Intro Rough Draft

Perhaps you were born premature, or with a pregnancy complication. Maybe you were underweight or with some other “problem”. But what if that problem was ambiguous genitalia? Thousands of people are born with this condition, or intersexed for short. This is when a child’s sex cannot be discerned by simply looking at their genitalia because it is neither an “acceptable” penis nor a vagina. There is a option for parents to have a surgery performed on intersexed children, a surgery that would “correct” their child’s genitalia to look more like that of the society’s expectation of it. Though with or without infant surgery, intersexed people struggle with gender identity issues everyday as they face a gender-separated society. Restrooms, locker rooms, clothing stores, even gyms can be separated by gender. This forces intersexed people to make a choice everyday on which gender they relate to more.

So the question remains, is this a problem that intersexed people are born with or is this a problem society pushes onto intersexed people with our constant focus on gender? Riki Wilchins suggests it is society that has the problem. “We’re not the ones who are broken. It’s the model that’s broken” (Wilchins, 34). This model society has constructed regarding gender leaves no room for deviation. People must choose one gender or the other: man or woman. Sure, people may not notice if someone of the opposite sex “passes” and enters the wrong restroom, but is it fair of society to force someone to “pass”? It is seemingly the only option that gender-undecided people have in order to survive within our society. With gender-separated everything, we, with all of our acceptance and open-mindedness in our modern society, are far from a place where intersexed people can reside without the pressure to choose a gender for themselves everyday. Intersexed people struggle physically and emotionally everyday with the restrictive boundaries of the gender binary that our society has constructed.

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