Intersex Discrimination: Right From the "Top"

The other day I was at a luncheon with the president of a college (not George Fox), speaking about his job and his focus for education in local communities.  He explained, "I believe in God, and that informs everything I'm about...."

That's not the sort of introduction I've come to feel optimistic about.

In discussing student demographics, he mentioned that "56% of the students are women... and," he chucked and said something like, "The other 44% aren't all men.  Some of them don't know what they are... I never quite figured that out!"  heh, heh, "Can someone explain to me how that works?" heh, heh.

Cue audience guffaws.

Really?  That's what we can expect from the president of a college of over 25,000 students?

Nice.

It was not a safe space for pushback, but I wanted to ask, "Do you know that between 1 in 500 and 1 in 1,500 babies are born in America with ambiguous genitalia?  Do you really think it's appropriate to be joking with a bunch of strangers about your own student population?  About their genetics?  About their bodies?  About their identities?  Most of whom, you don't know personally?  Very classy."

But I didn't.  I stayed silent.  As most folks tend to do, to avoid rocking the boat.

5 comments:

Al said...

Why is it that uninformed (or else knowledgeably ignorant) people are the ones who spout off their unhealthy views, while those of us who endeavor to have a kinder, more realistic view of people know when to keep quiet?

It's enough to make a person shut off all of the internal filters, and just let 'em have it!

Maybe it's time the boat started taking on a bit of water.

Peter said...

I love the way you put this, Al. Yes, the boat needs rocking. And why do we avoid it?

Me? I'm scared of jeopardizing my paycheck. Comfort rules. The tyranny of security.

nathan said...

In my genetics class last semester, I studied approx 8 different intersex conditions.

Interestingly, I've heard a lot of anti-gay rhetoric from Fundies, but I haven't really heard them adress the intersex issue. Maybe because they can't deny the genetic basis for it?

Peter said...

I think that the intersex issue fundamentally disarms the anti-gay movement, because it provides biological proof of sexual/gender "otherness." Which Jesus, himself, acknowledged in Matthew: "some are eunuchs because they were born that way..."

A prof at my seminary shows photos of ambiguous genitalia, and essentially says, "now you decide who is male, who is female, and why God condemns them if you pick wrong..."

nathan said...

"I think that the intersex issue fundamentally disarms the anti-gay movement, because it provides biological proof of sexual/gender otherness."

Very true. The black and white paradigm that they espouse doesn't have room for the intersex issue. . .

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