INTEGRAL MATING

To expand on yesterdays Nature or Nurture piece.

Obviously, in such a short piece it is impossible to detail a great deal. In fact, books are written about such subjects and still the debates roll on. As one reader has pointed out to me not all women get to choose who they have babies with. And of course, she is correct. In some societies, women don’t have a choice. So who does choose? And at what stage of development is that choice happening?

At the Magical stage of development, choice is an unknown concept. In fact, the link between sex and childbirth is not yet firmly established. Sex is an activity that goes on between many different members of the group. Shocking for us westerners it even occurs between older people and those deemed by us to be too young. In other cultures, ALL the men who have sex with a pregnant woman are seen as fathers and they take an active role in raising the child. Magical dating is a primitive but friendly affair.

In the Tribal worldview, we see more of a ‘males compete and females look on and await the results’ style of mating. In the animal world, the female silverback has no choice in her mate but neither is she brutalised by him. This pleasure is reserved for the other males with whom he will compete. The days of clubbing a woman over the head and dragging her back to a cave are long behind the average male of today but still, a primitive competition goes on. One tribe, in particular, the Wodaabe of Werner Hertzog’s film ‘Herdsmen of the Sun’ exemplify the Males Compete Females Choose model of sexual selection. The tradition for them is an annual beauty pageant where the men make themselves up and perform dances to attract a mate. The women look on and choose! Tribal mating is a them and us, men versus women, event. It’s the conquering and dominating of women by men.

Mythical mating is God’s work. Adam and Eve were made by God to reproduce and to make God happy by populating the land with human life. This is possibly the biggest reason why homosexuality is frowned upon by traditional cultures, no children. Not the patriarchal oppression seen by postmodernists. Traditional/Mythical cultures, however, don’t leave it up to God to choose who a woman mates with. That honour goes to the next best thing to God, Parents. The arranged marriage is the Mythical stage’s mating ritual. But instead of Males Compete Females Choose its more like Male Compete Families Choose. The family unit is paramount and the arrangement of a union to forward the lines of two families is much debated. As matches which benefit both parties are sought. Sagas are written about this and will continue until humanity draws it last. Of course postmodernists who see oppression in everything will argue that the Men are the ones who arrange the marriages at the expense of the women and I’d be a fool to deny this completely but next to every man is his wife, and to think her influence is negligible as they lay together in bed, is also foolhardy.

Modern dating is more about choice and is where we see the Males Compete Females Choose model come into more dominance. Dating and mating are much discussed but one thing stands out for me. Women choose men who are at the same stage or slightly higher than themselves, developmentally speaking. Women don’t choose mates who are lower than themselves, educationally, economically or socially. Males compete for wealth and resources to provide for a wife and children. Women and children benefit from this competition. Also, it is worth dissecting "choice" a little here. We humans like to think we are free to choose, and in some ways we are but in many, we are not. A pauper cannot choose a princess and neither can she choose beneath her station. The arts are full of tales of woe when this happens. Choice in this instance means to be less inhibited by outside influences (arranged marriages and parental involvement) in order to follow one's own inner sense of what is right.

Postmodern mate selection is sadly a mess. This is the one night stand, accidental and unplanned pregnancy I spoke of yesterday. Postmodern, 3rd wave feminists, who view all history as oppression and all males as toxic misogynists, dismiss any notion of hierarchy. The idea that they might select a man for anything other than his sperm is anathema, certainly, the notion of selecting a man who is her equal or higher would not be welcome, remember, no hierarchy! The turkey baster is the postmodern mating tool of choice, that and the surrogate mum. These tools are perfectly valid if that's what you choose but the absence of fathers is proving to be a disaster for individual children as well as for society as a whole. And to be clear here I am sure there are many loving and kind women successfully raising children conceived in these ways for a whole host of reasons other than the dislike of men.

