What is freedom?

Freedom is the ability to enjoy our God-given and societally accepted rights. However, in the recent readings about intersex individuals, it is striking to me the blatant refusal of healthcare providers, government officials, and members of society to allow individuals with DSD to practice the rights explicitly outlined in our nation’s constitution. From Caster Semenya’s lack of privacy in her gender verification proceedings, the inability of intersex infants to give their own consent in genital operations, and the legal incapacity of hermaphrodites to take legal action against potentially abusive sexual situations with physicians, it is clear that intersex individuals are not being properly protected in our judicial system. This is alarming, as we live in a world in which we are constantly working to defend rights to our own bodies. Why is it that our rights concerning issues like abortion and euthanasia are fought for with so much enthusiasm, while intersex individuals have simply been left in the shadows? The only answer I can gather is simply the nature of hermaphroditism as a “taboo topic” in our society, and an issue that many believe is not nearly as prevalent in our world as it truly is. For the rights of intersex individuals to be defended, I believe it is first necessary that citizens worldwide learn more about DSD and its presence in our world.

Fausto-Sterline, “Should There Only Be Two Sexes?” 92

Wonkam, “Beyond the Caster Semenya Controversy” 545

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