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Monday, November 1, 2010

A mockery of humanity: An Insane Prejudice.

“ we are not sinners, give us the space to live”

In a country which proclaims equality, where the genders fight for their identity, there is one gender that remains invisible, unknown yet known, known yet neglected -intersexuals.

Of all the causes we could be associated with, here is one that can make at least some of us, at least, whimper inside. The truth that Intersexuals, or whatever fancy name we attach to them, are as human as you or the authors, is not exactly something easy to digest.

I recently heard someone talking about how many of us have had to part with hard earned money because some intersexuals were our companions in a train compartment. It was a speech about how life of the common man will be cleared off the nuisance posed by intersexuals. He was naïve enough to wonder aloud why they didn’t work decently for a living. What he didn’t say out aloud was that we’re the reasons why the intersexuals amongst us cannot work decently for a living.

How many of us will give an intersexual a job in our offices without any prejudice? Will we not avert our eyes or stare at them every time they pass by? Will we not worry about responses when we’re seen out in public with people of the aforesaid label?

We are the ones who made them what they are today; we are the ones who treat them as abnormal, the ones that have taken away their right to normality. Do we not educate our children of “freaks”?

Here is another food for thought. What guarantee do any of us have that the child from our loins will be “normal”? We don’t know yet if the child/children would be male or female, but what if they were neither? It is frightening, is it not? Yet we continue to shun them, continue to steal from them, their education, their life, through petty distinctions.

The author once got drunk, with a person who was a intersexual. The way the voice shook, and the light in his eyes while he said this, will haunt me for a long time.

“I am not sure if there is God. But for us God is in the form of people who will see us as himself.”

And I thought to myself, “Tat Tvam Asi.” This person quotes from his experience the greatest of verses that I myself have ever learned from the books. Where would he be if he were given access to the opportunities of knowledge that have been presented to me?”

Such scenarios portrays the traumatic rejection when intersexuality is brought to light in a culture which insists on believing that sexual differentiation is a separation among male and female conceived of ,that they are so different as to be nearly different species. However, developmental embryology, as well as the existence of intersexuals, proves this to be a cultural construction. Genitals may be intermediate in form between the male and the female pattern.

At least one in a few thousand people are born with a body which violates the dualism of "male" and "female" strongly enough to place them at serious risk of parental rejection, stigmatization, often harmful medical interventions, and the emotional pain of secrecy, shame, and isolation.
Let’s go general again.

All the minority societies get quotas and reservations and the minority of intersexuals get nothing but a license to be on the streets and beg. Where are the schools that will take them in? Where are workplaces for them? Where are Orphanages? Where are the opportunities for them?

We talk about the ones who demand money from us in day light but what about those who are forced into prostitution, molested and raped in the blanket of night!! Yes, the so-called-normal-people do that…

What does that make us? We’re not fit to be called normal as they’re not fit to be called abnormal. Normal is one who is rational. A prejudice like this is definitely far from rational.

Intersexuals are rejected even a gender identity. When there can be two genders- male and female, then why not a third gender, a gender where they can say I AM! A gender they can confidently tick in the checkboxes not being confused of which one to tick-male or female, because they are neither yet are uniquely both!

I mock thine faith that talks of “ArdhaNarishwara.” The one in the tiger’s skin, in all his might gets worshipped for his duality of sexes. What of the ones in flesh and blood? All we the so-called normal people do is exploit them, take advantage of their position or shun them. Let alone time, how many times have we seen ourselves in their shoes and empathized?

I write out of shame. My words are born from my lack of empathy in the past. Where I’ve stood by causes, I’ve never associated myself with the transsexuals or intersexuals.

How many of us have wondered where they stay? There is yet another group, who dress up like intersexuals and pester the public for money. (The sad state of having to see their vital body parts if we’re not to part with our money.

Now that is democracy!! People stay away from you and say we are one. I’ll make them flush out their pockets and make money. I don’t care how I make it even if I exploit my fellow beings sad state of societal separation. We, the normal people (Understatement of the century!) exploit their cursed identity so we can make some money for ourselves and well, who cares if they can’t beg again?

