It used to be so simple.

At most births the gender is decided when the doctor, after lightly smacking the baby ( or the mother if it was a very ugly baby) declared its gender on the basis of their genitals. The issue of gender is now being questioned and extended to all possible variations, unimaginable years back when I was born.

LGBTQ+ explains better than I ever will.

Rear view of people in the pride parade. Group of people on the city street with gay rainbow flag.

In today’s news the issue cropped up in the world of athletics and specifically swimming. It seems to deal with transgender males on their journey to becoming female (or being female all along) wanting to compete in swimming on an equal basis with females.

And I quote.

“FINA’s decision — which is the strictest ruling from an Olympic sports body — states that male-to-female transgender athletes are eligible to compete, only if “they can establish to FINA’s comfortable satisfaction that they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 [of puberty] or before age 12, whichever is later”.

The policy was passed with a roughly 71 per cent majority after it was put to the members of 152 national federations with voting rights who had gathered for the congress at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest.” Unquote.


So there you have it. But there is more that I have to become acquainted with, much more. A whole new language has to be taken onboard. It is now the norm that gay and lesbian couples get married like most of us and refer to their married partners as ‘my husband’ in the case of some Lesbian couples that I know of. I have yet to hear in gay married couples referring to a male partner as ‘my wife’. I am speculating here, but imagine myself to get introduced during a party amongst good friends, and being gay and married, ; please, meet my ‘wife Gerard’. It is just so baffling and at 82 having to learn a whole new language of nouns and pro-nouns. There are all sorts of variations and now include cisgender and nonbinary individuals. It never stops and one has to go to the university to do a course in getting to grips with this world of varying gender identity. I am looking for a dictionary that teaches me gender neutral pronouns.

It used to be so simple.

24 Responses to “It used to be so simple.”

  1. freefall852 Says:

    Nothing new under the Sun, Greard…; From Theodore Mommsen..”History of Rome”…. ” . . . Any one who beheld these female statesmen performing on the stage of Scipio and Cato and saw at their side the young fop–as with smooth chin, delicate voice, and mincing gait, with headdress and neckerchiefs, frilled robe, and women’s sandals he copied the loose courtesan– might well have a horror of the unnatural world, in which the sexes seemed as though they wished to change parts….”

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Perhaps in years to come we will have non binding genders and able to fluctuate from one to the other. A bit like swapping ties or watches. Perhaps with showrooms where experts will guide you through the different options.


  2. leggypeggy Says:

    Yes, it’s more complicated now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. auntyuta Says:

    Gerard, this lovely photo brings tears to my eyes. Girls, who like their father a lot, often would like their father to be very close to them, especially after the passing of one or more family members.

    The parent’s-in-law of my son, Martin, thought that Martin behaved
    too much like a woman, when he looked after the children, when they were little, and when he did a lot of home duties, rather then trying to outdo his wife, Elizabeth, who always had with large companies very, very well paid responsible jobs as an accountant. Liz liked to describe herself as being a feminist. I say, she comes across as a very feminine person. Maybe, her idea was, it would be wrong for her, to become dependent on a husband,
    And for sure, there is a lot of maleness in Martin. I don’t think Liz would ever have seen him as being ‘the wife’.
    In my experience, an ambitious career woman may opt to live with another woman, who becomes then her ‘wife’.
    Transgender people I know from some very thought provoking movies and TV shows. But I think I have never met any in real life. Lesbians and gays, yes I did meet some, and they always seemed to me to be very likable, natural people.
    Yes, these new gender rules, may produce a few people, that are not all that sure, who they really are. However if they are very sure, it is probably very liberating. Bisexual makes total sense to me, and has probably always existed, especially in times of shortages of women or shortages of men!
    ‘Queer’ seems to have a new definition. Is this expression these days only used for people that remain unsure of their gender?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I suppose tolerance and respect for whatever someone prefers in their attraction. It must be hard growing up being unsure of ones gender. I can’t recall back when I went to school that those problems of gender uncertainty existed. Yes, attraction to own sex was known but in Holland that was no problem. I believe in Australia it was unlawful and punishable, probably inherited from puritan England. Poor Oscar Wilde.


  4. shoreacres Says:

    In future years, I suspect we’ll read many more articles like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, you don’t know what you wish for and making those decisions at such early years can be catastrophic. I wonder if there is something ‘fashionable’ creeping in for young people to stand out from the crowd and be different making those choices and often with irreversible medical procedures?

