Does this image make you think?

How certain images of gender reveals confusion around sexuality.
Written by in Gender

Does this image make you think?

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There is a discussion going on LGBT Equality Worldwide’s Facebook page about the photo: “Some men have vaginas… Some women don’t have vaginas… get over it”.

This photo stretches many people’s thinking – particularly those who are used only to thinking about gender as being either ‘female’ or ‘male’.

On Facebook, some people are commenting about this photo being about ‘transvestisism’ … which others are suggesting is a misunderstanding of the word transvestite (i.e. dressing in the clothes (vest) of a gender other than one’s own (trans)).

Some people are arguing that this is as photograph of transgenderism (ie the surgical or otherwise intervention to physically change gender to match ones mentally/emotionally-identified gender), which others are pointing out the lack of visual surgical evidence.

Let me add another thought for you … intersex.

Intersex is where a person’s physical gender is not clearly definable as either male or female.  Whilst a single gender would have all the physical bits match up, Intersex is another kind of physical gender-state; sometimes with both sets of genitals, sometimes with one main one and a secondary other one.

It has been known for doctors to assign an infant’s birth gender simply based upon  visual judgement.  Some infants have been physically altered (read: have their malformed penis removed) in order to be assigned a female gender … and their parents told to bring up the child in the guise of the newly doctor-assigned gender. Gender (and sexuality) are not as easily assigned as the medical profession used to think … but then, perhaps when someone concerned with how their own ‘expertise’ comes across is faced with a new unrecognised condition, no matter of expertise will make up for, perhaps, a lack of wisdom.

Back to the photo… I’m not saying that this is a photo of intersexed couple or a partially-transgendered couple.   It is, however, a clever photograph that challenges many people’s thinking about single-assigned gender.

Oh – and despite the Facebook comments on sexuality,  notice how this photo actually shows nothing about the models’ sexualities 😉

Warning – the source website contains an uncensored version of the photo.


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