Integral mating holds all the previous stages in its view and allows playful movement between them all. The ideal for a childbearing relationship is two fully conscious and aware adult humans coming together to create life. We know through scientific evidence that children with both parents, fully involved in their upbringing have by far the best outcome. They are better off emotionally as well as on many other lines of development. Integral relationships are not without challenges but simply having an understanding of where we are coming from helps to work through them. How many of us can really say we are truly in our authentic adult selves when with our significant life partners? No sulking? No inadvertent anger or passivity? Very few us to be sure but we continue to do our best.

Evolution is at hand in everything I see. We humans are part of nature but we are different. We are so much more than our biological selves. We have an emotional and spiritual nature too but it all rests on our biology. The opposite of social constructivism is biological determinism and neither holds the whole truth. So look to the middle ground for better answers.

A Man in a Skirt


NATURE OR NURTURE?

Which is the most powerful force in shaping our culture and our lives? Well, I think it’s nature because the way we nurture seems to be a reflection of our nature. But let's look a little deeper.

The postmodernist thought process would have us believe that the entirety of our world is socially constructed. That the reason there are so few women in the fire service is that men have refused to invent easier ways of getting water to the fire, they have made the hoses and ladders heavy and difficult to handle (Yes this is a Feminist argument!). But she is ignoring an important component in the difference between men and women. Nature!

Humans are a Sexually Dimorphic species. This means that between the two sexes there is a large degree of variance. We are not as dimorphic as the silverback gorilla where the male is more than twice as big as the female but we are more dimorphic than gibbons who are roughly the same size. Human males are, on average 10% taller than females and we have, on average, 41% more lean muscle mass. These and other physical differences are not socially constructed, they are a biological reality and they go a long way toward shaping the social reality in which we find ourselves.

Another biological reality ignored by many social constructivists is birthing and feeding the younglings. It isn’t a devious patriarchal ploy to subjugate women which leaves them looking after the young, it’s the fact of us males simply not having the organs to do it. In other words Nature. Men have had other things to do, such as build and hunt and fight. Feminists might like to join in with building, hunting and fighting, and now she can, but men will never give birth or breastfeed.

There are behavioural differences that we find in nature too. Looking at other sexually dimorphic species we see that where the males are larger than the females, the males tend to be more aggressive, more sexually active and will seek multiple partners more often. Males will also develop strategies to ‘see off’ other males, even if these ‘battles’ end up shortening his life. If he is more successful at mating his shorter lifespan will not matter. It’s not all battles though, at least not fighting battles. Many birds compete for females with dances and displays of colour. This model is called the ‘Males Compete Females Choose’ (MCFC) model of sexual selection. It is the model for sexually dimorphic species.

The other model is called ‘Mutual Mate Choice’ (MMC) and this seems to occur in species where pair bonding is for life and both parents play an equal role in the raising of the offspring. The mute swan is a good example. The differences between males and females are small, males are very slightly larger and have a small bulge on the beak. Males do not compete for females, they dance together, bond, and mate. For life!

When I view human life through an integral lens I see both MCFC and MMC in operation and the difference is at what level of development the couple are operating. MCFC is the fact of men showing off wealth and status to impress women. And women are impressed, although not just by wealth and strength, according to clinical psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson what impresses a woman the most is, potential. The poor but hardworking and useful man is more attractive than the rich lazy idiot. She gauges one, more likely to be successful in raising children than the other and chooses accordingly. This is one reason I don’t buy the feminist ‘male domination’ theories. If women chose non-dominant men then dominance would have died out years ago. But women chose for success in raising children and dominance is a factor in their choice.

Mutual Mate Choice might be an integral ideal for humanity to aim toward. Two enlightened humans choosing to mate and produce a life, and raise it in a committed and secure ‘pair bond for life’ relationship. Rather than the heated and unconscious ways so many of our children are conceived. Unwanted and unplanned children are less well off from the beginning than planned and asked for ones. Remember, life starts in the attraction between a man and a woman. Life is electrical in nature as is the charge and force between sexually active males and females. That is nature. Nurture is how we take care of it.

IS FEMINISM FOR MEN?

