Traditional gender roles are also evolving. In the United States, in Oregon, the third sex is officially recognized. In Holland, a person can be neutral.
In the largest some Western countries have long been accustomed to regard as a general truth the dichotomous thinking about gender roles derived from biology. According to the law and public opinion, there are only men and women.
However, gender roles have begun to change. An increasing number of legislatures have begun to recognize genders that differ from a bipartite, binary division.
Twists and turns may seem new, but in many cultures there have historically and still are three sexes or more that have played their own social roles.
The earliest evidence of people we would today call transgender or third-sex, are from the Stone Age.
There are several Stone Age burial sites where the skeleton of a man or woman is biologically buried contrary to the burial practices of a culture of different sexes.
In a tomb about 5,000 years old found in the Czech Republic, the skeleton of a biological man lies opposite the men of the culture that lived on the site, usually buried, and also without weapons. An oval-shaped container was also found in the tomb, which was always buried with the women.
At one time, there were three sexes in the story: one had two male genitals, one had two female genitals, and the third had one both.
Also in the cradle of Western civilization, in ancient Greece, there was room for different gender roles.
“Binary has not always been a shackled way of thinking, alternatives have been found to it, for example in ancient philosophy,” says postdoctoral researcher in philosophy and gender studies. Malin Grahn From the University of Jyväskylä.
Grahn recalls that in ancient times, gender theory had not yet been specifically formulated, nor had gender identity and its meaning theorized.
“Binary thinking was quite dominant in ancient philosophy, but there are several Counter-stories to it that break that story,” Grahn says.
One of the most famous counter-reports is Platonic In the Feasts dialog. In it, one of the participants in the polyphonic narrative is Aristophanes, which tells the story of the early days of mankind.
At one time, there were three sexes in the story: one had two male genitals, one had two female genitals, and the third had one both. However, the gods thought these people were too happy, so they split everyone in half into single-genitals, doomed forever to seek their other half.
“Thus, what is now called heterosexuality would be only one-third of the scale of sexuality from this perspective,” Grahn laughs.
Gender roles cynic philosophers, including the most famous female philosopher of antiquity, also fought against practical implementation and categories; Hipparchy.
The cynics did not care about gender and also fought against the dichotomous norms of privacy and publicity by living and having sex on the street.
“Also in Stoic philosophy, rationality is the most important trait and all other traits are just as individual as threads in weaving. I interpret that, just as there are numerous eye colors, there may as well be many sexes according to Stoicism. ”
There are also non-binary figures in Greek myths, such as the two-headed Hermaphroditus, who is also often depicted in art as a woman with a man’s external genitals.
Hijras do not feel that they are men or women, nor are they generally transgender because they are of their own gender.
Big groups of people of the third sex do not have to look only for history.
Hijrat are mainly third-sex people living in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In Western countries, they would be thought of as transgender, intersex, or eunuchs. Many of them have been castrated, often dangerously and in poor conditions.
However, the Hijras do not run into any Western definition, but have their own role in the societies and religions of the region.
Hindus believe the blessing of hybrids makes children fertile because they have sacrificed goddess Bahuchara Mata to her own ability to reproduce.
The religious roles of hijros also include performing at weddings and dancing. By sex, hijras do not feel that they are men or women, nor are they generally transgender either, because they are of their own gender.
About three million hijra’s position, despite its religious significance, has been weak since colonial times. British colonial hosts liked heteronormativity anomalous as filthy and morally suspicious and did their best to wipe them out of consciousness.
The heteronormative notion assumes that people are divided into two opposing and attractive genders.
Many Hijra are facing these days to beg or be forced sex work because of discrimination. India however, recognize today the third sex, and hijras are entitled to social benefits and health services, unlike a decade ago.
Hijrojen such gender roles are even typical in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, the third gender role is represented bakla.
Baklat are born male, but they behave and dress in ways traditionally perceived as feminine. Stereotypically especially in western countries they are often thought of as homosexual, but in terms of sexuality they can be anything.
Before the arrival of the Spanish colonial rulers, the baklas might also have been babayloja that is, spiritual leaders. Spiritual leaders were for the most part women.
Baklo has a fairly large cultural footprint in the Philippines. Award-winning drama series My Husband’s Lover dealt with the triangular drama between a man, a woman and a bakla.
The third sex in Tahiti and Hawaii has a somewhat similar role to play, mahoula. Māhūt is born defined as men, but they behave very femininely.
Sex is traditionally thought to be between a man and a woman. The term today can also mean transgender.
In history, for example, in missionaries a strong aggravation aroused māhū oli Kaomi Moe, who was Hawaii ‘s longest – serving king Kamehame IIIlover and also a co-ruler.
In Hawaiian and more broadly Polynesian culture, same-sex polygamous relationships were the norm. Especially all the masters had usually more lovers or lovers.
Māhūt has not gone down in history despite discrimination against missionaries. Modern possibly the most famous māhū is transgender Price tag Wong-Kalu, which brings out traditional Hawaiian culture.
Also elsewhere in the United States and more broadly in North America, the roles of third-sex roles that have lagged behind Western notions have been re-emerged.
Several Native Americans had third and fourth gender roles. The modern – albeit controversial – term for these different roles is ambiguous.
The two-person derives from the words of the Ojibwa language niizh manidowag. The concept was created in 1990 specifically to distinguish indigenous non-heteronormative people from Western concepts such as homosexuality, transgender, and others.
The concept, however, is controversial. It suggests that two-person people have the spirit of both man and woman. It reinforces the traditional Western notion that there are only two genders, so it does not correspond to the indigenous peoples ’historical notions of gender.
“It would be interesting if our society had evolved so that binary thinking was not so strong.”
With numerous the tribes had different terms for different roles in all their own languages.
There may be thought to have been four sexes among the Ojibwe tribe, although the Ojibwas did not think of gender in much the same way as Western cultures. Ikwekanaazot were men who behaved like women and ininiikaazot were women who behaved like men.
These gender roles were generally accepted, and they often had spiritual significance, because they usually took on their roles based on dreams or visions.
Similar roles were found in about five hundred indigenous tribes in North America, such as the Zuni lhamanat. They were male in body but took on roles and responsibilities that traditionally belonged to women.
However, many tribes have lost touch and knowledge of their past gender roles due to the conversion of Westerners and Christians who conquered America.
Many third or fourth or neutral sexes in the world have been left at the feet of Christian theology in addition to those mentioned here. This was also the case for ancient ideas.
“A French philosopher Michel Foucaultin according to late antiquity, Christian theology took mainstream thinking and thus old ideas were either merged or simply forgotten. It would be interesting if our society had developed in such a way that binary thinking would not be so strong, ”Grahn sums up.
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