Elise06

“Specific kinds of knowledge about bodies enable us to exercise specific kinds of power over them. Such knowledge is…purposeful, it has aims” (37, Wilchins). The gender binary, which society clings to with all its might, is one that states only two categories of people, men and women. If you do not find yourself acting in accordance with one of these clear categories, then you are considered to be abnormal. When you are born with a body that is indistinguishable and varies from the norm, you are considered intersex; and, you are known by much of society as a “freak”. While many intersex infants are born with non-functional bodies and therefore require treatment and/or surgery, there are also many intersex infants who are born fully functional, but still undergo such treatment.
For many years, the United States made common practice of choosing a sex for all functional and non-functional intersex infants, and attempting to reshape them in the “correct” manner. Doctors and parents think that such surgeries and treatments make the child’s life easier, but it most often makes it more difficult. Society’s conviction of the gender binary has resulted in the unnecessary treatment and surgical intervention on functional intersex infants and children. Such repair and reconstruction is meant to insure that these children maintain normal appearances in society, but in reality it has a far greater negative, than positive effect.

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