How Can You Make A Judgement On Gender The Way Another Acts?

Please do not send me any more of your petitions of hatred, promoting an anti-gender America such as,

"Dear Pro-family American, the Radical Homosexuals infiltrating the United States Congress have a plan: Indoctrinate an entire generation of American children with pro-homosexual propaganda and eliminate traditional values from American society. Their ultimate dream is to create a new America based on sexual promiscuity in which the values you and I cherish are long forgotten. I hate to admit it, but if they pass the deceptively named "Student Non-Discrimination Act," (H.R. 998 & S. 555) that's exactly what they'll do."

You are an embarrassment to the rest of the six-billion people that occupy this globe. Just maybe, if you can read and want to take the time to understand the harsh reality of the world, study this essay closely as follows:

A miracle is a positive event in our lives that seems to oppose the laws of physics or the natural order of things. Perhaps miracles are natural events outside of peripheral perception or beyond the limits of human reasoning that gives hope in times of despair or uncertainty.

Take a moment and think of all the people who are so commonplace in your daily affairs; they seem to be non- existent or completely invisible. At times, gender, race, and cultural groups seem to ride in a perceptual blind spot of social recognition.

Gender is a controversial tender blind spot of social recognition. Gender is an identity role by which a person is recognized by himself or others, regardless of biological sex!

Most Americans do not know, five-thousand infants are born every year in this country with ambiguous genitalia. A simple definition of the condition of ambiguous genitalia is, "Cannot be determined to be male or female." Tell me, where do the 100,000 American adults, over the age of
eighteen years old, born with ambiguous genitalia, fit in any of these anti-gay preachers, theologians, or hate groups holy bible?

Gender is the way we act, a behavior that is viewed as feminine or masculine by a particular culture, society, or group regardless of biological sex determinations. In some societies, gender can be recognized as both, such as the term 'two-sprits' used by American Natives. Conversely, in some societies such as Tibetan Buddhist tradition, gender can be recognized as neither or gender neutral.

Never-the-less, gender is culturally determined by the way an individual identifies with others as a 'man' or a 'woman' who are biologically determined in the womb as genitalia develops from a sexually neutral fetus. So it makes good sense that gender has nothing to do with biological sex, and gender is misidentified as behavioral characteristics determined by biological sex.

In other words, the way a person behaves could be based on a weaker sex dominated by a stronger sex in relation to the way we adapt to the world biologically and culturally.

Not long ago, head hunting was the rave amongst Amazon clans which gave way to deculturalization by a society that knew its strength by corresponding with other heads. In the same time period, a male dominated anthropologist rewrote theories that excluded the view of women of anthropology, who know their strength by using their own heads.

An encyclopedic definition of Anthropology is "the study of humanity" and that study is by way of ethnography or a compilation of observation reports. We cannot ignore the earliest biblical story tellers as ethnographers and these stories are preserved in Hebrew (Jewish) text as the first books of laws that prescribe behavior, the way we act, and punishment for acting contrary to that prescription. No doubt religious beliefs that prescribe a natural woman and a dominant man, tend to be more prejudiced toward sexual alternative roles such as in today's America.

Although Americans view themselves as a society of diversity and sexual indifference, they are probably the least intolerant to alternative gender roles. Gender Intolerance could be in part based on a false belief that these roles are not 'natural', or more especially, violate traditional beliefs.

The notion that women and men are essentially different or complement each other, constitute the idea of the natural woman and dominant male cultural consciousness that is based on moral beliefs either prescribe from, or culturally developed from tradition. The biases to alternative gender roles are not religious biases, they are developed from cultural associations that define what is 'feminine' and what is 'masculine' and how each should act.

We know American society as a whole is less tolerant to alternative gender roles and we can even say, show prejudice to those that behave contrary to their biological sex by contrast and comparison to other societies of the world. Anthropologists do not understand why the notion of the natural woman is so prevalent world-wide, but this does not mean that women of all ages played a lesser role to the
dominance of men based on biological sex; nor does it predict a male dominated society in the future based on biological sex.

Never-the-less,global attitudes toward alternative gender roles seem more tolerant than American bias to the extreme of legislating man made laws that forbid the behavior.

Likewise, societies that are accepting or more open to alternative gender roles such as Native Americans and Buddhist cultures, seem more tolerant because their moral belief systems are more tolerant to alternative gender roles. These beliefs can be understood as a disregard to a social morality similar to the system of philosophy known as Confucianism which grew from the Buddhist tradition. The
anatomical similarities of Native Americans are biological links to Asian ancestry, and could also be a causal relation to the same Buddhist ideology in which Confucianism developed.

Confucius seems to think we should be concerned with what is personally satisfying because a satisfying life is living in a society or group (Ren) by way of ritual (Li). Relations are crucial with Confucius' ethical methodology. Confucius rejected the idea of morality as a set of rules or imperatives; if ethics is Ren by way of Li, then we cannot make a judgment on another person's behavior or say it is morally wrong to live in a certain way.

