Change Your World-NOT your Body

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trans-Keeping Gender Norms in Check

First homosexual caveman found

The male body – said to date back to between 2900-2500BC – was discovered buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age.
The skeleton was found in a Prague suburb in the Czech Republic with its head pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic jugs, rituals only previously seen in female graves.
"From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake," said lead archaeologist Kamila Remisova Vesinova.
"Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual," she added.
According to Corded Ware culture which began in the late Stone Age and culminated in the Bronze Age, men were traditionally buried lying on their right side with their heads pointing towards the west, and women on their left sides with their heads pointing towards the east. Both sexes would be put into a crouching position. 

So in the BC age when a male didnt conform to the male gender norms of the day, and instead chose to expand what was right for him in terms of male lovers and personal expression, it was ignorantly presumed he was womanish and treated, at least in this case, the way women were treated in death. Clearly these presumptions are homophobic, and what have we repeatedly established here is the foundation of homophobia, oh yeah, MISOGYNY.

And what happens to our Mr (potential) Homosexual when we fast forward to now? What great "progress" has our technological savvy male medical machine divined to describe a male whose (possible) sexual and or personal expressions fall outside the narrow gender norms still very firmly in place? He's a fag or a tranny!! WOW!!!!!!!!How far we have come! The leaps and bounds science and society have made is astonishing! And for science to conclude this man could have potentially been a "transsexual", illustrates just how deeply woven gender norms are threaded into us all.

The 21st century and things like clothing or behaviour are still dictating sex, the only difference between then and now is technology has advanced far enough to chemical mold and carve today's misfits into monsters of conformity, rather than advance itself to cherish the uniqueness's in all of us which is necessary to change society and each of us, for the better.

dirt

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22 comments:

  1. "So in the BC age when a male didnt conform to the male gender norms of the day, and instead chose to expand what was right for him in terms of male lovers and personal expression,"

    Wait, was he buried with his male lover? Did they find traces of sperm in his stomach? Was he wearing bronze freedom rings or an Abercrombie and Fitch fur underpants? You couldn't have made my point any better. This person's burial was about their gender, not their genitals or their sexual preference. It is quite possible that this ancient culture had an entirely different understanding and acceptance of gender variance. I didn't read anything but speculation relating to sexuality at all, Dirt. You put that in there. You have only given us insight into the way other cultures dealt with gender, and nothing in that burial indicates disrespect for the person, unless you assume THEY had less respect for women. Not all cultures did. Jesus, way to prove our point for us. By the way, your constant attempts to make trans look like the end of humanity seems to be actually driving you insane. Instead of projecting onto ancient cultures, why not take a walk in the sunshine? I assume the weather is relenting there in Detroit pretty soon.

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  2. Perhaps he requested to be burried in this fashion, that wouldn't be unheard of. Check out cultures that aren't western... The Native North Americans had Bodarches and Two Spirited and homosexuals, The Samoans have Fa Fafine which they regard as different then homosexuals, to presume that the dude was just a homosexual as you have is ignorant. He may have been a homosexual.. it's very possible. But there have been documented differences between homosexuals and transgendered thousands of years into the past. Both existed in the BC.. so meh..

    It's one thing to bring forward evidence and encourage discussion - it's another thing to make a presumption and push your view point as truth.

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  3. I agree with the above two posters. Dirt, you're really way out there on this one. From what you've posted, it doesn't say anywhere in the article that the researchers PRESUMED he was homosexual OR transsexual; just that he may have been either one of those. And to buried in a traditional manner, I would think, connotes respect for him, not disrespect - just because the womens' heads faced a different way in burial does not mean that the womens' burials were considered inferior in some way. The article doesn't say anything about that at all.

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  4. bad argument-
    the transexuals are just going to say, 'see, even cavemen were queer!'
    honestly, i don't think anybody can really know what the situation was

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  5. Yeah, it's kind of messed that he would be buried as a woman if he was gay. But that's a big if - like others have said before me, we can't know for sure. But you're right about how society treats effeminate men today - I've known many guys who were wrongly labelled as gay because they were effeminate, artsy, sensitive, etc. And on the flip side, women are often labelled a dyke if they have short hair, a strong personality/presence, etc. I mean hell, I've done it too. I wrongly assumed my strong minded, short haired and suit clad professor was a lesbian until I found otherwise. So, things aren't perfect.

    I'm rambling, what I really wanted to say in regards to this post was, what if the man who was buried as a woman DID identify as female, and WANTED to be buried as such? We can't ever know.

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  6. Anon 6:30

    Yeah, I have a friend who is an effeminate, artsy and sensitive kind of man and people always assume things about his sexuality and gender. He said "Being called a straight acting gay guy is not progress." I thought that was very pertinent.

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  7. In a theoretical sense, I feel that man and woman, gay and straight are all labels that never fully address who we are as people. Sure, we can define ourselves according to our oppression, or be defined according to others need to categorize, but this never speaks the full truth about who we are. Is that too queer for you?

