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|1.||Understanding third sex|
|2.||History of third sex|
|3.||Real Third sex is based on nature not arbitrarily decided|
|4.||Impotence and third gender|
|5.||Masculine male (sexual) bonds and third gender|
|6.||Third sex and Homosexuality|
|7.||Third sex and heterosexuality|
|8.||Third sex and women|
|9.||QUEER ACTIVISM: Manipulating history and science|
Understanding Third Sex
To understand 'third gender' it is recommended that you understand 'gender' first.
Sex: Sex refers to outer sex organs of an individual and the corresponding outer sex identity.
Gender: Gender refers to the inner sense of being a male or female, irrespective of outer sex.
The combination of the two leads ideally to 5 or even 6 sex identities under natural circumstances.
But most traditional societies (except the Christian west); including Greeks, Arabs and Indians recognized only 3 genders as follows:
Man: Outer sex â Male; Gender â Masculine
Woman: Outer sex â Female; gender â feminine
Third Gender: Outer sex â male; gender feminine.
The third gender basically comprised of feminine gendered males (including transgender, transvestite and transsexual males). However it also included people whose sex identity did not neatly fall into male or female sexes. This included eunuchs, hermaphrodites and intersexed people.
Third gender or third sex males consider themselves to be predominantly 'females' in various degrees. There may be three types of third gender:
1st degree: Those who have feminine mannerisms but usually don male clothes. They are closer to meterosexuals.
2nd degree: those who don female clothing, some permanently and openly while others secretly and occasionally.
3rd degree: those who feel like trapped in the male body and may go for castration or sex change.
Although confused with same-sex desires, the third sex has no direct relationship with such desires and in fact most natural members of the third sex are into relationships with the opposite sex. This is also confirmed by some preliminary studies of the transgender populations.
In other words sexuality is irrelevant in deciding the third sex status --- as far as nature is concerned. But at least since medieval times third sex has been a major tool and victim of sex and gender politics in order to control male sexual behavior.
Most ancient civilized societies had three genders:
The western society recognizes only the male and
female sex. It considers femininity in males to be an aberration caused by
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History of third sex
In all probability the pre-historical human societies had close to 5 or 6 gender identities, keeping with the nature of humans. Indeed some of the surviving ancient tribes (e.g. the Native Americans or the Bugis of Sulawesi, etc.)). When there were not enough gender identities, unlike present day west, these cultures accommodated all the possible shades of gender within the ones available.
The feminine male, the masculine female and the hermaphrodite --- all were considered important members of the society and had their distinctive roles in the society. E.g. they often became priests and healers.
At some point of time Masculinity in men started to be valued much more --- perhaps because the society needed more warriors. This may have resulted in femininity in males being devalued.
This was the stage when boys had to now go through a 'manhood' test, testing their physical and mental stamina for a warrior/ hunter life, before they were taken in as men. Men and women used to live in separate groups and boys lived in women groups till they reached adolescence after which they either joined the men's group or the third gender group.
The feminine male gender which was originally a valued and respected gender now may also have become a kind of banishment for all those masculine gendered boys who could not pass the stringent, often cruel physical tests.
The various genders for the female sex were gradually abolished, but women were always allowed a lot of fluidity in all societies (except the Islamic and Christian ones later). Women could opt for both feminine and masculine roles within the same gender space. This was probably because femininity was not over valued in women. They could be warriors as well as housewives.
At some point of time the society manipulated masculine male gender and arbitrarily fixed 'procreation' as the new test of manhood --- clearly, to help augment the population. This automatically gave sex with women an immense social value for men --- as source of their 'social masculinity'.
Obviously, masculine men who rebelled or were seen to fail the new masculinity test were, at least symbolically, labeled with the now much discredited and marginalized third sex. This acted as a sort of banishment, but was inappropriate, because the third sex was basically a space for feminine gendered male --- not for men who do not want to or cannot reproduce (as some ambitious homosexual activists claim).
This created an intense pressure on masculine gendered men that made almost all of them opt for marriage. Marriage and procreation has always been enough to prove one's manhood and emotional attachment with females was seen as unmanly --- even a quality of the third sex --- in the ancient world. Although sexual interest was never an issue it did bring extra 'masculinity' points to men and made the whole game easier.
In due time masculine gendered men also responded by creating their own spheres where they invented pretexts behind which they could stay away from women without losing their manhood status. These spaces were either warrior cults or spiritual cults. Women were strictly not allowed within these spaces and its adherents were restrained from contacts with women --- except for procreation purposes within marriage.
