Sunday, June 23, 2013

Think Like an Intersexual

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Let me be the first the tell you that in the year 2013, junior year is a mess. Every single test you take feels like someone's way of saying "You're not good enough to do this" or "You're not good enough to do that"--it's like a perpetual episode of American Idol. Only on this season, you're not cut. You just keep doing every one of the stupidly-themed "weeks" kicking and screaming and wanting to go home, like a perpetual daycare. American-idol-themed day care, anyone?
     But it's a mess in another way as well--a mess of perspectives. Young people are trying to find out what it is to be man and what it is to be woman, leaving all concepts of what it is to be human on the sidelines. I've done a lot of thinking about this subject, as it's definitely been having an effect on my friends and I, and I've come to a simple conclusion that will hopefully solve all of the he-said-she-said, my-boyfriend-doesn't-like-me, dude-let's-fight, you-have-that-bra-size-? problems of the world:
     Everyone has to think like an intersexual.
     In Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides, we are introduced to Cal Stephanides, who writes this book from the present day reflecting on his childhood. But he doesn't just talk about his childhood--Cal delves through the generations all the way back to his grandparents, who lived in a small, Greek village called Bithynios. Everything's quite normal in the story until brother and sister Lefty and Desdemona discover their exuberant love for each other and make themselves Cal's grandparents. This is the modern beginning of one mutation in the family's genome that leads to Cal's intersexuality. Nearer to the end of this book, Cal records how this intersexuality influenced his childhood, how it made him capable of seeing things from the male and female perspectives. Such a talent really helps when it comes to traditional teenage processes such as (almost) losing one's virginity--through all the feminine excitement (which he experienced because he was raised as a female), Cal can easily identify the small steps his lover is taking to seduce him, things that a heterosexual female may not take note of.
     It is with this kind of dual vantage-point that my friends and I should really be looking at our lives. When we try to look at life from the sole vantage point of a man or the sole vantage point of a woman, we just end up decreasing the amount of phenomena we expose ourselves to, beneficial phenomena that can easily be incorporated into ourselves. And naturally, a world where everyone analyzes everything from multiple perspectives can have great peace-making potential among individuals, whether that peace-making potential has to do with sewing teenage relationships back together (how many boyfriends and girlfriends swear never to talk to each other again because they just can't see from each other's perspectives?) or battling racism (illegal immigrants don't seem so evil when one considers his reaction to some of their situations.)
     Hate does not have to be combated with willingness to love, but simply a willingness to understand.