In no way do I wish to claim to speak for all men! I might speak about men, and in doing so I’ll admit I’m generalising and maybe even stereotyping but I believe there is value in this as long as we don’t get hung up on it and accept the generality of some statements. For example, I might say ‘Men are different to women’ What I mean here is men as a group are different from women as a group. Obviously, I accept women are different to each other and not all men are the same but there are certain differences, biological, psychological and even spiritual differences between the sexes, so the statement can stand as a generality.

In identifying men and women as two distinct groups we will face certain dangers and benefits. Grouping can allow some differences to be acknowledged but also we run the risk of missing detail. The same is true when we group black people and white people, some broad statements may be true but we will miss the minutia of difference. In allowing some broad definitions of man and woman to stand without over scrutinising or deconstructing, I can gain a space to discover a part of my own identity. Either as a part of the group or as separate from it. On the other hand, If we allow the statements such as ‘Men are more aggressive than women’ or ‘Women are weaker than men’ to stand with zero deconstruction, we are possibly fooled into accepting untruths and prejudice. So my main question is how much should we deconstruct every statement?

How much do we need to zoom in on a point? Depends on the point obviously, the bigger the point, the broader the original statement the closer we can examine it. For example, the statement ‘Women are oppressed by men’ is a very broad statement and would, in reality, need a very focused and detailed examination to fully understand what it means before I can accept it. When I dissect this statement I find little or no truth in it. What I find is oppression is much wider than simply sex-based. Poverty and education are greater indicators of privilege than sex.

I find evidence of male sacrifice for female gain in the workplace death statistics. 97% of accidents resulting in death at work are men, usually men working dangerous jobs to support women and children. In bringing this fact to the attention of those seeking to prove male oppression I am told that it is irrelevant, unimportant or worse still as evidence for the patriarchal control of men too.

Feminism is a postmodern ideology, this means feminism doesn’t exist in the Magical, Tribal, Mythic or Modern worldviews. Feminism is an evolution of those worldviews undoubtedly but has it gone far enough? Or too far? Feminism should be subject to as much scrutiny as any other powerful force in our culture. I find a clear lack of examination of the points of feminism so I ask questions. Sadly in this age of inquisition, the act of questioning the doctrine is seen as heresy and questioners are denounced as non-believers or in the case of questioning feminism, misogynists.

Questions I ask

What are the measures of equality? How do we know when we have achieved equality? Do we close the wage gap by paying men and women the same, regardless of qualifications, hours worked or time in the job? Or do we continue to reward excellence without regard to sex? How far do we go to open up traditionally male areas of expertise to women? Do we do the same to open up areas of female expertise to men? Why are there differences in the intakes of engineering or nursing degrees? Is it all down to social pressures or are there natural, biological and psychological factors at play too? What might those factors be?

Fairness might be a better aim than equality. Equality means the same and as previously discussed men and women are not the same. Do we want a 50/;50 split in workplace deaths? Should firefighters be 50% female? Or nursery school teachers be 50% men regardless of the attitudes and life skills?

I met a female firefighter the other day and what a truly great woman she was. I asked her if she found any sexism in the fire service? She said she had a little at first. But what the other firefighters really want to know is this. When the shit hits the fan can she carry them and there breathing apparatus out of a burning building? She could, and would and this is what matters, can you do the job? As we break down our cultural demands for caring women and strong men, will we see more women take on traditionally male jobs? Maybe but only if they are up to it. Similarly we don’t want big brutish men as kindergarten carers, just to fill a quota.

I am not a feminist and never will be. I am a humanist working for the understanding of the human position in the world.

HUMAN CENTERED IDENTITY POLITICS Q&A

¿Is Human Centred Identity Politics a start point or an endpoint for the conversation on gender?

Both really, it depends on where you are in relationship to the IDP debate. It can be an endpoint for some, the realisation that we are all human, we are all individuals, we are all unique, just like everyone else. It can also be good to have a common ground on which we all stand as a place to start when exploring the differences between us.

¿Previously you have spoken out about ‘Victim Mentality’ can you describe what you mean?