The idea of the natural woman is still prevalent in these societies and oppression of women including servitude and public beatings cannot be ignored; however, gender alternative roles are acceptable because gender alternatives are a way another person acts and does not threaten established order.

No person including myself is alien to moral convictions and my own biases seem more tolerant to the idea of alternative gender roles because I believe, even if that belief is false, that gender is essential to the individual before conception and is naturally agreeable to the native American 'two-spirit" ideology and cannot contradict the Buddhist notion of a gender neutral before birth.

With that said, I identify myself as a recovering genderistic, someone who has shown prejudice to the idea of alternative gender roles, and I contribute that bias to social construction, because I was born and raised in the American society that promotes or prescribes these biases.

The documentary 'The times of Harvey Milk' came as a surprise to me, to now understand that I had lived through a major cultural event and knew nothing of the assassination of Harvey Milk. San Francisco City Supervisor, Harvey Milk was the most influential public figure advocating for gay rights and founder of the gay movement.

Perhaps Harvey Milk's death had been obscured by the headlines that featured Jonestown Guyana where 900 followers of the Peoples Temple lead by Jims Jones had committed suicide in hope of meeting together in a better afterlife on November 18, 1978. However, after a little research, I find the press gave full coverage of the assassination of Harvey Milk alongside my daily reads of the Johnstown tragedy.

Most likely, my ignorance of the political upheaval in San Francisco was rooted in my small Texas town customs that developed my values, assumptions, and beliefs about the world which included a common false belief that homosexuals are sexual deviants and the worst of them preyed on children.

Harvey Bernard Milk, assassinated in the San Francisco Court House along with Mayor George Moscone was not a sexual deviant but a hero not only amongst the gay community, but for all peoples in America who face persecution in a society based on common law which shapes not only beliefs but law and punishment. According to the Times Magazine, Harvey Milk was:

"the first openly gay man elected to any substantial political office in the history of the planet ".As the self-described "Mayor of Castro Street" he was active during a time of substantial change in San Francisco politics and increasing visibility of gay and lesbian people in
American society. He was assassinated in 1978, along with Mayor George Moscone, by then recently-resigned city supervisor Dan White, whose relatively mild sentence for the murders led to the White Night Riots and eventually the abolishment of diminished capacity defense in California (Wikipedia The Times of Harvey Milk)."

Public and private acts of homosexuality was a criminal offense in most states during Milk's brief position on the Board of supervisors of the City of San Francisco until it was finally challenged in 1984. Dorothy Bracey highlights this Supreme Court case in her text Exploring Law and Culture:

"Lisa Brower (1994) demonstrates that Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), in which the supreme Court of the United States decided that the right to privacy did not extend to consensual sodomy, was one of the factors leading to a new stage in gay and lesbian activism (Bracey p. 26)."

The term deviant is usually a reference to an offensive person or even a criminal, but in its literal sense deviant simply means "different from traditional norm (Encarta Dictionary." The American judicial system is based on common law which historically considers traditional values of a dominating culture or group.

Bracey further elaborates the impact that customs and tradition have on law, which in many cases creates a pluralistic applications based on tolerance depending on the denominate group of a particular culture.

The dominant culture that shaped San Francisco values and beliefs in the late 1970's were personified in city supervisor Dan White, a previously serving police officer elected by the community to serve on the same City Board of his victims killed in cold bold on November 27, 1978 (Wikipedia The Times of Harvey Milk).

White received a light sentence based on an acceptance of a "Twinkie Defense" by a preselected group of jurors from White's community. Compassion was shown by entertaining the possibility of insanity by way of junk food intake which Dan white had been indulging weeks before the murders.

These jurors share the same common false belief as people from my small town in Texas, that homosexuals are sexual deviants and the worst of them preyed on children. The jurors in this case gave White a light 5-year sentence for double political assassination. However, San Francisco was much more tolerant to the gay community at the time because a large minority lived peacefully in Harvey Milk's district.

I would hate to think what the outcome would have been if the same tragedy occurred in a small town in Texas with absolutely no tolerance such as where I lived in 1978. It would not surprise me if Dan White would have been acquitted for ridding neighborhood of sexual deviants which would include Mayor Moscone for conspiring with the homosexuals.

The jury's decision was not accepted as justice by San Francisco citizens who considered Dan White to be the worst of social deviants, a cold blooded calculating killer. After the trial, a riot broke out by both heterosexual and homosexual citizens that brought havoc to the bay area by breaking out windows in the court house, destroying public property, and the group is well remembered for systematically burning every police car within a torch throw.

The riot aftermath found relief in gay activism that has led over time to a high level of acceptance of homosexual relationships in all communities across American which eventually spurred congress to remove laws based on sexual
orientation, and create new laws to protect gay citizens.

G N O'Dell 05/23/2012

Field Researcher South Central Texas - South America Cultural Anthropologist

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