I generalize these things because the reason that they have this fate is not just because of the ones who’ve wished them ill. It’s also because of you and me, the ones who’ve never even thought about it, let alone do something about it.

Our constitution provides right to life and education to all, irrespective of cast, creed and GENDER. When nature has created a unique form of human being, who are we to reject them the right to live peacefully among us? Who are we to shun them? We do preach equality but do we actually practice it in its true essence? Having been born an intersexual is not a sin, but shunning them is one! They were born the way we were, born with the same hopes and the same wonderment in the eyes looking at the new world; they never knew that this world would not greet them with warmth! Let us at least let them LIVE if not provide or help!

The author is one among you. If you can associate yourselves to these words, then I’m you.

‘ Aham Tvaam Asmi’


  1. arjun, good article. i'd like to know wat the immediate provocation was..!

  2. c this: http://ramlipin.blogspot.com/

  3. It was not an immediate provocation..we felt that it was one topic we tend to ignore..so just tried to bring it forth!!

  4. nice way of bringing attention of ppl to this issue.
    i quote if " There is yet another group, who dress up like intersexuals and pester the public for money. " if this category were to be removed or educated abt the condition of the transexuals it wud be a better place for the transexuals

  5. Yes, Anandu. Precisely. This prejudice can be eradicated, only if that sect of people are removed.
    That, and education against silly prejudices, are the only hope.
    The prejudice is too deep rooted to be easily removed. But Insha Allah, Time will give them justice.

  6. @ lipin: no grave n abrupt things provoked me to post this article. First of all this article is not crafted by me...

    kudos to the authors.....

    the last line is important "The author is one among you. If you can associate yourselves to these words, then I’m you.
    ‘ Aham Tvaam Asmi’"
    I too believe its a serious issue worth pondring n they2 have an equal right to share the common space as we do without discrimination.
    I agree with ANANTHU N Gkris....the prejudices can be eradicated. lets stop branding them as sources of horror and disgust.

    Other cultures have dealt differently with such people than, sort of, modern America. Back in early American History we first learn that the native and indigenous people here identified some of their members as two-spirit and those people were often revered as having a great insight into humanity because they embodied both male and female aspects.

  7. for a single moment just imagine if we were just one among them .... it's then that we truly realize that they are the one's who are truly braver than us because they are the one's who truly struggle to live against the bigger odds ... 'the real struggle'... mere sympathizing won't help ... but better understanding certainly works ...each and every individual definitely owes a moral responsibility for all the social isolation they are facing over the years ... just recollect the number of times we've passed a comment everytime either when we saw them or read about them ....next time before passing yet another sympathetic or rude remark bear it in mind " Nature chooses who will be transgender; individuals don't choose this. " hats off to the author for such a thought provoking article ......

  8. @ arjun..the other cultures are not much different than ours..yes their way of dealing with it is different...they dont reject them education..but their way is worse..they have the power of technology and they mercilessly use it on them..a baby born as an intersexual is immediately transformed to any of the pre-defined sex,generally female..as quoted by a famous physician as to why female(?)..:its better to put a hole than a pole".i find that disgusting!I think they should be accepted the way they are..If u recall Spanish hurdler Maria Patino, failed a gender test in the olympics..she was operated to be a female when she was an infant..and she didnt even know about that!!Evem this is not a wat to deal with intersexuality..how do u know whether the child shall be pshycologically more male or female..this shall rather put them in a state of transexuality..Literally we the so called normal people are putting them from trouble to more trouble..

    But i guess things are changing slightly atleast in the upper profile(not much though).I met with a gang of friends one of them an intersexual..i appreciate that group for the acceptance they gave her. I wish all of us could be that broad

  9. a good article on intersexuality..facts rather


  10. Nice one.. Gopi..
    These people are actually sidelined for centuries. I think we can pick instances from our epics even. The social injustice and unequal treatment towards them was there from olden days. The roots are there in the societal mindset itself. No doubt it should be changed and irradiated. To live here and enjoy all that we do is their birth right.. But the fact is that it is again a time consuming process like any other societal change.

  11. I agree with gopi on the point that this prejudice can be eradicated, only if that sect of people are removed. The depth to which it has grown is a bit too strong to be removed quite easily. Hope justice is done at the earliest ...