Once again, other societies are more sophisticated about this than we are. In the Dominican Republic, a girl whose genitals change late is called a guevedoche--"penis at 12." Among the Sambia of Papua New Guinea, she (he) is a kwol-aatmo: "Female thing turning into male." Among the Americans, though, there is a very small number of terms to cover a vast array of gender ambiguities. Instead, we have the knife and the law. Like the medieval villagers who tried and hanged a cock because it laid an egg, Americans think they can trim or legislate away the polymorphous obstinacy of nature. They're wrong. There's the cock, and there's the egg. Plain as the genitalia under your belly button, if you have eyes to see.
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself.
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?
The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.