The Role Of Hermaphrodites In Society

659 words - 3 pages

The Role of Hermaphrodites in Society

In Ruth Gilbert’s At the Border’s of the Human, she discusses society’s interest in hermaphrodites in terms of “people’s desire to examine, scrutinize, and display objects which are alien, strange and other” (6). The anomalous and bizarre spectacle of the hermaphroditic body has drawn the focus of scientists since the early sixteenth century. Hermaphrodites have long evoked a “mixture of disgust and desire, and fear and fascination”(Gilbert 150) that has led to their position as objects of scientific scrutiny. As defined by Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, a hermaphrodite is “an individual in which reproductive organs of both sexes are present”. Besides hermaphrodites challenging society’s physical norms, they challenge and have recently changed its cultural norms as well.

In ancient societies, dual-sexed beings were either “exterminated, considered to be beings of suffering, or regarded as strange phenomena” (Brisson 40). Their roles in society were nonexistent because they were viewed as “threatening deviance from the norm”(Brisson 40), specifically, their differences. This biological disparity is not only the source of problematic sexual relations, but also in social undertakings. In an attempt to give the abnormality of a hermaphrodite a reason, or cause for existence, the Myth of Hermaphroditus was created. In Book IV of The Metamorphoses as told by Ovid, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite travels to a wonderfully beautiful lake in Caria. There he encounters the nymph of the lake, Salmacis, who falls desperately in love with him. To her dismay, she is rejected after an attempt to capture his love. The next day, as Hermaphroditus is swimming in the lake, Salmacis dives in and clings to his body, praying to the gods that their bodies never be separated again. Granting her wish, the gods join their bodies into a single being as they sink to the bottom of the lake (Brisson 42). Thus, the name...

Find Another Essay On The Role of Hermaphrodites in Society

The Role of Community in Society

774 words - 3 pages The Role of Community in Society Communities are an essential part of our society, because we all depend and interact with each other. Communities are groups of people that help an individual to learn and develop new ideas. A society is where people’s relations with each other are direct and personal and where a complex web of ties link people in mutual bonds of emotion and

The Role of Roman Women in Society

1111 words - 5 pages The role of Roman women in society From the founding of Ancient Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century the role of women changed immensely. The Romans preserved its foundation myth of Rome providing insight about its attitudes towards women, such as the Sabine women, who were said to have formed the ideals of the city with intelligence and courage intervening to save both families and keep peace.Then, as time passed, women

The Role of Police in Society

2152 words - 9 pages The Role of Police in Society In today's society the police, play may roles. They are the peacekeepers, law enforcement and many other jobs. However, recently they have become the subject of a very heated and large debate. Many believe that the police should give up their brute type tactics for a more civilized and humanized approach, while others feel that the police should crack down on the most insignificant of offences to type and

Role of the Majority in a Society

1142 words - 5 pages One of the defining principles of democratic society is the idea that “majority rules.” Despite the fundamental nature of this principle, it has been challenged by some of the greatest thinkers in history. Henry David Thoreau, Emmeline Pankhurst and Karl Marx are among these great thinkers who have commented on the role of the majority in different political and social situations. In works such as, “Civil Disobedience,” “Why We Are Militant

The Role of Genetics in Modern Society

1470 words - 6 pages The Role of Genetics in Modern Society Genes by definition are information we inherit from our parents, they contain chromosomal information which codes for every physical and mental attribute a human, animal or plant has. Modern society has come to realise by finding the gene that causes the illness they can remove it. They then can insert the correct gene to replace it. Genes are arranged like beads on a piece of

The Role of Religion in Roman Society

3506 words - 14 pages The Role of Religion in Roman Society Throughout the history of Rome, from the monarchy to the late empire, religion had played a great role in it's society and was involved in almost every aspect of the life of the Roman citizen. It was common for each house to have it's own patron god/gods and ,on special occasions, the head of the house would make a sacrifice to the personal gods of the family. Also, great festivals were usually held in

The Important Role of Mathematicians in Society

1626 words - 7 pages The Important Role of Mathematicians in Society Thesis Statement This report will focus on the professional field of mathematicians. It will highlight some of the history, responsibilities, opportunities, and requirements of this occupation. Outline I.     Introduction A.     A condensed history of mathematics B.     Famous mathematicians and their accomplishments II

The Role of Television in Today's Society

3011 words - 12 pages The Role of Television in Today's Society Has this technical box indoctrinated our minds with useless facts and images or has it given us a sensation of enjoyment, education and pure entertainment? Television has become ubiquitous across the globe. Nearly every household in Britain owns at least one television if not more. In my house we have three. For the past 80 years, this piece of technology has become more popular

Role of the Disabled in Today's Society

1300 words - 6 pages As stated by C.Dave Hingsberg “For hundreds of years, western society regarded the mentally retarded as sad accidents of nature to be closeted behind walls of secrecy and silence. Thousands were forcibility sterilized in an attempt to erase the genetic stain of their misfortune. But scientists now know that barely 10%of mental retardation is passed on genetically” (Hingsberg, Dave C.2001). This section came directly from the video “Is Love

The Lack of Women's role in society in the 1950s

1702 words - 7 pages sole purpose in existing was to take care of the things that were deemed by society as ‘women’s work’, which was taking care of the home, the children, and being ready and their husband’s every wish. As stated by Betty Friedan, “Millions of women lived their lives in the image of those pretty pictures of the American suburban housewife… Their only dream was to be perfect wives and mothers; their highest ambition to have five children and a

Women's Role in the Society

1281 words - 5 pages . But in developing countries the role of women is in many cases the same as men's.But what made women's role in society change?It's known, that it began to change with the advent of the industrial revolution and women got the right to work alongside with men and to be paid for their work, although their work costs cheaper. Nevertheless, their earning power gave them a certain amount of independence.During periods of war, when majority of men went to

Similar Essays

The Role Of Media In The Society

1254 words - 5 pages The Role of Media in the Society Media has always played a huge role in our society. For a long time media was one of the methods of controlling people and leisure. In ancient times when there was no newspapers and television, people used literature as source of information, some books like "the Iliad", and different stories about great kings, shows those people the information about them. Nowadays media is one of the

The Role Of Sports In Society

718 words - 3 pages , Sport has become a major institution in society, and, indeed, the modern world. Yet, our understanding of the role of this major social phenomenon are really clear. Sport as a cultural phenomenon affecting human's physical and mental aspects is essential for the development of a happiness and vigorous society and for the attainment of the individual's psychosomatic health. It is therefore of the greatest significance that people should engage in

The Role Of Education In Our Society

1379 words - 6 pages The Role of Education in Our Society Meritocracy is a universalistic viewpoint favoured by many and is widely seen as the ideal way in which society should be founded on. In addition, as the education system is arguably the most important and influential

The Role Of Business In Society

1935 words - 8 pages The problem to be investigated is that of understanding Dr. Novak’s discussions of the role business plays in society. The discussion centers around the topics of understanding the origins of the corporation, understanding the difference between corporations in the United States and Britain, understanding the different definitions of stakeholders, understanding the differences between democracy and social democracy, and understanding the