When I use the ‘-‘ quotation marks and Capitalise a word or two like this it indicates that I am talking specifically about that thing. ‘Victim Mentality’ as I call it is the part identified by Roy Baumeister in his book ‘The Myth of Pure Evil’. It is, I believe a part that exists in all of us and it places the blame for our condition outside of ourselves. We do this both collectively and individually, collectively it manifests in belief in conspiracies and other controlling forces also in the belief that things would be ok if we could just ‘Smash the patriarchy’. Individuals play out differing amounts in their interactions with the world, I see it sometimes in the trans world where some people feel victimised by simple questions about the nature of there claims or even the suggestion that hurt people hurt people. Understanding the perpetrator is not fashionable but its essential seeing as we all do it.

There is no doubt in my mind that ‘Victim Mentality’ plays an inflammatory PART!! in the row over gender. Of course, I don’t want to brush over the very real cases of abuse and oppression but it is not true that you are being oppressed by my refusal to acknowledge you as a woman if you have XY chromosomes.

¿Can you say more about XY and XX chromosomes and why you think this is important?

It’s really about looking at life as a whole and seeing the different levels of being at play. Biology is different from Psychology. It is as different as roads are to cars but there is a small section of the IDP debate calling for and promoting the understanding that biology is somehow not important anymore and that just by claiming it you can be a woman. A woman is a woman and I don’t need to re-agree what the word means but if you want to talk about gender then let's discuss. It's true that biological sex and psychological gender do not always align and that our culture has more or less sanctioned an aligned, binary approach to sex and gender for 1000’s of years. I don’t believe that we did this to ‘Oppress’ anyone but it was the option that gave us the best chance of survival. It's also true that our culture has promoted ways for gender non-conforming people to adjust their bodies, through hormones and surgery, to fit the ‘Binary Narrative’. That’s not very trans is it?

The XX/XY binary is the basis for our reproductive ability, no other combinations work without a huge amount of scientific intervention and I doubt that we could or should try to “improve” upon that. There is a 1% variation of chromosomal variances such as XO/XXY/XXYY whereby biological sex is less easily determined but this 1% variance is no basis for a complete rewrite of our biological history. I think the ‘Biology Deniers’ are harming the real trans movement.

That's strong stuff. ¿Why do you feel so strongly about it? ¿Are you trans yourself?

I don’t identify myself as trans anything but society labelled me a transvestite and as the trans movement is an open and inclusive movement I guess I just got sucked in. I’m passionate about this because when I was 14 I had nowhere to go with the questions that I had about my sexuality and gender, I just thought I was wrong to be wearing women’s clothes and finding it sexually stimulating. I was as confused as most teenagers are at some stage in their lives. I’m passionate about it because were I 14 today I can see the attraction of people saying ‘We know what it is!’ ‘You’re transgendered and you need hormones and surgery!’ There are 800 children on puberty-blocking hormones in the UK alone and were are still arguing over what the word woman means! These are children who can't legally get a tattoo, yet we offer them a biological solution to a psychological problem. It’s for them that I’m passionate. We need a different understanding of what it means to human not an expensive rebranding of the biological realities of your body. You might feel like a woman or want to be a woman but if you’ve got XY chromosomes you’ve got XY chromosomes. Let's get to reinventing what having XY chromosomes means and understanding the differences between us not airbrushing over them.

¿Is that what the XY Beauty Pageant is about?

Yes! I realised that what I wanted, aged 13 years, dressing up in my mum's clothes and makeup, was simply to be beautiful. It was this realisation that brought about this change in my life, I started to realise that I was just a man in a skirt, not a trans anything. Being a man in our culture I limited my self to my experiences of beauty in order to fit in. I projected my need for beauty onto the women in my life. Society has unwritten rules about what is expected of men and women and beauty has been firmly and squarely in the realm of women for 2-300 years now. Times change and so does beauty and thankfully the rules being re-written. We are moving away from traditional and modern and postmodern ideas of beauty and beauty is becoming integral. Models now have sticky out ears and differences about them individualism in fashion is on the rise and the fashion industry is struggling to keep up. Real ‘Beauty’ is real. First and foremost beauty is the real thing, not a fake, not dishonest or flaky, it’s genuine and honest and true. I see real beauty in the work I do with men through groups like A Band of Brothers and The Mankind Project. I see men battling years of conditioning to break down and feel generations of sadness. I see beauty in the young man who has had ‘The Care System” on his back since the age of 5 and he still wants to be a good dad despite the barriers that it puts in the way.