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  8. Hi we spoke on the phone awhile ago and I have been reading your posts. I now believe 100% that we are, as a society, trans-obsessed, it's the new "cure all for all your ills" - The FtM community will not tell the truth about medical transition nor will attempt to address any question(s) about actual questioning, they seem to be head strong in their way of thinking. Transition is the answer, will it be the answer in 20 years, I don't think so. I am not butch identified nor femme I am simply a masculine woman and proud. I would like to get in touch with you again because you probably made the most sense in my hour of questioning, even after my trying to accept that so-called transmen are fair in their views.

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  9. "Hi we spoke on the phone awhile ago and I have been reading your posts. I now believe 100% that we are, as a society, trans-obsessed, it's the new "cure all for all your ills" - The FtM community will not tell the truth about medical transition nor will attempt to address any question(s) about actual questioning, they seem to be head strong in their way of thinking. Transition is the answer, will it be the answer in 20 years, I don't think so. I am not butch identified nor femme I am simply a masculine woman and proud. I would like to get in touch with you again because you probably made the most sense in my hour of questioning, even after my trying to accept that so-called transmen are fair in their views."

    April 22, 2011 11:52 PM


    We do tell the truth but the truth is dismissed. I have been diagnosed as having GID at 18 and then again on Dec. 21, 2007.
    I have been on T since July 13, 2009 and yet I have not had any bad side effects. As a matter of fact my blood pressure is back down to normal since being on T and yet pre-T I was on meds for it. I am not on meds now for my blood pressure since it is in the normal range.

    I am not trans obsessed by any means. I am doing what is right for me and what has always been right for me even though I didn't go on T when I was 18. I didn't know anything about T back then but did research on my own for YEARS until I went on T and still do research on it.

    I hate when people assume things about people or a whole community as a whole.

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  10. Dirt,

    I think violence like this does more to enforce gender norms than trans-anything people ever will:

    http://www.questioningtransphobia.com/?p=3708

    Maybe you should say more about the institutions - schools, bullying, beatings, misogyny, heteropatriarchy, etc. - that enforce gender roles, even if only to give a bit more context to your posts about transitioners.

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  11. I personally don't believe that transitioning is the cure-all or the answer for gender-variance. I went into it fully aware of what it could and could not deliver. I'm happy with my experience. I wish that you would not villify transpeople as though it were in direct opposition to being gay or being gender non-conforming. It's a false dichotomy.

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  12. Hey Dirt,

    I don't know how else to contact you, but I wanted to ask you something:

    If all people XX are women, and all people XY are men, how do you logically categorize someone with Swyer syndrome? Are they a woman because they are born with a uterus and vagina? Or are they a man because they have XY chromosomes?

    Here's more info on Swyer syndrome: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/swyer-syndrome

    I'd love your response. You can contact me through my blog if you like.

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  13. Kai,

    I dont write about biological issues, I write about the trans disorder, which is a mental issue based in misogyny.

    dirt

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  14. "it's kind of messed that he would be buried as a woman if he was gay. But that's a big if -"

    Why would this be a big IF. Different cultures do different things.. For example, in Iran they give homosexuals a choice of death or transition.

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  15. Sucking cock is different than wishing to be buried with pots and pans.

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  16. daHarlemHeadBangerApril 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Well I have been doing my own research about homosexuality and ancient cultures in particular African cultures. Because of all the intense homophobia that exist within the African-Amer./Carib. etc community I felt I needed to dispell alot of the myths about Africa and homosexuality, and what I've found out so far is kinda of interesting.
    In various west/central/southern african cultures a child male or female may be deemed a "shaman type" or of a holy nature due to their "two spiritness" or what the village or shaman notices that this person is a "male in a female body" or a "female in a male body", and because of that nature that person is concidered "holy" or close to God. That child is now concidered a shaman and is raised as a Transperson (male or female) in the shaman culture, and the village respects them as such. If the child was born a bio-female they will live and be treated as a bio-male who is a shaman and vise versa. This is life-long and the shaman(transperson) will be buried in the same manner. It's funny how it seems from my studies that transfolk had more respect long ago than they do now, interesting. But I also found out that most of this dosn't have to do with sexual orientation. In fact homosexual exclusivity seems to be a foreign concept within these cultures. Homosexuality was there in the cultures but it was like this; if you were a female you married a male and had a family and of course vise versa but both parties may still have gay/lesbian relationships outside of the marriage union, but that was concidered sex more so than a relationship unfortunatly. I see someone wrote that Iran gives a male a choice of death of transition (sodomy laws?), as barbaric as that is it just proves that in certain cultures Trans is more understood/respected than being Gay. So with all that said I feel that the Celtic grave that was found was a Trans person that was well respected and probably loved by somebody. I do know that in ancient cultures one of the worst forms of disrespect is to bury someone in a reckless manner or not be buried at all.

