and male from female, and in our refusal to recognize these terms as “real” concepts, I suggest that we have regressed.