The XY beauty pageant isn’t just about looks, it's about heart and soul first and then a fine robe to wrap it all in.

¿Where to from here?

I’ve done a small amount of work in schools that I’m looking to expand on. I’m pulling together a website/shop to sell skirts, for people, not just men, I mean that's the point of all this, isn’t it? Fashion and style equality. I’ve come to realise a truth about myself and that is that I’m a politician. In a world that thinks that politics is a dirty word that can be a tough place to be, but real politics is about finding some truth around the pole around which we all dance. Human-centred Identity Politics is my offering to the debate, we shall see if it’s popular or not and where it goes, or not.

INTEGRAL GENDER

The integral way is a way of maps and charts. When we explore any territories, be they physical mountains and deserts or psychic inner landscapes, then the best and most accurate maps will be of great assistant. Of course with the understanding that as with all great explorations we will run into unknown territories. “Here be Dragons!”


Today we have mapped the surface of the Earth with an incredible accurately but our cultural and psychic maps are out of date and somewhat incomplete. Also, the physical and psychological landscapes are constantly shifting and changing. The maps of the past are less accurate than the maps of today.

To start I propose we reach agreement about what certain words mean. Some fights are down to 2 people not realising that their own definition of a word is slightly different from the others.

Let’s start with the word ‘Gender’. I would like us to take the words ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ out of our definition of the word, gender. Why? Because male and female are words that are in contention by both sides of this argument and who’s meaning is yet to be fully defined, (at least on this forum right now!). If we can agree to separate the two words Sex and Gender and have separate and clear meanings then we can move on.

‘Gender’:- Late Middle English: Old French gendre, modern French genre, based on Latin genus ‘birth, family, nation’. The earliest meanings were ‘kind, sort, genus’ and ‘type or class of noun, etc.’

It strikes me that us human beings ‘type’ everything. That is we separate things into types, from movies to subatomic particles we research and probe everything to find out what it is made of, including ourselves. This is what ‘identity politics’ is struggling with and why many are currently experiencing such an enormous sense of uneasy anger around the issue of gender. Policy makers are terrified of getting it wrong, ‘it’ being, the integration of a deepening and changing sense of what it means to be a human being. These changes are a challenge to both our traditional and our modern world views.

¿Could we agree to use ‘Gender’ when referring to psychological differences? That is talking of, sense of self, cultural differences etc.

¿Could we agree to use ‘Sex’ when referring to biological differences? That being things on an XX/XY, axis physical, brain and hormonal differences, etc.

If we can agree on those two points then the conversation can move on to ‘¿What are the differences?’

Thank you for reading please hit subscribe to join the conversation and encourage a reasoned approach to identity politics.

A Man in a Skirt

WHO ARE “SELF-IDENTIFIED WOMEN”?

We are all, to a greater or lesser extent, self identified. I am a self identified me! So who are self identified women? I ask this question, of course, knowing my answer and also knowing that some will disagree with me. Self identified women are either a/ XY chromosome bearing men with psychologies in contrast to there biologies or b/ XX-chromosome bearing women.

I think it’s good to have a discussion around the questions “What is a woman?” and “What is a man?”. Not in order to redefine the words, but to deepen our understanding and our sense of the meaning of the words. To develop new understandings and new words that build on the old understandings and meanings. A woman is a woman and a man is a man, or do we need to redefine all words? Can a lemon be a Peach?

