Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hermafrodite (English Version)

Publicado: 11/10/2008 - 14:10

In the delivery room of the Hospital Malparaíso, an interesting thing occurs. One, out of every one hundred thousand births, is an Aphrodite’s case. This is a rare abnormality, but according to Science, “it can be corrected.” A doctor named Plutarco Machado, who also holds a degree in Theology states that, “What would be of the World, if we let a third or fourth gender spread? It would be anti-nature, anti-social, and worse of all, anti-God.” For doctor Plutarco Machado, God created men and women and finished his human creation. So, how does one explains that a child is born sometimes, with both, female and male sexual organs? At the end, God and nature are left out of this equation. The blame is usually place, arbitrarily, on the parents’ genes. In this Hospital, as in most of them, these types of cases are treated as abnormalities, as when a child is born with a cleft lip, or six toes, which may be easily treated and corrected with surgery. Usually this theme of herm-Aphrodite is the fuel to the cruelest and grotesque urban legends; it is a Taboo to talk about it in public. The subject is a frail one; one hardly finds any accurate humane reference in literature, except in Mythology. As a result, hermaphrodite is castrated as soon as is born. As soon as “It” make its entry into this blameful world of she(s) and he(s), the helpless parents of the child have to play God, and are forced to choose what sexual orientation they will want their child to grow up to be. “After all,” Dr. Plutarco argues, “it is the parents’ responsibility to amend their mistake,” (Mistake? Really!). Hence, this inhuman carnage is meticulously performed with the most sacred secrecy in the Hospital Malparaíso; the children grow up never knowing about this decisive incident in their lives. From then on, not even the parents dare to talk about it, not even in private, for they would not want people to think ill of them nor confuse their child. Soon, the affair becomes quickly suppressed and forgotten.

However, I wonder, what was going through the parents’ head, right at the moment they had to make the decision. I can only imagine the magnitude of their fears and affliction, for we are not talking about a simple circumcision here. The destiny of a human being is at stake, a fragile soul. Moved by a self defense mechanism, and rationalizations of all sorts, the drama continues. “Should we call “It,” Ramon or Ramona?” The father would say to comfort his wife with a little dark humor and a tender look on his eyes. At that moment, the mother would have lowered her eyes trying to hide her face under the stained white sheets with a half smile, blushing with innocent guilt. “I always wanted a girl,” She would answer in a hardly audible whisper. And just like that, with a little dark humor, and a look of complicity on both parts, Aphrodite is sacrificed on the vertical altar of our dear two pillar-gender-only society; a void is created in between. The void is big and imperceptible enough as to create a living hell in the lives of many goodhearted and innocent individuals. Mr. Society does not accept “deviant” behavior or individuals in his town. The interesting thing that bugs one mind is that, doctor Plutarco is also the pioneer-leading surgeon of the plastic surgery department, and sex change operation procedures. He also owns a chain of yellowish Tabloids in charged of disseminating misinformation regarding Aphrodite, on which “he/she” is portrayed as a perverse scary fetish. He has made himself and his partners a fortune. Sex change operations, males wanting to be female, and vice versa, have become a very demanding and lucrative industry in the Hospital Malparaíso. Nevertheless, doctor Plutarco is reluctant, and refuses to perform a sex change operation on his own daughter Ramona.

As I said at the beginning, in the Hospital Malparíso interesting things occurs. Nevertheless, Nature cannot be fooled, eventually it follows it natural course. Soon, Ramona became a doctor, and a famous psychologist. Last time I heard, she is now officially a he, and Dr. Plutarco has come to terms with the new age winds. Now, he is a strong advocate for gender equality and gay marriages. He is also the grandfather of three adopted Peruvian children. He and Ramon developed a wonderful relationship, after his wife was diagnosed with dementia, and a year later she died of sadness calling for Ramona, her lost child.

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