Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hilarious video for Passover: "Let My People Go!"

This is one of the most clever videos I've ever seen on YouTube. Enjoy. Happy Passover to all who celebrate the Jewish holiday.

And, I'm praying for liberation from tyrannical militarised regimes for all the people of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and the entire region of North Africa and the Middle East, including for my Palestinian sisters and brothers.

The First Gay or Transsexual Caveman??? WHUCK????

image is from here

This is one of those "how about that?" stories that makes the rounds on and offline. A gay caveman?? A transsexual caveman?? It appears, verbatim, on about two and half pages--at least--of Google links.
Let's do a little bit of cultural anthropological and social-political analysis, shall we? "Caveman" and "gay" and "homosexual" and "transsexual" are all VERY white, Western, Anglo-English terms and concepts. They exist in a time and a place that is more or less "now" and "here" if you live in places where English is a first language, a mother tongue. They are all anti-Indigenous, or woefully ignorant of Indigenous societies and traditions.

Those English-language terms have no meaning outside this Anglo world. None. At all. 

The whole story pretends that these terms transcend time and place, culture and worldview. Here's one bit of proof: it doesn't occur to those who are promoting this story to wonder if the remains of the person was Two-Spirit. Why? What about asexual? What about intersex? What about intergender? What about "none of the above"? 

It doesn't occur to the people promoting this story that heterosexuality didn't exist yet. Because in so many places, it didn't exist. That term and reality is also culture-bound and is contemporary. Whether or not males and females have sex, had sex, or will have sex, is not an indication of "sexual orientation". Nor is it an indication of anything else--certainly not of what any individual welcomed or wanted regarded "sex". 

"Gender orientation" is also a contemporary concept, bound by culture and time. "Transsexual" is a new phenomenon. So is "being Gay". There's no such thing as a transsexual or gay "caveman", folks. And "caveman" is not likely a term anyone used to describe himself, if there even were people who differentiated themselves by what we now call "gender". The term "third gender" assumes there were two in a given society. Guess what? In many there were none at all. And in many Western societies it was assumed there was one--yes, one--male/man, and that female/woman was simply an inverted and inferior version of the perfect HIM. (For much more on that, see the book Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud, by Thomas Laqueur.)

The whole story is really just another racist, anglo-centric essentialising effort by some contemporary people wanting some form of attention and acclaim to pretend they can appropriate the remains of past people, disrupting and invading and violating graves and sacred spaces, into the present white Western worldview that pretends how we are now is how we all have been, everywhere. Guess what? That's not even true about NOW. Even NOW there are many ways of being, roles, duties, and preferences that don't match up at all with any English-language terms that approximate gender or sex. In some societies you do what you do--childcare or warfare, and what you do is determined by social-economic-political realities, such as how many people are there to do what needs to get done; the issue isn't "identity" as Westerners think about that, at all; it's about getting shit done.

Here's something that's much more likely in 2900-2500BECD (Before the Era of Christian Domination):  
The way that the people of that region and era conceived of things like "sexuality" and "gender" are not knowable to us. Westerners and whites ought to stop violating sacred burial sites. Period. End of story.

What follows is all from the Telegraph, *here*.

First homosexual caveman found

Archaeologists have unearthed the 5,000-year-old remains of what they believe may have been the world's oldest known gay caveman.

Cave art
Archeologists believe they have discovered a 'transsexual' or 'third gender grave' in the Czech Republic Photo: ALAMY
The male body – said to date back to between 2900-2500BC – was discovered buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age.
The skeleton was found in a Prague suburb in the Czech Republic with its head pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic jugs, rituals only previously seen in female graves.
"From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake," said lead archaeologist Kamila Remisova Vesinova.
"Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual," she added.
According to Corded Ware culture which began in the late Stone Age and culminated in the Bronze Age, men were traditionally buried lying on their right side with their heads pointing towards the west, and women on their left sides with their heads pointing towards the east. Both sexes would be put into a crouching position.
The men would be buried alongside weapons, hammers and flint knives as well as several portions of food and drink to accompany them to the other side.

Women would be buried with necklaces made from teeth, pets, and copper earrings, as well as jugs and an egg-shaped pot placed near the feet.

"What we see here doesn't add up to traditional Corded Ware cultural norms. The grave in Terronska Street in Prague 6 is interred on its left side with the head facing the West. An oval, egg-shaped container usually associated with female burials was also found at the feet of the skeleton. None of the objects that usually accompany male burials  such as weapons, stone battle axes and flint knives  were found in the grave.

"We believe this is one of the earliest cases of what could be described as a 'transsexual' or 'third gender grave' in the Czech Republic," archaeologist Katerina Semradova told a press conference on Tuesday.

She said that archeologists had uncovered an earlier case dating from the Mesolithic period where a female warrior was buried as a man.

She added that Siberian shamans, or latter-day witch doctors, were also buried in this way but with richer funeral accessories to appropriate to their elevated position in society.

"But this later discovery was neither of those, leading us to believe the man was probably homosexual or transsexual," Semeradova said.

The Corded Ware culture takes its name from the frequent use of decorative cord impressions found its pots and covered much of North, Central and Eastern Europe.

It is also known as a single-grave and battleaxe culture due to separate burials and the Mena s [sic] habit of being buried with stone axes.