Delving into identity I can come up with many different labels that would convey to you my intricacies and habits. Since allowing my transvestism to be I’ve allowed a much more vulnerable side to express itself. Being a man can be tough, being a human can be tough. Being a human who doesn’t fit into socially accepted norms is tough, but I don’t believe saying “Yes you’re a woman” will make it any easier. What makes it easier for me is greater acceptance of who I am.

As for my self identity (If you’re not interested stop here!).

I’m an XY chromosome, man, male, father, son, exo-hetero (outwardly heterosexua) intro bi-curious (95% heterosexual), 7/10 dyslexic, human/spirit being, narcissistic (a bit), transvestite. Nice to meet you! Im genuinely interested to hear what labels you put on yourself, but please don’t deny biology.

A Man in a Skirt


THE CHANGING CULTURE OF GENDER.

So man skirts and dresses and heels are now on trend! It’s true, I read it on the interweb so it must be true. Does that mean I’m not a transvestite anymore? If the culture has changed and now we accept that men might want to wear “women’s clothes” then that changes something fundamental to our culture. But of course, we don’t all accept it because there is still an argument going on between two opposing factions in the debate on gender. I could label them left and right but that would only be partly correct at a certain level of understanding. They are not just left and right oppositional points of a central point they are both extremists. Jordan Peterson is great example of a modern scientific rational “Right” side of the fence, speaker. He’s good but one thing he fails to do is recognise his own position. He opposes the left but fails to see the cultural side of the argument and if you can’t argue for your opponent then you’re not qualified to argue against them. The same goes for those on the left claiming the word “woman” as if a label might somehow heal the wound. Biology is biology and women are what we have for centuries called the bearers of XX chromosomes. We can’t just change language at the whim of one side of an argument. Can we move the conversation away from biology on to psychology now, please? If you're claiming a third gender why call it a woman? I might feel like, or even want to be, a woman but that doesn’t make me one. XX chromosomes do that and I ain’t got ’em.

Let’s call the third gender X for now? At least until we understand more about it.

You have the extremist right who think that material science and biology is everything and you have extremists on the left who think that the social sciences and culture are everything. They might be on opposite sides of the fence but they’re way up the extremist end of the field.

We need to stop thinking about the left-right split in terms of a middle ground of reason between the two because extremists don’t like reason.
Btw I don’t think that Jordan Peterson is an extremist but he is a very good example of a scientific rational modern thinker and he does sit in strong opposition to the left postmodern thinkers. I also think that more extreme people on both sides of the fence use him to support there more extreme views.

A CALL TO THE SACRED MASCULINE

A call to the sacred masculine from a man, XY chromosomes. A call to the sacred masculine from a transvestite. A call to the Sacred masculine from a man who is unsure what other labels to wear.

A call to the sacred masculine from one who has wondered.

A call to the sacred masculine from the core of my being. A call to the sacred masculine, from my sacred masculine.

I exist and I am singular.

There is only one of me but I have many faces. I am the single spark that ignited the big bang and I sit in the centre of every single sentient and conscious being in the multi-verse.

I am consciousness, I am Christ mind, Buddha mind, Zen, Unity-Consciousness, Lord Shiva, Allah and Now.

The first line of the Tao te Ching says it all “The Tao that can be told is not The true Tao!”.

I am not the source though, I too have a source, a place from which I sprang, alongside my wife, Sacred Feminine. I am singular, she is many. We contain and hold each other.

A call to the Sacred Masculine from one who has given away and sacrificed too much. A call to the Sacred Masculine from one who will die pondering what does it mean to be alive. A call to the Sacred Masculine from one who prays to it for guidance, in this journey through the Sacred Feminine.

A call to the Sacred Masculine from one who stands alongside it in every real moment of conflict resolution.

A call to the sacred masculine, guide me.
A Man in a Skirt

Hash tagging my look

How to hashtag my look? Definitely not #genderneutral! Neutral sounds way too much like neutered for my comfort. Neutrality is middle of the road, indifferent and unaligned. Switzerland is neutral, very beautiful but I wouldn't want to live there. Cats get neutered, neutralised, sterilised. Sterility is a loss of the reproductive ability and if there is a motivating force of life on this planet then it’s that very compulsion that drives us to reproduce. Who wants neutrality?

