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Saturday, June 12, 2004

Basic Form 

While I'm contemplating the findings of my recent surgery (not terrible, but not good either), and the surgeon's recommendations for therapy (2 "evils" with no "better of" between them), I find myself still ruminating on themes from Middlesex.

Over 2 months before I'd even picked up the novel, I happened across a site on Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. I found this statement fascinating: "So in a genetically male (XY) foetus the active intervention of male hormones (androgens) is needed to produce a fully male system. A female body type with female external genitalia is the basic underlying human form."

It seems to me that if society accepted this basic scientific concept, a lot of time-honored ideas about sex and gender roles (not to mention a few foundational myths) would need to be reconsidered.

In the mean time, I find the prospect of excising my own internal female genitalia so emotionally wrenching that, as my male primary-care physician recently pointed out, I can barely bring myself to say the "H" word.


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