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You are the Light of the World

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  • fullgender
    Gentlepersons: I am sorting through the issues of androgyny via reading Carolyn Heilbrun s classic, Toward a Recognition of Androgyny. On the specifics of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2002
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      I am sorting through the issues of androgyny via reading Carolyn
      Heilbrun's classic, "Toward a Recognition of Androgyny."

      On the specifics of gender, I have maintained that I was 3rd-Gender
      for some time. Yet, when I read a book that was comparison study of
      the Great Apes and male violence, called "Demonic Males," I realized
      that my profile was rather typical for male behavior--for a male
      bonobo ape. Simply put, I was rather profoundly bisexual, deeply
      attached to my mother, totally alienated from the chimp/human concept
      of forming male-dominated aggressive power groups, absolutely
      incapable of rape, or any sex that was not consensual and encouraged
      by my partner, innately non-violent, etc., etc. Humans, chimpanzees,
      and bonobos are the closest of relatives, sharing over 98% of their
      DNA in common, and related to a common ancestor who lived in Africa
      around 7-8 million years ago. But, my point in this is that no matter
      how much more "in-the-middle" bonobos are than humans and chimps (and
      indeed, social heirarchies in bonobos are based on individual worth
      rather than upon Patriarchy, and female bonobos have so many
      androgens that they have a phalloclit which they rub together in face-
      to-face lesbian sex, etc., etc.), there is still a significant
      difference between male and female bonobos. In other words, there
      will probably always be room for androgyny, unless we are somehow
      able to genetically construct a race of breeding hermaphrodites.

      And this brings me back to Heilbrun. Her book was written mostly in
      the 60's, and published in 1971, so she was greatly inspired by "are
      you a boy or are you a girl" long hair, unisex styles, etc., etc.
      then in vogue. At our present point in history, after such folks as
      Charles Manson and the Hell's Angels, very few folks associate long
      hair in men with androgyny any more. Such social perceptions will
      always be fluid. But, it is very important today, as always, to "move
      to the front" and challenge Patriarchy. Heilbrun argued very
      impressively that androgyny, especially concerning the feminization
      of men, was absolutely intertwined with higher civilization. She did
      not invent this concept, but rather directly related it to the folks
      who formed the Bloomsbury Group in Victorian England. Certainly even
      they did not invent this concept, we see it clearly in ancient
      mythology, such as that pertaining to Kuan Yin. In this regard, it is
      important to differentiate between androgyny that is "between the
      ears" and androgyny that is a matter of public presentation. However,
      the relationship is often a close one, as it should be, and I
      consider the prospect of a world-wide social movement that embraces
      androgyny, as the Peace movement did in the 60's, to be the right
      thing for this world, regardless of whether or not we can ever turn
      the tide of accelerating destruction imposed by "manhood." This male-
      dominated group aggression now seems to qualify as the "greed"
      concept, or even the "original sin" concept I was brought up to
      accept in the Southern Baptist faith. However, unlike the advocates
      of the religion I could never embrace, I do not believe that we are
      all "sinners and unworthy." I believe that many, many people,
      especially the children, are very worthy. And, I believe that it is
      time to stand up, for you are the light of the world.

      Love and Peace,
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