Few things, if at all, elicit shock or surprise in me where shenanigans of social mavericks are concerned. There’s a general “It takes all kinds” kind of refrain that leaves me saying, “Yeah, big deal.”
But there are times when the cynic in me goes, “Ok, so, I haven’t seen it all.”
So I am compelled to talk about this Canadian person – I say “person” because, born a female, this person went in for hormone treatment to become a man, while retaining the female reproductive organs, to eventually give a natural birth to a child.
Now this person, the woman-turned-man-with-female-reproductive-organs-who-gave-birth-to-a-child was fulfilling the duties of a parent well by diligently breastfeeding the baby, duly chronicling the experience through social media – the experiences including learning to breastfeed under the guidance of the good ‘experts’ at the La Leche League Canada, a breastfeeding support group.
Friends and family of this person were from time to time treated to pictures of a very male-looking person complete with a beard and stereotypical male clothing, holding a child suckling at his breast.
This person was in the news recently when he got ambitious and wanted to become head of the LLLC and was told in no uncertain terms that only totally female breastfeeding persons – classified under ‘women’ – could head the organization.
Strange that someone there still wants to maintain status quos.
Anyway, let me narrate another story from America. I don’t know how many of you (in India) have heard of Chaz Bono. Chaz was born a daughter, to legendary Hollywood diva Cher. Sometime in her adult life, the daughter, who was already in a live-in lesbian relationship, decided she wanted to discard her female body and don that of a man.
So, again, the requisite hormone treatments later she emerged an oddly obese, beard-sporting ‘man’. To those looking at that body with what stereotypically are considered male clothes, it was difficult to tell what lay underneath. Apparently there was still a pair of breasts, which this new ‘man’ was simply loathe to lug along on his hairy chest. So more televised surgeries later, he comes out breastless and happy.
But wait, is he completely a ‘man’ now? Actually no, because he does not have a penis and this man apparently is fine with walking around with a vagina.
So what happens to his lesbian relationship with his live-in girlfriend? It continued to be wild and roaring at that point. But wait, didn’t that girlfriend prefer women over men in the first place… so how come she is okay with her girlfriend turning into a boyfriend? Ah well, I guess, she is okay so long as there is no penis involved.
While I am on a roll here, let me narrate a third story… of this all-American 6 foot plus strappingly handsome high school football player, who realized he had always wanted to be a girl. All the town’s eligible girls fawning over him never made him happy, apparently.
So, he moves out of his small town, goes to San Francisco and undergoes hormone treatment and becomes a tall, still-handsome, blonde babe strutting around in mini-skirts and designer hand bags.
So, now that ‘he’ has become a ‘woman’ does she date men? Oh no, this new woman is a lesbian and prefers women, we are told. So, if it was women that he had always preferred, why did he change into a woman instead of remaining a man?
Actually I feel I am being quite naïve by even asking such questions. If I ever considered myself a rebel against conventions, I should be celebrating these “persons”. No social norms, no status quos. Yay!
Like I said, I’m not shocked about human beings, aided by scientific discovery, challenging nature to discover possibilities beyond known nature. (But then, who is to decide that this too was not intended by nature?)
If anything, I am shocked by the lack of exposure of young adults in India, a majority of who are still “protected” by families and society at large to evolving and emerging facts of life. Like, a lot of them still do not even know that they have freedoms and choices. Everything from their dress codes, food habits, religion, education, jobs and marriage are all decided and chosen for them by the ‘elders’ in the family.
Defying status quos, whether in families, societies or in nature, was never a bad thing. Because, ultimately – and I totally believe it – whatever man proposes, nature effectively disposes. It is the theory of natural selection that will prevail. Darwin rules, guys, Darwin still rules!