Thursday, January 17, 2013

Not About Horses....At All

Okay, bear with me through this little rant; it'll be over soon.
Generally, I like to keep this blog solely about horses.  After all, the purpose of the blog is to have a training journal for Cadence and I, and I like to try to keep to the point.  Well, keep to the point of the blog anyway, as I'm pretty sure keeping to the point of whatever I happen to be writing about is damn near impossible... but I digress. The reason I'm prefacing my little rant with this is because I'm about to talk about something so far out to left field it isn't even funny: gender.  The reason I'm writing this is because earlier on in the day I read a comment on the bottom of a YouTube video stating that there are only two types of humans: male and female.  Anything else, according to this person, was nonexistent.  Now that may seem like a relatively innocent comment, especially when you consider I was glancing over a discussion on gay marriage. Its a debate I generally tend to avoid (and in fact I was only watching the video because I accidentally clicked on the link below the one I'd intended to open) because it seems that when the topic of gay marriage is brought up, people just plug their ears and start shouting, and the comments section of this video certainly proved that theory true.
So why did that comment bother me so much?  Well, because it simply isn't true.  By definition, a male is someone with the chromosomal pattern of XY, and a female XX.  Plain, simple, and to the point.  However, there's a portion of the populaiton (around 0.5% I believe) with sex chromosome abnormalities.  You can have XXX, XYY, XXY, XXXX, XXYYX, etc. and while some of the more extreme abnormalities (XXXX, as an example) are significantly more rare and have lower survival rates, XXY is still a relatively common chromosomal abnormality.  So what does this all mean? This means that there is a portion of the population with neither distinctly male, nor distinctly female characteristics; right down to their genetic composition, these people aren't either gender, but are instead both.  And when you take a physically challenging condition like this and add the issue of (gay) marriage onto it, where does that leave us? In places where gay marriage is banned, how are these people treated? Its an extremely complex issue, and yet people still wind up trying to fit square pegs into round holes...
Now all of this is coming from a person with very little experience, so to speak, in this area.  In fact, I don't even know any people who have sex chromosome abnormalities, and yet to be perfectly honest, its not about that.  Its about people choosing not to listen, its about people preferring to stereotype and demonize those who are different rather than comprehend the complexities of the world, its about people trying to categorize everything into neat little boxes, and its about people jumping to hasty conclusions without fully understanding the issue at hand. Now, since this is a riding blog, I'm now going to attempt to relate it back to the horse world because these issues don't end when the discussion over religion, gay rights, genetics, and politics end; they spill over into every facet of our world.
In dressage, we see this crop up with the classical versus 'modern' dressage methods.  People have lengthy discussions and get into huge arguments over this topic, and both sides seem to believe that the other side is dead wrong.  From my perspective at least, really its a spectrum: many of the same principles are present in both types of dressage, and to be perfectly honest in my experience most dressage riders seem to fall somewhere in the middle of the classical--> modern dressage spectrum.  But we sit at our computer screens criticizing riders who have dedicated years to prefecting the art of dressage because their horse's nose tucks slightly behind the vertical, or they lose the engagement of the haunches for a few strides in the passage.  Simple errors lead to riders and trainers being called abusive, dangerous, cruel, etc. and while I think that in certain cases its probably quite right to do so (when a horse's tongue is blue, there's something wrong...) people take this WAY too far.  Perhaps I'm being a little melodramatic here, but the point of it all is still the same.  Plus, even if a rider, at some point in their career, make s the mistake of adopting a rather harsh method, that doesn't make them an inherently evil person!
Anywho, I'm still quite frustrated by this whole thing, but I think the process of writing it all out has been quite cathartic... to an extent, anyway.  I'll probably delete this post (wow, my first ever deleted post!) later on, but for now all I ask is that nobody respond with some comment about how god banned gay marriage, or something like that.  Maybe he/she did, but right now I don't want to hear about it.  Beleive what you want, and perhaps you have some concrete evidence to that effect... but do your beliefs really justify ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of people? Perhaps as a straight person who is relatively unaffected by these issues, I shouldn't get so wound up about all this.  I just hate the fact that people feel they have the right to make other people suffer and cause other people pain because they believe something should be a certain way.


  1. A good rant. Don't delete it, that would be like not meaning what you said or being sorry for it...and everything said here is good, even if "stream of consciousness".

    1. I'm pretty sure all my posts are "stream of consciousness"! Thanks though, I appreciate it; and you've convinced me to leave it up.