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  17. Transitioning (but perhaps different terms were used) as separate from homosexuality has existed in many cultures for a long time. I'm not a historian, so obviously I don't know documented dates, but for instance in my culture, we've had 'sworn virgins' which are kind of like an FTM transition without hormones/surgery (as the science was not available then, and still is not available in my country). Granted, in a lot of cases these transitions were necessary either because there weren't many males left due to blood feuds (and the code of law that regulated these dates back to Middle Ages - i sense someone will make an argument that transitioning is very medieval)or to gain access to male privilege (at the cost of sworn chastity for life) but several of them chose this way of life without giving much reasoning apart from: I think this way of life suits me more than the way of life of women (and I know we're talking about stereotypes and dividing roles into these are for women and these are for men) but in this culture they were never fully male either, because obviously they were not males biologically so they preferred to be 'man-like woman' or 'almost-man' (I'm trying to translate the actual term for it into English) to being women, because they claimed they did not feel like women (again, the ones that had the choice not the ones that were pushed into it). Basically a lot could be said about stereotypical gender-roles but at the same time I thought feminism supported the whole 'biology is not destiny' thing. I think most transmen know they are not biologically male (at least not genetically because their endocrine levels for example are those of males, and physical changes, etc)

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  18. Dirt,

    Well, a number of your posts, comments, and followers argue that gender is biological and immutable, creating the basis for the argument that the "trans disorder," as you call it, is manmade--that people who are trans are buying into misogyny.

    But if a person is born with chromosomes that do not match their organs, as is the case with Swyer syndrome, how do you classify them? And if they have organs that they choose to surgically alter, in order to ascribe to a particular gender that does not match their organs, is that misogyny and disordered as well? What if it is done to match the organs to the chromosomes?

    I am trying to engage you in some kind of constructive dialogue here, I would appreciate your response.

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  19. Kai what do you think about women's colleges? Do they discriminate against men? Should all women's places be closed down so that men can gain entry? Why do you go to Smith college, a women's college if you are a "man". Did you lie on your application? Or are you a special snowflake.

    I'm trying to engage you in constructive dialogue here so please respond.

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  20. @ Anon 10:26PM:

    I strongly believe in women's spaces, especially women's colleges. I did not lie on my application, I applied to Smith identifying as a lesbian woman, and graduated with all my paperwork still containing an F--which is still my legal sex marker and which will likely never change. Being at a women's college taught me to explore gender and identity politics, question the limitations of binary gender, and explore what it means to be a person--not just a gendered being.

    I believe strongly in the mission of women's colleges. I don't believe women's colleges should admit men, or people identifying as men. However, I also believe that a person should not be forcibly removed from an educational institution based on how they present themselves to others once they have established their academic and social communities.

    I am not a man. I am a transman. I am a person with a body assigned female at birth who has modified my outward appearance to reflect traits that allow me to be mentally, socially, and physically comfortable with being alive and functioning. I am actively conscious of my male privilege, and assert that I was assigned female at birth whenever the opportunity presents itself.

    Since you wish to engage in constructive dialogue, and focus so adamantly on the institution from which I obtained my degree, I pose a question to you:

    If a women's college were to forcibly remove individuals who do not identify as women, how would you postulate doing so? Would you only remove those who identify as men? would you only remove those who are on hormones? How do you handle people who have top surgery, but don't use hormones? What do you do with genderqueer people? Where do you draw the line? Would you base the policy strictly on outward appearances? Expressed masculinity? How would you know who identifies as trans or genderqueer? What about people who identify as genderqueer who present in a feminine way?

    I look forward to your response.

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  21. Kai boo-hoo-hoos all over her blog that Smith college doesn't want "transmales" representing them. Boo-hoo-hoo it's discrimination against males! Let's make a petition! lolol

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  22. "We don't know if the caveman was gay or twanz so we'll assume he was twanz".

    Nobody knows for sure, so why would any reasonable person automatically assume he was trans? The only thing we do know with any degree of certainty was exactly what Dirt pointed out for us: that previous cultures assumed anyone outside the traditional gender coded binary was "abnormal". As if only males who acted masculine and only females who performed femininity could be considered "normal".

    Kai: A person born with any kind of intersex designation has a medical disorder. They are automatically considered "unhealthy" when compared to the way that a regular male or regular female baby would be considered "healthy". This is not a minor point.

    Queer folks keep trying to compare apples to oranges -- in other words, they keep trying to compare healthy babies to unhealthy babies. But they're not direct equivilences, so no direct comparison can ever be legitimately made.

    I'm NOT saying intersexed folks are bad or evil or anything like that, but I am saying a reasonable person has zero issue with recognizing that there are indeed standard requirements which must be met for any newborn baby to be considered "healthy".

    And once someone is at that place in their thinking, then trying to fit an intersexed individual into the analysis of healthy male and female categories, is literally impossible. A reasonable person would not attempt such an analysis, because it's flawed from the beginning.

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