      Sex is wildly overrated and means just going up and down without actually arriving anywhere. It is better to sometimes catch a train and at least have a destination, but that insight comes with getting old.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. freefall852 Says:

    As for my personal opinion, Gerard….I think it is a sign of the continuing decadent collapse of western civilisation..that such a small percentage of the overall population can make claim to become the centre of attention for cultural direction…

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, you might have a point there, Jo.
      I wonder if Putin could be a frustrated nonbinary individual looking for a reverse procedure making him gentle and peace lover?

      Liked by 1 person

      • freefall852 Says:

        Like the Americans….. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        I like gentle and peace loving. 🙂

        Not everyone wants to be gentle and peace loving. I do not believe the sexual orientation has a lot to do with it. Maybe an overload of male hormone plays a part. Even woman have some male hormones, and maybe can have too many? Is that possible?

        My father used to say, women like this have ‘Haare auf den Zähnen’!

        So, if someone, who would like to be reasonably gentle and peace loving, would find it impossible to bend to the wishes of someone who is everything but peace loving! Who then, in a case like this, is really the dictator?

        I remember a German saying, that goes back to previous centuries, when it was common to say something like this:

        Willst du nicht mein Bruder sein, hau ich dir den Schädel ein!
        (You better follow me, or else!)

        Please, do not tell me the official American policy towards people, that have a different view to their own, is gentle and peace loving.

        Is an overload of male hormones responsible for war-like behaviour or what is it? If someone constantly tries to exploit and dominate you, would you then not like to be strong enough to protect yourself and fight against this exploitation and domination?

        If the other does not respond to negotiations, unfortunately this may lead to horrible fighting. And people always blame the other side, never their own side, if something leads to a horrible fight.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sandie Says:

    Yes it can get very confusing. With our new (old) world there are going to be some many changes, some good, some bad. Oh for the simple life!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. catterel Says:

    You speak from my heart … thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Hi Gez and friends. FM and I live in the Inner West of Sydney -aka LGBTIQ + central. The sexuality or gender or whatever the politically correct term is these days is taken very seriously around here and as a straight white male, I have learned that engaging in the debate is a mug’s game.

    What I can say is that treating someone harshly for identifying themselves as one or more of these letters is cruel and serves no good purpose.

    To quote the late football commenting philosopher, Rex Mossop “I’ve got nothing against homosexuality. I just don’t want it shoved down my throat”.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    My territory of The Southern Highlands is very sedate and by and large proper. I have been most fortunate to have met a few people who are questioning things, and some oddly enough have come from the inner west of Sydney. One friend from around the corner of East Balmain would you believe it?
    Of course, having reached an age whereby napping sometimes overrides concerns about LGBTIQ +.
    Things are looking up with the new government aren’t they Therese?
    There is hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    I am trying to listen, learn, and understand.
    Thanks for the link…I’ll check it out and learn something.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PS….that second photo is sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that photo is so lovely and taken around 1974 or so when we were living in Holland. Helvi in the background. The girl on the left is Natasha at 4 years of age who lives in Balmain, Sydney. Next to her Susanna at 6. She passed away in 2012 and the little one dear Nicholas at 2 years and he passed away 1014.
      They were a lovely family and we had such joyous times then. A lovely winter and the snow was so white and soft.
      Hugs to you and Cooper

      Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        Such a lovely, lovely family photo, Gerard! 🙂
        You and dear Natasha being the only survivors of that close knit family, I bet Natasha does like to feel very close to you! 🙂


      • auntyuta Says:

        My daughter Gabriele was born in 1957 and passed away in 2012.

        My daughter Monika was born in 1958 and lives in Shellharbour City.

        My son Martin was born in Wollongong in 1960. He lives now in Benalla, Victoria.

        My daughter Caroline was born in 1978 in Wollongong and lives now in Wolli Creek, Sydney.


      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        Thank you for sharing the history of the photo. I’m so sorry to hear of those who passed away. 😦
        I’m so glad the photo holds lovely memories for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. rangewriter Says:

    It is all, indeed perplexing, Gerard. So many shades of gray. I do know gay couples who are married to (or are) wives. I’m glad that FINA has come up with some firm rules that everyone seems to be able to live with. The whole aspect of trans sports seems to be rife with issues of fairness. All I can say is that I’m so glad I happen to feel comfortable in my gender specific CIS womanhood. Life is just so complicated, I wouldn’t want to have to deal with that whole layer of confusion on top of everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

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