The mainstream Western culture tends to have a belief that thesociety has two genders. In fact, the culture that is influenced byChristianity also believes that any additional genders fall under thehomosexuality category. However, Jonathan Harrison’s blog BeyondTwo Genders reveals how various native communities have retainednew genders that are not recognized as homosexuals. Morespecifically, most of these extra genders are based on the subjectiveassumption and traditional beliefs. This essay will reveal how thereligious ideologies and perceptions among the five cultures have ledto the new genders that are defined in a different way from thecontemporary western culture does.
The blog reveals how the Tombois in Philippines is recognized as thethird gender based on the subjective perceptions yet, they are notconsidered as homosexuals. In this case, the author reveals that theTombois are the masculine females that have adopted the image as away of enjoying a number of privileges associated with the men intheir society. Shockingly, the Tombois will maintain the masculineimage in the public arena but, they will keep a feminine image whilethey are indoors (Harrison). In fact, they will make love to thefeminine females in a sensitive way that is not the same to theapproach that the masculine males use. Besides that, most of themsimply want to enjoy the benefits that the men often enjoy. Forinstance, they will have the control over the lives and avoid thechild-bearing roles as well as the subordination that the womenundergo while they are married. The ideologies are quite differentfrom the assumptions of the western culture on gender. In most cases,they interpret the additional genders as homosexuals while theTombois do not have such beliefs.
The religious beliefs are also another factor that leads to theassumption of the other additional genders that other cultures haveconsidered. For instance, the Bugis in Indonesia has five genders asopposed to the two genders that are considered in the westerncultures. In particular, the culture has the man and woman then thebissu that are the priests and often have sexual genitals of bothgenders (Harrison). On the other hand, the calalai describe the onethat has a female genital yet, they have embraced the masculineimage. They are also described as the ones with male body and femalespirits while the calabai will have male genitalia and undertake thefemale roles (Harrison). The religious beliefs have placed them intothe other genders but, they will still embrace both sexualities.Shockingly, the community the sexual intercourse between a man and acalabai is not defined as homosexuality. In the modern westernculture, the society often considers the sex between two people ofthe same gender as the gay or a lesbian relationship. However, thesame case does not apply to the Bugis people since the religiousbeliefs are the ones that determine the sexuality and the genderdifferentiation.
The Samoans tend to delay the differentiation of the genders, andthey will nurture the small boys and girls like the same people. Inthis case, their culture will consider the genders when they enterthe ages between ten and twelve. From that point, they will thenincorporate the roles that are specified to each gender. The societyalso allows the children to choose the gender that they prefer, andthe parents will not force them to do anything they do not want todo. The girls or even the boys might adopt the feminine features thatwill define them as the fa`afafine (Harrison). It has been known asthe third gender since they are able to fuse both genders. Often, thecontemporary western cultures will define the genders of the babyright from the birth. In fact, the child will be dressed based on hisor her particular sexuality. They will even undertake roles thatmatch with their genders and any child that prefers the otherresponsibilities and the dressing of the other sex is seen as ahomosexual instead. Furthermore, the Hawaii people also have a thirdgender that is known as the mahu and they have adopted the masculineas well as the feminine features too (Harrison). In this case, thesociety does not define them as the homosexuals like the westernculture do. Instead, they just look at them as people that can havefeatures from both genders. For instance, Kumu Hina and Ho’onaniare the two people that have both genders, and they are considered asthe third gender too (Harrison). Besides that, the Navajo communityalso believes that they have two other genders apart from the maleand female. In particular, they are men with feminine essence whilethe women that have the masculine spirit instead. In this case, thesociety judges them as unique genders and not homosexuals. Thescenario shows a difference between the Navajo’s religiousunderstanding and how the western culture might interpret suchcircumstances.
In conclusion, the subject perceptions, and the religious beliefshave led to the creation of additional genders that is quitedifferent from the understanding of the mainstream western cultures.In most cases, the western culture will look at the people takingother genders as homosexuals. On the other hand, the five cultureshave a different understanding that is unique and based on thereligious and the cultural perceptions. In fact, the scenario showshow the geographical differences have led to the uniqueunderstanding.
Harrison, Jonathan. . 23rd Sep,2016. 8th Nov, 2016.<http://beyondtwogenders.blogspot.co.ke/>Web.