Perhaps we can reinvent fashion? Perhaps the internet will facilitate a reframing of style? Away with being told what this season's colours will be and in with men and women discovering for themselves what fits and lifts them. I have serious doubts that inert, indifferent, by standing looks will ever take off, we love the edges and the full range of expression too much. The gender-neutral clones will have there moment but things will swing back, and forth, and back again. Balance is a good word, gender balance is something that I could work towards and understand, but what is balance? Not 50/50 that's for sure. 50/50 is actually more like neutral and balance is anything but neutral. Balance is dynamic, a constant dance, always moving and shifting. 70/30, 30/70, back and forth. Yin and Yang flow through each other in a perpetual waltz and now is the time for it to flow through the fashion industry. Gender balance opens the traditional world of suits and ties to xx chromosome bearers and thankfully for me, as an xy type, the sensuality of tights and skirts and heels is now on the cards

Amanina Skirt

X goes shopping with XY

Yesterday afternoon I went clothes shopping with an XY human named Jerry. It identifies itself as a man, it is what you guys call cis-gendered. That means that it is happy with its gender position and is content with its male identity and it’s XY body. It asked me to call it “he” and not “it”, I will comply.

I was excited to go clothes shopping as I’ve noticed how much you humans love to dress up. You’re always wearing clothes. It’s amazing to watch you donning such a huge variety of fabric and colour and if I’m to understand difference then this seems like a good place to start. I notice that you like looking at each other too, you’re always taking pictures and buying magazines. X my partner and I don’t really wear clothes. Nobody on Planet X does. If we “wear” anything it’s a sort of microscopically thin-layer of nothing. Remember, there is no difference on Planet X that is why I am here studying it.

So off to Churchill Square in Brighton (it’s a mall with lots of different shops) with Jerry and his credit card. I asked Jerry what his favourite shop was as I marvelled all the different names. I am fascinated by names because they seem so important to you guys. That’s an expression that Jerry taught me he said “Guys usually means XY’s but I can also mean XX’s too!” I realised yesterday that you guys give your XX and XY offspring XX and XY names too. Is it a way of knowing if someone is XX or XY? Is that important to you? (Note to X on Planet X;- They call them ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ but I’m unsure of the meaning of those words, so, for now, I will use XX and XY)

Anyway back to Jerry, an apparently XY name, and the shops. I liked the sound of Dorothy Perkins I don’t know why it just felt nice to say.

“Dorothy Perkins is a woman’s shop,” said Jerry “And I’m a man”

“So you have different shops for XX and XY’s” I asked

“Well yes, sort of” Jerry replied. “Some shops sell only men's or women's clothes others sell both, but there is a rough divide. Also things are changing as some men like wearing women's clothes” He thought about this for a moment before adding “Women have been wearing trousers for a 100 years now so I guess men can wear dresses too now” (Note to self:- Try to understand the difference between trousers and dresses, it seems important)

We talked about this for ages until I thought I understood

“So let me get this straight, for the report back to Planet X.” I said “You have different names and different clothes for XX and XY people”

“Yes”

“But some XX people wear XY clothes”

“Yes”

“And some XY people wear XX clothes”.

“Yes”

“And some XY people call themselves XX names”

“Yes”

“And some XX people call themselves XY names”

“Yes”

“Why?” I asked.

Jerry was very gracious in accepting that he had no clue as to why someone would do any of those things. He has never questioned his identity as an XY man/male. “It’s just never been an issue for me” he said. As we entered his favourite shop, Hollister.

Jerry spent 10 minutes looking through the rails of clothes and bought some blue trousers and a grey hoodie with Hollister written across the front. So everyone knows where he bought it I assume. It seems somehow important that the XY’s among you let others know where you bought your clothes. Yet another thing I’ve to understand.

I asked Jerry why he chose the grey hoodie when he could have had the blue one or the brown one.

“I’ve already got those” he replied

Next, I’m off to meet an XX. What should I ask it?