Why do you write?
Because I’m a spider and words are my silk. Because I’m inspired and have something to say. Because writing is crack, and I’m an addict. ~ Answers from National Writing Month
What do we write?
What we know, what moves us. About our findings, travels. Life events. Someone else’s story. Eye-catching headlines. Issues.
About curiosities. Questions posted on social media.
The last two inspired a post I wrote and deleted. Too long, too verbose. This shorter, lighter form survived since the question raised continued moving about my mind.
This was the question.
Why did Washington State pass a law on gender neutrality?
This was followed by commentary linking said law to child abuse. Choosing neutral on a birth certificate rather than boy or girl.
It should be clear enough, right? Boy. Girl. Boy. Girl.
What about intersex children?
And who decides?
The doctor? The parents? Would we like it decided for us?
Jim Bruce was born with XY male chromosomes but ambiguous genitals. After his birth in 1976, Bruce’s external organs and testes were surgically removed and he was raised as a girl. He struggled for years, preferring rough play and being attracted to girls.
Leaving it up to him as adult, would that have been better? Not an option at the time, but let’s just imagine. If you read the article, you’ll see the girl eventually grew into a man.
She was born with an intersex trait known as Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) in which a woman has XY chromosomes more typically found in men.
Should life have been decided for her at birth?
Up to 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits, according to the United Nations — a figure roughly equivalent to the number of redheads.
We like clear answers, clear definitions. Clear lines to follow. Most times we like it all to be the way we were raised.
We’re also writers.
And writers can provoke a great deal of thought and annoyance and anger in equal measure. All those wonderful ways with words. All that curiosity. Topics in need of exploration. Taboos. Convictions. All constantly addressed, challenged, written and re-written about.
Confronting, debating, or even discussing firmly established routines and rules can be infuriating. I know.
But is that our concern as writers?