Gender Studies II
EN2012 – Winter 2011 – Terry Goldie
Lecture 9 – ‘Middlesex Novel’ – Mar 10
- Everyone begins life neither male nor female, when hormones kick in, one
becomes male or female (after birth and then after puberty again).
- Latent maleness can become full-fledged male later on.
- Terminology is simple a name for the process of which medical treatment follows,
- Intersex like other medical conditions, possibly a defect.
- Anyone biologically other than strictly male or female is intersex (based on rigid
criteria, i.e. clearly ambiguous genitalia among others); definition is open book.
- Idea of the intersexual (being one thing or the other)…
- Hermaphrodite comes from Greek term, hermaphrodites child of Hermes and
Aphrodite, meaning both female and male, seen pejorative, not used anymore.
- About Calle’s ancestry, about Greeks and Turks/mythology; genetic hiccup and
small gene pool reinforced causes Calle’s problem.
- Myth becomes the narrative of which we understand our lives by Frye, i.e.
religions are examples of these myths – sense of something that we use to
understand our lives.
- Term hermaphrodite suggests a blending of the absolute sexes, bridges divide;
biologically possible but realistically not so in society.
- Part of intersex activist movement believes mutilation should not happen; say