Challenging the Male-Female Dichotomy
This module has focused on the work of three authors – a historian, an anthropologist, and a biologist – who each, in their own way and with the tools of their discipline, argues that the belief that the world is divided into two and only two sexes is a political fiction. We saw in this module that both in earlier periods in Western history and in non-Western cultures, people have believed that there was just one type of body with variations. As with bellybuttons, so with genitals it has always been recognized that some people have “innies” and some have “outies,” but, the readings for this module suggest that it is a political decision to take this difference as the most important way in which bodies are categorized.
CHALLENGE ONE: For this Challenge, identify an example of the one sex model and an example of the two sex model not mentioned in the course materials for this module. Your examples can be contemporary or historical and they can come from Western or non-Western cultures. Write a short report of 500 – 750 words in which you describe these examples and reflect on how each one is functioning politically. Share your report in the Challenge Sharing Forum.
CHALLENGE TWO: For this Challenge, research the intersex advocacy movement in Canada. What has it achieved and what are its main goals and objectives? Write a short report of 500 – 750 words in which you describe what you have discovered. Share your report in the Challenge Sharing Forum.