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An Interesting and Somewhat Offensive Series of Links

S. Yaeger's picture

For some reason, the following link about gender scandals in the Olympics popped up in my facebook feed yesterday.  The link is over 2 years old, and I suspect that the poster put it up because they like getting reactions.  While I didn't react on FB, I did click through both this story and the ones which were connected to it., he-10-most-shocking-olympic-gender-scandals

In the above article, I thought it was interesting that the commentary offered by the author upholds the idea that sex organs and gender are the same thing.  However, I found the following article that was in one of the click through links more interesting in terms of offensiveness.

Aside from the fact that the article confuses intersex with being a hermaphrodite, I can't believe that the first example given is a fictional space villian, and that the rest of the article places a lot of focus on inanimate objects.  This raises some questions for me about the common public perseption of intersex, as well as what is considered "normal".  I'm wondering what my classmates think about pop articles like this one, in terms of people's awareness.  I know the article is only meant to entertain, but is it damaging?


rachelr's picture


I think this could definitely be damaging! Its much more common to come across humorous articles on the internet, especially with StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and Facebook. I would have to say that most likely the majority, or at least half, of people reading these articles don’t have a full understanding of the root of what is being discussed- sexuality and gender identification. And this doesn’t make any effort to clarify anything; it calls Olympic athletes who are outside the gender binaries of “male” and “female” scandals and as S. Yaeger said, Jabba the Hutt is #1 on the hermaphrodite list.

While humor is great, so many people are very ignorant about this type of issue (and so many others- how many people were convinced that Obama isn’t actually an American citizen?), which does, in my opinion, give this type of article a lot of power.