As part of this gender and sexual politics to control the sexual behavior of masculine male, the third sex's sexual need for women was 'un-acknowledged' in order to make male-male sex sound masculine. Third sex males who liked women too went underground.
With time, the third gender --- a people which once were both men and women (two spirited) became neither men nor women (napumsak).
Sex between men was extremely common amongst masculine gendered men even when marriage was seen as a social duty necessary for procreation. It wasn't unmanly or \ a third gender quality to desire another man. In fact, traditionally it had a masculine value and all warrior male traditions attached great value to such bonds.
By the time Christ was born however, masculine male sexual bonds started to be targeted by the societies, who now had less and less tolerance for them, as they were a big hurdle in the institution of marriage.
Christianity and Islam began a never ending violent 'crusade' against masculine male bonds till such bonds were completely obliterated from the surface of the society.
The second blow came in the form of 'social masculinity'. In the medieval ages sex between men started to be actively propagated as a feminine quality that is only indulged in by members of the third sex --- not only by Christians and Islamic societies, but also by others like Hindus as well. They took cue from each other, no doubt.
All this had the effect that sex between masculine gendered men went underground and men started to observe strict silence over such needs or bonds in the formal space. But masculine gendered men who liked men exclusively, in the entire history never actually became a part of the third sex.
However, with this the third sex males who liked men got a social space all for themselves and became powerful within that space.
The exceptions were the Christian societies
however, which had no such space and acknowledged only male and female genders.
It expected all men to be masculine and all women to be feminine. However, the
criteria for masculine and feminine was not based on nature but arbitrarily
decided by the society. The feminine gendered male was seen both as a sinner and
as a diseased person.
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Real Third sex is based on nature not arbitrarily decided
The third sex has been used by the major world religions of the middle ages, including Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, to scare men off certain behaviors by arbitrarily marking them as feminine and thus belonging to the third sex and at the same time arbitrarily marking certain behaviors masculine and thus keeping them off third sex when by nature they belong there.
However, this comprises an abuse and manipulation
of natural gender and these qualities cannot be legitimately claimed to be a
historical precursor of the modern third gender identities (like homosexual,
gay, queer, etc.).
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Impotence and third gender
Homosexual activists-cum-scholars today often claim that third gender was for anyone who could not reproduce. Thus they claim effeminate men, eunuchs, impotent masculine men and masculine men who were exclusively into men were also part of the third gender.
This is obviously wrong, since we have ample proof that not only ordinary feminine males but even extreme transsexual males have an abundant sexual interest in women and have been marrying and procreating since time immemorial. Therefore there is no relation between feminine gender and a lack of sexual desire for women or so-called capability to have sex with women.
Eunuchs were included in the third sex because, on account of their castration they were not males anymore. And apart from feminine gendered males the third sex category also included hermaphrodites and other individuals whose sex status could not be assigned to one sex or the other.
Also, only feminine gendered males aspired to be castrated --- in order to rid themselves of their male organ. Therefore, being a eunuch was basically a third gender affair. Although some cultures like the Chinese, also castrated masculine gendered men for socio-political reasons --- but it was forced on them. Although they were probably included amongst the third sex too, it was not completely justified.
And although as banishment, masculine gendered
impotent men were also labeled third sex by the vested interests who controlled
religion, in practice, they were not really part of the third sex because they
were basically masculine gendered. And they would live in society as men albeit
with an illness that affected their 'manhood'. It is the same today.
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Masculine male (sexual) bonds and third gender
Masculine gendered men who had an exclusive sexual interest in men were not considered impotent in the past --- just as today --- as against what is misleadingly being implied by some homosexual scholars (since they don't differentiate between masculine gendered and feminine gendered 'homosexuals'). For one thing the desire was unimportant in determining sexual potency. Even with a complete lack of sexual interest in women, a man with a normal erection mechanism could do the needful although with a little effort. And he could and would procreate like other men. Impotency referred to a physical or psychological ailment which rendered a man unable to achieve erection at all. If a first gender male (also called pums prakriti or purush ved in ancient India) achieved an erection with a man or with a lot of cajoling with a woman, he certainly did not qualify as impotent or napumsak or least of all eunuch. The same attitude towards impotency still exists in most societies including India.
But yes the society did create an artificial
impression in the formal sphere that the third sex was about males who were
'lacking' in that they could not engage in procreation. Masculine male desire
for men went underground and survived in disguise as deep friendships . They
quietly continued to do what they wanted to do within the male spaces and got
married and produced children to establish their manhood in the eyes of the
society as well as in their own eyes.
