July sixteenth I got cat called out on a bike ride again. I stopped at a construction site and a macho man construction worker felt the need to berate me. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the pink helmet, maybe it’s binary folks who can’t accept a world that differs from their yes/no, right/wrong, one/zero, good/bad perspective. Who am I kidding? It’s all of the above, but in reverse order. By definition, perception is subjective and our limited grasp of reality is likewise axiomatic. We do not know truth, we know our truth and when world views collide, when tectonic plates rub or overlap, we have seismic events that leave many quaking.
We create paradigms that imprison us as we conjure world orders that are patently false but accepted as gospel. I blame our simian, Neanderthal brains. To think, to understand, to communicate, our brains boil down complicated reality into simplified constructs and one of the constructs that has plagued Western Society is the silly notion that people are either male or female. Combine this reasonable but inaccurate model with the destructive and nonsensical notion that being male infuses men with certain attributes while simultaneously proscribing others, insisting that being born female creates a human being with differing and mutually exclusive attributes from their XY brethren, is demonstrably false.
It’s false and we know it’s false. Most every one of us has seen the lines blur between what Men are made of and should do as compared to what Women consist of and are precluded from, but the binaries insist that not only is their world view the one true, right view but that other world views are wrong. Many even sprinkle God into their warped, oversimplified view telling us not only how we must act on Earth but assuring us that we shall be eternally damned for denying His Plan. Please.
Biologically speaking nearly 98% of human beings are born either male or female. That only leaves us with 16,000,000 people who are not biologically binary. Sixty-nine percent of the world’s countries have fewer than sixteen-million people. In a binary, right/wrong, yes/no, something/nothing world intersex is an aberration. “Ma’am? Here’s your new born. It’s an aberration. An affront to God. For the love of everything good, don’t let anyone know.” Welcome to the binary.
It is silly to argue that the vast majority of us are not either male or female but it is an atrocity to insist that, “Girls wear pink, boys wear blue,” that sex and gender are synonyms, an affront to liberty to ascribe and proscribe behaviors based on gonads. Whether innie or outie the ability to choose our own paths, to have equal rights and opportunities should not be infringed based upon sex, sexual orientation nor outdated societal “straight” jackets. Justice done right must not be spelled “just us,” which is the accompanying baggage of binary thinking and insistence that others adhere to a world view eons out of date.
It’s funny when I get cat called. It’s funny because I am a cisgender, heterosexual man. This isn’t, “My fight,” but Someone once said something along the lines of, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my siblings that you do unto me.” Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness is an essentially American attribute. Wanna be a good American? Stop insisting that there is a one way, one truth one light solution for everyone cuz it just ain’t so.
Women were once property. A man could not be charged with raping his wife. Women could not own property, they couldn’t vote, couldn’t have credit cards in their own names. Homosexuals were stoned. Imprisoned. Locked away in mental wards. Denied the right to marry. Binary, baby. These are the results of binary thinking.
Laws and mores in the USA that were created to control, coerce and enslave are being overturned and this march to equality is accompanied by an understanding that the false, restrictive, demeaning, patriarchal, hierarchical bold faced lies must tumble. If you’re comfortable with, “The good old daze,” if you think we need to return to some false, nostalgic, Elysium opium dream that is your right but your right ends when you wish to proscribe the rights of others.
The Earth’s shaking. We can see it, we can feel it but you can’t stop it. The days of boys will be boys and girls aren’t allowed to do that, the insistence that we are either A or B, right or wrong, conformist or radical are coming to an end. Maybe we’ll actually allow people to be what they are, to not be shamed when they fall outside the norms, to be honest about their desires and to grow in acceptance for a rainbow of behaviors rather than to castigate and cat call those that earn a wrong, no, zero, bad in the binary equation. Maybe, but there’s a whole lot of shaking that’s going to happen between now and then.
Me? I’m going to keep wearing my pink helmet.