Intersexuality and Nip/Tuck
The documentary ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’ was really depressing but it got me thinking about how gender is really just a state of mind and a product of society. The desire to look beautiful seems to be the essence of what we represent ourselves as, to our family, our peers and our co-workers. I can’t really blame the parents for wanting their kid to look normal and attractive. There is an issue of taking the child’s consent before he/she undergoes surgery but really, isn’t the child too young to make such a life altering decision at that point? The parents feel that if surgery is not performed during that early time frame, the child will have to spend the majority of his/her childhood causing arched eyebrows and the occasional taunting. However, if that child is assigned the wrong genitalia, it will be very hard to ‘undo’ that part of their bodies since they’ll be stuck with what the doctors’ give them. There will always be an ongoing debate over this question of intersexuality since modern society is intolerable of anything which deviates from the norm. The parents’ viewpoints should also be taken into consideration which has been manipulated by the doctors, in this case, since the doctor hastens the parents to change the genitalia of the baby before it’s too late. Society governs the activities of these doctors so everything really boils down to the fact that there will always be some form of higher power to dictate our presence on this earth as either a boy or a girl. The ‘in-betweens’ are probably just thrown in the circus.
The Intersex Society of North America stated that intersexuality is ‘primarily a problem of sigma and trauma, not gender.’ This can have negative consequences on the intersexual person’s state of mind and might cause high levels of suicidal and maniacal thoughts. I don’t know if anyone watches this plastic surgery medical drama series called ‘Nip/Tuck’ but I’ve been watching it for over two years. Not going into further details, the show’s third season contained this villain called ‘The Carver,’ a masked serial rapist who happened to disfigure his victims most of the time. The identity of this killer was later found to be an intersexual man with no penis. He was also a homosexual. Apparently he used a strap-on dildo to rape his victims. The fact that he lacked a penis turned him into this delusional psychopathic entity who believed that physical beauty represented evil and felt it was his duty to destroy it. I know that ‘The Carver’ is a fictional character but the eeriness of his crimes was really frightening.
Technology seems to be the only way of altering the chromosomes of these newborns. If such advancements in technology hadn’t taken place, gender could have existed in many forms, be it male, female or intersexual. As ISNA puts down, ‘lying to patients is not only unethical, it is bad medicine.’