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Third sex and Homosexuality
Third sex is the same as homosexuality and it is not. The confusion is caused by intense gender-sexual politics since the ancient times.
Third sex represents the feminine homosexual of today's western 'homosexual' identity --- which is the basis of what is known as 'homosexuality'.
In non-western cultures, 'homosexual' refers only
to feminine gendered males who like men. It is not used for masculine gendered
males who like men. Thus 'homosexual' or 'MSM' becomes just another name for the
Although under the modern western concept of 'homosexuality', sex between a member of the third sex and a masculine male would be termed as 'homosexuality', None of the ancient cultures worked that way.
Third gender means a different sex category altogether. Third sex is as different from the masculine male as the female sex. Third sex males are not considered 'men', either by the society or by themselves. Sex or sexual desire between third sex and men have always been considered as 'heterosexual' rather than homosexual in these societies. That is why it has been widely acceptable and recognized here, even when masculine male bonds were suppressed.
Even in the west, although gender is not recognized â as far as the homosexual identity is concerned (for the straight identity it is recognized) â at the subtle level there is a strong social difference between the masculine male and the feminine gendered male (who is the real third sex).
The term homosexual would then properly apply only to sex between:
- two members of the third sex,
- two men, or
- two women
However, since the term homosexual is so
inherently intertwined with the third sex, its use is better discarded than used
for sex between masculine males.
Like mentioned before, the ancients did not, and the non-western world still does not consider 'homosexual' to be a separate group of people. It only considers feminine homosexual to be a separate group --- that of third sex.
Sexual acts like passive anal intercourse or giving fellatio became a hallmark, a characteristic of this group. They indulged in it as their primary often exclusive sexual acts as an assertion of their feminine identity. In other words they liked to use their anus or their mouth as substitutes for vagina Of course this was a result of social manipulation of gender which made these acts 'feminine', as even today many feminine 'homosexual' males indulge in active anal intercourse.
Because these acts became associated with the third sex, they became extremely stigmatized for first gender males (pums prakriti). But men still indulged in them behind the scenes.
It should be noted that in earlier days, receiving
both anal and oral sex was considered a masculinising factor, instead of a
feminizing factor for masculine boys, and thus were not particularly associated
with the third sex. They were part of many a transition ritual of boys passing
into 'manhood', and it was believed that the act cleanses them of femininity
which they acquired by living with women till now, and instills them with the
seeds of manhood.
Third sex males (known as people of the third nature) by nature feel different and maladjusted in the mainstream male society which is primarily masculine gendered. They do so from a very young age when their sexual feelings have not yet developed. It is clear that their feeling of being 'different' is brought about because of their different gender â their femininity, and not because of their sexual feelings.
Of course, masculine gendered men who like men exclusively do not feel any different from other straight men. In traditional societies where male spaces are separate and strong they don't ever feel different. But in heterosexual spaces that are hostile to same-sex feelings they start feeling different only when their sexual feelings become prominent. This difference is although highlighted by the society, it is still not a basic difference and the worst fear of the masculine gendered man in acknowledging his same sex needs is to be thrown out of the straight space --- where he feels belonged by nature, into the third gender homosexual space, where he lives as an outsider.
The transition from straight to gay --- what is referred to as coming to terms with one's sexuality is especially difficult for masculine gendered men as a result.
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Third sex and heterosexuality
The gender and sexual politics since the ancient times has made the third sex who desired women invisible. The reason was to make sex with a woman a masculine act, if it were to be used as a test for manhood.
Feminine gendered men who desire women --- or who can be described as heterosexual transgendered men as per the modern definitions --- form the majority of the third sex (transgendered) male population. This has been proved by several recent studies on the subject. However, a strong social propagation of heterosexual desire as 'masculine' prevents us from seeing or conceptualizing this basic fact.
Almost nothing is known about how this bigger part of the third gender lived in the 'civilized' world in all these ages --- more than two thousand years. But from whatever little is left of the ancient tribal cultures of North America, Polynesia and Africa, we know that they had a special place for third gender people, and that they did not distinguish between the third sex that had sex with women and the third sex that had sex with men.
Third sex that liked women has been the major victim of the gender and sexual politics, together with 'straight' men who liked men. Straight men who like men too probably constitute the major part of the 'straight' population, inspite of the fact that it is portrayed as an exclusively 'heterosexual' identity.
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Third sex and women
There was probably a time in antiquity when societies recognized masculinity in women as a separate gender --- a fourth gender. Later many (like the north American tribes) clubbed them with the third gender to include both feminine males and masculine females.
