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Third Sex: Illusion or Reality? [ 2007-12-23 ]

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Masculine characteristics are referred to as aggressive, more logical, made for policy level decisions and heading the families among others whereas feminine characteristics implicate more emotional, loving, depending and caring nature, which leads to assisting people and devoting their lives to others.




However, despite hundreds of historical examples about exceptions to these generalized sex identities, there are some humans who don?t fall under the category of either male or female. Although it is said that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, these people are often deprived of some rights.


Some organizations working for the rights of the people claim that they are neither male nor female. They say that these individuals are different than the general sex identities i.e. man and woman. They are somewhere in the middle, means, they possess characteristics of both men and women. Either they look like a man but behave like a woman or vice versa. The advocates claim that these people should be called the third gender (most commonly known as transgender) people who want to become a woman, despite being a man by nature, or a man despite being a woman by nature.


This is really very new for many people and is difficult to grasp that a man wants to be called ?she?, wants to have a boy friend, wants to wear minis and wants to look pretty with makeovers. In many cases, the family is against this man and they want him to be a man and marry a girl and live a life of a son, which is not acceptable to him. This brings conflict and the family doesn?t support him.


Besides the family issue, the state has its pre-supposition that the men and women living in this territory shall be moral and should fulfill all their duties. The state doesn?t assume beyond the existence of a man and a woman, which is the thrust in every equality clauses made to make women equal to men. However, there are some people who claim are from the third gender group, not from male or female group. The state rejects their idea and keeps silent on their issues.


The question now is why the state should speak about them because if we look back at history, we cannot find a term to show respect to them. For example, a male is called ?he? and a female ?she?. Grammatically, there is a neuter gender, which is called ?it?. So from this point of view, the person falling under this category can be called ?it?, whereas the term ?it? indicates the non-living thing that is an object. This makes them objects, not humans.


To make it clearer, reference can be taken from Criminology. In the ?Text Book on Criminology?, Katherine S Williams, discussed the genetic abnormalities, which are the result of chromosomal mutations at the time of conception. She has given emphasis on the two different chromosomal conditions of human which include XXY and XYY chromosomes. At the time of conception the sperm and ovum unite to form a single cell. A normal male has the X chromosome from the mother via ovum and Y chromosome from the father via sperm. However, sometimes the sperm and ova contain more than one sex chromosome which lead to abnormalities in sex characteristics of the individual. In such a case abnormal males can be XYY, if there is an extra Y or male chromosome, and abnormal females can be XXY, if there is an extra X or female chromosome.


The writer further says that the XXY is known as Klinefelter?s syndrome and is generally related to degeneration of the testes, sterility, a tendency towards homosexual fantasies or a general disinterest in sexual activity. The XYY, on the other hand, is named as ?Supermale? because of the extra Y on the male chromosome. It is argued that the supermale is more aggressive and more criminal. However, the writer has agreed at last that the chromosome abnormality and criminality are not closely related.


The book has raised the issue of the persons who are now known as the Third Sex. I am not an expert in medical science, therefore, I have to rely on the findings of people who conduct researches on these issues, however, as a human rights lawyer it is my duty to raise the issue of the person with so called abnormal genetic condition and is considered as a different sex. The book referred above has considered the person with extra chromosome an abnormal person and they are more pro-homosexuals.


The question now is about who is heterosexual and who is homosexual. Generally, a person with male chromosome is attracted to a female with femalechromosome or vice versa, that is a heterosexual condition, which is accepted by the law and the society. Now, if a male is attracted to another male, female to female, XYY or supermale to supermale and XXY to XXY, then it is called homosexual attraction. Otherwise, if an XXY is attracted to XY or XX or XYY, then undoubtedly that is a heterosexual condition. It becomes really interesting in this point to see the reality about heterosexual conditions where there is attraction between persons with different chromosomal conditions. But because of the present socio-legal orientation about sex, heterosexual condition is limited to the sexual attraction between a man and a woman. From here, the exclusion and abandonment of the third sex prevails and this puts them into illusion.




In fact, the egalitarian philosophy of law, elaborated by Philosopher John Rawls, says that those who are marginalized and in minority, their issues should be prioritized in all aspects of law and society. From this point of view, it is obvious and inevitable that the third sex are real people but in minority, they are not yet protected by the law and their issues and different needs are never the priority of the state to respect, protect and fulfill. Therefore, to analyze the concerns of third sex individuals, human rights analysts and advocates have to raise the voices to identify the needs and rights of these persons, which would make them real persons from their present status of illusive persons




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