Hardly a subject more convoluted and/or intimate than s – e- hex, is there?

Look far and wide. Sacrifice of children or virgins (Trojan War set off after sacrificing Iphigenia, did you know that) shows a one-way-or-other awareness of s – e- hex. Look at clothing, look at advertising, look just about anywhere and it’s there, part-parcel of the shoes you buy or vehicle you do-don’t own.

Sex awareness is found in cultures struggling to survive and those with plenty. Why so? I suspect because individual sexual identification is well embedded in personality, in who-what we are, in persona.

I think sex is so much a part of personal and societal and cultural fabric it’s hard sometimes to distinguish other than by result. Plus it’s oft times embarrassing or uncomfortable to face, meaning denial and evasion.  

But, thank God, society and sex is too much for me to tackle. On the other hand I can’t pass the topic completely, so how about some observations? Nothing heavy, just a few thoughts.  

Gosh a-mighty, how often do I hear about the evil patriarchy? I can’t help wonder where these people grew up. In my urban neighborhood there often wasn’t a man in sight and any kid’s mother could lay into you for transgressing. The in-the-street enforcers were not patriarchs. In school the same.

I didn’t have a male instructor until grade seven, before that female teachers and their favored girls (plus the occasional goody boy) ruled classrooms as they saw fit. Until into my teens, the bigger older girls were easily the most badgering if not bullying. The favored girls were always on about something. A far-away patriarch made scant difference in daily street level affairs.  

Another observation suggests frequent and near universal uneasiness in our lives and bodies. A way to express this says “Being a child is easy. Growing up is hard.”

Parents were not handed an instruction book, and parents will readily tell you that no two kids are the same. We exist in chaos where sex-sexuality is one element.

Without being graphic, I’ll offer three male children; one retains its foreskin, another has theirs removed in infancy and the third is circumcised near their puberty. Each has a quite separate history with and memories of its own body, made more individual and complex given each is in its own cultural and economic context. Which of those lived experiences puts the haver of a penis in a better position to understand a non-penis person at the onset of monthly cycles?

Recommend the pills, shots or other affirmations to give equality and equity among these few simple examples. I say good luck trying. The dynamic of sexuality and personality might be able to be “fixed,” but only, I think, on a material level where the number of dollars or inches matters more than the person being measured and quantified for the success of a system.  

Honestly, I dislike my above analysis as “too much jabber.” On a plane level I’d say my own life was a lot of faking it where I went forward hoping that doing (action) would eventually explain where I was. So far it has not, but what else is there than fumble forward hoping for the best? Do I make my or your life better complaining about difficulty? I can’t fix the past, and I doubt you have cause to care much about another’s struggles beyond the recognition that in some odd way we’re all muddling along, sometimes doing OK while others we’re a flock of birds caught in a hailstorm pummeling us to a likelihood of destruction. A few make it through the storm. The better lessons on survival come from them. Hardship defines us less than our response to it.  

That’s a little less wordy and pretentious than earlier, I hope. Put simpler yet (and with no hope of being a cogent explanation) I offer child-boyhood (if we allow such to exist) recollections being one among other bowling pins crashing into each other for who knew why whilst being at times utterly upset by a bowling ball tossing the unset pins in violent new patterns. How’s that for a description? Does it work? Not perfect, but that somewhat fits my non-storybook life as a kid. Life smacks and tosses us about.

Detail isn’t needed to assert most of us have suffered confusion, pain or abuse of some form. I had frequent sexual conflicts and rarely (if ever) felt solid or secure in myself. (“You look more real than I will ever feel.”) Is there a fix for life’s inherent insecurity? As good a shot at that as banning Thursday or outlawing dislike. Life for most beings is rough. We have it relatively easy in material terms. Does ease, then, prepare the space for expectation to grow?

Wanting things better can breed unreasonable expectations. Unreasonable being ignorant of or ignoring natural-normal constraints on improvement.  

Now to the down and messy. Imagine social leaders deciding foreskins or nipples are worthy traits. These physical characteristics can be measured and ranked according to whatever hierarchy the leaders wish. But why emphasize physical (material) aspects? In daily activity such traits aren’t what matter. Think of a case where you’d want or need to know those things of your nurse, plumber or baggage handler. I can’t think of any, either.

If we were to cast distinctions among people based on physical traits, doing so would suggest something wrong with us (society) for making an issue where there wasn’t one. Nor would I believe-trust educational leaders saying that if we got our ten year olds involved all might, as Romans once said, be well. No. Compared to less conveniently measured traits as reliability, honesty and friendliness, s nipple, foreskin or color isn’t important.

On t’other hand, some physical traits matter. Wearing a beak and half my diet bird seed doesn’t make me into a flightless canary. My care for those feeling stuck with the wrong body is sincere, but I include others: amputees, stroke victims and many others who are not granted the social consideration of the few. Attention and favor goes to transforming. Those with a brain tumor are hardly considered.