But by and large in most civilized spaces, these separate spaces were done away with, and there remained just one gender for women. However, in the ancient days, women were allowed a lot of flexibility in their gender roles (which were very strict for masculine gendered men). Thus e.g. in Greece and India, women could be gladiators or bodyguards or they could be housewives and raise children. A sexual relationship with women too did not call for a separate sexual identity.
More or less similar values vis. a vis. women still exist today, including in the west, where women have much more freedom to adopt feminine or masculine roles and even to explore sex with other women, without having to take on a 'lesbian' or 'bisexual' label or loosing their natural feminine gender.
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Post industrialization west and the third sex
In Christian societies the vested interests tried a lot to break men who had sex with men --- especially if it was exclusive --- from the male group and force them into the third sex group. This would have greatly helped in removing male-male sex from the society altogether, which was thriving within the male spaces, although hidden from the outer world. But what saved these men was the fact that the male solidarity was extremely strong. Because men had their own spaces --- which is how nature has meant it to be.
However, industrialization gave the western society a lot of technological and economic power and an opportunity to restructure social spaces, using which the powerful vested interests started to destroy the male spaces and customs by heterosexualing them. These spaces had extreme pressures to be 'heterosexual' and had zero tolerance for male-male sexual bonds. There were no more hidden male spaces where such bonds could survive. With this masculine gendered men totally distanced themselves from male-male sexual desire and those who did not were now automatically isolated and broken from the masculine male gender (now called 'straight') and forced into the third gender, now called "homosexual". The oppressive and misleading concept of 'sexual orientation' came in handy in this.
However, this move immensely benefited a section of masculine and feminine gendered males, including the third gender males who predominantly liked men (the real homosexuals) whose powers were now consolidated.
The new 'third sex' category that the west invented through the 'abuse' of science had officially nothing to do with gender. It was termed 'homosexual', and the masculine gendered men were also to be included in it. However it continued to be a stronghold of the third sex and homosexuality is still closely associated with transgenderism by the original homosexuals themselves as well as the larger society. While the masculine gendered men live in the homosexual space on the margins, unacknowledged as if they don't exist. If they are acknowledged by the third sex which dictates the norm of the homosexual space, it is only as 'straight acting' implying that their masculinity is merely a pretense. While the 'straight' space is trained to hate male-male sex as an important pre-condition of the identity --- as a new arbitrary addition to the manhood test. The new 'manhood' is now called 'straighthood'.
Although 'straight' label too is officially claimed to be only about sexuality and not gender (masculinity), third sex males who like women exclusively and are as heterosexual as any straight claims to be, are not included in the 'straight' category. Thus rejected, they then turned to be included in the new third sex group, the 'homosexuals'. The homosexuals however did not want to share their social power/ space with them. So they were forced to form another gender identity --- the transgender.
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QUEER ACTIVISM: Manipulating history and science
There is an aggressive movement by a section of the original homosexuals --- i.e. the third sex males who like males, as well as the butch lesbians to distort and misinterpret history and abuse science to invent historical/ scientific/ biological validity for the homosexual identity as the ancient third gender --- where none exists.
E.g. Amara Das of the Gay and Lesbian Vaisnava Association has written innumerous articles and a book claiming that the homosexual identity is the same as the 'eunuch' or 'napumsak' identity of the past, and thus is not a modern western construct.
In reality they are trying to protect and consolidate the immense social power that the homosexual category brings them, by trying to validate it historically and scientifically.
Several third sex scientists have claimed through half-baked scientific studies that 'homosexuality' is caused by a gene, and that 'homosexuals have a different brain' or have other biological differences from the straight male. They claim that the 'gay' male has several biological similarities with women. Of course this information suits other vested interests (the heterosexual ones) who need it to manipulate male sexual behavior.
Indeed the entire concept of 'homosexuality' was started by a third sex individual called Karl Heinrich Ulrichs who initiated the term "Urning" defined as a "feminine soul enclosed in a male body".
In doing all this they conveniently ignore the masculine gendered males who are forced to share the homosexual space with them. So when they are supposedly testing for the causes of 'homosexuality' they are actually testing their femininity. Thus the differences they find out are because of the feminine gender of their samples and not because of their sexuality.
What facilitates this hoax, is that the western science does not acknowledge gender as biological. So there is no question of examining its role in the difference so found out. But it conveniently assumes that the sexual identities claimed by people are based on biological factors rather than social ones.
It is true that the social space held by the homosexual identity is actually a third sex category. But masculine gendered men should be clearly demarcated out, while it must include transgendered heterosexuals.
Otherwise it will not be a natural biological group and its claim to history and biology will also be a half-truth.