Saturday, February 22, 2020

the roiling sexual melting pot

Sex? Gender? Cis? Trans? Bi? Transphobic? Biphobic? He? She? They? Ze? Zir? What the fuck does any of it mean? Color me thoroughly confused.

The current age is standing on the brink of full acceptance of polymorphic human sexuality, but for various reasons, people in different sexual camps are still trapped in an identity-politics mentality that encourages them to think tribally in terms of labels like the ones I listed above. I find the whirl and swirl of current sexual politics utterly bewildering, probably because I'm an old fart who grew up as part of the last generation to have a more or less binary sexual worldview: you've got men, and you've got women. You've got straights, and you've got gays/lesbians. But these days, gender is considered a spectrum, and while I'm willing to accept that idea—to the extent that gender refers to a social construct and not to a biological, chromosomal reality—I'm not willing to accept the hegemonic thinking that declares, "I'm a trans person, and if you don't accept the trans worldview, well, that makes you a transphobe!"

In the following video, which I found both hard to follow and very educational, Tim Pool talks with outspoken lesbian YouTuber Arielle Scarcella, who just made a short video in which she announces she's leaving the left for good. As Pool notes in the blurb accompanying his interview video, Arielle's reasoning for leaving the left "is nuanced." Having now watched the interview, I'd have to agree; as I said, I wasn't always able to follow the exchange, which was a baffling maze of alien terms and concepts, as well as a jumbled tangle of perspectives and motivations. This complexity, though, also made the exchange feel very educational: as I was watching the interview, I realized that this was one of those opportunities for an old fart like me to remain at least somewhat relevant and current, and that realization helped to focus my attention. I'm glad I sat through this exchange. Your own mileage may vary, but if you have any interest at all in the weird morass of twenty-first-century sexual politics, you might find Tim Pool's conversation with Arielle Scarcella quite interesting.

As I've noted before, I'm actually very open to the coming sexual polymorphism. While I myself remain firmly and contentedly hetero in my own orientation, I have no problem with the idea that other people might swing gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or whatever. I think science fiction prepared me well for this eventuality, and I kind of wish more people read sci-fi and experienced the genre's mind-broadening potential. As humanity hones its ability to manipulate its own genome, it won't be long before we start to see chromosomally human beings who look, shall we say, rather funky, sexually speaking. Right now, there are only two biological sexes for humans (even chimerism and intersexuality involve the combination of two distinct sexes), but in the future... who knows what the biological reality will be? How will you react to such changes? Will you see them as an abomination, as something that will rip apart the fabric of civil society? Or will you see them as part of an ever-expanding horizon of human fulfillment, exploration, and flourishing?

I know where I stand on this issue. How about you?

1 comment:

John Mac said...

I'm pretty libertarian in my thinking, which I define as do what you want (or call yourself whatever you want) as long as it does not have a negative impact on me.

Facts are facts though, and when it comes to biology, the science, as they say, is settled. Be whoever you want to be on the gender identity spectrum, but if you have a penis you are male. And if you are male, stay the fuck out of the restroom my daughter uses. Same with women's sports, you and your testosterone can play with the boys.

Otherwise, I don't give a shit about who you say you are. Suits me just fine, I might even call you what you prefer, provided I can remember how to pronounce it.