rethinking sex and gender

The Caster Semenya female/male debate is currently raising awareness of sex but so far it seems the media have yet to address gender. A decade ago I challenged the accepted belief of  a genetic sex and a social gender. Informed by the literature of the time (Butler, Fausto-Sterling, Hausman etc) and supported by Press for Change the leading political group led by campaigners such as Dr Stephen Whittle, I collected first hand narratives from individuals with transgendered lives who described growing childhood realisations of their internal sense of gender conflicting with the sexual identity bestowed on them at birth.  I was privileged with insight into the cruelty of ‘normalisation’ practices as individuality was medically categorised into one of two available ‘sexes’. I saw at first hand how limited conceptions of a sexual binary were inadequate to reflect the true variety of human existence. Rethinking Sex and Gender highlighted the need for more flexible attitudes and understanding, called for wider recognition of AIS, Intersex and transgender identity and suggested the mismatch between externally identified sex and internal experienced gender should be further investigated.  All discrimination is based on divergence and a fear of difference. Legislation recognises human rights but does nothing to contest human prejudice. Transgendered and Intersex identities continue to challenge one of the most fundamental tenets of society; a fixed sex gender duality supporting the power structures of dominant ideology.