CNN recently published an awesome article debunking the popular media reports of a “gay caveman” found in the Czech Republic.
The article opens with the statement that “reports that surfaced last week about the remains of a “gay caveman” found in the Czech Republic have prompted scientists to take on an unlikely foe – an overhyped news media that may be overblowing the archaeological find.
Authors Phil Gast and Sarah Aarthun then go on to quote archaeologist Katerina Semradova: “we believe this is one of the earliest cases of what could be described as a ‘transsexual’ or ‘third gender grave’ in the Czech Republic”.
Just to give some background information:
- Transsexual: a person having a strong desire to assume the physical characteristics and gender role of the opposite sex OR a person who has undergone hormone treatment and surgery to attain the physical characteristics of the opposite sex (Dictionary.com).
- Crossdressing: the act of wearing clothes that are traditionally worn by the opposite gender (Dictionary.com).
The theory that this person was defined as belonging to a “third gender” is most likely, in my opinion. Last semester, in my Women and Gender in Islam class, we discussed the existence of third genders in several communities, including hijras in various South Asian cultures. Hijras are male-bodied (and sometimes intersex) individuals who adopt the identity of a female- in dress, mannerisms, work, and other typical gender roles. In my opinion, it’s much more likely that the skeleton in question fell under this sort of category. I think the CNN article does a wonderful job of refuting all of the media nonsense that’s been swirling around- definitely worth a read!