Sex, Gender, and the Institute for “Canadian Values”
November 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
I haven’t bitched about shit for a couple of weeks now, so I’m due.
Issue Numero Uno: It has been brought to my attention recently that there is lobbyist group in Canada known as the “Institute for Canadian Values”. They are in the habit of putting up posters like this one in schools around the province of Ontario. Go look at it. I’ll wait.
You’re back? Good. Are you as pissed off as I am? Hope so, because if you’re not you’re probably not going to enjoy this next part. These people are being absolutely ridiculous. Educating children at an early age to accept the differences in sexual orientation or gender selection is probably the BEST IDEA EVER, and these people want to stop it before it catches on. Kids are notoriously bad when it comes to accepting differences; there are stories of children committing suicide because of severe bullying almost daily, and one of the main reasons some kids are bullied is because they don’t conform to a given society’s gender stereotypes. If you’re gay, transexual, mix-gendered or even just a little manly (for girls) or effeminate (for guys), you can expect to be ridiculed on a daily basis. The reasoning for most of this hatred is because of ignorance and mis-information. The curriculum for sexual education in public schools is at least making an attempt to inform children of all the possibilities for sexual orientation and gender in the world, and thus are trying to negate this ignorance at a young age, and the ICV wants to STOP THIS?
Listen, the government can’t tell you what to teach your children at home, so if you want your children to be as ignorant as you are, so be it. But please, try to realize that there are other people in the world too. You can’t possibly imagine what a gay child/teenager has to go through on a daily basis. I really wish there was a machine that could allow people to trade places for a week, so that people could understand what it’s really like to be someone who doesn’t conform to the binary system of gender. Or maybe every ignorant prick who thinks being gay is a choice could have the blessing of a son or daughter who is gay. But seeing as these things aren’t going to happen anytime soon, why don’t we allow for a little education so that gay and mix-gendered people don’t have to kill themselves to escape the ridicule.
The worst part of this poster campaign is that its under the banner of the Institute for CANADIAN VALUES. What kind of picture is this painting for the rest of the world when it comes to Canadian values? I know I’m pretty damn Canadian, and these beliefs certainly don’t represent MY values, but someone on the outside looking in is just going to get the message that all Canadians don’t accept gender ambiguity or atypical sexual orientations. Great message for our country. Fucking assholes.
There is more that saddens me. Recently, I read an article for my Feminist Philosophy class (Don’t laugh, it’s actually pretty good, and eye-opening for a heterosexual male. Everyone should take it, especially guys. I mean it.) that talked about people born with dual sets of genitalia and other genetic differences. The medical community has been terrible in their dealings with these people. Often, infants with both types of genitals are operated on immediately to “fix” the “problem”, sometimes against the wishes of the parents. For example, Helena Harmon-Smith’s son was born with both an ovary and testes. She expressed to the doctor that surgery was unnecessary; she planned to go along with the child’s wishes when he could express himself. However, the surgeon removed the testes against her wishes. The kicker is that this happened IN THE 1990s!!! You know, when we were all supposed to be more enlightened about issues such as this. What. The. Fuck. There is a lot of research that has been done that shows that infant surgery in these cases actually does a lot more harm than good, causing extensive scarring and often resulting in multiple surgeries being needed throughout childhood/adolescence and even into adulthood. But the absolute WORST part of all this is that often medical records of the initial surgery are withheld from the patient, even when expressly requested. Sometimes children are even told that they are having a normal surgery, such as having their appendix removed, only to find out later that the surgery was anything but normal.
One of the theories this article (by Anne Fausto-Sterling) spoke of was Martine Rothblatt’s “343 shades of gender”. She suggests that each individual can be categorized into one of 7 different levels of aggression, nurturance, and eroticism (7x7x7=343). This makes much more sense to me than our society’s binary system. I would even go further. There are MILLIONS of different shades of gender, unique to each individual. I am my own gender, and I call it Drew Johnson. Simple. Fuck this binary bullshit!